Monday, November 30, 2009

Bring on the mistletoe

It’s been 7 whole days since my surgery.  I’m still having pain, which is surprising to me.  I’ve had a bunch of abdominal surgeries, & usually by this time, I’m up & around, barely requiring anything more than Tylenol.  Then again, I’m not as young as I used to be.  Oh, boogers, that sounds like a really bad TV commercial.  I apologize, & I’ll understand if you’re upset with me.  I’m hanging my head in shame.

Aside from coming home to be with my family on Thanksgiving, I had another nice surprise.  I met my visiting nurse, Pam.  Here’s her picture:

 Isn’t she pretty?

I think that she & I are going to get along just fine.  She’s funny, & we had a pretty good time when she was here.  She was really helpful in terms of explaining how to change my dressings & do what’s called “milking” the drain tubes (great, now I’m a cow).  You basically squeeze the entire line to keep clots from occurring.  I have three drains, & it’s a bit of a pain in the butt doing it at least two times a day.  It’s either that, though, or back to the hospital.  Call me Bessie.

I DID feel really bad about keeping her from her family on Thanksgiving, though.  Then I had a substitute nurse on Sunday, who, too, was nice.  But now that I think of it, I hope I didn’t scare Pam off already – yikes!

A really odd thing is that I’m semi-numb on my right side.  Yet, I feel like my nipple is itching.  Weird.  Oh, guess what else?  I can’t shave under my right arm for at least a few weeks, due to all these drains!!  EEEEEWWWWW!!!  I’m hoping that by the time I can, I won’t be evicting any birds or small woodland creatures.  Honestly, how do men walk around as hairy as they are?  Hair under my armpit – gross (grumble, grumble).

But, on the bright side, Christmas is on its way, & I won’t (hopefully – keeping fingers crossed) have to begin chemo or chemo/radiation until after Santa comes.  I’m so happy, since I’m a Christmas junkie.

I love everything about this time of year – putting the tree up with sappy Christmas music playing & a fire raging in the fireplace (I even turned the a/c on one year since it was too warm.  But I was having that fire!).  I have hot chocolate & yes, folks, even chestnuts roasting.  I watch every sappy Christmas movie ever made, both real & animated, & no matter how many times I’ve seen them, I cry.

What makes me laugh (as hard as I can right now) is that Matt really thinks that since I’m not ambulatory, I won’t be over spending for presents.  Don’t men make you smile?  It’s called the “internet”, & I’ve been surfing it like Stephanie Gilmore catching a massively rad wave on the first stop to pro surfers’ equivalent of the Triple Crown at Haliewa, Hawaii – dude.  I may not know the intricacies of computers & all their new fangled technology, but I picked up on online shopping – fast.

I’ve got credit card numbers, passwords & security codes committed to memory.  I have my favourite stores in special folders & set up one click shopping.  If you want to know which site has free shipping on what days & for what minimum amount, I’m your gal.  I can be searching for store coupons while in the middle of checking out on three different sites, with a cup of coffee in one hand, the phone in the other, all while wearing my fuzzy slippers & pink super plush robe.

Can’t spend money – silly man.

In all seriousness, though, I know that this Christmas isn’t going to be the same.  I know that my kids are worried, & that they’re trying their darndest to be positive.  It’s a little weird when your mom & dad disappear into another room to empty & milk drains & change dressings; instead of sneaking in a kiss under the mistletoe.  But the fact remains that I have cancer & this year IS different

Still, it’s the Christmas season; a time of peace, hope, joy, love & miracles.  There’s no way that I’m going to let cancer rob me of experiencing this time of year as best I can with those that I love.  I’m going to shop, decorate, kiss, roast chestnuts & watch sappy movies, thank you very much.  We even managed to get The Beast up AND lit!  The title of my blog says it all – Cancer can suck it.

I still have a long journey ahead of me with this stupid cancer.  I also have a whole bunch of things to get accomplished for Christmas.  But, I have my priorities.

Bring on the mistletoe.


Marguerite said...


Thanks so much for your positive and funny attitude You are such an encouragement. May your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. And yes, I admit it...I cry at all those movies to!

Every Blessing,


Anonymous said...

Oh Tam! You are making me laugh and cry a the same time WAY too early in the morning! Sending you lots of love this morning and good healing thoughts. Thanks for soldiering on and sharing the intimate process of it all with grace and humor and honesty.
Love, Paige

Verlin said...

Tam, all my love to you and your family. You are an inspiration and a testament to the difference of a positive attitude. The curves of life will always be thrown at us but seeing other navigate them positively is inspiring and you are an hero in my eyes and you will always be! "No one ever drowned by falling in the water ... they drowned by not swimming" for me, you are a crazy mad swimmer. Again, Love ya, Verlin

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