Sunday, September 7, 2008

There Will No More Swinging of IV Bags Around

So this post is a bit overdue, for which I am sorry, but after pulling the yards and yards of garden hose of tubes out of my chest (if you are thinking of that scene from Alien--if you've seen the movie, you know which scene I'm talking about; if you haven't, then I won't go into the gory details because the gurgling beneath the skin before the bursting forth of the alien creature is really to close for my own personal comfort) I didn't quite get to it until now, smack dab in the middle of watching the women's finals of The U.S. Open (I won't say who I'm rooting for because I love Serena and she is American and this is the U.S. Open, but I don't want to seem unpatriotic if I secretly wouldn't mind if Jankovic won her first slam) and finalizing my lessons plans for the first day of my British Literature class that I begin teaching at my boys' home school co-op tomorrow.

All that to say...THE TUBES ARE OUT!! (I know, I know, Amanda, and I am a tiny bit ashamed at my own apparent hypocrisy with the use of double exclamation marks, but I really couldn't help myself, anymore than you could for almost every single paper you ever handed in to me during our enjoyable but full of exclamation marked home school career. Besides, if ever a double exclamation was called for, this has to classify. And aren't you glad I'm not waving the IV bags around at you anymore, especially if you got on my case about my double exclamation points?)

After the two minutes of torture of having them extracted Friday afternoon, and a glass of Pinot Grigio on my back deck the second we got home, I noticed that my pain and nerves were becoming more manageable. I think that much of my pain after the double mastectomy (not to be confused with double exclamation points, but equally deserving) was the pressure of the maze of tubes, and my left underarm where the lymph nodes were removed. The actual sites of incision have not been much of a bother, except for the fact that they look like something out of Frankenstein. I also have more mobility, obviously, without toting around the trio of tubes and their accessories, not to mention, comfort, sleeping without that ever present fear of waking up in a pickle of a pretzel. I am presently off all the major meds, and now am just taking something aleve-ish when the pain kicks up to a 5 on my pain scale.

Friday night, we went to the Vineyard Student Union's Open Mic Night, because my kids were performing, and like I'm going to miss that. They were fab and I'm not just saying that because I'm their mum. We did get some video which I hope to learn to upload and then you can just see for yourself. Afterward, we came home and watched the uncannily timely Stand Up To Cancer special, which we had Tivoed. An inspiring way to end the day. And then I got to go to bed sans tubes, to boot.

Saturday, Matt had an unveiling of my tennis path party. He and Mikey had been spending all their nervous energies on building me a path leading down the tree-lined (as in, George of the Jungle obstacles) slide, I mean, hill, to the tennis courts behind our house. I did walk down the path, gaze longingly at the courts, and then made the trek back up the 28 steps, which sort of sounds like a rip-off of a John Buchan novel, but we are working on beefing it up to a full thirty-nine and flat out stealing the idea. And then I may even install a lampost at the bottom of the hill, to head off in another literary direction, as you head up to our home.

Tomorrow is the first day of our co-op, and therefore, our home school year. This year, without my Amanda, who I will sorely, sorely miss. But am so proud of I can barely stand it.

Tuesday I meet with my oncologist, Dr. Alyse Lower, and get my chemo game plan. Friday I get my stitches out, for which I will shout a big fat "Yay", after maybe a few expletives during the procedure since I am a bit wimpy when it comes to the clipping of surgical sutures and such, I admit it. Sunday we are doing the Walk For The Cure, on Team Evanshire, which my tennis bud, Celina Woods, created, on my behalf. I do plan on attempting the full 3.2 mile walk and began my training today, with a very leisurely walk around the neighborhood, with only a few stops to chat with friends along the way.

Well, that's probably more than you bargained for, but Serena just had a fab victory over Jankovic, and so I need to get up and turn off the tv, so I guess I'll stop here.

Cheers, and thanks for praying. Please, please keep it up. It's working!!


Anonymous said...

Of course prayer works!!
double exclamation pun intended.

Have you polished off the Limoncello yet? You need some more lemony stuff?

That's what you really need.

greg :) !! LOL!! ROFLMAO!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie! Thanks for all the updates as I always enjoy reading them, especially now that the scariest parts seem to be behind you. Not to minimize ALL that you have been through, but just thankful to God for all He has done and that the cancer is gone. Love ya and wish I could see you all...Yer sis, Chris

Angela said...

Hi Julie and family!
So glad you're feeling better and that hopefully everything will get easier from now on (well, except for the chemo which I'm sure won't be fun but definitely worth doing - the 81-year-old father of a woman I work with found out he had inoperable lung cancer in May, started chemo right away and he's CANCER-FREE now!) Your kids (and vow-tested husband :D) are just the best and I'm so happy for you that you have so much love and support around you! Your boys really did a great job on those steps - that had to be a back-breaker of a job! What devotion!
Oh, by the way, speaking of your kids, I rented a remake of Sense and Sensibility (not the 1995 original movie with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson) this weekend and the girl who played the middle daugher Marianne Dashwood (Charity Wakefield) looks SO much like Amanda! Don't know if you've seen it yet - it's rented with a movie called Miss Austen Regrets and came out in 2008. Anyways, wanted to mention that in case you hadn't seen it - the similarity is amazing!
I love reading your updates and good news and hearing about your family! I'm so glad the worst is behind you!

laura hill said...

You're making good progress. Be sure to let us know about the chemo plan. I'm still on board with our plan and have some more ideas too. I'll share later. kisses and little hugs.