You know you’ve turned a corner when you are finally adding things to your calendar that are not doctors appointments! Although, frankly, doctors appointments and treatments still fill my days.
I’m in full time calendar management mode. Some of it is managing various doctors appointments, and recovery treatment sessions. But the real change, is that I’m also adding in some academic conferences. Way back in my chemo days, I signed up for the Technology, Knowledge, and Society conference that is being held at Berkeley at the end of the month (fast approaching). I even included a poster based upon my prior research. I signed up because a friend from Australia was going to be attending, but as it turns out, her work situation changed and she won’t be coming after all. I have, and continue to, debate whether or not I’ll go and how much of the conference I’ll attend. The first day looks like it will be a challenge with my other appointments, but my presentation is scheduled for the second day and I don’t have anything else pressing that day (at the moment). So I might as well attend!
I also have a surgery date for my next surgery – March 17. It is the soonest possible date for surgery – exactly three months after my last surgery. Since this is not a cancer surgery, the scheduling is done on a “wait list” basis. The scheduler says that there is a 95% chance that the surgery will happen that day, but it could get bumped for trauma or cancer surgery. Given that my last surgery was a 12-hour cancer surgery, which didn’t get bumped when a lot of other surgeries did, I can accept that my surgery might not be the priority this time. I’m still a little uncertain about this surgery, in that I have no clue what the recovery will look like. There is a lot of information on the web about lumpectomies, mastectomies, and DIEP reconstruction surgery so I went into my last two surgeries with a pretty solid idea of what the recovery would look like. That isn’t the case with this one. In theory, it is an easier surgery. It is 3 hours under anesthesia, which is a big challenge for me. The actual surgery involves meticulous and precision clean up of scar tissue, which is why it takes so long, but the wounds themselves are not deep, so the healing should be a lot faster.
With the planned surgery date, I’m now planning other aspects of my life. I’m hoping (now seriously planning) to attend the Emerging Technologies for Online Learning conference in Dallas in April (co-presenting a poster), and the Ed Media conference (haven’t decided yet about presenting) in Montreal in June.
In addition, my husband and I want to fit in a two week vacation to explore parts of California. This is perhaps one of the hardest things to plan. We want to book campsites in advance, but I just don’t know how able I’ll be for camping. I’m making a huge assumption based upon how I feel now. In theory I’ll also need to be doing more walking / hiking in preparation for the Avon Walk (please if you can support our team as we haven’t made our minimum to participate yet: http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR?team_id=141489&fr_id=2404&pg=team). Neuropathy in my feet makes it extra challenging. At the moment, I can walk for about 30 minutes before the numbness in my feet becomes bothersome. I am so hoping that this improves – it is not a ‘new normal’ that I want!
So for now, I’m watching my to do list pile up, and I’m adding more and more to my schedule. Life is starting to get back to the chaos that it was before cancer, and that’s a good thing!