26th April

Tomorrow is surgery day. I don’t feel ready to go through it, and yet I want the procedure over and the Thing gone. I need to feel something, anything is being done.

After tomorrow, life will never be the same again. Mind you, it strikes me that we could say this every evening before we go to bed. Life is never the same from one day to the next; we are a day older, maybe even wiser;  a day closer to death, even in the midst of health.

I am scared, but I can’t put a shape, a description or a voice to the fear. I have never had an operation before so it feel alien that someone will remove a part of me (albeit a part I don’t want) and leave me looking different – although I don’t yet know in what way.

Most people who have an operation are left with only a scar as the only outward sign of the surgery. The sort of procedure I am having will leave more than a scar as its calling card, both physically and emotionally.

For many illnesses and diseases, the operation is the conclusion. Once healed, the patient reverts back to being a person. For cancerees, surgery is just the first step; the start of a journey of unknown length and duration. The Chinese philosopher Laozi told us that “a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step”. Tomorrow morning I must take that first, single step.

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