Would I Thrive in Spring Like the Bulbs?
Last updated: February 2022
Today my husband and I planted the bulbs in our pots in the garden which will bloom in spring. For many, this is a yearly activity which is probably just another thing on the list of garden jobs to do. Since 2017, this activity has meant so much more to me.
In October 2017, during a hospital stay to get me stable and my vitals on track ahead of my total pelvic exenteration operation in November, I had lots of time to think.
Time to think about friends and family, to think about all the things I had done in my life, those I hadn't, and many more important things.
At the same time, I thought about small things. Things at the time that were important to me. One of these things was the planting of the spring bulbs.
On the face of it and perhaps to others around me, planting spring bulbs wasn't top of the list. They were busy worrying about me, visiting me, and supporting each other through a very difficult time for everyone.
Despite everything going on, this was so important to me. I ordered the compost online to get delivered, my mum went shopping for the bulbs and my husband planted them. Once I knew they were planted, I found some inner peace.
Bladder cancer survival
The spring bulbs signified hope, signified life, and signified how so much can happen in a few months or over the change of season.
I woke in the middle of the night in the hospital a few days later and thought, what if I wasn't here in the spring to see the bulbs poke up above the soil, to grow and then bloom? What if these bulbs had more life left in them than I did?
It really upset me when I thought about it and in fact, tears are running down my cheeks as I write this. Tears of so many emotions all rolled into one.
The long road
As the operation day drew closer, these bulbs became massively important to me. Thinking of them took me to a new month, season, and year. One which I could only hope found me here - feeling so much better than I did at that moment.
After my operation, I can't say I thought about them at all. After all, I had a massive hill to climb to recover from such long, invasive surgery. The reality of learning to live with two stomas and get to know and love my new body.
Surviving late stage cancer
In late February, I got up one day to make my breakfast before work. I looked out and I saw that the first crocuses had popped through the soil. Their lovely rich purple flower was starting to bloom. The first sign of spring and for me so much more.
At that moment, I cried happy tears. I was still here - I had recovered well and, like the spring bulbs, I was growing and starting to bloom again.
For all these reasons, planting the bulbs each fall is emotional. Seeing that first sign of life each spring as the bulbs bloom will always have a special, significant, and I would say spiritual place in my heart.
How long did it take for you to receive a bladder cancer diagnosis?