It has been three months since colon surgery, four since the beginning of chemo treatments. And I want to acknowledge that there is a lot of process happening in the realm of healing.
A miracle has occurred. AND, there are a lot of humans, and a lot of cells of this human, that are still singing back up to the lead.
The neuropathy in my fingers makes cooking and cleaning, crafts and typing, tingly and “painful”. My left thumb, left pointer, and left center fingers are currently hard to guide, typing the wrong letter half the time. I can feel it the right hand at the moment, but is having less obvious effects.
The wound is still open, which sounds worse than it appears. It looks like I have a second belly button two inches below the first, not too impressive. But it is seven centimeters deep again. It heals. It unheals. It gets “packed” every day or two. That’s when the hole is filled with material. In the past, it felt like having someone open the space and then blast it with a culinary torch. Now, it is mostly annoying and rarely painful. Today the wound nurse, Nancy, popped a blister inside near the opening. That wasn’t comfortable. But overall, the process has grown to tolerable. And Nancy is a kind and wonderful nurse, so visiting her every week or two is a gift.
I’m gaining weight. If I was a twiggy cancer survivor, that would be positive. It could be because I am consciously trying to eat protein four times a day for the wound. It could be just eating in general. Or lack of the extraordinary motion of my historic self being shifted to couch potato status, or rather, active potato, like one slowly rolling down a gradual decline.
I don’t know what is happening in the uterus. It is on the back burner. But I do experience “post traumatic stress” when I think about a hysterectomy. I just can’t fathom another surgery. I had post traumatic stress markers when I watched myself think at the clinic today. There was a blood draw, and my mind wanted to run away. “Fight or flight,” it screamed. The young lady taking the blood was perfect and I felt nothing. I watched the overall situation, and pondered my self. When Nancy measured the depth of the hole, and faced down the hematoma, same reaction. The mind is a strange. Post traumatic stress needs to be handled like a child. Hold it’s hand. Listen deeply. Great empathy. And a Thai ice tea shake with boba after the experience.
My body is sore. It’s hard to convince it to walk. My hips hurt. My right arm has one muscle that is super tight. I rarely sleep over two hours before I wake, then sleep another two, and another. Sometimes my inner heart is exhausted!
Three months is not a lot of time. Three months. I could easily have left this planet for another experience. Giving myself a handful of months to put it back together feels valid.
If you are healing from something enormous, three months is nothing. Keep healing. Keep holding your own hand, listening, having empathy. Sometimes your inner heart is exhausted.