Having a set surgery date helped me eliminate one uncertainty out of many that created lots of anxiety. The surgery date was set for a week after coming home from my trip to Helsinki and Stockholm in May.
When I found out about the confirmed diagnosis and planned surgery, I thought of cancelling the trip out of the irrational fear that I may keel over and die due to exhaustion in beautiful Stockholm next to the pier on a sunny spring day…. I mean, I have been living and travelling with this tumor for the last 5 years without dying, I know it is completely irrational to think that this trip would be any different. My friend asked if I had ever regretted taking a trip. I said no and she was right.
I was still working in February and I tried to distract myself from worrying excessively over many things that I cannot control by controlling things that I can such as planning my trip. Despite my efforts, I could not resist looking up articles on Transsphenoidal Surgery and recovery statistics. The more you know, the more you worry and I didn’t want to worry but I also couldn’t help it. Finally knowing what was wrong with me and having a plan to treat it was truly a blessing that I was grateful for. I did not expect the emotional stress creeping up on me to the point where I could not function at work anymore… I actually thought I could still work until my surgery date in June by taking a few days off here and there but the Universe had an other plan.
I went to my family doctor to have disability forms filled out in anticipation of being off work for more than 2 weeks after my surgery. My supervisor pulled me aside at work one day to tell me that she got a phone call from the manager whom got a phone call from the ability advisor notifying her that I am on medical leave. This literally came right after I had a meeting with my supervisor that morning planning the transfer of my clients and my leave of absence after June…. See what happens when I tried to plan? The date my family doctor filled out stating that I am unable to work was the date I saw her for a follow up appointment. So I should have been at home resting to prepare for surgery and not working. After some discussion, it was decided that I would finish the day and not return to work tomorrow. I felt like I was being fired and had to pack up my office by 4 pm. I was surprised and conflicted about it all while my friend at work was like “That’s awesome! You get to sleep in tomorrow, and the next day…and the day after…”.
Darwin loved that I was home keeping him company, giving him massages and taking him for walks. I talked to my mom on the phone often while I paint and putter around the house. After about a week of this, I quickly grew tired of being alone during the day with no humans around to tell me their problems. This led me to look for studio space for creating art. I came across Burnt Toast Studio and rented a space there to paint. I had always wanted to have an art studio space…not because I don’t have enough space at home…well maybe I don’t. My stuff occupies two small bedrooms, downstairs living room, basement and as Josh puts it my “creativity spills over” the dinning table as well. Two months before my surgery, I developed a routine of driving up to the art studio at least a couple times a week during the day to paint – hoping that there would be other artists to chat with and make art. However, it was not what I had envisioned. The place was mostly empty when I am there during the day because people have day jobs…. I did make use of the space (I listened to hours and hours of podcast) and created a 48” x 48” painting that needed a van for transport.
#art #painting #memoir #amediting #yayoikusama #amwriting #story #personalblog