Wednesday, March 13, 2013
My One Week Thoracotomy Badge
This is my first post op entry back at my command center (AKA the living room) so as you can gather I am home again. It was so utterly wonderful to be reunited with my daughter again who picked me up from the hospital along with her grandfather. Apparently when she was told Monday morning she was going to see mama and pappa she furiously started packing up all her things and stood by the door dressed, back pack and jacket on - ready to go. How can that kind of love not warm you heart? I just held her hand the whole car ride home as she chatted on about everything she had done and learnt. She knew mama had been at the hospital but other then that I was the same person I was 8 days earlier as far as she was concerned. Though it is really nice being at home, I am glad I was in the hospital as long as I was. Home is comforting but it is much harder to relax and take time to rest when real life surrounds you. I feel the need to go sit on the floor with my daughter and try and play with her and her toys. I feel the need to help my tired and stressed husband with the dust and mess everywhere. I feel the need to be there. Who knew it would be so hard to just lie in a bed and just rest? Who knew it would be me that would be making it the most difficult to do? And I am experiencing real capacity challenges right now that I haven´t felt since the old C´Spa days. I have nothing in the tank, I have pain, the medicine I take to make me feel better wreaks havoc on my stomach and I am just so utterly worn out. I feel so sick and literally taking a walk up the stairs is taxing. I feel like a 90 year old woman right now.
But let´s look at the positives - as my oncologist put it yesterday to me " You have earned your one week post thoracotomy badge." Geez if you would asked me a few years ago if I would ever actually use the word "thoracotomy" in loose terms, I would have told you that you were mad. But this is my life now. Luckily I have some pretty amazing people who are along for the ride right alongside me. My mother in law came up with a great metaphor (or is it an analogy?) for my journey - she said it was like I was commanding this train. There were the people who were sitting up front beside me experiencing it all first hand, those sitting behind supporting me in different ways, those outside cheering me on from afar from the platform and the people figuring out how to make the train work faster and better. The image makes total sense to me and a common comment from many readers and friends has been that many of you have felt like you were sitting right along with me on this wild ride - feeling the shock, relief, fear, hope and every other emotion on the wide spectrum that is the cancer experience. My train is running low on gas right now and adjusting to its new structural design but rest assured I will be back and running well again soon. Let´s call it a "work in progress" for right now.
I had to mention something one of my "technical support team" said to me a few days ago. This is again the same oncologist who has really gone above and beyond for me. She took time to explain everything to my brother in law last week in Canada (who he is a doctor as well) so he and my family could really understand the situation. She came to see me every day I was in the hospital and spent the time to listen and talk to me. And she made sure I had everything I needed. A few weeks back when I was ill leading up to this operation and I went to see her, worried I would be to ill to operate, she sensed my low spirits and said "We are fighting for you. You need to know that and in no way are you a lost cause." Just hearing that awoke the inner warrior in me and I felt better. Again her support shone through when after getting home on Monday and feeling lost and overwhelmed, she told me this:
"I think it is easy for us docs to forget what a priviledge it is to be trusted by people at their most vulnerable, so thank you for your trust and confidence! You´ve figured out that I don´t believe in angel therapy or magic dust by now, but statistically every doctor has a few "solskinnshistorier" (English translation - happy success stories) and I´ve decided that yours needs to be mine!"
I was so touched by this honest yet incredibly hopeful declaration from my doctor. I just don´t think you see that kind of support often and oh god do I want to be that story. The one with the happy ending that she can tell others who are afraid or need hope. It was exactly what i needed to hear. A different kind of medicine.
So for now I am trying to take the time to rest and tell myself that everything else can wait. The dust will be here when I am better and my daughter is most likely just happy being with me. I don´t need to worry about anything else but getting better right now. And my mom is arriving tonight so that will be a big help. I am looking forward to her healing soups, back massages and getting some of my favorite things from across the pond!!
I also had a dream last night and it was strange. There were so many people in it from all walks of my life - I don´t usually use names in this blog but Charlotte, Dee, Lara, Steph, Rupert, Andrew, Angela, Marissa, Crystal, Janka, Elaine, Birte, Maija, Catherine, Valerie and many many more...you were all there. It was strange but nice and we were eating the most wonderful macaroons in the most amazing colours. Maybe it was the Oxy? Maybe it was the pain? Or maybe it was my subconscious´s way of reminding me of everyone who is sitting in the seats behind me supporting me as I try to navigate my way back to health.
Love and hugs,