Thursday, October 16, 2008

Better late than never...

On October 1st Stacy Julian, scrapbooking friend and mega star issued a challenge. To give yourself a present by recording one day in photo's and create a mini album. Then carry that little album around with you, or put it somewhere you will see it often, for one year, look at it and appreciate life when ever you stumble over it in your purse or drawer etc. Then one year later create a page about the experience. It sounded like a cool idea. I thought, I think I can handle a mini album 10 pictures (mine ended up being more) while I am at home resting and recuperating. I knew I had photo's to pull from. So I took Stacy up on the challenge and created a little album. I love it! It was fun to do something creative.

However I did not follow up part 2 of the challenge and send photo's of it back to Stacy or post the pictures here on my blog because, well I did not think my day rated. The day was not particularly different than any other of late, but it is not one of those cheery life is good sort of renditions. It is a fairly honest look at the things that make up life 8 days post surgery.

Then I thought - hey this IS today THIS is what LIFE looks like for me right now. In the middle of fighting Breast Cancer, having a mastectomy, resting and recovering... it may be hard, it may be painful, it may be sad - but it is what it is and it IS MY LIFE today. I do not want to forget where I am today, or what we have gone through as a family because of this - This will be important, it will be a page in the history books of my life & my family's. Despite the challenge that is this disease I KNOW that I have it pretty good, the tumor is gone, the pathology reports have come back good and there is no follow up treatment required at this time. It could be so much more challenging, ugly and hard. But it is not so it is GOOD!

Life is not guaranteed, there will be highs and lows, challenges and celebrations. Everyday is different - everyday is new - everyday is a chance to make the best of it. Everyday we wake up and have 24 hours to make choices and live the life we have been given. We can make choices that make life miserable or we can make choices that make life worth living. But we have a CHOICE..... it is ours and ours alone.
So here I am 2 weeks after creating my "PRESENT" and I am finally posting. (and I emailed Stacy with a link...challenge complete!) I realized that no matter what this will still be a very valuable exercises - because LIFE ONE YEAR later will be so very different. It may be better, it may be worse, we do not know for sure but one thing that is certain it will look a whole lot different than this day that I recorded. Let's see what the journey will bring, what adventure will follow. I am willing to travel and see what I will learn from this day forward..
Here are some pics of my Present... a photo journey of today ( well actually a 72 hour period) created October 3rd, 2008.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Drain Free... oh so free!

Drain Free

Free in deed!

Four weeks to the day after surgery and the drain has been removed. Four weeks of having this foreign object protruding from my body causing discomfort and pain, when I would walk, sit or stand, or most of all when I would try to sleep. Rolling over was not fun at all. In less than 3 minutes, one quick snip and a tug and the drain and the 3 feet of tubing that chased it is GONE! GONE! GONE! Good riddance! I will not miss it. I thought that it would be in for 2 weeks tops, but long as it was draining more than 30 ml per 24 hour period it was still doing it's job. So having it in 2 weeks longer than originally thought grew old. Today when it came out I celebrated, did a happy dance & called Royd when the nurse left today. This is a big deal.

What does this mean...

It means that the constant pain and discomfort are pretty much non-existent
It means that I can start to use my right arm again more regularly.
It means that I can leave the house and not be worried about the open area and infection
It means that my kids are not grossed out by the sight of the drain
It means that I can give a regular hug
It means that I no longer have to worry about tubes and CC' units of fluid in a 24 hour period
It means that the health nurse will not have to visit any more (I am grateful for the awesome nurses that did visit, it made life so much easier)
It means that I can have a regular bath with out worrying about getting dressings wet.
It means that my energy will begin to return
It means that I will be able to drive soon
It means I can sit & stand without fear of the tubes getting caught or pulled
It means I can walk without pulling my arm in to protect my side
It means that I can begin to move more, and begin living once again away from my couch.
It means that I for the first time in a month I can try to sleep on my right side. My favorite way to sleep.
Which means MAYBE I will get a full nights sleep and put an end to 2 or 3 hour sleeping stints and cat naps through the day.

It means FREEDOM!

It means that my body is healing! And this is a huge BLESSING!

I am truly thankful for the team of medical professionals who have been coming and caring for me. They have been professional and kind. They have taken time to answer my questions both when they were in my home or when I called on the phone. Thank you!

I am forever thankful for friends and family who have been supportive bringing meals, or coming here to cook, picking up the girls and chauffeuring them around town. For the many cards and emails, beautiful flowers, words of encouragement and most of all Prayers. I know that my little family has been blessed over and over and over. I have seen God at work through the lives of many. Thank you so very much my dear friends and family - we would not be thriving if it were not for each of you.