While at the Mariners game on Friday night, we decided to spend the rest of the weekend camping. It was supposed to be great weather so we had to take advantage. We headed out I-90 and camped at Denny Creek and hiked at Lodge Lake.
There were a few moments that just made me laugh SO hard over the weekend. I love to get that tickled by something and it doesn't happen very often. The only bad part is that it hurts my incision and then causes nausea. Hilarious.
Rosie complains that she takes the worst photos, but she won't stop talking when the camera comes out because she's uncomfortable. It inevitably leads to a bad photo. Anyway, she said something so ridiculous that we could not stop laughing. Also, I am SO pale.
We had a great weekend and then on the way home, the freeway was closed completely down because of accident and we sat there for two hours with dead cellphones. They diverted us off the freeway and we had no idea how to get home because we didn't have the Google maps app - pitiful. We finally made it and then ended the weekend with some friends over for the first soup dinner of the fall.
I've written before about my love for John Green. I put off going to the theater to see The Fault in Our Stars because of the cancers, but Steph rented it the other night. I don't know why I thought it was a good idea. I'd cried on Sunday. I'd cried on Monday when Stan hugged me. And then one hour later I started this movie. I cried within the first five minutes when she says, "Depression isn't a side effect of cancer. It's a side effect of dying." Ugh. I lasted an hour and then had to go to bed.
Around 3:00am I woke up and was wide awake. Worst idea ever to finish the movie lying in bed in a dark room. I'm serious when I say that I totally mirrored this scene as it happened. Just sobbing into my pillow. Cancer, y'all - it's the effing worst.
I woke up with swollen eyes and totally deflated. I "worked from home" that day. I was dragging. I loved the book and the movie is good, but don't torture yourself with it. No need.
It's just been one of those weeks. I'll be happy to see it end.
Yesterday I was lying in bed convincing myself to get up for church and I had a realization. I had three things to do that day - church, friend over to watch the football game, and a picnic at a beach. I was having a bit of a panic because I couldn't see how I was going to do all three things.
I'm tired you guys.
These don't seem that hard, but after church I was talking to Stephanie and Stacey about it and started tearing up. That was when I knew it was time for a nap. And thankfully, the friend coming for the football game cancelled.
We went to the beach, but Alena drove my car and I was nauseated and only stayed for an hour. I definitely have some limits these days and it's a bummer.
We made our annual "end of summer" trip out to Lake Chelan this weekend. A friend's family has a few houses out there. We stayed at her place on the Columbia River and swam off the huge dock at her aunt and uncle's house on the lake. We even picked apples straight off his tree. He bought several acres back in the 1980s and I can't even imagine what that property is worth now. Anyway, a great weekend with gorgeous blue skies.
I jumped off this dock into the water and it was freezing. I also realized that I have not used muscles in 9 months and some have been cut in half during that time. Let's just say that I stuck close to the dock for fear of drowning. Ouch. It was some clear, beautiful water though.
I had a scan on Tuesday. Prior to the scan I had to medicate because I was freaking. Lots of crying and lots of feelings. It's a nerve-wracking thing knowing they could tell you something has come back and you're sick again. Also, the whole PTSD/vomitting/worst pain of my life/ambulance thing that happened with a previous scan.
I had the follow-up appointment today, but first thing yesterday morning my phone rang with the caller ID coming up the cancer clinic. SO not something you want to see a day ahead of your appointment. After a small heart attack, they just needed to move up my appointment a few hours. Don't they realize?
A clean bill of health today. I feel like I need another giant nap coming off the energy of the last two days. Everyday this week I've walked in the door from work, eaten and gotten in bed. I'm SO tired. All I can think about is when and where I can lie down next.
p.s. I think I'm going to order these glasses? What do you think? Not too hipster-ish, right?
I want to talk about my surgeon still. I've looked at the picture of us an embarrassing number of times this week. I think my mom, sisters, and I all came out of this experience with small-medium crushes on him and his South African accent. I'm not sure if I got special treatment because of my boss, but I like to think he just really liked me. Shoot, maybe this is how he treats all of his patients and I'm not special at all, but either way I'm so, SO thankful that he was my surgeon. I'm going to just write down a few Gary stories so I can remember them.
- The first time he walked into the SICU he kicked out the resident who was breaking the cancer news VERY badly. He told me I just went from here (hand at his thigh) to VIP status (hand above his head), because my boss was talking to all the right people. Then he proceeded to walk through my options and I asked him who would make the decision. "You", he responded. Talk about the most overwhelming moment of my life. Shortly after that was the first "holy shit, I have cancer" meltdown with Leigh, Bill and Steph surrounding my bed. The saddest.
- He came to see me the next day and at the end of the visit I cracked a joke as he was walking out of the room. He turned and asked me to repeat myself. He laughed and said, "Good. You are going to need that sense of humor to get through this."
