Sunday, February 26, 2017

Minding my Business

I've had a few surgeries and it's nice that the mind kinda gives you a bit of amnesia about the events and the recovery. Then you do it again and you are reminded- Oh YEAH I forgot about THAT fun stuff. The mind is a beautiful thing.

I've had 5 abdominal surgeries, a mastectomy(plus rescraping), an arm chunkectomy(x2)That is the official term and of course a bunch of little weirdiesms removed. In our mutant group- that's virtually nothing surgically and we stick to the motto- when in doubt- cut it out. Everyone feels different about their scars, and rightly so- each personal journey is different and so many of the scars are hidden or just plain invisible. Thats the tough thing about pain- you can't see it. You see the fall out- the infection, the scar- but many times the effects are cumulative.

Lily would complain about the littlest of owies- and I'd say- after all you've been through? THIS THIS is what is gonna do you in? Yet the amazing body is in tune and sensitive and after years of assaults sometimes just hurts. I've been on chemo for what- 3 years now and it is- cumulative. The body gets tired a little quicker. You find work arounds and absolutely savor the good days.

I remember the post surgery weepies. They sneak up on me- they always happen after I get home and am feeling better but not quite where I want to be or everything is going so much better than I thought they would be and bam- it hit me. The other night it hit.

I am over the moon about the pathology- we celebrated with a family recipe of margaritas- as I am on a high sodium diet- salt rimmed beverages and tacos seemed to be the best choice. Doctor's orders. Phil made sure his girls had lemony limey non alcoholic versions.

For years my aunt has been promising that I would be our family's miracle. Yes we are overdue. Lily is my miracle. With Grandma(a devout Catholic and Democrat)- our most ardent prayer warrior now wrangling the shenanigans from above there has been many speculations on how busy everyone is keeping her and well this Trump business- how could it happen. And then I come out of brain surgery- with minimal pain, minor side effects, and an outstanding pathology. I have some pretty amazing angel power. It happens.

I believe in miracles. Every day can be a miracle. Yet to be called a miracle, survivor's guilt sets in and I'm just 2 weeks out of surgery. There are many roads and hurdles to face still. I know too many mamas praying for miracles, who have prayed for miracles, who are creating miracles. Too many friends. Too many. All I know is I know I have much to do and many more to help. And when the overwelming sad or worry sets in- that's when I jump in to what I do. Yet even 20 min online will tucker me out- brief walks-sitting in the fresh air. The other night - feeling sad(just because- it happens post surgery- it's an official thing like SAD, Baby blues) and can readily be explained by exhaustion and chemical imbalances due to meds and stress.  It was an ugly cry- I feel lucky and happy and it is unexpected and I know it's not wrong but I just didn't know what or how to feel. Ugly crying helps by the way- does make the nugget throb a little so definitely gots to limit that.

So it's time. I started checking in with friends, making calls, enjoying short visits. Taking it slow but unwrapping the coccoon. Minding my business and backing off when the knees get shakey. That's my tell. My knees wobble just slightly. It's time to rest. Can you believe it? 14 days post surgery and my knees wobble when I get tired? I'm still taking it slow. The brain the beautiful wonderful thing it is- needs rest and despite this wonderful outcome- there are still risks of swelling(not necessarily in my control) and another surgery is really not something I need to test out. Thank you for all who are patient and respecting my quiet. Thank you to those who gently reached out.

With surgery- there is always the- how are things moving? You KNOW- the bathroom questions. Especially with abdominal surgeries- everyone needs to make sure everything is moving. After 4 c-sections and an open hysterectomy- moving after those surgeries is a rare treat. Physically, bowelly- even laughing can be an interesting business. So you are super hydrated and they load you up with laxatives and you navigate back and forth to the bathroom cataloguing and moving all business so you can take your business home. After this surgery- The first time I moved from bed and did not have entire torso flame pain- I got this. Most people want their foley cath out as soon as humanly possible- me I'm a weirdo- don't like the thing but dont like getting up to go to the bathroom every 3 seconds- and it's a means to a sleepy end for a night or so. I know waaaay TMI.

In the ICU and PCU- the nurses called them Squirrel toilets. I called them space age toilets- regardless- ewwww.  They are a toilet in the room covered by a sink that swings over it.  So no privacy- not that privacy is ever an expectation in a hospital, buuuut still. I get stage fright. If going home relied on things moving- we were going to be at a literal stand still. I was lucky enough to not be sharing a room, but in my mind, the room is essentially one big bathroom- sliding sink cover or not.
Pull red lever to see the magic happen. hee heee hee.

One lucky morning, after doc rounds, Phil went to grab a coffee and there was relative quiet. I chugged a little miralax and did my duty(ha ha I said doody) to try and check off another box to get us home. And you bet your bottom the nurse walks in right then- and me in my most adult voice possible- somehow feeling like a 2 year old navigating potty training- call out- Things are moving and I am NOT showing you but just thought you should know. Which apparently isn't how most people handle the situation and he found it very entertaining. Business Minded. That's me. 

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Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)