Sunday, July 7, 2013

Jumping Back In ...

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

Last week, I received a phone call from my mother. “Tracy, you didn’t finish!” were the first words she said. “Finish what?” I said, a little confused. She said “You didn’t finish telling your story. People are waiting to hear the rest. You didn’t even get to the surgery yet.” Immediately I felt nervous. She was right. I didn’t finish. I had to stop and think about why I slowed down with the story. I know that at times I questioned whether people really wanted to hear more. But the real truth is I was having a difficult time writing about my journey—especially the part of it where I had left off. I didn’t realize how traumatic the experience had actually been, and writing about it was bringing out all of those emotions. I’m not an emotional person, so this was uncomfortable for me. As a result, I just pulled back a little bit and didn’t realize it.

My mom’s phone call helped me to recognize that I have not written about the hardest turn of events that occurred (probably on purpose). The comments, feedback and encouragement about this blog have helped tremendously. I guess the best thing to do is to jump back in and keep moving forward…  I have the best people in the world in my corner!!! So here goes:

The day of the surgery, my sister drove me to the hospital. I know she sent messages to all of my friends, but, to this day, I have no idea what the messages said. All I remember is getting sedated and then waking up. My surgery lasted 4 ½ hours. I had assumed that when I woke up I would be all bandaged up. I wasn’t. I was however definitely heavily medicated! I woke up, looked down inside my hospital gown, saw these perky breasts and I yelled out, “Did you do the surgery?” No one responded, so and I yelled again. “Hey! Did you do the surgery? Did you get all the cancer out?” (Yes, I really yelled that! I guess I need reassurance that it was removed. When they initially told me about the cancer and its location, I kept thinking I could feel it and that it was going to move somewhere. The cancer was messing with my head so much I couldn’t wait to get it out!)
A nurse came over to comfort me and said, “Yes, your surgery went well. You are in recovery until you completely wake up from the anesthesia.” I think I dozed back off because the next thing I remember was being wheeled into a room filled with flowers and cards. Everything seemed so surreal. I don’t really like hospitals or sitting still, so I knew this was not going to be easy. The best thing I remember was not being in any pain. I was on pain medication that was connected to my IV, and all I had to do was push a button to administer it anytime I felt uncomfortable. The staff really took care of me at Northside Hospital. The nurses were the best. These were some strong meds that kept me extremely comfortable!! I emphasize this because everyone that came to visit would look at me like I was suffering, and actually I was really comfortable. The surgery was the easy part (if there was an easy part). It was the next step, the recovery, that was definitely the hard part…
(to be continued)