I had another appointment with my plastic surgeon today and the last of the sutures have been removed. Why this is such a big deal, it's hard for me to even understand, maybe because it means that surgeries are finally behind me. I have to continue with lifting/pushing /pulling restrictions for another three weeks, nothing heavier than a gallon of milk, but surprisingly I am allowed to drive as long as I don't take any pain meds! Doc said driving actually good exercise, helps stretch out the muscles. Last week I could have cared less, but since I have started to feel a little better the idea of a little excursion is pretty appealing. We will see, maybe I should start with a walk down the block first!
After my appointment, I walked around my yard, I took a good look at how my garden survived the winter. This was an unusually cold winter for us, hard on a lot of my plants and yard. There are some bright spots, daffodils blooming, hostas peeking up through the ground, lots of perenials greening up under the dead leaves but I've lost a lot as well. Many of my shrubs have dead and broken limbs, there are sunken areas in the yard, empty places where plants once were. I will replant this spring and it will be beautiful again, but different, it won't be the same.
While walking the garden it just struck me how my own life was similiar to my garden. Cancer is hard, it has taken it's toil on me. Just as my garden has changed after a hard winter, I am changed because of my cancer. I have a body that carries the scars of multiple surgeries, responds in ways that can be difficult to deal with, brain doesn't always think clearly, and emotions that spill over too easily. I feel like I have aged 10 years in the last 8 months. This is not who I imagined I would be.... wife, mother, grandmother yes, but "cancer survivor"?! (don't get me wrong I am glad I am a survivor, that's not what I am saying) My bright spots in all of this...one would be the anniversary trip I had with my husband.(wonderful celebration) and the many friends who have rallied around and cared for us so well.
When you are diagnosised with cancer, you don't just wake up one morning and say, "wow, glad this is over" I wish it were that easy. Cancer, now becomes part of who you are. I will continue to see my oncologist and surgeon, though not as frequently. They will look for evidences of cancer's return (my surgeon told me I would be following up with him till he retired..umm he's a lot younger than me, does that mean forever?) Not my focus right now, I just want to enjoy each day and live it with no regrets.