I’m having the hardest time bouncing back from this surgery. Usually it seems like mentally I’m way ahead of the game, so that I’m wanting to do things way ahead of my body’s ability to do them. But this time neither my brain nor my body is doing anything very fast. I’m laggin’ and draggin’. I just got an e-mailed reprimand by one of the supervisors who mistook something I wrote as my being irritable about something. So I had to explain to her that I’m not irritable, just having hard time recovering from this surgery. I’m supposed to be back to full time this week, and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to do it. I have no energy, no strength, no appetite. Just can’t do much of anything. I don’t like feeling this way. My post-op appointment is at 4:30 today, so I’ll talk to the doctor about it, see what she says. Sorry to whinge, that’s just where I am right now.
All 3 samples were benign!
I can breathe again at last! Thanks to you all for your prayers and white light and positive thoughts. They helped me so much get through this difficult time.
I can’t change my avatar from the office, but my sister said she’ll change it for me. She needs a big ol’ happy grin and a change of clothes and scenery! Yay! Yippee!
The doctor told me on Friday that they would have the results of the biopsy on Wednesday afternoon, and that if I didn’t hear from her office by then, I could call on Wednesday afternoon but no sooner. So I hung on as long as I could, and then called around 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. The office manager was on the line, so I stayed on hold for about 5 minutes. Finally the receptionist took my name and number and promised to have her call me back. An hour or so later, the office manager did call back. When I said that I was calling to see if they had my biopsy results, she put me on hold for an agonizing five minutes or so, and then came back. Yes, she had just gotten the results and printed them out, and now had to call the doctor and get her authorization to release them to me and would call me back soon. And 5:00 came and went, and no phone call.
So I still don’t know anything. I’ll call this morning after they open.
This is such a weird thing. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the infertility stuff, something that I thought was over with when I had the hysterectomy in 2002. But the dreams I’ve been having…well, somehow my brain is making connections while I’m asleep that I’m not seeing or figuring out how it’s making. I’ve had so many dreams about getting rid of baby things. But see, we don’t have any baby stuff left. Okay, I think I might possibly have one onesie left, but that’s it. Everything else is gone. I sent all of Tad’s things to my good friend M when she adopted her son E. I sent all of Ellie’s things to my sister A. when she had her daughter. All the toys and things we kept around the house for our friends’ kids are long gone, as those kids are no longer particularly interested in playing with those toys. So why am I dreaming about getting rid of rooms full of stuffed animals and Barbie dolls and adorable baby clothes? Getting rid of a lump in my breast has nothing to do with infertility.
Except, I suppose, that not giving birth ups the risk of breast cancer. Way to add injury to insult to injury, know what I mean? And I guess I have been kind of pissed off about that, because Joe and I did everything we could to have kids. Believe me, it’s not because of any lack of trying that we’re childless. So that has been a definite source of annoyance.
I’ve also been really weepy. I’ll start sobbing out of the blue, for no particular reason. Joe comes up and hugs me and kisses me, tells me it’s okay to cry. I say that I don’t even know why I’m crying, and he says that’s okay.
I’m supposed to go back to work tomorrow. I don’t want to. I’m not ready to face the world yet. How silly and foolish. And yet, there it is. I want one more day to hide under the pillows and covers before I have to put on my brave mask and go out and be the Faith that people at the office are used to.
Whether I have cancer or not, and at this point I’m thinking I probably don’t, it’s just such a strange thing. As you’re going through this journey, from the first concerns expressed after the first mammogram, through the additional imaging, doing research, worrying, wondering, you gear yourself up for whatever you think might be coming. You prepare yourself for the worst, so that you can be strong and deal with it. And then if it looks like the best is coming, it’s almost a sort of a shock. All the preparation wasn’t really necessary, and you feel a little foolish.
