Saturday, April 24, 2010

Back Home

It's Becky here! The Usual Blogging Woman's Very Own Daughter's Mother and the Sister of the High Maintenance Aunt is finally checking in.

And just to warn you advance, I'm on some pretty heavy pain meds, so I really can't be responsible for anything I type. But I must say--it feels so good to actually have a chance to update. I've felt sort of "lost" for the past 36 hours with no way of being in touch with you all, except, of course, for the aforementioned wonderful ladies who updated on my behalf. (Debbie and Sarah were going to post further updates throughout the day, but when we moved from the surgery side to the inpatient side, there was no Internet available.)

Debbie mentioned in her post my comment that the whole experience was "harder than I had thought it would be." And it really was. As in a LOT harder, on every front. And it's still hard right now. I hurt more than I thought it would hurt. The drains (all four of them) are more uncomfortable than I had anticipated. And getting me in and out of a bed requires heavy machinery and an Act of Congress.

All in all? Not so much fun. And I haven't started addressing the emotional side of the whole thing--I think the pain meds have dulled my brain enough so that the reality of my situation isn't really sinking in yet. When the drains are removed, and the large dressings are taken off, then I will have plenty more adjustments to make.

The surgeon told Steve that he had to cut into some muscle in my chest wall in order to get all the cancer out and achieve clear margins, so I know that added to my pain load. And then a mastectomy without the expanders being placed immediately is usually less painful than a mastectomy with immediate placement of expanders. Which is what I had. Ouch.

So at this point in my life, bereft of my frontal protuberances (wasn't that delicate?) with hair unwashed, wearing no makeup, and sleeping in the ugliest of comfy clothes, I'm wondering if I will look (or feel) pretty again. I'm just so totally overwhelmed by the meds, the pain, the experience itself and the reality of what it is all going to mean for me down the road. It's a tough journey. And no amount of pain meds can negate that fact.

But in spite of it all, I did feel peace yesterday--after I had gotten through the steadily increased dosages of pain meds (they had to call the surgeons for permission to keep upping the doses) and the nausea, and the vomiting, and the discomfort, when I was finally wheeled over to a patient room and put (ouch) into (ouch) my bed, I watched the door close behind the nurse and I laid on the bed in perfect silence, and in almost perfect peace. I knew for a fact that hundreds and hundreds of you around the world had been praying and were praying, and that your prayers brought peace.

And so rather than blathering on right now in my fragile emotional state, I will just close here by saying thank you for praying and for sending messages and for caring enough about our family to check in with us so frequently. We are so blessed to be a part of the Smithellaneous circle of friends.


And one more thing--we only call Debbie high maintenance to tease her; she is actually one of the most selfless, funny, giving, big-hearted people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. (And she didn't even pay me to say that!)

34 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Sue G said...

I am heading to the airport in a few minutes to fly home from Chicago after my biopsies. I am so grateful to have had a chance to read your update before leaving. I needed to hear your voice, cyber or otherwise.

So glad you are home. So glad you are on the road to recovery and total healing. So glad you have surrounded yourself with family and pain pills. Nice combo.

Take laxatives, too. Just trust me with that.

Be well, and I will be in touch as soon as I can.

Love you.

Anonymous said...

Still praying for you!! I can only imagine what you are feeling on all fronts but am glad to hear there are moments of peace. (((gentle hugs))).

Kris H

Michelle said...

Hoping and praying you're feeling better soon - physically AND emotionally. You are so blessed to have such a close family ... but, then, they're blessed to have you, too! :)

MaryH said...

WOW - AMAZING - Becky - so wonderful to hear directly from YOU!! If that isn't strength and a mindset to get on with and over all of this, I don't know what is. Not that we didn't enjoy hearing from the other two wonderful ladies, but what a lift to my spirits. Now, just take one moment at a time. You will deal with or cry about or laugh because of each moment in its own time, at its own place in this journey. There is time to heal, there are plenty of people who love you who will be by your side, moment by moment. Rest and sleep. We have the praying part covered. Take care, my friend. I just had to check once more before leaving the office and I am so glad I did! I will be thinking of you and checking in on Monday.

lesley said...

Becky, how wonderful that you are 'with it' enough to type! LOL. I would be out straight for at least 3 days, moaning in the bed and requiring all sorts of everything from anyone and everyone. I am not a good patient. I aspire to be you.

I second the stool softener/laxative thing. Those pain meds can really do a number on the intestines!

Now, don't worry about us, we are praying and are happy to wait for any updates.

Rest and more rest, that's the ticket.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so amazed to hear from you! Praying for you to be pain free soon. Know that you are being lifted up in prayer in Ga.

Debbie Waters

Anonymous said...

good to hear from you yourself, Becky!!!

mrs pam

Anonymous said...

Great to hear from you in person, Becky! Now go back to bed in your comfy clothes, pop a few pain meds, have some chocolate, and chill out for the rest of the day. Oh, and BTW, I can second the advice from Sue G on the laxatives. Those pain pills do take a toll!

xxoo Linda Wellendorf

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky,

I'm so glad that your procedure went well yesterday and that you are on the mend. I'm sorry that you're feeling poorly and hope that you experience some improvement soon. It's wonderful that you are surrounded by your sweet family.

I'm thinking of Steve, Sarah, and Nathan, too. I'm a college student 1300 miles from home, and I come to your blog every day because you remind me of my own mama. I think you're awesome! :)

Take care.

Pam D said...

