Tonight felt like a homecoming of sorts. Nick's most amazing Mom, Virginia, flew in from Boston to spend a long weekend with us. Seeing her was wonderful, familiar, yet fuzzy. You see, the last time she was here was late April, right before, during and after my double mastectomy (the real terminology is bilateral mastectomy, but I like mine better). I was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 20th, and on April 28th, I had my surgery and Virginia was already here. That means she jumped on a plane immediately upon hearing our news so she could acclimate with the family for a day or two before I went under the knife, and then she stayed for a total of nine days. What do I remember from that time? Not much.
I think most of my memories are actually from the few photos taken during that time, including checking into the hospital with Nick, Virginia and Diane in tow (photo of me holding my urine specimen cup). Waiting for a long time in pre-op before surgery (photo of Krista visiting to offer survivor support and giving me a foot rub). Me laying in my hospital room with my hair in braids post surgery (photo of Virginia giving me Reiki as I lay there unconscious). And after that? I really have no idea. That's scary.
I kind of remember coming home and various people cleaning out the drains in my sides, and maybe a visit to the plastic surgeon. Things start getting clearer as I remember going for my post surgery Petscan with Nick, Virginia and Nick's sister Wendy. That is the day Virginia left. Just when I started coming out of the fog.
My conversation with Virginia tonight about her time here back in April was startling because I was here, but I really wasn't. She said I was fairly miserable and in a lot of pain. She also said that the kids were totally whacked out, especially Jenny-Jane, who pretty much went off the deep end. Nothing could make her happy. Thank God I wasn't really aware of what was going on.
All this seems poignant because my friend Gabbee had her surgery two weeks ago, and Pat had hers last week. I thought I remembered more than I do, and I thought I kind of "sailed through". I guess not. It was definitely rough and these gals are in the thick of it now. Good news is that kind of like childbirth (which I don't really know because I had C-Sections), you forget the worst of it. I think that's the mind's way of sparing your sanity so you can move on with your life after traumatic events. So gals, I am hopeful that you will forget the ugliest parts, like I did.
What I find amazing is how far I've come since Virginia's last visit. I've checked so many things off my cancer treatment to-do list: surgery-check, 4 months chemo-check, chest expander fills- check, started radiation-check, and most wonderfully, finally feeling more like myself-check!
I am looking forward to a special weekend where I can enjoy Virginia's company, and actually remember our time together. From what Nick and she said tonight, I'm actually a little surprised she came back. I guess I wasn't the sweetest of patients early on. Thank you to all my caregivers, especially Nick, Virginia, Diane, Wendy and Claudia, who endured my wrath. Thank God you are family and have to still love me. Don't you? (please say yes!)
Have a very happy weekend,