Paget’s in a Basket

There’s a guided imagery exercise that walks the listener through a beautiful meadow, across a bridge, and down to a pond where the cool breeze blows.  Today, at an event at The Wellness Community, we were invited to leave something in a basket by the side of the bridge.  The idea is to leave a worry, a concern, or something that’s been bothering us a lot lately.  When we were guided back through the area, we could then choose whether to pick it up or leave it there, and move on without it.

I left my worries about Paget’s disease there by the bridge today.  I’ve been really worried about this second occurence of cancer, and probably uncessarily so, since it was completely cut out during my surgery two weeks ago. 

I don’t know why it’s been so hard for me to handle, but it has.  I’ve been worried and stressed and achy from the surgery and not sleeping well at night.  This has probably been one of the hardest weeks ever, since I can’t pick up my babies or build castles with them or push them on the swings.  I feel so … helpless.  And that messes everything else up, because I don’t want to accomplish all those other things on my list (even catching up with email and other tasks on the computer that I could probably do, except for the fact that it’s hard to type with my right hand right now because of the pain under my arm) if I can’t be there for my kids, and take care of myself.

For cryin’ out loud, I can’t even get the cereal down from the (top) shelf by myself in the morning.  I feel like I always have to ask for help, and it’s getting old.  Really old.

But today I left Paget’s disease behind.  It’s no longer a worry of mine.

Paget’s is in the basket, and it’s not in my heart anymore.

Thanks to Angela of Laudat for the link to the guided imagery podcasts on Kaiser’s web site.  I haven’t tried them yet, but since you recommend them, I will soon.

23 Responses to Paget’s in a Basket

  1. BetteJo says:

    Honestly, the 2nd cancer scared the crap out of me. The fact that you managed your own care probably saved your life. Fighting one cancer only to find another? I would imagine it would be hard to deal with. You’ve had quite a while to accept the IBC. But this was a new animal, thrown at you when it was already gone. Boggles the mind. You are a strong lady, you have SO proven that, and I believe you are one person who could find a way to leave that fear behind you.

  2. Phoenix says:

    I’m sure it’s hard to ask for help and to be sore. I’m glad you left some worry behind. Just remember, every day that you feel sore, you are still here. You are surviving and each day it will get a bit easier, until you can fully take care of your family again. I just know it will.

    Take care.

    Oh and I don’t know if you’d be allowed to have it or not, but an over the counter thing called Melatonin may help you put the worries aside enough to sleep for a while. It’s not a drug, more like a natural herb.

  3. imstell says:

    I second the melatonin vote. I’ve been giving it to D to help regulate his cicadian rythms for a while now. I get it at GNC. It comes in a fast acting and a time release formula. My pediatrician recommended taking one of each so that he falls asleep easy and stays asleep all night. You might consider it. Although, I’m an Ambien fan myself…

  4. ~JJ! says:

    If I have to remind you daily…I will.

    Be patient with yourself. You and your body just went through a whole helluva lot.

    Take it day by day and take care of yourself…you’ll see results.

  5. I’m so glad you were able to leave it behind. Where it should be.

  6. You know, the day you stop being pissed about not being able to reach the cereal – that’s a worrisome day.

    If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps frustration is the mother of recovery? 🙂

  7. You have had a lot to deal with lately, and I would expect that frustration would have to come with that. Cut yourself some slack, as hard as I’m sure it is.

    And don’t feel bad about not being able to reach the items on the top shelf–I can’t either! I’m too short, so I always have to ask for help reaching the stuff up high. 🙂

  8. Alison says:

    I think it’s totally normal to think about that. If it were me, I’d be thinking about it, too.

    I understand what you mean about it getting old. This is not the same caliber but I had shoulder surgery last week and I can barely do anything for myself…can’t dress myself, etc. I’m so getting tired of asking everyone to do for me. I think it’s part of the healing….not sure exactly how but it must be!

  9. Bubba's Sis says:

    Good for you for leaving Paget’s in that basket! Now do as others have told you – slow down, be patient, and let yourself heal. I know that’s easy for me to say, but you have been thru a LOT and your body – and your mind – just need time. You’ve got my prayers – every single day, sweetie.

  10. Carrie says:

    I’m glad you left your worries in the basket.

    Thinking of you –

  11. Jade says:

    I am so glad you are recovering. I think about you every so often and just hope you are okay.

    I’ve had a few surgeries, not like yours, but I know that recovery is weird. I listened to slow calming music. I have found I can only listen to it while really sick, but it’s tremendously relaxing and healing. I think some of the CD’s were by Kay Gardner, on the Ladyslipper label. Ladyslipper music is at Sounding the Inner Landscape and Rainbow Garden are some of the titles. Music that is long low tones is incredibly helpful.

    Anyway, so glad that you are coming along!

  12. Susan K says:

    Good on you! Leave it in the basket and don’t pass by that basket again.

    Healing is happening. Frustration means you are feeling good enough to feel frustrated, so that really is a good sign, right?