- His surgery schedule is booked out months in advance so when I ended up in the hospital in early May and they decided I had to have surgery, they worked hard to find open OR time and he came to work on his day off to perform my surgery the next week.
- When they wheeled me into the OR he held my hand and talked to me as they put me under anesthesia. He asked if I wanted him to email my boss after the surgery because he knew that he was worried.
- The surgery was a little over seven hours and when he came to talk to my family, he asked my little brother to stand up, so he could sit. He was exhausted. I'm so thankful for such dedication.
- I think he was always a little shocked at how well I was doing post surgery, even calling me a superstar at one point. In his email to my boss (yes, I read it), he warned him on Monday that things were going well, but it was still too early to tell. I think he was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Probably because he wanted to keep me around longer ;)
- I wore my hair in a top knot during surgery on Thursday and then didn't look in a mirror or touch it again until Tuesday. He came in that day during rounds and was like, "You look SO much better." Thanks.
- He came to my room one afternoon and talked to me about several things and then told me that the pathology had come back with good news. I was like, "Way to bury the lead, Gary!"
- During post-op check ups, he'd examine my abdomen and then just rest his hand on my lower abdomen and pat it as he talked to me. It was such a kind/weird thing to do since most every other doctor would barely touch me during this whole process.
- Last month when I was crying in his office about getting the feeding tube out, I told him I was taking the easy way out using it to hydrate. His response, "well, at least you can admit that you're being lazy." Ha! I told my oncologist this story and she asked if I kicked him for that.
Clearly, I've got the opposite of Florence Nightingale effect happening. I feel like people are infinitely more attractive when they are good at their jobs. I was talking to an anesthesiology resident and when she heard he was my surgeon, she was like, "oh yeah, he's the best." Girl, I know. I love him. I'll get over it and move on with life, but he's my #MCM (man crush monday) right now.
This morning I had the last appointment with my surgeon. I hope and pray it's the end of the road for him and me. I love him and will weirdly miss him, but I don't want to see him again as a patient. He works just down the hall from me, so hopefully I will run into him once in a while.
They took out my j-tube (feeding tube) so I'm on my own for food and water now. That was a scarier prospect last month, but I'm feeling a lot better about it now.
And now a word about residents. In all my experiences the last 8 months, I've liked/respected exactly 2 residents. They are the worst and have said some really awful things to me. His residents always see me before him and ask a round of questions. Today, the girl had the audacity to ask me if I was trying to lose weight. Uh no, I don't have a stomach so it's a little hard to maintain my current weight. Annoying. Then she was concerned that I was taking a pain med for discomfort after eating. I think if my oncologist is ok, then you, as a resident, can get over it. And Gary didn't even mention it when he came in, so I like to imagine that he told her to stuff it. I've been through a lot and a little pain medicine is fine.
Anyway, so incredibly thankful for smart, talented, caring people who are good at their jobs.
On my way to work this morning, I turned a corner and saw a little redheaded boy around 4 years old crying in his pajamas. He was standing there looking really lost. I went around the block and he'd walked a few houses away. I pulled over and got out of the car. I asked him where his mom was and through his tears he said, "she said she was just going to the school, but I can't find her." SO sad. I asked where his house was and if anyone was home - his 7 year old sister. His house was down the block with the door open. I grabbed my phone and started to walk him home with the intention of sitting on the porch with him until his mom came home again.
She came around the corner as we walked towards his house and she asked what was wrong. "I told you I was just walking to the school", she said.
YEAH, but he's four in the house with no adult. I told her that I found him on the corner looking for her. She seemed to shrug it off and walked into their house. No thank you, nothing. I mean this lady is lucky that I hadn't called the police.
So I ask you - would you leave a 4 and 7 year old alone even to walk five blocks and back? I'm all for free range parenting, but he seemed a little too young. Why not just have them walk with you?
The slowest three hours of the week - 2:00pm-5:00pm on Friday afternoon.
Sharon and I went to see The Hundred Foot Journey last night and I really loved it. It wasn't groundbreaking by any means, but it was so pleasant. I don't need a million explosions and 20 minute fight scenes to be entertained in the summertime.
Sharon, who is in her 70s, and I were also dressed as twins - both in navy and white striped sweaters. Stan, her husband, got a big kick out of that.
My Aunt Kathy and Uncle Dean were in town last weekend. They know Sharon and Stan from 40 years ago and let me tell how awkward it is to be standing there with two women who are telling each other how great they think you are and crying about it. It's very kind, but so so embarrassing.
I've been sucked into MTV's Awkward and while I don't necessarily recommend it, there is a mean girl who insults you and then says "you're welcome" as though she's doing you a favor. It is my very favorite thing right now.