Thursday, July 23, 2009
Day 2 after surgery - fall-out
like every good thing must come to an end.... my energy zapped and the inability to recharge my batteries left me with a deep exhaustion that settled within my bones and the pit of my stomach still upset from the visit of the day before. I creep back into bed for what seemed the umpteenth time and still could not grasp any relief and back up I get.....
.... some would say it was the crash and burn that was to be expected from my upsetting guest of the day before and others might think that the anesthetic was the bad guy.... I am thinking that it was a good blend of both.... my stomach was upset and my eyes just wouldn't cooperate. I have been up since 3 am the morning before and I turn to see that now 24 hours has elapsed with no sleep and no relief in sight.... I blog what I am thinking and then wrote a letter... now what?! At 6 am I am talking to Max and he stirs and cracks open one eye... 'not sleeping eh?' No, not really and I turn onto my back and stare at the ceiling. He falls back asleep and I am up wondering around. It is day 2 after surgery and I just want to cry but don't because it wouldn't be worth the painful chest heaving sobs that would come with the anger and frustration I am feeling. Max gets up an hour later and I catch him reading my blog and the letter I have already sent.... he likes what he reads but has concern etched deep into his face. The warrior has arrived. He is now steadfast in his stance that today is the day that he is in charge and there is no convincing him that I will be fine today despite the fact that I look worse than what the cat has been recently pulling up to the door with. He sends me up to bed with a look that means business and I quickly obey - I rarely see my husband angry or stern and like the children... never really like seeing that side when it does present itself. I can hear him on the phone and I can just make out his end of the conversation and I quickly realize that he has called Annette and is making arrangements for her to come and visit.
Max announces that she will be here over the next few hours and that I have strict orders to remain in bed and there will be no negotiating. He cannot stay stern for long as his face softens and he comes over to cup my face in his hands and plants a big gentle kiss on my upturned face. I beam... so proud of him. He is dressed in his work clothes and announces that he and Paul will be working on the deck as he removes the bedside phone. There, see if you can get some rest now. He leaves and I am left with a decision to make.... be stubborn or stay put... I stay put and busy myself with crossword puzzles until I hear Annette in the driveway. She is talking with Max and I can hear the banter between the two of them and I smile but then find that I am embarrassed that she had to come back for a second visit because I was not brave enough to tell my friend of the previous day to leave. Annette and Joanne arrive in my bedroom with their warm smiles and cheery hellos with their hands full of boxes containing bandages and gloves and I am so relieved to see them. I apologize profusely for the day before and admit my embarrassment. No worries and we discuss what I should have done and the disappointment that some people do not understand what it is to be a friend.... lesson learned and noted for a next time, should there be one.
The plastic see through bandage is being removed and it is sticking pretty good. The skin beneath is sensitive and is showing a very angry red welt and I am concerned that I may have an infection. 'No, it looks good, you just have a real sensitivity to this type of adhesive' Annette says as she very gently removes it with Joanne's assistance using a pair of gloves she has brought with her traveling kit. What a remarkable team! The adhesive is off and the stained bandages. She inspects the steri-strips and explains that they will come off in the shower now that 48 hours have elapsed. Just cut off the stuff that peels off but by no means am I to remove anything else - it will all come off in good time. Apparently I have no stitches and that the steri-strips will hold until the wounds heal. I am assured that everything looks great and that although I have a few incisions, they should disappear in time. Yes I am a little lop-sided now.....
Annette writes out a prescription for sleeping pills and a stool softener *blush* , hugs me, and her and Joanne are off once again. I really admire those two and understand how very lucky I am. I appreciate that I will not allow anyone to waste their time again.
It has been a quiet day and my boys are out again doing what teens do. Mitchel meanders in and lays down with me...... although he is only 12, he is thoughtful and mature beyond his years. This has been a really tough month for him and he shows it in the concern on his face. 'How are you doing?' I ask him? He assures me that he is OK and we start our chat with a hug. I know each of my children very well and appreciate that they all bring something to the table but that they always take my lead. I have chosen to be positive and to lead them. They know everything that is going on, everything except my emotional reactions... those I share with my husband deep into the night. They don't need to know I am scared with tears but they do need to know I am clearly aware of my situation. We rarely talk about my cancer... it does not define our life but a mere passenger in our journey. Mitchel and I do a crossword puzzle together later in the evening and he is inspired to stay long enough to finish it... tomorrow we will continue to read the Eoin Colfer book 'Airman'.
My eldest son is the social butterfly with a quick grin and an easy going nature. He has many friends and a wonderful girlfriend. As young as they are, they are good together and have found a pace that they are both comfortable with. He is starting his first job tomorrow and we both beam from ear to ear - him because he will finally be making some cash and me because I am so proud of him!! These are the moments worth holding on to!!
Lydia has arrived from Daycamp in tow with Uncle Paul whom she adores and the feeling is mutual with them. I couldn't make it to pick her up today but Paul is a great stand-in. She wanted to show me the life-size mural she has made of herself that is still at daycamp and Max has obliged by taking a picture of it on his iPhone. I gush as I see she has emphasized all the features that make her so special to me. We hug as best as we can and chat a while longer before dinner. It is wonderful to see that she has some of that animated joy that is so ingrained in who I am.
I go to bed this evening feeling exhausted but happy for the moments that the people in my life have given me. Thank you to Sue for popping by for some gut-wrenching laughter which I am eternally grateful for these days - we are so silly and hysterical!! To Mitch and Brenda for their hugs and hellos this evening and relieved that they didn't say anything about how crappy I look :) Thank you again for all the lovely notes ...... but no thank you for the nasty letter from the 'friend' of the day before. My response was a short 'Good-bye' nothing more, nothing less. Our 'friendship' is over and I am relieved. I have cancer and one thing I have learned in this journey so far is that my time is valuable and I am only willing to give it to those that live a positive life and who are supportive. I wish you well and I can only hope that you will find your happy place as I am discovering mine. As I put this blog to rest, my facebook in the background notifies me and I click to find Sarah is texting me.... our wonderful Tina is in labour and they are all on their way to the hospital... part of me is on the way too - oh Sarah, to witness the birth of your friend's baby is such an honor and privilege. I wish for a speedy delivery, a healthy baby girl (Gabriella is her name) and a lifetime of happy memories. I love you all.