    Move the cereal down lower (and just don’t let Widget decide he wants to help you pour it!

    Did you see front page of Washington Post today? About this ‘worrisome trend’ of ‘extra’ surgery. I was yelling at the paper – yeah, well, sometimes it is the RIGHT CHOICE!!!

    Gather I missed you at WD’s work yet again. Sorry about that. Take care and hope to see you soon. Start thinking about that research project!

  13. Mummycha says:

    Yes, leave Paget in the basket and throw the basket over the bridge to the river that goes to the ocean, and you never hear it of it again

    You know, you have gone so far that now it is just a matter of time before you get back to normal.
    So this is going sound redundant, but just take it easy, rest, and sooner than you think you will be back to being your self

  14. gabrielle says:


    When you are recovering it is OK and normal to feel frustrated. Try to accept and move through the feelings. Your body and mind have to recover. Visual imagery sounds like a great support. Please let us know if we can help.


    My dad was very ill this summer and it took him a while to recover. He went through a lot of frustration, but eventually that too got a lot better.

  15. Ally says:

    Sweet Susan, it is no wonder that you’ve had a hard time dealing with the news of the Paget’s. It is a crazy thing, as you so deftly proved via fun statistics. I am again just so thankful that you fought for what you knew was right– the removal of BOTH breasts. I’m glad that you left this worry in the basket today, and I hope and pray that it stays there. Let others take care of you for the next couple of weeks and know that everything else– parenting, blogging, emails, having fun– will be waiting for you when you’re recovered. Above all, know that you are loved by many, and let our love carry you through this time. xoxoxo

  16. I understand your reaction, I think. It was the little thing that sneaked up, unexpectedly, and was a close call, so easy to sniff out the “what if we hadn’t…?”

    I am glad you left the Paget’s behind.

    And I wish that recovery to come soon. I know it must be so hard.


  17. Bon says:

    i too think your reaction makes a lot of emotional sense…as does, now, leaving it behind in its basket. because the worry, however natural, isn’t needed.

    shove that basket on down the river.

    and thanks for the link to the guided imagery exercise. i think i need to try to find some baskets of my own, smaller than yours…but still.

    love and healing, i send.

  18. De Anna says:

    I don’t have a comment regarding Paget’s except that I’m glad you left it behind – twice – once with the surgeon and again in the basket. How much more “gone” can it be..right?

    When my sister was recovering from surgery, she was frustrated and hated to ask for help. But this is the thing- I couldn’t heal her, I couldn’t physically help her feel better. The only thing I could do was help her with daily tasks and make things more comfortable for her. That made me feel so much better.

    So, if not for you…for your family and friends ..let them help you. They want to, they NEED to… Just look at it as though you’re doing them a favor by letting them feel like they’re helping.

    Make sense at all?:) I hope so.. be well.

  19. Totally normal reaction, I’d say. Doesn’t make it any better for *you*, tho. And I guess it shouldn’t, right? This is all part of the process. The process that gets you to the place you want to be, the place you *deserve* to be.

    Meanwhile, you just keep being the incredible person that you are. And I’ll keep sending positive thoughts!!!

    Hang in there and YES, let them help you!! I know it sucks. I know… I’m the WORST when it comes to recovering and asking for help… just ask my Mom lol 🙂


  20. Susan,

    Things in life happen on a time line.

    Surgery has been, what? … about 14 days? Just think on that line. Look towards the end of that line to about what? ….. about 18,250 days! That’s 50 years.

    Inch your way, one day at a time …. and soon it will all be behind you, and the frustration will go with it. The pain will be gone, and you’ll have a lot to look forward to. You already do, and you have already traveled a long way down that line to get to this point. … and you’re here.

    Slow down, let those that love you help you, and as you travel down that time line, their time will come, and you will be there to help them.

    Mainly, what I’m saying …. right now while you’re healing, that “BOX” doesn’t have to be on the top shelf.

    All in love, with lots of continued prayers and cyber hugs! … and if I wasn’t in Indiana and it was within driving distance, I’d come move your “BOXES” for you.


  21. Daisy says:

    Hi – I’m unlurking now. I’ve followed your blog for a long time and I’m really thankful you’re recovering well and are geting back to being healthy.

    Thanks for the link to the guided imagery podcasts. I listened to one, and it’s really good. So, thank you for helping me!

  22. Meredith says:

    I can’t imagine how scary it must have been to find out about the Paget’s disease after the fact. I think I would be plagued with constant “what ifs.” It’s great that you found a way to leave that behind. I’m so glad you are recovering well.

  23. Randi says:

    I have been reading your blog now ever since the day you went into surgery, and I find myself wondering every day how you are. Recovering from any surgery takes time, and a lot of patience. Independent people often have a difficult time having to rely on someone else, but sooner than you know you’ll be able to look back on this and realize that it was a very brief period of your life – one that you are thankful for.

    Thank you for being so truthful and honest about your life and for sharing it all with all of us.

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