Just yesterday I was huffing and puffing on a walk with my husband and my dog. As the walk got increasingly painful, especially in my back, my breathing became labored. Timing is everything, right? It was then that my husband decided to go over the pros and cons of a kidney transplant. He is my possible donor so it has as much to do with him as it does me. He is in the medical field, so I trust his analysis of my situation and he knows my medical history better than most, even myself at times.
Going into this surgery, I know that my chances of getting cancer again is a likely possibility. I’m not sure if it was the pain in my back from the long 2 miles or the “face your ultimate fear of cancer yet again,” conversation, but I was hyperventilating and gasping for breath. I wasn’t scared, but I wasn’t moving forward any more. My husband told me to sit on the curb and calm myself so I could breathe better. I did. He tried his best to console me through the fear, even though I told him it wasn’t the conversation that had me on the ground. Or was it?
My whole life it has been “Lara is too weak. Lara can’t do that, or go that fast or that far.” My whole life is a list of can’t dos or do at your own risks. It is enough to drive me completely mad and out of mind. My husband offered to run home, jump in the car and drive me the rest of the way home. “Toughen up,” I told myself over and over again. There was nothing physically wrong with me. I was just having a panic attack of some sort. – nothing a little rest couldn’t fix.
My husband offered several more times to run home and get the car, but I kept hearing the words, “toughen up.” I did, but only after a good hard cry. It only lasted about 2-3 minutes, but it felt like all the pent up feelings, whatever they were, had been washed away. After a few minutes of reassurance, my husband pulled me back up onto my feet and helped me walk the rest of the way home.
With some help, I did the hard thing. I am better for it -tougher.There are difficult things coming my way. I need to be ready for them. A successful transplant isn’t for the faint of heart. I know that. I know a lot of things now that are difficult to put into words. But I have to say, nothing felt better than hearing my husband say, “I am proud of you.” I was proud of myself, too. I have a lot of walking to do, and a lot of fear to face. But I am not alone. I know that.