Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Set backs o' Plenty!

I’ve had another set back, which, of course, sucks.  But, it’s been my experience that life is chock full of them (& nuts, apparently).  Last Sunday, as I’d written, my incision began to swell.  I couldn’t have chemo due to the infection, & Dr. Morrissey operated on me Thursday night. 

As he said he thought he’d do, Dr. Morrissey left the wound open & has packed it.  Gotta tell you, though, the first time he unpacked it to re-do the whole thing (in the hospital), I saw stars!  He was really sweet about it, though; as usual.  I ended up staying in the hospital (St. Luke’s Quakertown) until Sunday morning.  The doctor was waiting for the results of cultures he sent to the lab, as he’d like to get to the bottom of what’s going on with me & infections.  Apparently, whatever it is isn’t horrible.  Pesky, annoying, & really, really inconvenient, yes, but deadly/horrible, not so much.

It was a pain (figuratively & literally), since we were having a nice snow storm that I’d been looking forward to spending with my family in front of our fireplace.  We’d even made sure we had hot chocolate, marshmallows, popcorn, & brownies at the ready.  Everyone knows that nothing celebrates a snow storm like massive quantities of sugar that includes, but is not limited to, several varieties of chocolate, saturated fats, & abundant sources of tasty, tasty salt.  But, instead of watching the snow from my sunroom, I watched it from my hospital room.  That kind of tanked, but, I managed to get a private room – it could have been worse.  Let’s just say Texas toast & sausage, then leave it at that (newbies, go back through my blog to my last hospital visit – if you dare)!

Now I have to have the wound re-sutured, &, of course, we’re having our second major snow storm in a week, & we’re talking 2 feet here people.  I’ll be spending that either driving through it to get to surgery, or dealing with it on the way home.  Hopefully, it’ll be ambulatory, which will mean I’ll still be able to enjoy the storm.  Of course, a lot of that will be thanks to heavy duty pharmaceuticals.  Just saying.  To top it off, I’ll be sent home with my ever present drain tube.  Man, just when you think you no longer need those cute drain bulb bags.  But, at least I’m used to them, & know how to take care of them.  So there’s that.

Right now, I’m waiting for a new surgery day/time.  All reports are that this is going to be a big, big storm.  Dr. Morrissey is leaving on vacation Thursday, so we have a very brief window of time to deal with.  Additionally, I’ve got to get back on track with my chemo.  

FYI – men in general have long held the belief that doing something, anything is better than nothing.  The word “diligence” is something they may have read a long, long time ago, but its meaning escapes them.  Matt, on the other hand, has heard of the word “patience”, but continues to labour under the belief that its sole definition is people in a hospital or under a doctor’s care.  Thus, waiting with Matt for a new surgery day & time has been about as pleasant as having a root canal without benefit of anesthesia; as he waits patiently – giggle!

Before I forget, remember that I cut my hair really, really short in anticipation of losing it during chemo?  I wasn’t losing it, though & was beginning to think I’d be the one girl in a million whose hair doesn’t fall out.  In the hospital, however, my dark hair decided to begin it exodus from my head & onto my bleached white sterile hospital linens.  I shed like a Golden Retriever in spring.  I’d wake up, & my pillow looked like it was made of hair & when I’d comb through it, I ended up with a large hair ball reminiscent of a chinchilla!  I was SOOO embarrassed. 

But, it held while I was in, so I was grateful for that.  It was, however, time to shave my head.  And I mean shave; my head is now bald. 

That was a weird, surreal experience.  I’ve spent months preparing for it, purchased four wigs to deal with it, & talked myself into actually thinking it would be fun not to have a river of hair to tame every morning.  And, frankly, it was pretty funny, but at the same time, it brought the fact that I’m facing cancer front & center.

I’ve bloviated long enough, & it was time to translate those action verbs into reality.  It’s tangible proof, looking in the mirror now.  There’s no putting the thought on the back burner of my mind any more.  Emotions & the human psyche take time to adjust.

The really lousy thing about it is that my children have to wrap their brains around this “new” mom.  Boy is having a very hard time dealing with it, although he tries to hide it.  In fact, this morning, he came into my room & watched me as I slept.  He was trying to get the visual to stick in his brain.  He’s used to his mommy always having big, Southern, in your face hair & make up, & he doesn’t know this bald GI Jane type that he’s looking at.  At least he & the girls are trying, & we're making jokes out of it.  Still, the reality is there, & staring at them in their adorable faces.  But, they're my kids & as such, have had to endure living with the Brunette Lucy.  This, hopefully, will be one more story to tell their kids about their crazy grandmother & all her silliness.

On the bright side, I do have several wigs to play with.  I need to get a little better at making them more, well, me.  You just can’t buy big Southern wigs these days unless your last name is Parton.  And until I get that “old mom smell” into my wigs, I’m going to have to try, try again.  It’s going to take a lot of money to look as cheap as I did.  But I’m confident I have the ability to git her done!  Lord knows, I have the reasons.


Angela said...

Here's hoping the surgery goes as planned today, and you are home with the family for all those goodies, and all the hugs too. And virtual hugs from me, brave one. The bald head may have brought it front and center, but don't let it change your feisty spirit! Love you!

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