Day 6: So Far, A Mellow Day with an Ativan Twist

I couldn't have made it without so much support!

Friendly, caring nurses like Sara...
Friendly, caring nurses like Sara...
and numerous additional nurses and doctors who made this remarkable recovery seem feasible.
and numerous additional nurses and doctors who made this remarkable recovery seem feasible.
Debbie has been with me from day one when I found out about  the genetic mutation, to providing pre-op information, then visiting in my room to continue being a warm friend offering solace and support.
Debbie has been with me from day one when I found out about the genetic mutation, to providing pre-op information, then visiting in my room to continue being a warm friend offering solace and support.
Family like cousin Stephie who came today for a fun chat.
Family like cousin Stephie who came today for a fun chat.

Thanks for all the thoughtful gifts and cards!

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Georgeous peonies roses as part of the lovely floral arrangement Lilly brought for me.Sophie's favorite butterfly balloons.Lilly's cheerful bag filled with goodies.Lilly's dark chocolates galore. Yummy!More beautiful peoniesMom brought in these star lillies. Their delightful fragrance filled the room with something smelling much better than myself.A sweet little book, "The Soul Bird," sent by very dear friends of our family.Stephie's earrings to brighten the look of my hospital gown attire.Tasty meals from the hospital? Yup, I view that as a gift. Wouldn't you? Could've been a lot worse.
Georgeous peonies roses as part of the lovely floral arrangement Lilly brought for me.
Georgeous peonies roses as part of the lovely floral arrangement Lilly brought for me.
Sophie's favorite butterfly balloons.
Sophie's favorite butterfly balloons.
Lilly's cheerful bag filled with goodies.
Lilly's cheerful bag filled with goodies.
Lilly's dark chocolates galore. Yummy!
Lilly's dark chocolates galore. Yummy!
More beautiful peonies
More beautiful peonies
Mom brought in these star lillies.
Mom brought in these star lillies.
Their delightful fragrance filled the room with something smelling much better than myself.
Their delightful fragrance filled the room with something smelling much better than myself.
A sweet little book, "The Soul Bird," sent by very dear friends of our family.
A sweet little book, "The Soul Bird," sent by very dear friends of our family.
Stephie's earrings to brighten the look of my hospital gown attire.
Stephie's earrings to brighten the look of my hospital gown attire.
Tasty meals from the hospital? Yup, I view that as a gift. Wouldn't you? Could've been a lot worse.
Tasty meals from the hospital? Yup, I view that as a gift. Wouldn't you? Could've been a lot worse.

The Soul Bird

I can't believe I've nearly made it through the first week

It's an exceptional day in the hospital when the catheter comes out and you can sit on an actual toilet to make a pee, but more significantly, a poop, all in one day. What's not to love about such a morning? OMG, where has my mind gone? But I'm going to keep in good spirits even though the scary pain management guy had the courage to show his face in here after the epidural fiasco.

No matter. It is a beautiful Sunday in the city, I'm not getting poked by needles, my husband is coming into the city after dropping off the kids with my parents and it's going to be a quiet day. It's very quiet, indeed, since a large proportion of the patients on this floor have been sent home. (There are still some police officers guarding a door at the end of the hall.)

Oddly enough, this is the first "Bay to Breakers International Footrace" weekend in 19 years I find my television director husband home. That's right; the past 18 years, Mark has directed the show for the race. Leading up to this weekend, there have been the extra meetings, longer hours and weekends killed. But not this year since the station decided not to do the show...not a surprise given the company's current economic status.

Overtime pay is great, but I'm so thankful he was here today. We both got more naps than we have in a while. We chatted, joked around and he even learned how to clean out my drains once I return home.

Now, the dinner tray is gone, night has fallen on the city leaving a low hum of traffic from the streets below, I've got the television on for one of the first time since a short stint Thursday (I just haven't wanted to listen to anything) and I'm watching the end of "Survivor."

And just as the last three contestants took their hike to honor what they've been through the past 30-some-odd days and the people they met along the way, I think back on who I have met this week in the hospital. I may not have been here for 30 days, although it has felt like that at times.

Thanks to so many people

Along the way, I am thankful for the incredible doctors who took my body apart and put it back together. One of those doctors, Dr. Esserman, called me at around 10 p.m. last night to see how I was doing. She was calling from Washington, D.C. where she was delivering information about her cancer studies that can help more women like myself.

