My Husband is Superman & I am Starting a “Rap” Band
One thing that I learned early on is that there are a number of people that battle cancer alone. The hospital is willing to assign someone to go to your appointments with you and take notes, there are services that will drive you if you can’t get a ride etc. This blows me away, I am a very independent person, but I have to depend on others to get through this or I may just go insane. If you know someone who may be suffering this alone, please reach out and offer to help, no one should go through this on their own. Mike has reached a new level of “take charge” this last week and I am so grateful to have him (and my family) to help me.
Whether it was staying late at the hospital with me sitting in a recliner next to my bed and holding my hand to help me doze off, or make a list of items I am going to need when I get home and running all over town to pick them up and have them in place for when I got home, Mike did whatever he could think of this weekend to make me comfortable. Mike made a schedule the day I got home and scheduled what medications I needed to take and what time, along with tracking drain maintenance (an the amount of fluid drained) and he has handwritten chart of when I have to use the funny thing to check my lung strength (I can’t remember what it is called, but not using it and chest pain caused me O2 issues at the hospital).
Mike set alarms last night and woke me up each time I was due for a pain pill, he wanted to try to keep me ahead of the pain as nighttime was a real challenge for me at the hospital. I was in bed from about 8:30 PM to 10:00 AM – I slept pretty much the whole time. I woke up pretty rested and feeling good! Mike has been taking care of me with a smile on no matter how cranky or difficult I have been since surgery. The house is clean and I have been able to relax and drift off into a nap as often as I can. He has just been downright amazing.
Mike is also staying busy at coming up with ways to sneak food into me. Whether it has been making me homemade flan (can’t turn that down), homemade berry milkshakes, breakfast burritos or something delicious a friend has brought by – Mike has been keeping food in front of me 24/7. I am glad he is staying with me these first few days back at home as we are going through the paces of learning what I can and can’t do for myself at the moment.
Overall I feel pretty good, I get a little nausea now and then and we have kept pain at bay by taking my medication on time (I have even been able to cut back a little bit during the daytime). The main inconvenience is that I am surrounded by drains. I have heard from several women that the drains are worse than the surgery (at the moment they kind of are). I have 5 of them, the shirt I bought to handle them holds 2 – needless to say I have an unusually large number). I read to make a velcro belt and attach them to that. Mike went and got me the velcro to make the belt, but I discovered that all of my button/zip up shirts and pajamas don’t fully cover the drains (too small tugs on them and they hang out below).
After a major wardrobe malfunction this morning (I didn’t have any comfortable tops to wear) I called my little brother who went on a hoodie hunt. The best success he had was the Target maternity section where he got me 3 tops that cover my drains and don’t tug on them (and they actually make me look semi-normal even though I have to get XL and XXL to cover everything up. We decided that with some gold chains and some beanies we were ready to start a rap band (now one of us needs to learn how to rap – but I think they have an XBox 360 game out for that…) Dereck has our first song all planned out.
I will have most of the drains for at least 2 weeks. I am pretty sure I will be well enough to work from home next week, but I will certainly do it from home where I can hide the ickies and be more comfortable. I am supposed to have a check up with one of the surgeons at the end of this week and the next one next week. I wasn’t given a date on when I will get the lymph node biopsy results (and stage number). Chemo is tentatively scheduled for February 25th for my first dose.