It's done... and that is HUGE. I know it's not totally done, but the big, scary looming mountain of surgery has been scaled. Every bit as challenging as anticipated and then some, but done. Now, time to heal... and we'll keep praying. You are beautiful no matter what, but thankfully there are many, many options now to help with self esteem; actresses and models continue to work after having mastectomies, and you'll be able to continue performing. Meanwhile, let the wonderful folks surrounding you pamper you... and be gentle with yourself. love you....

Anonymous said...

So impressed you checked in and updated already! Great to be able to hear from you so soon.
Sending lots of prayers for the recovery. Jill-FL

Kellie said...

Still praying for your PEACE and HEALING! Hang in there friend!

Dianna in Louisiana said...

Wow Becky..... You are SUPERWOMAN! I am so impressed that you are able to update. You are working through those initial physical and emotional pains, bit by bit, step by step, inch by inch.

I guess now is as good a time as any to to tell you how much I have come to love you and your family.
Though I don't comment too often, I am really just enchanted with you all and the sincere love that you share. I consider myself deeply blessed to witness your journey and have the utmost faith that you will face this battle with the same grace, beauty and poise that you have shown in the past.

We are here for you every step of the way.

In the Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ,

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Jane Snell Copes said...

Several years ago my friend Rebecca had a single mastectomy for the same DCIS. She lives alone and asked if I could help her with some garden work and with washing her hair in the kitchen sink. It was an honor to be of some help to her, and now she dances every Saturday night.

I'm SO glad you have many hands to help. Don't hesitate to ask for what you need, Becky. You've already "paid it forward" many times over. As if anyone keeps count of your kindnesses! Rest and heal. Rest and heal. Jane

A said...

Praying for you! It was great to see you blogging on here and thank you for being so honest. Remember this will pass and one day you will be here to see your son get married, meet your first grandchild, celebrate your daughter's wedding, and so much more to look forward to as you share your life with Steve. You are one amazing strong woman. I am so thankful for you and this blog. God Bless and I will continue to lift you up in prayer through out today and the days ahead.

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky

Am so relieved to hear from you - so quickly too! As ever your grace and dignity amazes & comforts me and like so many others, I share your sister Debbie's pride in you.

Make sure that you take things very easy and allow yourself every single second that you need to adjust to this in any way that feels right for you - just find the "Becky way" and know that as always you are surrounded in the love and prayers of your worldwide 'family'.

As always am sending you every spare piece of strength that I have....

Love and hugs to you, Steve, Nathan and as always an extra big hug for Sarah.

Nicky (Lake District, England)

Lauren said...

I'm glad you're home and doing about as well as you can be at this point! My mom suggested that you might check out the website - if you haven't already, that is. She said it had a lot of good, reassuring, informative stuff that helped her a lot pre- and post-surgery. Continuing to think of you and pray for a speedy recovery!

Ericka said...


Thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that this has been more difficult than you imagined. I pray that your recovery will be easier than you imagined:) I'm sure your "caregivers" will help tremendously...along with all the prayers!


Lisa said...

Wow - sitting here in tears (good ones), totally impressed that you can type so soon after such major surgery - and you were even coherent!
Wishing you well, and hoping that all the love and prayers from around the world really do help in your recovery.

Sue said...

Praying... and praying... and praying

Michelle said...

I'm glad your home and resting. Praying for you and your family.


Anonymous said...

prayers for quick and not too painful healing!!

Anonymous said...

Becky i hope you better with your surgery. I need prayers to myself too.

could i e-mail you when your feeling better


Unknown said...

I am so glad you are home and in your own bed and comfy pj's. I am sure you are still beautiful in Steve's eyes and always will be. Hope you feel better with every passing minute, hour and day. We will continue to pray for strength as you move along this path. My aunt is in the middle of her own breast cancer battle. She had a lumpectomy and is now in the middle of chemo and then will go through radiation. She has shaved her head and bought her first wig. This is just such an unfair, cruel disease in so many different forms. You are all warriors!
P.S. I forgot to thank you long ago for the kind words regarding my husbands music. He is still working on coming up with some catchier titles. It put a huge smile on his face to hear someone that doesn't know him thought the music he writes sounds good. Thank you again :).

JJRDsMomy said...

Becky, you are in my prayers. I am amazed at your bravery. Glad you are home and your pain is being managed. God bless you.

Jan said...

Becky, it's so good to your font so soon! You had a lot done to you, so just take it easy and let those who care about you care FOR you. And we'll handle the prayers. ;)

Anne said...

Becky, blessings on you as you heal in every which way! You are one brave lady...

LizW said...

How wonderful to hear from the lady herself! I will pray that your feeling of peace can be found more and more often as you get back on your feet. Surgery by itself takes time to recover from, but what you have been through requires a much bigger emotional readjustment. I hope you have been given the names of women you can call on who have also been through this.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Alyssa said...

So glad that you are home. Praying for the pain and discomfort to go away SOON and in NOW! Keeping you in my thoughts...

Alyssa (bennett kids godmother)

Anonymous said...

Becky, I hope you are having a relaxing Sunday. I was glad to read that you are at home and in the presence of some loving, helpful hands. Now, this is from the PT in me. MOVE. Even if you don't feel like it, moving a little more each day will help with the recovery. Be sure to be diligent with the range of motion exercises you have or will be given. This will make a big difference in the healing and swelling. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Anna

Unknown said...

oh gosh...I am so sorry when I reported awhile back that I found this surgery to be pretty pain-free. I also had expanders placed. I'm thinking now that I might be a freak of nature! :-)

Anyways, I'm so glad you're getting a little better each day...

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