It’s hard to believe it’s been 3 weeks since my surgery. I was released from the hospital two weeks ago and besides a followup appointment with the surgeon, I have not left the confines of my building.
The 7 days I spent in the hospital were horrific, though most of it I can’t really remember because I was so doped up on morphine. The pain I experienced was unlike anything I had ever felt before. It honestly blind-sighted me, I was not expecting it. This operation made the previous ones look like trips to Disneyland and those were extremely difficult to endure. It’s kind of amazing to think about just how much physical pain a body can withstand without dying or descending into madness, At my lowest point after surgery, I was in so much pain during a simple X-Ray that I screamed at the top of my lungs and cried like a newborn child at which point I passed out and came to in a hallway an hour later. This was an intricate and lengthy procedure and I thank G-d that everything went according to plan, but with such a complicated operation comes intense pain and permanent souvenirs. This time I was graced with two huge scars both measuring over a foot in length. One running from my where my natural waist begins on my back, down my butt and onto the back of my upper thigh and one from my ankle to my kneecap on the side of my left leg. Beautiful, eh?
I cannot walk without crutches now and I cannot bear any weight on my left leg so I am essentially hopping around on my bad leg for the next 5 weeks until I can begin PT, I can’t really walk very far at all anyhow. Mostly from the bed/couch to the bathroom. Trying to write this post from my desktop computer is killing me as I am sitting upright in a chair and thus putting pressure on my pelvis, which now looks like a bicycle chain since they put so many plates and screws in to hold it together.
Days and weeks have blended together into one big blob of nothingness. I spend most of my time heavily medicated to deal with the pain and I have the memory and attention span of a squirrel. Television is my only refuge. My mother helps me do everything from bathing and dressing to preparing my meals and sleeping in the bed with me because I’m afraid to be alone overnight. It’s like I’ve regressed back to infancy. It’s beyond frustrating to be unable to do anything for yourself, short of going to the bathroom.
Thankfully the weather has been bitterly cold so I don’t feel too terrible about not being able to go out. But at the same time I’m dying to be anywhere but here. I feel trapped and claustrophobic often. I wish I could just stand up, put my coat on and run as far and fast as I can away from all of this. I’m definitely feeling the cabin fever set in. I know that this is only temporary and I will eventually be able to move again, but in the interim, I’m feeling a little crazy.
I have often made a correlation in my mind between cancer and jail. You know it’s going to be awful, but at the same time you know it’s not going to be this way forever. You just have to keep your head down and do your time and one day, if you’re lucky enough, you will walk out of your prison a free woman and you will do everything you can do in your power to keep yourself from getting sent back there.
So, do I feel like I’m losing my mind a little? Yes. Do I feel like I’m locked away from reality? Yes. Do I wish more than anything that this physical pain would subside? Yes. Do I know in my heart of hearts that this is all just part of the process and I’m actually inching closer and closer to freedom every day? You bet I do, cause I survived everything that’s happened in the last 3 weeks and the last 8 months and the last 2 years. This is the endgame and I somehow beat cancer twice. I am a survivor. The worst is finally behind me and I can see that everything is in front of me. The best is yet to come.