I Am A Warrior!

It is the third day that I am home from the hospital; I came home on Friday 8/23. It wasn’t easy but thankfully, Larry was able to get a wheelchair and ramp from our local surgical supply store. He and my son, Rich, were able to get me up the stairs and into the house since I cannot walk or use crutches.  It’s been a challenge, today I’m feeling a bit better but I have been crying (a lot) since my surgery last Tuesday. 

It seems, every time I go to the hospital, I vomit and get the dry heaves from the anesthesia.  The night of my surgery, I called for the nurse after getting sick; she came in and said, “Don’t be a wimp”. In a very “unwimpy” tone, I let her know that she had no idea of what I have been through…the last thing that I am is a wimp! But then I apologized because I don’t want to be angry taking out my frustration on others. I don’t like the way that I have been; I’ve either been crying or acting like a real bitch.  She ended up sitting down so we could chat.  She became teary eyed when I told her all of the things that have happened since December.  So far, this has probably been the worst year of my life. It started in December with the lung tumor surgery (surgery #1), dealing with Mommy and Danny’s illnesses, then the back surgery (surgery #2), then losing Danny and Mommy, then 2nd tumor in my lung (surgery #3), a broken collarbone followed by a tumor in my good leg (surgery #4). 

They started me on physical therapy the day after surgery and oh my God did it hurt…it hurt so much that when I was done, I threw up and couldn’t eat for the entire day. 

I was blessed with a few nurses who gave me some much-needed inspiration.  The day that I threw up after PT, a nurse’s aide named Wanda came in to make my bed.  I was sitting up in a chair and had been crying when she came in.  She asked me what happened to my leg and all that I managed to say was, tumor. She asked how soon would I know if it was malignant and I told her I already knew; yes, it was malignant.  It turned out that Wanda was a five year breast cancer survivor and began to tell me her story.  When she got her diagnosis, she just cried and cried and cried; at the time, she had 2 children ages 10 & 15. It was her 15 year old daughter who finally at one point said, “Mom it’s time to stop crying it’s enough, it’s time to start fighting”! I said to her that giving up is not an option and she was floored because that is what she also says to herself all the time…giving up is not an option! 

Wanda and I continued to talk and based on our conversation, I could tell that she was a very spiritual person with a strong faith in God.   I inquired if I could ask her a personal question while adding that it was OK if she didn’t answer. Wanda said go ahead, so I proceeded to ask her if she was scared when she was faced with death.  She emphatically said “Heck Yea”!  Who wouldn’t be, we’re human” she continued to say that it’s OK to be a little frightened and upset but God gave us tear ducts for a reason…I never thought about it that way.

I also had a male nurse named Randy who told me about his faith in God. He told me that he knew that I was going to be well and that I’m a chosen one….I’m not too sure about that!  I think that we are all chosen ones.  It was so encouraging to have people like that to inspire me and pick me up when I was down; they were a big help.

On Friday I was discharged and wheeled down to the first floor to wait with the nurse for Larry to pick me up.  I packed shorts because it was warm and I thought it would be easier than trying to put pants over my heavily bandaged swollen leg.  So, there I am waiting in the wheelchair with ugly white compression stockings on each leg, and my arm in a sling. People walk by and try not to make it obvious but you can tell they are wondering, what the heck happened to her?! I told the nurse that I looked like a cheap hooker that got beat up!  All I needed was a black eye, broken teeth and a purple hat for Larry….I cracked myself up! You definitely have to keep a sense of humor that’s for sure!

Coming home and being wheelchair bound has been demeaning, depressing and I feel as though I have lost my dignity.  Going to the bathroom is the most challenging of all because I can’t fit the wheel chair in the bathroom so I wheel myself (with one arm because of the broken collarbone) to the bathroom door as close as I can get.  I then stand on my left leg; the one that was previously operated on and hold on to the specially made walker that has a handle in the middle. In order to move myself closer to the toilet, I slowly twist my left foot inches at a time while trying to not put any pressure on the operated leg which is nearly impossible.  The pain is excruciating and going in the middle of the night is the scariest because I am afraid that I may fall since I am so tired.

It has not been easy….it’s been hard for my husband, Larry but he doesn’t complain.  He cooks for me, takes care of me even giving me my daily heparin injections in my stomach. I know that it isn’t easy for him because I know that he is scared.  I’m so grateful for him and my family.  My boys came to visit and my daughter in law Christa came over and hung out with me in my bed for hours talking and looking at pictures like we were two school girls.  Her family has been so supportive too; even Aunt Nancy came over with food and pastries. 

It’s times like these that make you realize how blessed you are. 

Sometimes when I meditate, I feel as though I can hear things internally like a gut feeling so to speak. Last night, I could “hear” You’re a warrior, it was if someone said it to me out loud. I thought about everything that I’ve been going through and then said to myself, maybe I am a Warrior!

Something else that I received last week while meditating was the word acceptance.  I need to accept what’s going on…acceptance doesn’t mean giving in to it, it just means this is the path that I am on right now. I have to trust God, make the best of it and accept it.  I also felt the words, “Go with the flow” and “Get a grip”.

My four current mantras that keep me going are:

I Am A Warrior***Acceptance***Go With The Flow*** Get A Grip 

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