Oh here it is – it’s me! I’m the beef. Let me tell you ladies, if Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood audio-tape didn’t make you feel like a piece of meat – this surely will! This funny looking smiley face featured in the photo below is drawn on me and will serve as the highly sophisticated “road map” my surgeon will be using to guide his slicing and dicing today during my 10 hour carving session. I mean, seriously?!
Not only does the fact that a Sharpie – that could have been borrowed from my 8 year-old – being applied to your body to “mark” the spot where major surgery will be performed seem alarming, what is worse is he applied it 2 days prior to surgery. Um…does no one shower?! The lines are barely even visible any more, and although he asked if I could have someone “freshen it up” – no one in their right mind is willing to go near that responsibility with a 10 foot pole – or an 8 year-old’s Sharpie as it were.
So, the first of my two 10 hour surgeries is today – likely happening while you’re reading this. I have the easy job – I just have to lie there and stay asleep. I am in awe of surgeons who do these lengthy, intense surgeries on an almost daily basis. I have a thousand infantile questions of course – like…how does he eat? Pee? Etcetera? I’ll have to ask him tomorrow and report back. I would be hard pressed to get through 2 hours without a snack and a chair – never mind 10!!!! Like I said, I have the easy part.
My friends and family have been reminding me though that I tend to “romanticize” my hospitalizations and surgeries and forget how miserable and painful the recovery is. I see their point. I do get a little irrationally excited about the “rest” and quiet time to read and loaf around that I’ll have in the hospital and recovering. I do tend to forget the horrific pain, frustration, and sometimes life threatening complications that come with all this, and how limiting and annoying it is to not be able to do normal things like sleep or shower without pain and lots of assistance. Right. So I know there is all that to deal with.
However, I have just returned from some whirlwind traveling to distribute checks to various cancer centers. These trips were humbling, awe-inspiring, amazing. and I’ve learned a few life lessons I’m trying to keep in the forefront.
Number one, STFU. This is far and away the most important life lesson I am coming home with. When I am even thinking about formulating a complaint in my head – like about the recovery from these surgeries – I think about the perspective I just gained from my friends dealing with metastatic breast cancer, horrific, unending side effects of unending treatment, and I silently slap my brain and just think STFU right now! I am talking to myself here – but if you want to take some of this perspective for yourselves – be my guest and STFU too 🙂 and I mean that in the loveliest way possible! Let me explain. First of all, for those of you who do not speak “text” – which I believe may be quickly replacing Mandarin as the most popular language on the planet – I will give you a quick tutorial. STFU stands for Shut The F*&^ Up, not to be confused with LMAO (Laughing My A** Off) or DILLIGAS (DO I LOOK LIKE I GIVE A SH&^?) 🙂
After traveling around setting up “Angel Funds” in different cities for patients with metastatic breast cancer in financial need, and hearing about how many cannot pay for childcare while they receive treatment, or afford to keep their lights on because their medical costs have eaten through their savings, and they are unable to work – and then hearing about the unimaginable pain friends like Beth Calabotta have been forced to endure along with extreme physical limitations now and terrifying prognoses, my head is spinning gratitude for my blessings. Despite the cancer, and despite the surgeries I have coming up, this is nothing compared to what these people are facing. I have a great support system, access to great doctors, resources, and only Stage 3c cancer. I should really, seriously, STFU and count my blessings not my burdens. And so I am.
I am so thankful I have the opportunity to have these restorative surgeries. I am as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve. I was in such a horrible place mentally and physically this time last year, and now I am heading into months of recovery, not just from operations, but from all of this. A chance to at least get back some of what has been lost and move forward feeling whole again.
I am so thankful for the amazing outpouring of love, support, prayers, well wishes, little comfort presents, texts, and good vibes sent my way by so many people, and all of you who take the time to read this and let me know you are with me. Thank you, thank you so much.
I will provide updates as soon as I’m able and answer the burning questions of how surgeons take care of their bodily needs and functions during a 10 hour surgery!! I’ll get answers:) Be well my friends. Thanks for the support and healing energy!
Go have a hamburger in my honor :)!