I’m also a little embarrassed because after begging for books, I’ve hardly done any reading. I’ve read a few things, but honestly not much. Fortunately, I’ll have plenty of time to read the books I’ve been loaned, because the doctor has restricted me from heavy lifting for 8 weeks and from strenuous activity for 4 weeks. So I’ve got another month before I can get back to the gym; I figure I’ll improve those shining moments by reading all the wonderful books that Liz#1, Liz#2, and Soleil have so kindly loaned to me.
Well, it’s Saturday morning, I’m at home, much more sore but without the lump.
The procedure went great. Despite my being bumped up on the schedule, there ended up being problems with the mammogram machine so I think my surgery took place when it was originally scheduled to happen. Everyone at the hospital was wonderful, and I’ve never had such an easy time coming out from under the anesthesia. No nausea or vomiting or anything, and I actually ate a sandwich within 5 minutes of getting home.
I was in pain last night, as might be expected, but honestly it wasn’t as much as I thought it would be. I didn’t take any pain medicine between about 3 a.m. and about half an hour ago (10:30 or so), so that’s pretty good. I’m quite loopy right now, because the pain medicine makes me itch, so I have to take a little benadryl along with it.
I took off the dressing this morning, and saw the stitches. It didn’t bother me too much then, but I just burst out into tears a little while ago. My breasts are already so scarred and a little misshapen as a result of the breast reduction I had done in 2001, and now my left breast is going to be even more misshapen and scarred. I know that of all the things I could be crying about, that’s perhaps one of the silliest. After all, who sees my breasts but me and Joe, and the medical people who have to see it. (On a side note, I got to a point yesterday morning where I felt like saying, “Yes, my name’s Faith, and this is my left breast.”) But still, I think a woman’s body is a beautiful thing, and a woman’s breasts are supposed to be lovely. Mine aren’t. They’re ugly. Isn’t this silly? Chalk it up to the darvocet and benadryl and post-surgery trauma, okay?
Anyway, I thought I’d have the results of the biopsy on Tuesday, but my doctor said it will be Wednesday afternoon. So an extra day of waiting.
When I got home yesterday afternoon I couldn’t focus on anything long enough to read, so Joey put in one movie after another for me, and I watched and drowsed my way through them until he crashed halfway through Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone. I turned the tv off on one of my many trips to the bathroom. I think I was up every hour on the hour to go tinkle, so at least I know I’m staying hydrated. But I’m able to focus better today, so I’ve started reading. Joe’s off at a vocal lesson this morning, and he’s misplaced the bag of books he bought me last Saturday. He promised to look for it when he gets back. The books LeZard brought me–two of which I read Thursday night–require more focus than I can give right now, so I’ve got Nicktoons on to amoose me until I fall asleep. And then Liz#1 is due to arrive around 1:30ish with Buffy TVS: The Compleat Works. And I can wallow in Spikey goodness.
And speaking of Spike, I got the giggles yesterday morning while I was in the interminable wait mode. I looked over at my husband, and called him Blondie-Bear. He looked a little confused, and I explained that’s what Harmony calls Spike. He laughed, and I told him that he could do worse than being compared to Spike. Of course, he looks NOTHING like Spike, but he’s hot in his own way.
Okay, well, if I try to keep typing I’m going to pass out over the keyboard and this will never get posted. So I’m going to return to the sofa and go to sleep to the dulcet tones of Spongebob Squarepants. Adieu, mes amies, et merci beacuoup for the prayers and white light and zen boxes and love. It means more than I can say.
The hospital called this afternoon; the surgeon had a cancellation, and I now have to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. So it’s good; I’ll be done earlier than anticipated. Today’s been pleasant. I slept in a little bit, not too much. And Joe and I ran a few errands and he spoiled me a bit. Soleil came by with the most incredibly thoughtful gift–a zen box, as she calls it, and it is something I will always treasure. I don’t even know how to describe it, so I will have to take a photograph later on to post. Maybe. Maybe not, because it’s private. But it’s totally awesome. If you ever get the chance to have Soleil make you a zen box, you totally should do so.
