The hospital is an interesting place. Our stay at Cleveland Clinic has changed us, that’s for certain. Tom and I have suddenly gotten really good at surfing the unknown. Where before, these waives of uncertainty might have crushed us, tossed us around and roughed us up. Now, with vary degrees of success, we have gotten a lot better grasping an information wave, riding it, getting tossed off, and then catching the next wave. And I promise you, sometimes these waves are only minutes apart. We can change the course of our lives in moments. It’s surreal, and disorienting, but I am strangely confident and proud of the way we’ve negotiated the turns.
Every piece of information usually carries with it a cascade of consequences that touch significant parts of our lives for the next several months, if not years. With the blood clot being as sticky and large as it is, even the world renowned cardiologist is stumped. [Sidebar: Can I say how weird it is to have life altering discussions about your health with an international superstar while wearing your pajamas? I don’t even have a bra on for heaven’s sake!] At this point, we are going to give the blood thinners another chance to help my body dissolve the clot over the next few weeks in lieu of open heart surgery. If the clot doesn’t improve, which they are reasonably concerned it won’t, they will surgically remove it then.
And okay, I know open heart surgery sounds terrible. I honestly don’t know how I ended up on this detour where we’ve stopped talking about cancer (which is a really big deal) and we’re now talking about a big blood clot in my heart (which is also a really big deal). But at this point it just is what it is. Something else has been put in my path and I’ll just scramble up this mountain before focusing on the next. It’s a big ol’ mess but I have the most incredible medical team, employees, family, and friends, and they have put me in the best possible position to overcome all this silliness. With all these great people surrounding me, I’ve definitely got this.
Obviously, life now looks nothing like my life before. Part of me is tired and worn out and frustrated and overwhelmed. The other part of me is so curious about this space. This space that feels like it’s 10,000 feet above normal life. Like I’m peering down and watching myself and am now able to make careful decisions about the kind of person I want to be and how I want to handle this. I’ve somehow slowed down the panicked reactions in my brain and can respond more thoughtfully and with more strength that I could have before…well, sometimes anyway. I really feel that the support I’ve received has helped me create room for getting grounded once again and being able to turn to the task at hand and get to work without freaking out.
I’m also learning to trust. I’m seeing how the pieces come together even when things seem to be falling apart. I mean, here I am at Cleveland Clinic, almost by chance, for breast surgery. Only, it happens to be one of the best cardiac centers in the nation. So even though the timing of all of this has been absurd, I’ve always had a sense that it would be okay. And things are pretty much okay.
Even though I’m not healthy and things are kind of a mess, it’s my mess and I’m generally pretty happy right now. Hundreds of people are backing me and my family and the outpouring of love and support has floored me. It honestly makes the hard times so much easier when people send their love and I feel so many people behind me. I am beyond fortunate for each and every one of you who is standing in my corner. Thank you for that and for the gift of being able to focus on what matters right now.
So at the end of the day, I’m still here. You’ll have to continue to deal with my big goals, impossible dreams, and annoying optimism for another day. Also, my terrible sense of humor is still in tact, as my associate Maggie pointed out earlier. So you have that to look forward to as well.
Give ‘Em Hell