Banging on the front door at 1 am woke me up. It was Peter announcing his arrival from London. I was not in the mood for any small talk, I let him in, said hello and got back into bed. A few more hours of cherished sleep.
My iphone is my lifeline. It has easy access to FB where some of my friends send me messages, others who send text messages and then the others who call my direct line. It also has my music with Teresa's Kick Ass playlist, my favorite movies and some games in that rare instance I get bored. It has the Internet in case I need to google something. It is my alarm clock and my camera. It keeps me connected. It fits in my pocket. I am thankful for my iphone.
So, as usual I reach for my iphone to turn off the alarm and Nikki F. sees I am online. She is my pep talker and cheerleader texting all those things I need to hear and makes me laugh. Grazzi habib. Grateful!!!
The clock today is ticking because there are no liquids allowed for me after 7:30 am. A quick shower and thinking why am I even washing my hair when it will be cut in a few days into a cool easy style a la PINK? Hurry to the kitchen for some of that now favorite apple juice for some energy. It goes down easy. Better mix a glass of water in between the next big glass of apple juice again. I have this energy flowing through me and know that a quick paced walk with my lifeline and headphones will do the trick.
Coat on, shoes on, headphones in and put on all the fast paced songs for 20 minutes of walking. "I can do this! I can do this! It's not so bad" ran through my head intermingled with the words from the songs like 'Dance Your Tears Away' Felt good!!!!! It was a bit of a pain though when I came back and realized I couldn't quench my thirst. Oh well.....
Winter break week in Stockholm means hardly any cars out on the road so we were at the hospital way too early! Typical, but I really wanted to get it over and done with even though I had flashes of those thoughts like what happens if the anesthesiologist makes a mistake and I don't wake up. It would be worse for those left behind. I have a lot to live for and luckily those thoughts vanished as quickly as they flashed through my head.
Checked in, got a bed, a "stylish" nightgown (as Peter noted) and a needle or a line put into my arm. Did not feel a thing with that needle. Best nurse ever. All ready-------for a two and a half hour wait-------before they took me in at 12:30.
|Peter passing the time in the morning.|
Down in the pre-op I met the doctor and the anesthesiologist and they explained the procedures to me. I asked the doctor if he could take a big piece out so it would be easier to get rid of with chemo. He said "that is not how to cure this cancer. It must be treated with chemo and besides the tumor has grown very close to the carotid artery and behind muscles in your neck, so that would make it too risky of a procedure."
Then I met the nurses who were going to prep me for the operation and I took the opportunity to ask them a question. "When the doctor has me open and has exposed the cancer can someone in there take a picture so I can see what this cancer looks like? Do you want to borrow my iphone?" It is so I could see what I was fighting. What would cancer look like? They said they would ask when they saw the doctor.
The operating room had a bunch of people who all introduced themselves to me. I asked if there was going to be a test on the introductions when I was done. Ha ha, they said maybe. They were all nice and went about their business. The anesthesiologist came in and then I breathed in and took a "nap " for about an hour.
Next memory is jolting upright in bed, hearing my name and starting to cough so the stitches bled a little through the bandage. WATER, WATER, WATER. They only gave me a little. The tube had irritated my throat, but within a half hour I had had a few small glasses of water and an extra shot of morphine. Feeling good!!!!! As soon as I could I put my headphones in my ear for some kick ass music. I did a quick check on FB and my youngest brother Dan, wanted to know how I was. I'm in post op and OK. He answered "put down the phone you are in a hospital bed".
The doctor came in and gave me a summary. The lymph nodes are 10 times bigger then they should be and resemble a cluster of ripe grapes but when he removed the piece it was like the inside of a cinnamon bun in consistency. He said a picture is not what I am fighting so he didn't take one. (It would have been cool to see I think, but alas he is right)
Later I was moved to a regular floor for follow-up care. Started with vanilla ice cream and then I had some sandwiches. Tired and my neck is starting to hurt. We realized we would be getting home later than expected so a quick call to Anna, neighbor and friend resulted in three pizzas delivered to the boys for dinner. Thanks Anna!
|Peter passing the time in post-op.|
The nurse has given me some morphine pills for tonight and tomorrow. By 7:00 pm Peter was (hungry) and ready to go home after so many hours in the hospital and asked me if I was ready go. Of course, honey, let's go!
As we pulled into our driveway and get out of the car, we are greeted by our neighbors Linda och Bosse from across the street who were wondering how everything went and worrying why it took us so long. It felt good to laugh and talk about the day in the fresh cold evening air.
It feels OK and more confident now in my head as compared to just a week ago when I got the diagnosis. (which was a little like WTF) I know the low times will come but I need to hold onto this good feeling as long as I can. It is made easier by all my friends who care. LOVED.
LAUGH. LAUGH. LAUGH.
Tomorrow is Peter's birthday. Eric is making him breakfast in bed. Hope I get some too.