Tuesday, February 19, 2013


“i said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: so the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
(t.s. eliot)

first off, huge thanks to my awesome sister for keeping up with posting updates since i had surgery. she rocks - thanks nerd. you are the best.

waking up from surgery was not fun, the pain was unbearable and i was nauseas as hell. the primary point of pain when i woke up was from the chest tube that was connected from my lung, past my rib, and out through the right side of my chest. it was put in to help get any air bubbles out and to allow my lung to drain. i remember fading in and out for a long time in the recovery room, and constantly moaning/crying in pain and being so nauseas. i am sure that i was not a fun patient to be next to because it was obvious recovery wasn't going swimmingly for me. i was so completely miserable. after what seemed like an eternity of misery, they finally made the decision to roll me up to my room.

when we got to the room, they told me that they were going to have to transfer me to my bed. i did not realize that they would do that with a crane device that would squeeze the blankets around me, basically making me a cocoon, and then lift me from one bed to the next. in hindsight, that was probably the least painful way of doing it. but at the time, i was so not appreciative of being squeezed and moved. i gladly would have just stayed on the bed i was in if i meant i wouldn't have had to move at all at that point.

the remainder of monday is a blur of pain and nausea for me. even though they warned me during my pre-op appointment that the chest tube would be what would cause me the most pain, they ever could have never prepared me for how painful it would actually be. every movement i made was so jarring it took my breath away.

at one point on monday, i thought that i had reached my breaking point. the pain was so bad, i had just got sick (again) all over myself, and was a sobbing mess. i did not know how i was going to make it through the night. that night in the hospital was hands down one of the lowest points physically and emotionally i have had over the last three years.

on tuesday morning, i got multiple scans of my lungs so they could determine if the chest tube could come out. they gave the green light on tuesday afternoon and it got pulled out. i felt better immediately. then i felt the pain of the incisions in my side, and the soreness from the chest tube being in, but it was nothing compared to the hell i had been through since surgery.

i have four incisions on my right side, the largest one is from the chest tube area (don't worry, i am not going to show you pictures). i will have four more scars to add to my long and growing list of battle wounds. i have a lot of restrictions on what i can do for the next couple of weeks. i wouldn't be able to do a lot of things that i am restricted from even if i wanted to (don't worry mom, i will behave) because the pain would stop me. so i am learning to use my left side for the things that i can do, and have others to help me do the things that i can't do for myself. i never realized how much i use my right hand to get through daily life, my left hand is in overdrive right now and is wondering why it is being worked so hard.

barrett took the bandages off on thursday, and that was one of the other lowest points for me. you all may have heard my loud sobbing from wherever you were that morning.

i am still really sore, uncomfortable, and completely exhausted at this point. but i think (i hope) that the problems with nausea are over. the days have ups and downs, and i just ride the peaks and valleys as they come.

in the midst of all that has happened in the last week, i have so much to be grateful for - not the least of which is the overwhelming (in a good way of course) love and support from family and friends. i can't imagine what it would be like without so many cheerleaders rooting for me from the sidelines. thank you for all of the love.

of course, my mind is also filled with a million thoughts about my appointment on wednesday at 1:30. that appointment will change the course of my life. i will either feel like my life has been given back to me on my terms (at least the terms i am allowed to have with melanoma calling its own shots regarding my life), or i will feel like i don't know how to move forward - yet knowing that i have no choice but to go on.

in many ways, i just want to know. give me the results. tell us what the end result is so that all of this waiting can come to an end. 

in many ways, i don't want to know. 

but wednesday will come, the results will be what they will be, and life will go on.

it will go on. i will find my way. we will find our way together.

i hope, with everything that i have, that the word benign is what i see when i finally get the chance to look around this next bend in the road.