Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In Order to Progress You May Need to Regress

Biggie came into my life a few days ago, and I have grown to really truly love him.
Biggie- is a nickname for the childhood character we all know and love- Big Bird. Yes, I am officially coming out and telling you that I am in love with a stuffed animal.

I never was big on stuffed animals growing up. The idea of sleeping with them kind of weirded me out. But now, at the age of 29,I find myself incredibly affectionate towards that handsome bird.

I brought Biggie around with me to all my appointments. I wasnt embarrased, but rather toted him along as if it was completely normal. Why shouldn't a scared Cancer patient be allowed to bring ( and maybe even show off) her small bundle of joy?  I may have talked to him a few times today, and definitely gave him some tight squeezes during the tougher moments. Biggie joined me every step of the way, through the Maga test, Chest X-Ray, Surgeon Post Op Exam, and he even cuddled with me on the table during my bone marrow sample. As Dr. V slowly and methodically drew marrow from both sides of my hip, Biggie was there.  I dont think I could have gotten through this procedure without him ( and of course a high dose of adivan and local anethestic.)

I have been worried about the bone marrow procedure for weeks. In all seriousness this scared me more than the start of chemo. I think the visual of knowing that someone would be drilling a very long needle into my bone(which cant be numbed) terrified me. I also was aware that he would be carefully navigating a web of nerves that he could potentially hit in the process of aspiration. The anticipation of the procedure had kept me up at night for weeks. 

I am proud to say that Biggie and I made it through the procedure. With three big bandages on my tush, I walked out of there with my head high, unsure of what all the hype was about. I have heard from others that its the most painful experience they have ever gone through. For me- it was a 3 out of 10. Breaking my elbow in 7th grade the week before my bat-mitzvah was easily more painful ( both physically and emotionally).

Now that this is over, I started thinking about how important it is to allow yourself to regress in order to progress.

The past three weeks I have slowly been accepting the fact that I will need to rely on others to care for me, and that my independence is going to be somewhat compromised. In some ways I feel like a child, having to rely on my parents, Marc, Neely, and my friends to look after me in this time of need. As someone who is used to giving, it is hard to feel like I am constantly taking. I am slowly learning that now is the time to be selfish, to lean on those close to me who are able to lift me up and cheer me on during this fight.

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