Okay, Susan, cut to the chase. For those of you who read my last post, Today’s Letter is “C”, you might remember that I’ve been spending way, way, way too much time visiting the gynecological oncologist and was heading in for a complete hysterectomy because there were some suspicious growths, particularly a neoplasm on my ovary, and every time I took the blood test for ovarian cancer, it rose significantly higher.
The good news is that everything, everywhere was benign. My biggest fear—that I’d have to deal with the logistics and complications of chemotherapy and radiation without any support—is no more. Since I’m post-menopausal, the only thing all that tissue could do is start acting funky, so I’m better off without it.
I spent two lovely nights in air-conditioned luxury at the hospital sleeping on a bed with a perfect mattress that I could adjust any way I wanted. Almost better was the fact that I could push a button and get ice water. I had no access to my computer or the Internet so I couldn’t write, research, or answer emails.
This, for a writer, is called a vacation.
I haven’t slept that well in ages. For all of you who face gynecological surgery, I suspect you might not be in a lot of pain. I wasn’t. I stopped with the pain meds less than 12 hours after surgery when I realized there was no difference if I did or didn’t take them. I had hoped the heavy-duty opioids would help with my unrelenting migraine pain, but they didn’t.
Post-surgery life is . . . uncomfortable. Instead of a line of sutures, I have a zipper on my stomach and that’s just plain weird feeling. The staples rub against my skin and there’s something just wrong about that. Pressure against the incision stings and it feels like there’s a cannon ball in my belly trying to come out. But the only real pain comes from the fact that, when they open you up, gas gets in—and I think we’ve all experienced the joys of gas pains.
Now that I’m home, I’ve discovered just how exhausting deep level physical healing is, but those little muscle cells keep growing together bit by bit and I can feel myself minutely getting stronger every second. The way things are going, I won’t be doing much writing for the next few weeks, but my stress level is low as I’m post-surgery, post-fear of cancer, and even almost post-car blues (my Mazda should come home in a couple of days).
I’m accustomed to fighting to live as full a life as possible despite severe brain issues. I now have to keep doing that while also doing everything in my power to heal quickly and fully from my surgery. It’s going to involve a lot of resting, eating right, limiting my movements, and preventing the cat from leaping on my belly in wild abandon. Actually, this is the only official form of exercise I can get—catching the cat mid-air as he launches himself purring at me. At least he’s cuter than my rowing machine (if not as efficient).
I want to thank everyone for your good wishes, prayers, and thoughts. I was extremely surprised to hear from so many kind and caring people that I’ve never met and only know me from a few words that have been published here. With the exception of a few people I know locally, I’m pretty much on my own and it’s much harder to get anything accomplished that way. But, because of those of you who have sent me the healing power that resides in our hearts, I have felt more support and that is something I desperately need on this journey.
Susan Franzblau is currently convalescing in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom with her lord and master (a mostly black cat named Raisin) while waiting for Western or Eastern medicine, luck, or chance to end an unrelenting severe migraine. In her copious amount of spare time, Susan reads, visits doctors, reads, goes to her acupuncturist, reads, watches TV, plays Sudoku, reads, beta-reads/edits/proofs colleague’s work, and when the migraine eases up enough to let her think clearly, Susan writes sexy romance novels under a pseudonym and designs fun and comfortable clothing derived from photos of nature at www.vermontseasons.net.
(Image: “Unzipped Sign” by digitalart)