And hey, talking about other incredible news, Clover sold her book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot put enough exclamation marks there to show my excitement. I’m afraid I screamed into the phone, I was so happy, when she told me, and I was jumping up and down in the living room yesterday about it. She is a very good writer, and I’ve had so much faith in her. And when she sent the query to these last few publishers, she and I both had a really good feeling about them. So yay! Woohoo! Go give her kudos because she has been working hard to achieve this. She’s always had fantastic ideas and vision for her writing, and she has steadily worked on the technical end of her craft since I’ve known her. She deserves every good thing.
Well, if you’re reading this on Friday, think of me or say a prayer. I’ll post again when I’m able, but I’m confident everything will go great. When I was at the hospital on Wednesday afternoon for the pre-op, even the nurse who was helping me was talking about how great my surgeon is. So I’m in good hands.
Liz #1–she will always be #1 in my book–is my sister. She’s the bestest ever. The bestest Liz, the bestest sister, the bestest friend, the bestest shopping companion, just the bestest. I love her dearly, madly.
She’s having an absolutely sucktacular week. Her wallet got stolen yesterday. She spent the whole morning calling all her credit card companies, canceling credit cards, going through all that joyous hassle. A community college notified her that her driver’s license and a few other items from her wallet were found, so at least she doesn’t have to go get a new driver’s license. Her checkbook wasn’t stolen, but the police advised her to close her bank account and open a new one nonetheless, so that the thieves don’t start trying to forge checks on her account after the 90-day security alerts expire. She’s not a happy person right now. Plus she’s working really hard at job #1, job #2, and stage managing a play. Wanna go cheer her up? You can leave a message on her blog–it’s the link on the right for Izzybella Is. Or you could leave a message for her here and she’ll see it because she reads my blog because she lurves me.
You know how much she lurves me? She’s loaning me her Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Compleat Works (teehee) to watch while I’m at home this weekend recuperating. That’s devotion, lemme tell ya, because I didn’t think she’d let that leave her hands for ANYBODY. She’s let me borrow her Harry Potter CDs to listen to in my car. I mean, my sister lurves me!
Liz #2–she’s not #2 in quality, because she’s a very high-quality Liz, but I call her #2 because she came into my life, and actually into the world, second. She’s LeZard (well, so is Liz #1, but that’s irrelevant right now) to me, and apparently has become LeZard to her family as well. And she is really cool. She came to see What Happened, one of the few of my friends who promised to come and was actually able to make it to the show. (No offense to those who weren’t, because I really do understand.) And LeZard is also a book fiend, like I, and we have lots of fun conversations and e-mails about books and stuff. I like her so much that I made her one of my insane mix CDs. Well, if we’re going to get really specific, I made her an insane mix that spanned 3 CDs. And she liked it. Anyway, she brought me a book to read yesterday (Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, go forth at once and read it, do not let anything stand in your way until you have done so; then come back and thank me and I will pass your thanks on to LeZard. Yes. It’s that good. I read it at work, in between batchs of credit bureau report requests, and nearly snapped at someone when she brought me 10 CBR requests when I was at the denoument, but I still managed to finish reading it before I went home.) , and when I gave it back to her and told her how much I liked it, NOT ONLY did she bring me today the sequel to read while I’m lolling around in bed all weekend, but she also brought me a large bag full of books to read while I’m lolling around in bed all weekend! SQUEE! She brought me 8 books to read in total.
Between those 8 books, and the ones Joe bought me last Saturday, and The Mists of Avalon that Soleil loaned me that I put away and managed to forget about (which is a good thing, because it means I haven’t read it already yet), and whatever Liz brings over, I’ve got plenty to read and watch and keep me amoosed while I’m lolling in bed this weekend. Heck, since my weekend technically starts tonight, I could actually maybe do a teeny bit of reading tonight and still have plenty for the weekend. And here I can feel Liz#1 slapping my hand and scolding me, saying, “No! Hands off!” And I’m sullenly saying, “Fine, but I’m reading at least one or two.” And Liz#1 sighs, and says, “Fine, but you’ll regret it when you’re stuck at home all weekend and run out of books to read because you read everything already.” And I sullenly say, “I’m not going to read everything, just one or two books. Maybe three.” And Liz#1 gives that long-suffering sigh again and tells me that I’m an addict. And she’s right. I am.
