So…it’s Thursday. I’m back in the hospital having surgery today. More reconstruction but surgery nonetheless. Over the past two years, I’ve had NINE surgeries that I remember for this ridiculous breast cancer. Boo! Hiss! Go away cancer! You are an unwelcome guest with your nine surgeries!
1. Double Mastectomies (the girls) and Reconstruction (Louis and Antoinette)
2. Skin grafting to save Louis
3. Single Mastectomy (Louis)
4. Infections and Blood Transfusions in Isolation
5. Infection surgery to close wound
6. Single Mastectomy (Antoinette)
7. Lat-Flap Reconstruction and Fat Grafting (THE.WORSE.PAIN in my life…and worse recovery room guest who takes the award for saying inappropriate, self-serving and mean spirited things to me after a seven-hour-painful surgery–never got an apology on that one…hmmmmm)
8. Swap of implants (Thelma and Louise)
9. More reconstruction stuff
Are you tired of hearing about my surgeries and my cancer? Probably. I’m tired of living it so I can imagine how tired people are of reading about it.
Nine surgeries. Nine recoveries. Nine emotional traumas for my children. Nine situations dealing with people who either don’t get it (90%) or over-get-it (10%–namely my parents and hub). Nine times I felt the love from Facebook Family and my triangle of NJ BFFLs: Gina, Marisol, Iris. Nine times I put on a happy face, usually with the result backfiring on me–badly.
Let’s face it. Surgery stinks. The patient gets hustled out of the hospital and recovers at home. Once at home, people forget that the patient is recovering. One night, I had to make my own dinner! I practically crawled down the stairs on my hands and knees to get something…anything. I had no one to help b/c my parents were traveling and my husband was working. My neighbors…well, you know THAT story (cough cough, Gloria in Empty Cup). My son was M.I.A. which he tends to do when I’m recovering. Luckily, my dear daughter, Cat finally rescued me and made me almost cooked Mac and Cheese (her specialty…the shells, not the elbows).
Recovering from these surgeries is not easy. It takes time. Just because people are smiling on the outside (or trying to) doesn’t mean they are smiling on the inside. My one operation from December…I’m STILL recovering from. The sites where the grafting was done still give me a ton of pain. But I can tolerate that pain. It’s like baby pain. You see, from December 1 to January 21st, I was in the worse MONSTER SIZED pain I ever felt in my entire life (think childbirth without pain med multiplied by five knife wounds in your sides and then Godzilla grabs you and squishes your sides…really hard…yeah, that’s what I’m talking about).
I’m not looking forward to tomorrow. You just go on autopilot to get through the day…the hour…sometimes even the minute. And look for any parts that you can laugh at.
I’ll close my ramblings about surgeries on this story:
The hospital called today to check me in via the phone. The administrator asked a ton of questions: Do you have body piercings? (no) Wear eye glasses? (no) Have a pace maker? (no) Take drugs? (only legally prescribed ones…ha ha ha–she didn’t laugh). Had a blood transfusion? (yes)
That made her pause and she said, “Did you have any reaction to it?”
To which I replied, “Why yes I did! I became sexier and smarter almost right away!”
Pause. Laughter. I got her!
One laugh at a time…that’s how I get through this…