Sunday, April 24, 2011

Excuse the cliche

Easter - a time for resurrection and renewal. 

I am feeling my body repair itself after the surgery of last week.  Soreness and tiredness are the main things that are plaguing me now.  Less so today than yesterday and I'm sure it will get better and better as the days go by.

I was very anxious and worried on Thursday morning... Showering and packing as the few hours I had left before I had to leave quickly ticked by.  A lot of thoughts went flew through my brain - major surgery, anesthesia, life, death, etc.  I expected life, but had to deal with death.  What if something went wrong? What if I didn't make it out of surgery?  I had to tell my family what I wanted to have happen should 'extraordinary' measures need to be performed and what those words really meant to me - a 49 year old, otherwise healthy, woman. 

I asked them to sit at the table with me.  My words were simple and, I'm afraid, not so direct.  Emotions were flying high as I gave the kids my 2 possessions to hold for safekeeping.  I tried to discuss where to draw the line if they had to keep me alive.  Finally, I professed my love for the 3 that sat at that table.  And secretly prayed for the day we'd sit there again.  Hugs all around and Bob and I left and headed over to Dr. Sepulveda's for marking.

(All this is starting to sound familiar.  I realized I better read the post I wrote early Friday morning to see if I had written any of this before - - - I had!  My morphine-induced state caused all kinds of typos, which I'll go back and edit, and memory loss!  I'll spare the repeat and jump ahead ...)

After the surgey, Dr. Keleher came in first to examine me.  She was very happy with how everything looked and the actual surgery itself.  She'd have the results of my lymph node biopsy from pathology within a week.  In time for our next appointment.

I'm now wearing a tight fitting bra.  This is not to protect the incisions at my breasts but to hold onto the containers at the end of the drains.  I have 4 drains in all - 2 at each of my sides.  Tubes come out of my sides and at the end are the suction containers that look like grenades.  These fill up with fluid that have to be measured and emptied.  Sarah and the nurses did them together in the hospital in preparation for when I'm home when Sarah will take over fulltime.

Dr. Sepulveda comes in about an hour later and does his inspection too.  He is also very pleased with the progress and has started the reconstruction process resulting in an 'A' cup.  He tells me to expect a rough weekend.  I'm not sure what that means, but I'll keep him updated!!

My nurse Brooke gave me my last IV of antibiotic and we were out of there and homeward bound.  Our hospital experience wasn't a bad one, by no means!  I was just happy to be in our own environment - on our our turf.  A bite to eat and meds every 4 hours was the call of the day.  Go to the bathroom, sleep a little, take the meds, empty the drains. I spent the night on the sofa not moving.   Moving would result in pain at the drain site.  There was quite a bit of 'dressing' around that area and it was really bothersome so I learned to not move while I slept.  I could feel the pectoral muscle soreness that Dr. Keleher described too.  It is more like day 2 after 500 push ups if you ask me!

Saturday was more of the same but with better coffee!  It was also the day everyone would prepare for the Easter Egg Competition.  I did quite a few laps around the house to keep things moving as the doctors would say.  Walking is the best way to relieve the swelling and promote healing so I did as much as I could in the morning when I had the most energy.  I offered to help with the egg projects but spent most of the time instructing them on how to make my brisket.  I'm limited to raising my arms just to the shoulder and no heavy lifting, so my 10 pound brisket had to be handled by my 'assistants'!  I did rest and recharge for the afternoon before we ordered pizza and watched The King's Speech.  This night, I found my way to the lounge chair for another night of un-moving sleep. 

Big fear - rolling over.  You see, I'm a stomach sleeper and the urge to roll over when in bed may overcome me.  The chair and the sofa have stopped me from doing that.  But, I'm totally numb at the incision site and I probably wouldn't notice it anyway!! We'll see. I'll move to the bed on Monday.

Before I knew it, it was Easter Sunday.  The irony of my surgery and recovery over these days - Thursday thru Sunday - did not go unnoticed by me.  I do feel like I experienced a resurrection of sorts.  Like my life is renewed at a different level.  Each day a new one for me to look at and experience with new 'eyes'.   A truly humbling experience. 

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