It was a week before surgery and I was mentally going through a list of people that I wanted to tell. I had told most of my friends who I thought should know. But there were a few left. Two of them are lovely ladies who I used to work with. I knew they'd be upset if I didn't tell them before the surgery. I sent them both an email. I got back to back phone calls from them later that afternoon.
T called me first. She had her thyroid taken out a year and a half ago. Different circumstances- she had a goiter and, it turns out, they only took half of her thyroid out. Anyway, she had a lot of questions for me. Who were the surgeons, where would it be, any other surgery details... Then I got to hear about her experience. It hurt. A fuck of a lot. She went to her mother's for the weekend after the surgery. All she could eat were smoothies and soup. She was in a lot of pain and didn't want to do anything. And then she went home where her mother-in-law had been those few days helping with the kids. And her mother-in-law had been kind enough to make her a lot of soup. She froze it so T could eat it all week. Because it took her that long to want solid food.
I was surprised. I kept telling myself that the surgeon had told me that some people felt good enough to eat pizza the next day. That at worst, it would feel like a bad case of tonsillitis. Which was no big deal to me since I used to get that constantly when I was growing up. Two or three times a year from middle school up through college. The doctors really wanted me to get my tonsils out and my mother finally made me get them out my senior year. She was worried I would graduate from college and not have health insurance.
Just when I was feeling so fabulous from T's call, L called. L is a breast cancer survivor. She was very upset to hear my diagnosis and went on about how upset I must be feeling and how she was always there if I needed her. She would totally understand where I was coming from. Which was great. Only, I had been feeling so much better since I talked with the surgeon. Suddenly I felt like I should be feeling more scared, more upset. I hung up the phone and realized that I was a little depressed again. And I felt like crap about that because here my friends had called to be helpful and let me know that they understood what I was going through and instead of feeling grateful I was almost sorry that they had called. And seriously, I just needed to appreciate that I had friends who cared so much that they had to call me right away. I needed to, but instead spent the evening wallowing in self-pity and wine. Appreciation would come later that week.