Saturday, December 31

Quote of the Day:  “Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.”  Emily Dickinson

I’m recovering nicely from surgery.  Apparently, I’m a pretty fast healer but what I’m most amazed about with this surgery is that everything looks really good, already.  With the mastectomy, there were so many drains, and wounds and the implants were so… uncomfortable but this feels so much better.  I am still wearing the compression socks, until Sunday, which is something you should really try compounded by a “hotflash”  if you’re into discomfort.  I have no stitches, I’m such a fan of durabond, the glue they use on incisions rather than stitches, which made it possible to shower this morning!  Today is a day of reflection, and I can’t believe that I am revealing all this to the world.  What has happened to me in 2011?  I’m transparent, almost.  I was thinking that I need to also record my thoughts in a personal journal because really there are things you can’t say to the world, on your blog.  I know, I know, it seems like I say whatever comes to mind but really it’s not so.  I am so grateful for this blog outlet nonetheless, so grateful that Nate encouraged me to start it.  Even though, last February, I felt apprehensive about revealing all these thoughts and sending them out there, into cyberspace, it has been such a huge growing experience for me.  And that’s why If you asked me if I wished 2011 hadn’t happened, I can’t say yes.  I’m grateful we know that this gene exists in our family, knowledge is power.  I’m grateful that my sister, Taylor, has taken such a proactive stance and now can go on knowing she has done everything she can do to prevent cancer in her lifetime!  And I’m glad for the way I acted this year, every day took some courage, and I’m a better person for it.

So I just have to mention a bit about my surgical experience last Thursday.  I went to Alta View Hospital instead of IMC and it had more of a “home” feel to it.  I got there at 7:45 A.M. and was in surgery by 9:00.  Everyone was very friendly, helpful and kind.  They took me into the operating room before I was under anesthesia and one of the nurses said “Cute hair” and I responded “It’s great to have hair”.  They looked at me sideways, a bit funny, they didn’t understand the comment and so I quickly told them my story.  She then said:  “People who have gone through chemo make really good patients”.  I think what she meant was that when you’ve gone through chemo and radiation, you pretty much can make it through anything else, medically.  I hate coming out of anesthesia though, oh my, they try to get you to wake up and all you want to do is sleep.  It’s so very hard.  Then they put that oximeter on your finger to measure your oxygen level and it just beeps.  Then they want you to breath deeper so that you can get oxygen in your blood, and so I concentrate on that but cannot.  And then really they want you out of the room, so they would really like you to hurry and wake up.  But the best part, is that they have figured out the nausea part with me.  What ever they are doing, it’s working.  

When the first nurse took me into the room to take my vitals and prep me for surgery she asked me: “What are you most nervous about today?” and I thought and said: “The nausea” but I didn’t realize at that time what I really needed to be nervous about.  So here’s what I should have feared the most.  To conclude my hospital out-patient stay, a young man came to put me in a wheel chair and wheel me to  the car.  He brought the wheelchair to my bed but not really close enough so I could get right into it.  He and Joe watched as I groggily made my way to the chair, usually a nurse assists so that you don’t fall on your face but I was on my own.  I even had to adjust the silver feet pads myself!  But, it was during the harrowing ride through the halls that I realized the young man had some cognitive disability.  He was literally walking so fast, that Joe couldn’t keep up.  I felt like I could fly out of the chair at any moment but alas we came to a stop right infront of  the doors where he was going to take me out into the cold while Joe pulled the car around.  Joe said: “Could you wait here while I get the car”?  He obliged but left me inches from the door which made it extremely hard for anyone entering or exiting.  He never pulled the chair back and so they just had to make their way by me.  At last, Joe arrived and we went outside at which point he put the chair so close to the car that when the car door opened , it hit my knee.  Good thing I didn’t have knee surgery.  Don’t worry, we did talk to them at the hospital where I think they will reassign him.

It seems like it is taking longer this time to get the medicine out of my system, I’m still a bit foggy.  I’m playing a lot of sudoku though, thanks to my new i-pad.  Mostly, I’m thankful to be here at the end of 2011, relatively healthy and looking forward to a great 2012!  

In years past, we have spent the last hour of the year hiking Neff’s Canyon.  On New Year’s Eve 2010, we were looking at the shining stars when midnight struck.  It was clear, cold and breath-taking.  So since, I will not be able to be there this  year, I will be there in spirit.  Thank you for reading my blog this year, I wouldn’t have been able to get through this without the support of my family and dear friends.  

Daytime picture of Neff’s Canyon- Christmas Eve Day w/ my family- hiking but no possibility of sledding! First pic w/ Elle, second w/ me, Mike stayed home to watch Kate.






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