• shelley@heradvice.ca
  • Vancouver, Canada

Patience is a Virtue

Patience is a virtue.

I don’t think patient is a word that I would always use to describe myself. I mean, I am patient with kids and elderly and those in need for sure but I’m not always patient with other adults or situations. I’m sure learning though. This whole thing is proving to be about learning, growing, changing… and when I can see it that way, it’s for the better.

On Feb 15th, one week after my last surgery, I had a chest X-ray at our neighbourhood clinic. It was a beautiful day and a short walk home so I avoided the germs of public transportation and opted for the walk home. As I was crossing Lonsdale Ave I could see the countdown 9,8,7… I could also see a woman in a car very impatiently waiting for me to get out of her way so she could turn right before the light changed and she was stuck there until traffic passed. She was almost coaxing me along by moving her body forward in her seat. I am not a slow walker. Never have been, I seem to always have shit to get done and move quickly from one task to another. But, on that day that was not a possibility. The very slow speed I was moving was my top speed. As I crossed, I thought about how many times I had been that lady. I imagined her words to herself in that car, “for the love of God lady, come on!” In that moment, I vowed to never be her again.

People can look perfectly fine on the outside and be full of all kinds of struggles on the inside. I look good, improved even as I have lost some weight and from the outside, although a bit tired looking, you would have no idea what’s been going on under the hood. Kind of like a sports car that has been deemed a lemon! 🍋

My recovery from the blood clots was slow. I’ve been without most of that horrible pain now for a week. I saw my gyn oncologist for follow up on Mar 14th. He said I am 3 weeks behind in my recovery, which for sure was discouraging as I have followed all of their orders, have done very little and have been waited on by my amazing family and friends. The setbacks of the bronchial issues, sinus infection and blood clots have made it a bit harder for my body to do its job healing my internal incisions. More rest for a few more weeks.

I also met my new reconstruction breast surgeon Dr McAdam on Friday. She is wonderful. She is concerned about going ahead with the mastectomies and reconstruction until I see a hematologist. She speculated that they may need to put a filter in prior to surgery to prevent a clot. (I have no idea what that even means) I hate waiting one more minute with this in my breast – however she pointed out that a clot in my lung could be fatal so I get it. Fatal is for sure what I am trying to avoid! Patience Shelley.

I have definitely been feeling sad. I know it is good to be aware of that feeling and work your way through it. I also know how important it is to sit in your feelings and not avoid them. I am a master at moving through them but storing a bit of the pain deep inside. I think I once described that as strength. It’s not. Feeling. Being vulnerable. Being honest. That’s strength. I’m feeling vulnerable and now that I am physically feeling pretty good, the truth of the whole situation has settled in and it feels sad and scary and all of that. I am working to reconcile it all. It’s a process.

Yesterday after the apt with Dr McAdam, Paul and I stopped at one of our favourite places Cardero’s for a happy hour break. It felt good to wear real clothes, hair done, make up on. One day at a time is the pace right now. Yesterday was a good day, and with the sun shining again today… I’m hoping for another.
Either way, I’m going to try to just be patient.


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