In 2011, I had two surgeries to remove my entire large intestine after doctors discovered I was in the preliminary stages of colon cancer. I was super grateful that they caught it so early, and if everything went well, I could avoid chemo altogether. On the day of my first surgery though, I was terrified— also hungry, because I had to fast the entire day before. I'd been very brave up until this point, but as I lay in the bed in the paper gown and little showercap-looking hat, I burst into tears. My surgeon was a very stiff Swedish man who avoided pathos at all cost; he always spoke very matter-of-factly about my diagnosis, my options, my chances of survival. When he heard my sobs he swished open the little curtain by the bed. "Why are you crying?" He asked, "Are you nervous?" I nodded emphatically. "Well" he said, "I'm not nervous. That's all that counts." His logic was bulletproof. I immediately stopped crying.
My boyfriend drew this picture of me waiting to go into the operating room, dreaming about all the stuff I would eat when I got out (which wouldn't be for another eight days).