Long Post, Long Day

Where do I begin.   It’s been an emotionally draining few days. 

Last time I wrote here I was feeling confused and smelly.  I decided to give Dr. Dumanian the weekend off though and I didn’t send graphic emails again till Sunday night.  But by Sunday night I couldn’t wait any longer.   In his defense, he has surgery on Mondays so I wasn’t entirely surprised I didn’t hear back from him.  But there was a part of me that was wondering if he had finally given up on me.  Like maybe he doesn’t WANT anymore of my ridiculous emails.

So after chatting with my neighbor who said “you need to email your oncologist,”  I decided to harass my onc with graphic emails.  Yes, I did include a picture of my wound.  And here is why I love Dr. Liepman so much.  She emailed me pack within a half hour and her first comment was “Whoa!  Have they culture that thing.”  For some reason it is reassuring to know other people think it’s gross too.  I just want to know I’m not COMPLETELY overreacting here!  So she said she would call Dr. D. for me and she did.  Which I was really glad about, but then I was worried he would be mad at me because I contacted her.  I don’t want him to think I don’t trust him.  I don’t know why I worry about these things but I do.

And then she emailed me and told me he didn’t want me to go anyplace else and wanted to see me at my convenience.  $%@#!*^!  Busted.  Now I have to face him after it looks like I’ve narked on him.  Now I’m thinking I have a smelly, gross, hole in my chest that hurts and I have to face my irritated plastic surgeon. 

So his assistant calls me and says she has reserved me a spot at 10 am the next day to see him.  So now I’ve got a smelly, gross hole in my chest, an irritated plastic surgeon and I have to find childcare for my children and figure out how to get Charis to her dentist appointment we have been waiting for now for three months.  Crud. 

Thankfully my cousin Becky came to my rescue and willingly took Meleah and Elijah.  Jeremy was able to take Charis to her dentist appointment (and thank goodness she did not have any cavities!).

So I dropped Charis off at school and set out for my three hour trip to Chicago.  I tried really hard to stay calm but I was a nervous wreck.  There is something about thinking about an irritated plastic surgeon picking out my wound that made me REALLY uneasy!   I kept thinking about my yoga class last night.  My instructor is so insightful and when she talks about positions I swear she’s talking about life.  But she said something to the effect “are you the type to really push into a move, or are you the type to hold back?”  And I thought….I’m the “pusher.”  I can’t stand waiting on anything.  If I have an idea, I do it “now.”  If I want something done, it’s done then.  I started thinking about that in terms of my wound and my healing.  Maybe there’s a reason I need to slow down.  Maybe God doesn’t want me to move out of this journey so fast?  I want to run from it, but I feel like God is somehow reminding me to pull back.  To wait on Him and wait on my healing.  Here’s what came to me:

Isaiah 40:31 (The Message)

 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
   or, whine, Israel, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
   He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
   He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
   And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
   gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
   young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
   they walk and don’t lag behind.

Sometimes it’s the “waiting” that gives us strength.

So when I got to the office it was exactly 11 am (there was no way I could get there by 10 am).  The parking garage is crazy and it takes forever to find a spot because every spot is for “compact cars only.” And then I have to get to the 19th floor.   I hate the elevator ride.  I’m just not fond of being cramed into a tiny elevator with so many people and it takes forever to get to the 19th floor.

They got me right in.  So there I sat in my gown, smelling lovely, and the only reading material in the room is about lymphedema with WAY graphic pictures of swollen arms and legs.  I don’t know why I even looked at it.  I don’t need to be reminded of what COULD happen since I’ve had my lymph nodes removed. 

He finally came in.  Crazy enough….he was smiling.  I was not.  I could tell my body language read “completely closed off. ”  So we sat and chatted for a while.  Here’s the deal.  He is a super nice man and I don’t know why I was worried he would be irritated with me.  I told him how bad it smelled and how bad it hurt.  Since last night it has doubled in pain.  I swear he hooked me up so well that I have feeling in my breasts, really!  After looking at it he told me he was going to open the wound more so the ”swamp “at the bottom of my wound would drain.  I agreed to this….I’m not sure why.  But I did.

So he numbed me (is numbed a word?) and we chatted.  Then he left to go across the hall to finish a procedure with another patient.  All of a sudden I hear all this commotion.  I hear emergency personal.  I hear Dr. D asking for blood pressure, etc.  Lovely.  Now I’m thinking “I’m going to be here a while,” and “I DO NOT want to go across the hall to the procedure room!”  I am praying for

a.) the person who hopefully is not too sick but maybe just fainted….I want to hope. 

b.) Dr. D and all the people working on sick person and

c.) me, who has to go in to that room next.

20 minutes or so later, the physician’s assistant comes to get me.  I told her I don’t want to be the next person in that room.  I’m trying to make small talk, but I really want to leave.  I’m really hoping the numbing shots are working but I swear it still hurts.  Dr. D. comes in again.  He doesn’t seem phased…..nerves of steel I guess.  I try to convince him I have not had enough pain/numbing medicine yet but I don’t think he believes me.  The PA held my head while he worked.  I think she did this because I had my hand covering my face and I think she partially did not want me to take out Dr. D.  It was a smooth move on her part.  But it helped.  And it did hurt and I could feel every cut of his knife, no matter what he says!

But I lived, and am here to tell my tale.  I drove home a bit calmer than I came.  Relieved my smelly, wound doesn’t smell.  Relieved that he says it IS getting better and he sees new tissue building up within the wound.  Relieved this man that works with knives all day doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body.   In fact, he was a little like Jesus for me today.  He sat patiently while I whined about my wound.  He didn’t look at his watch or yawn.  It actually seemed to matter to him that I heal from this both emotionally and physically.

So now it’s 10 pm and I need to go to bed because I’m exhausted.  But I have to change my dressings before bed and I’m absolutely NOT wanting to do it.  Jeremy offered to stay up for emotional support while I did it, but I sent him to bed.  I am so not ready to see the episiotomy he did on my wound today. 

I will share that saga with you tomorrow…..


5 Responses to Long Post, Long Day

  1. bcjenster says:

    I remember thinking my journey was never going to end. It was always one thing after another after another… I still have the concerns about lymphedema and recurrence and cancer in other places, but my day to day is FINALLY about everything BUT cancer and all it entailed.

    I’m happy you have a good surgeon. I pray that your wound will continue to heal and you’ll be thrilled with your reconstruction. I’m also happy for no cavities!! :O)

  2. clergygirl says:

    Hey Jen! No cavities meant no extra medical bills….kwim….lol:)

  3. bcjenster says:

    Boy do I kwym! :o)

  4. Oh darlin’ you were so brave and I hate that you had to feel every cut of the knife, how horrid. Still you went ahead with it anyway and that, in my book, is brave, good for you. Take care, J xxx PS: Here’s to the wound healing up beautifully from now on.

  5. Spruce Hill says:

    Oh My goodness! how did you drive home. I hope you are feeling much better! 🙂

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