I’m in a perfect storm of overwhelm.
My double knee replacement is nine days away.
This day, the Tuesday after Labor Day, is the sixth anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis.
And I cracked my phone screen this afternoon.
It’s September, isn’t it?
The challenging month in my life!
I feel so behind in getting ready for knee surgery.
I did manage to unload the furniture in my bedroom and the guest bedroom. My antique bed is too high for me to negotiate with two freshly-replaced knees. So I decided to switch out all of the furniture, because ultimately my parents’ old 1950s bedroom suite would serve me better than my grandparents’ much older antique furniture.
Kind friends came on Sunday and took care of the furniture moving for me.
But I still had to make decisions and move drawers. And take books off the bookshelves. Many, many books. And figure out where the books will go since I want less furniture in the bedrooms. Those books are now stacked on the floor in two rooms.
I was completely worn out and aching Sunday afternoon. And that tiredness and pain lingered into yesterday.
And then there’s the cleaning up and decluttering I intended to do before surgery.
Everything I want and need to do around the house involves standing. And that means knee pain, plus other pain from my muscles trying to keep weight off my knees – resulting in pain all over.
And then add the emotional part, the frustration and the feeling worthless.
And also, lingering in the background, is the knowledge that six years ago I was starting a cancer journey. That brings the reminder that cancer can come back. I don’t expect it to, but reality says it could. Plus, that very difficult cancer journey is still fresh enough, even after six years, that I can remember it well.
And then today as I was getting out of my car to go into the gym to work out my legs and upper body in preparation for the knee surgery and rehab, I reminded myself to be careful with my phone . . . because I sure didn’t want a cracked screen right now when I’ll be depending on my phone so much while I’m in the hospital.
You know what happened an hour later.
Yep, I dropped my phone, and it hit a piece of the machinery. There is a tiny smashed place that looks like a piece of fuzz on my screen – with tiny hairline fractures emanating from it. Not covering the complete screen, but a nuisance nonetheless.
Another September challenge with which to contend.
But through all of this – the upcoming surgery, the askew house contents, the cancer anniversary, the cracked phone – I know that, ultimately . . .
” . . . all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”
– Dame Julian of Norwich
I have a few more days to get things done. My kind neighbor has already brought over a walker, cane, and bedside toilet for me to use after surgery. The friends I mentioned earlier have already moved the furniture for me.
And, best of all, my sister is coming down to take care of me for two or three weeks. That’s such a weight off my shoulders, a real relief. She can do the things that really need to be done if I don’t get to them. She’ll make sure the house is accessible. She’ll take care of meals and shopping when I get home from the hospital. She’ll take me to physical therapy. And she’ll spend that first night after surgery with me in the hospital – to be sure that all is well.
It will be a real comfort to have my sister here. She gets me. I get her. We typically do very well together. And a bonus is that she loves my cats!
Back to my title, though, my allusion to T.S. Eliot’s beginning of “The Wasteland.”
September has been a cruel month for me for three of the last six years.
First it was getting a breast cancer diagnosis and beginning that eight-month journey.
Then a couple of years ago it was getting a skin cancer report that what looked like basal cell was actually squamous – and I had to go back and get a hunk cut out of my arm.
And this year it’s double knee replacement.
That’s a lot for the same month within a few years!
The good news is that both cancer incidents had a good outcome. Just as I expect this knee surgery will.
And I know that, things done or undone, my house is habitable and pretty much ready for someone with two cut-open-and-patched-up knees to get around.
I know that I can count on my sister’s assistance, as well as that of a variety of friends.
I know that, ultimately, all is well.
However . . . I’ll still be glad when it’s October!