Oct 8th I had my big reconstruction done. I was in the ICU for about four days and then regular room for a little less than 2 days and then I came home. The first few weeks my friend Kelly was here with me. Then my mom and dad came for three weeks. Now Joe's mom, Char, is staying with us for two weeks. It has been full of ups and downs. I've been trying very hard to be independent but, as hard as it has been for me, I had to have people help me. There was no other way I would be able to heal. Having Kelly and my family here for me during this recovery stage has been a blessing.
I've also been fortunate to have this amazing physical therapy place close to my house. It is called Stonebridge Bodyworks and it is amazing. It is a pilates based stretching and rehabilitation and it has been doing wonders for me. I'm having a LOT of issues with full range of motion in my arms. I can't lift my arms back and I can't lift them all the way up. Since I've been going there a week I can fully extend my left arm now. When I started going there I was still walking hunched over and now I'm walking fully upright (at least I think I am lol). My left side is going to take a LOT of work since the muscles are so tight because of the radiation. In addition, they are working on my core muscles since I had the tummy tuck. I go four days a week and a weekly massage is part of my therapy. Let me tell you, that really stinks (sarcasm). I really do love going to therapy, though. The way the stretching makes you feel as you are in this really strong, long stretch is amazing. Knowing you start an exercise fully tight and are so much smoother once you do it a few times pushes me so much. The trainer there jokes he has to watch it with me because he knows people by their personality and he knows I'm Type A -and will push it to the max if they don't watch me. It isn't I'm trying to hurt myself it is I want to see results!! I want to put that work in and get back just as much - it is my instant gratification in a process that is not at all instant results. What I mean is that I may see instant gratification within that exercise that day, but to get back to full range of motion and a strong core will most likely take months. The trainer is confident I will get so much more than range of motion. He is positive I will get a stronger core and confidence. I can already tell you that once the therapy is complete, I am going to need to find a place to continue what I'm doing now so I don't backslide.
Joey and Justin are doing great. My mother went to parent teacher conferences with me and they said they are both doing great. Both teachers say the kids are very hard on themselves (not sure how to fix this), but their school work is great. Justin is a strong reader and reading on a level much close to second grade and Joey is doing so well - especially with his writing! That floored me but we read this story about rain and this toy truck and the descriptive words he used was amazing. I sat there listening to the teacher read it to me, lost in a world of descriptive words, and thinking to myself, 'I can't believe this is a 4th grader who wrote this and not an adult author.' My heart soared. I love to write. Seeing my son with the same capabilities as I have and able to express himself made me relieved. I was relieved in the way that a parent is able to connect and share that part of themselves with their child. I know that years from now he will have the capability to write amazing things if he puts his mind to it. Writing isn't a given for everyone. Some people hate it, and some, such as myself, are so lucky as to be given this gift where we can write. We can inspire people. We can document our lives for our families. Mostly, it is therapeutic - we can use it to relax. Somehow getting all of our thoughts out of our heads and onto a screen, blog, paper or whatever the medium is - it is the most amazing and freeing feeling. No longer is your brain held captive to hold onto those memories for fear that 10 years down the road you will forget them. Scribble it down, save it and have that memory forever.
As I sit here tonight, it is 11:36 pm. Both boys are sleeping soundly upstairs. Char is in her room, most likely sleeping because I think we run her ragged here with our crazy schedule. I hear Joe sleeping soundly as I can hear him snoring over the hockey game in the living room. The cat is nestled upside down at the foot of my bed. I'm checking my text messages and I reply to one now and then. I am having a love/hate relationship with my white sheets that drape over my legs as one minute I'm hot, and then next minute I'm cold - a side effect from all my treatments. I'm contemplating sleep but this writing therapy feels so good. It has been so long since I've sat down and wrote.
I suppose I should be off to bed as morning comes all too soon. I'm thankful for every day. Every breath. My moments in the evenings are spent with my boys. Doing homework together is still an opportunity to be together. Tonight Justin and I read one of my favorite books, 'Green Eggs and Ham', and we giggled together as he would not eat it with a fox, and he would not eat it in a box. These are the moments I hope that even if my son does not remember that I spent 20 minutes today reading this book in my bed with him, that the feeling of love will last forever. Part of me is also thankful because I know one day he will have these excerpts from my blog to remind him of all the good things in his life. Life is good.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad