It's the day after my second lumpectomy which was pefromed at the Mater South Brisbane and appears to have gone off without too much drama. The padding is still on my breast and, though a little sore, I am in reasonable spirits if a little tired. I even managed to do a bit of work.
I've never set foot in that hospital before so it was a little voyage of discovery. My girlfriend Lee is a Discharge Manager there and came down to say hello. That was really nice as Lee is like my fourth sister (albeit a little fairer of hue) :)
I also had a good laugh with Dr Lambley before going into theatre. I told him to err on the side of caution and take out a little more if needed.
"Lordy knows I have plenty to spare, hunny," I said and we chuckled.
What I didn't like was being next to a cubicle where I could hear the doctor discussing this old guy's medical condition with him in a very loud voice. I wasn't really in the right frame of mind to hear about prostrate glands, bleeding and pain.
Still I had good news.
Just before I'm put off to sleep, Dr Lambley explained that after further dyeing and testing, my lymph node was confirmed as negative. It's a an extra precaution they take with lobular carcinomas because, Google has told me they are fairly renowned for what's called 'false zeros'.
Afterwards, Al and I drive home through peak hour traffic. I seem to have more beans compared to my first operation but sleep soundly last night.
Today I'm thinking about all the time this thing has already consumed, 35 hours so far in hospital stays and doctors visits - and the journey has barely begun!
Illness it seems, is a thief of time, a light fingered one.
It galls me particularly because, those who know me will tell you that I have, since I was a teenager, viewed time as my most valuable currency. Don't ask me why. It's just something I'e always been aware of, that tricky way that seconds then minutes, hours and days can be despatched into the ether without the blink of an eye.
That's why I am a manic stocktaker when it comes to my hours. I audit my time more than I do my business inventory, and I even give every task I do a dollar value (even my household tasks).
I prize my time and when it's given freely, to helping friends, to causes and campaigns, I feel it is a greater investment than money - because, you know, I can't get it back.
Now my time is to be sucked away by meetings and activities that deliver neither pleasure nor virtue.
If I had to find one really, really big reason why illness sucks, this has to be it.
So now I wonder why so many people will NOT DO those things that might delay or avert illness with claims that they are "too busy" or "can't seem to find the time".
I wonder why the pursuit of dollars or dresses is more important than the time they might spend having an annual health check or taking 30 minutes for a walk or just 30 minutes to prepare a healthy meal rather than order takeaway?
The time you think you don't have to look after yourself, is the time that will be taken away from you should illness visit.
So now for the ladies, tonight as an exercise in using time wisely and perhaps creating more time in the future, I ask you take some minutes to examine your breasts. To help you, I've attached a picture - make time and do it today.
I know it takes a few minutes out of your day but the alternative is that, like me, you watch your precious hours sucked away in a doctor's surgery.