Anyway, both Lizzes are incomparably cool, and I feel blessed to have such awesome Lizness in my life. Yay for Lizzes!
Urgh. I am horribly, hideously queasy this morning. Someone wandered into my office expressing a fervent desire that it were already Friday. I agreed, but probably not for the same reason!
My pre-op appointment is this afternoon at 3. So I do get to walk out of the office today at 2:30 and I don’t have to come back until 7 a.m. Monday morning. That’s a relief. I decided yesterday that it would behoove me to go ahead and take a vacation day Thursday. It hasn’t been excessively busy, which just leaves me more time to sit here and be queasy and count the minutes until Friday morning.
And I don’t even know why I’m counting the minutes until Friday morning, because I won’t know the results of the biopsy until some time Tuesday, which probably means late in the day on Tuesday.
I keep thinking to myself that I’ll be okay once I know, once I know I can deal, can find out what the next steps are and then proceed. I just want to know. I hope I’m right about that.
Oh, and the house? It’s still a dump. I did some cleaning. Joe did some cleaning. Not a whole lot. We’ve got some furniture and a few tchochkes that we’re donating to the MoMentuM garage sale that’s taking place this weekend. Either he or I will haul it over to V’s house tonight or sometime tomorrow. So the house is better. The living room, which should be all anyone needs to see, right?, will be presentable.
Okay. I’ll quit babbling now. I really do have some work to get done. I just needed to babble about my queasy stomach and shaky hands.
There’s some old fairy tale where a good, virtuous but unloved stepdaughter is sent off on an unpleasant task, but by virtue of her virtue she is rewarded by having pearls fall from her lips whenever she speaks. The greedy stepparent then sends the ugly unvirtuous but well loved daughter on the same task, but by virtue of her lack of virtue, she is rewarded by having toads fall from her lips whenever she speaks.
Okay. In theory having pearls fall from your mouth whenever you say something is nice. Gather up the pearls and sell them and get rich. Pearls of wisdom, pearls of great price. But what if you have the bad habit of talking while you eat? You could accidentally choke on a pearl and die! I know, I know, virtuous ladies don’t talk while they eat, but still. I’m just sayin’, is all. And what if she’s taking a stroll with her beloved and they’re chatting? She’d have to wear a bag beneath her chin to catch the pearls, which would be dreadfully ugly or else start an even uglier fashion trend, or have a servant carry a butterfly net beneath her chin to catch the pearls, or else she would slip on the pearls and bruise her knees or break her legs or smash her lovely face. See? Not such a good thing. And then if she were a big talker, eventually there would be such a glut on the pearl market that the pearls wouldn’t be worth anything. And if the other pearl marketers were really evil, they might do a dastardly deed to her person.
So that kindly old crone who gave her that reward wasn’t really thinking ahead.
I said all that to say this: the things I’m about to babble on about may be pearls or they may be toads. That’s for you to decide. I’lll just share some of my thoughts with you.
- The closer it gets to Friday, the more queasy I get. It’s Monday morning, which means it’s this week. This time Friday morning I’ll be over in Radiology and I presume they’ll either be in the process of putting a wire in my left breast or getting ready to put a wire in my left breast. Either way, UGH! OUCH! YOWLIE-WOW-WOW! And a week from tomorrow I should know whether it’s benign or not. So yeah. Big-time queasy. On the positive side, I’ve started losing weight again, because it’s easier to not eat so much, so yay to that.
