I had major surgery on Monday, May 22nd so that my oncological team could try to find the elusive origin of the cancer that is lurking around in my body parts. In spite all of my bluster and bravado about my kicking cancer’s ass, right now I am in the midst of having had my ass kicked pretty badly....and I have to admit that I have become quite the weenie.
As many who know me have said, “You have never done things the easy way.” Of course, this cancer journey has been no exception. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my greatest fear is being helpless and dependent, and that is pretty much how I have felt since Monday. I now have a Frankenstein cut from my navel on down, which most likely will limit my bikini wearing possibilities for this summer. Even with the ugliness of this incision, my inability to use my core muscles has made daily functions nigh on impossible. Daily activities--turning over in bed, trying to get disentangled from IVs, trying to get out of my hospital bed, trying to do anything involving those core muscles--have become a near Sisyphean ordeal. Despite my apparent setbacks I am getting better one day at a time.
Nevertheless, the caregivers at Parkview were helpful, kind, and encouraging. My family and friends have been helpful and kind and encouraging. Their collective, nameless acts of kindness and love are what are helping to propel me through this dark period where I have been nearly totally dependent.
However, the point of this blog is to thank Donna Roof. She has been and continues to be my angel of mercy. She has been my main caregiver, advocate, and cheerleader. She stayed at the hospital with me every night to make sure that I was okay. She has encouraged me every step of the way, keeping track of my walks and my food intake, and making me come up with daily goals so that I will get stronger.
|My caregivers: Max Quigley, Donna Roof, and |
MacGyver (MacG never leaves my side).
“When you're down and troubled And you need a helping hand And nothing, nothing is going right Close your eyes and think of me And soon I will be there To brighten up even your darkest night.”
However, I have had excellent training as a die-hard Cubs’ fan, and I have learned that disappointment and despair are just another day at the ballpark.
While the score is currently Cancer 1, Phyllis 0, I am only at the bottom of the first inning, and I have lots of good folks in my corner who are rooting for me.