I don't know how these doctors maintain their schedules...after my 9-hour surgery was done, Dr. Foster, my plastic surgeon, moved onto another long surgery right after. I am truly amazed and in awe of their achievements and contributions to science and medicine. And don't forget their intern doctors and so many others who support what they do.

The nurses have been incredible; caring, warm, interested, empathetic, giving, the list goes on. Anina, Sara, Deysi and the list goes on. Thank you for holding my hand, looking me straight in the eyes and telling me, all the emotions flowing through my crazy mind were normal; and things would get better. Thank you for your honesty about the parts of recovery that would be difficult to bare. Thank you.

I am thankful for the cards, gifts, visits, calls and email/online support offered by so many friends, relatives and even total strangers. One of our family's closest friends sent a book called "The Soul Bird." I'd never heard of it and thought it a sweet little book. I read it out loud to Mark this afternoon and by the end found this "silly little book" bringing tears to my eyes. The message was clear as a bell, J.K. Thanks for bringing a soulful and meaningful moment to my day as I look into the future and what the months ahead hold in store for me.

And now after the "Survivors" have met their final challenge and look forward to their last night on the island, I too look forward to my last night in the hospital. (I need to write fast now because the two Percocets I just took will start closing my eyes soon)

My journey isn't over yet, by any means. It will be a 10 to 12 week or more of continued recovery at home as my body takes on a more human form and muscles find their comfort zones. I will still require the help of others as the kids end school and move into summer. I will still need a lot of the help my mother provides so much of (thanks, mom!).

Taking Back Control!

But the part of my journey that appears to be over...CANCER!!! I know I'm a sap, but I tear up just thinking that I DO NOT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT CANCER EVERY DAY! There is a regained power in this control. I have eliminated the high threat of cancer to my ovaries and tubes; I have eliminated the high threat of cancer by removing breasts thereby lowering my chances of breast cancer to that of the average woman (one without the BRCA genetic mutation). Just as Dr. E informed me last night, by dropping my chances of breast cancer down to about 2 percent, now my mother has a higher chance of getting breast cancer than I do (and she doesn't even have the BRCA mutation).

So now what? How about something silly...

What happens when mommy's not around...

After a phone call and visit from my husband today, I realized there has been a lot more going on at home now that mommy isn't around with a watchful eye.

So here are the top 10 things kids do when mommy is away:

  1. Daddy lets 12-year-old Jesse drive the car in the parking lot with Sophie in the car. Good thing nothing happened to my children or the car. "Well, everyone had left, mommy, so nobody saw us."
  2. Daddy lets 12-year-old Jesse drive the car in the synagogue parking lot with Sophie in the car just to make sure God was watching and can continue reminding me what a shitty parent I am.
  3. Sophie talks daddy into bringing her to Chuck E. Cheese. Okay, that I don't care about. If he wants to go there, great; I hate going to that rat hole. (No, I have nothing against rats, for shit sakes; look at my profile picture. Just not when they are the mascot of a restaurant; makes no sense whatsoever.)
  4. Then. Sophie talks daddy into a shopping spree at Toys R Us. Doesn't she have enough crap in her room? When do guys get this?
  5. Jesse talked Daddy into taking him to Target for a new Ben10 action figure. Can't let one get something without the other getting something.
  6. Bubby gives the kids ice cream right before dinner, then wonders why they don't eat their dinner. "Well, I didn't know," is her common ditsy response to that one. It's the same tone of voice as when she calls the house in the middle of the week and asks, "So, what are you guys doing today?" Well, mom, Mark's going to work like he does every day. "Oh," she says with a Judy Holliday innocence.
  7. Jesse builds armor out of cardboard and tinfoil. No, that's okay; creative, but...Bubby encourages Sophie to punch her brother to see how strong his new armor is. Bad bubby!
  8. Bubby asks if she can take the kids swimming after Sophie begs her to go, even though Sophie sounds like she's getting a cold.
  9. Jesse gets daddy to give him a taste of his Wild Turkey bourbon. It's that southern background. Yup, he's drinkin' and drivin' by time he's 12. Isn't there some joke in there about how to tell if someone is a redneck?
  10. Screw it; I'm too tired to write more until tomorrow and you get the general idea, so...Nighty night.

 

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