- Of course, I was able to eat just fine yesterday because we went to some friends’ for dinner and had homemade Korean food. Yummmmm! Of course, I had squid breath for the rest of the evening, which wasn’t so great. But then I shouldn’t have eaten so much squid. And “my” Tina was home from college for the weekend, so I got to see her for a little while, which was wonderful. I taught her in Beehives years ago, when she and her family first moved to Texas from Korea (her mother is Korean, and her father is from Utah). Tina was just the cutest thing I’d ever seen, and she and I had so much in common. After I was no longer her Beehives leader, I took her to plays and the occasional movie. I claim her as one of my kids.
- I had a dream this weekend where I was equipped with a complete set of male genitalia. It was very bizarre, uncomfortable, awkward, and unpleasant. I didn’t enjoy it. I don’t know how men deal with it. That was one dream from which I was most glad to wake up. And in case you’re wondering, I wasn’t a man. I was still me, just with a schlong. Freaky. Oh, and I didn’t have sex or anything; that would have been way too weird. I just walked around with the extra material in front. It was bunchy. It, just, ugh. Yuck.
- I also dreamed about being at work, for some reason, and dreamed that a guy who left here back in December was proposing to and marrying a girl who still works here. That was a little odd.
- Joe took me to Half-Price Books on Saturday, and bought me an armful of books and agreed to hide all but my Yiddish book from me, and not give them to me until I get home from the hospital on Friday. (And how’s this for a Freudian slip: I initially typed hostile instead of hospital.) He didn’t put the bag away, which is bad, because he went to a concert Saturday night and left the bag in the kitchen and I saw it and I went twice to sneak out a book but I didn’t do it because I knew I’d regret it if I did. Because if I snuck one book I’d have binged on the whole bag. Do you remember the old ad campaign for Lay’s potato chips: You can’t eat just one? Well, I can’t read just one. See, last Thursday night I read 5 books. Yeah. I don’t need crack. Just give me books, chocolate, and/or candy corn.
- I love Yiddish. It’s so expressive. I mean, it’s so boring to say, “You’ve got some dirt on your chin.” And it’s so much more expressive to say, “You’ve got some shmutz on your chin.” See?
- And yes, I’m still studying Russian. The Russian alphabet is about to kill me. Not literally, of course, but sheesh!
Well, I guess I have probably babbled on long enough to convince you all that I’m thoroughly nutso. If not, stay tuned!
Last night after work I went home and started cleaning. I found a Shel Silverstein poem that describes pretty accurately the condition of the bedroom, with the exception that I loathe lizards and I don’t ski:
THE MESSY ROOM
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
His underwear is hanging on the lamp.
His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,
And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.
His workbook is wedged in the window,
His sweater’s been thrown on the floor.
His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,
And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.
His books are all jammed in the closet,
His vest has been left in the hall.
A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,
And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
Donald or Robert or Willie or–
Huh? You say it’s mine? Oh dear,
I knew it looked familiar!
So, as I say, I started in the bedroom, and it now looks much better. I didn’t get it quite finished, but it’s about 2/3′s of the way cleaned. So I figure I’ll finish it up tonight. And then on to another nasty disgusting room. And I didn’t have any time to feel sorry for myself, which was good, and I even remembered to turn on American Idol partway through, and got to see Sanjaya singing, well, pretty well for a change. But he was making love to the camera too much and it squicked me out. Not literally, of course, making love, I mean, but he kept smiling significantly at it, and flirting with it, and it was just gross.
Today at work we’re having the kick-off event for our annual Relay for Life fundraising event. We have jeans day every payday; in order to wear jeans that payday, you have to make a donation to Relay for Life–either $5 for one day, for $10 for three days. And we have various other fundraisers throughout the year as well. Today’s kick-off event is a carnival. I bought $5 worth of tickets, and played all the silly little games, bought some cotton candy, and won some goofy prizes, including two pairs of finger traps and a back scratcher. Anyway, one of the games involved throwing darts at a board with balloons stuck to it. I tossed my three darts and missed each time, of course, because I’m not good at stuff like that. But the person running the booth gave me a bonus dart, so I pretended the balloon was my breast, and the funny colored place was the lump, you know what I mean, and I popped that damn balloon! Woohoo!
Small little victory, but it felt good.