The good and the bad

I awakened about three in the morning several nights ago to an incredibly crisp, clear and star strewn sky. A large oak tree is visible from the bedroom windows, and it appeared to be strung with stars. It was absolutely magical as well as transient, as our planet continued on its orbit and the stars quickly shifted position. It was a sweet few minutes.
That was the good part. And now for the bad (not horrible, just garden variety bad): I am really struggling with my broken ankle.  It’s not that its not healing properly: as far as I can tell, it is slowly on the mend. I even recognized my leg this morning, as the discoloration and swelling has largely abated.

I am however, impatient. I believe I’ve already stated that patience is not my strong suit. Having a diagnosis of advanced cancer has done nothing to temper that. Although I am better at savoring small wonders than I may have once been, I am also terribly cognizant of the value of each moment. Time is no longer something I can take for granted. Now that I am past my “expiration” date, I can’t help but we aware of the tentativeness of my existence.
When our lives are in balance, we don’t have to focus too much on any one thing. It is difficult to maintain balance when you have a terminal illness. Just as someone who is famished hungers for food, those of us who are so cognizant of our mortality hunger for life.
Ok. Sitting here in my recliner (the lazy girl) is life, but I mean LIFE. Capital L, Living.  I actually thought I was going to be able to ski this year. Last night I started googling information about broken ankles, because I didn’t ask a lot of questions when I was in the hospital. You’d think I’d be pretty good at this by now, but the truth is, I was just focused on getting through the moment.
There is an internet site devoted to broken ankles called brokenankle.com. All things broken ankle; including pertinent information relating to recovery time. Now I didn’t just break my ankle a little, I broke it a lot. So it looks like 8 weeks plus in the aircast, many months of physical therapy, and then after a year or two, with hard work, back to almost normal.  Sheez. My first reaction was, “I don’t have time for this”.   I’ve got to get out there, make every day count, not miss a thing…
I think if I had understood the severity of my injury in terms of recovery time, I might have cried on that mountain.
But, too late. It happened, the nastiest, most painful part is behind me, and I’ve just got to deal, right?  I’m going to pretend the physical therapist is really a personal trainer, and I’ll get in the best shape ever. And in the meantime, even as I watch my leg(s) atrophy, I’m getting some awesome biceps from these crutches.

9 responses to “The good and the bad

  1. Going back in memory lane with you. I was diagnosed in 2005, upper right lobe removed on Jan. 2006, beat you with a 5.5 tumour!. Being naive and hopeful expected stage 1 and with chemo’s magic wand was going to be in the 75% surviving group at 5 years.
    After a great operation and only 3 days in hospital the lab reported stage 2B.

    “not everyone who is diagnosed with a cancer wants to read this type of information.”
    http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/help/default.asp?page=6747 Stages and outcomes
    “For stage 2B non small cell lung cancer, about 25 to 36 out of every 100 diagnosed (25 to 36%) will live for at least 5 years.”

    Of course we read it and found that is less crowded now but we are not past our “expiration” date.

  2. Sharing my magic moments with you as a young 66 email in early 2005…
    Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 10:45 PM
    Subject: Castaway in Tobago was great
    After sailing and diving January and half of February from Trinidad to Venezuela (Isla Margarita, Los Testigos, Las Aves, Puerto La Cruz, beer US$0.20 per bottle, gas US$0.02 per litre! ) and back, “liming” (hanging out) and “wining” (aerobic erotic popular dance-exercise) in the street with the marching bands in Port’s Spain Soca 2005 carnival, I left (unfair kicked out with 2 friends) the schooner Illusion. We enjoyed 10 more days in Tobago, now I am back happy, tanned, rejuvenated, 10 pounds lighter waiting for a 20 cm. snow storm tonight with my wife in “Toronto the good”? Other adventures: after leaving the Hilton casino at night in Isla Margarita the drunk captain was rob by 2 guys with guns of his gold watch and money, I was one block away. In Las Aves catching lobsters I was bitten by an octopus 4 feet long trying to steal our catch, we had it for dinner and I still have a bullet-like hole under my biceps. http://www.wgn.net/~fabio/gallery/cayman-caribban-reef-octopus.htm
    One evening we anchored in narrow and small Scotland bay, Trinidad, surrounded by rain forest jungle, hollering monkeys roaring welcome us, after dark thousands of stars reflected in the calm waters, I could see Orion constellation above and below us, flying bugs turning their lights on and off, the plankton was phosphorescent and fish schools moved underwater created fireworks, a boat arrived late with lights on and hundreds of sardines like jumped attracting large fish eating bats.
    Tropical, exotic, romantic Caribbean, pure magic, made good friends, unforgettable vacation.
    Charlotteville, Tobago was my last castaway town. Loved isolated Pirate’s beach, found it magic too. I also dived in Speyside, expend time in Crown Point and a weekend in Buccoo’s beach area, explored the reef in the morning, Mt. Irvine beach in the afternoon and went to ‘Sunday School” party at night. Four guys from the sailboat and 2 British women shared a Youth hostel apartment for $8 each per night each in front of the fisherman’s pier, also place for goat racer’s water training, don’t swim there… Guillermo (Gil)

    Linnea I enjoyed your dark sense of humour in past my “expiration” date. Don’t worry about leg(s) atrophy, sitting a lot develops awesome gluteus maximus.
    Break a leg
    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/break-a-leg.html
    PS: My prior entry was for your April 2005 lobectomy.

  3. You are right Guillermo. Cheeky of me to put it that way–but when you get out to the tail of the curve, it sometimes feels like that. Linnea

  4. Hi

    Reading your blog I realize that a broken ankle is much worse than i thought. I didn’t realize the recovery time was such a long period. You write about skiing and I also hope I can do the skiing this year. I hope you will get the opportunity too..

    Also hope you can spend your time though you are not so moibile now.

    Think a lot of you and think you are a really sharp, strong and intelligent woman!

    Love Caroline

    • Thank you so much Caroline. I think the same of you and I hope you WILL go skiing. I so love your little movies–maybe you can make a skiing video like your motorboat experience, and we can all ski with you. Love, Linnea

  5. Yes Linnea.
    Life is unpredictable, 2005 was a 9/11 for us.

    A few things to do now:
    Eat desserts first.
    Spin counter-clockwise.
    Grow a long tail.
    Keep blooging.
    Love or die.

    “What are you doing?”
    “Spinning counter-clockwise
    Each turn robs the planet of angular momentum
    Slowing its spin the tiniest bit
    Lengthening the night,
    pushing back the dawn
    Giving me a little
    more time here
    with you”

    cheer up enjoy cartoons
    http://xkcd.com/162/
    http://xkcd.com/167/
    http://xkcd.com/220/
    http://xkcd.com/240/

  6. Good for you, great minds think alike.
    Even better eat dessert listening to music. See my tango entry in Grace and gratitude,

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