Oh October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month…a celebration of sisterhood, survivorship, inspirational stories, therapy advancements and remembrance. The pink has almost become happy..races, beauty shows at Saks, fundraising, team shirts. Don’t get me wrong, these are such essential components of breast cancer awareness. I’ve just really never been in the situation to have to worry about the “what if treatment doesn’t work” side of it all. I’ve always bounced back…and this time it’s taking so long.
Two months ago my system was so beat down from radiation and chemo…my blood counts weren’t horrible but I came into contact with a horrible bacterial infection that ended up knocking me down for nearly 3 weeks in a hospital bed where I was pretty much unconscious. ..not a coma but definitely not coherent. I when I woke up I couln” reall move anything on my own…one seond 39, vibrant, taking 3 mile walks and yoga the week before and sudden change.
So they transferred me to St. David’s Rehab Hospital to really start healing…again when I got there I couldn’t do too much. What I found there is unfortunately this happens to so many unsuspecting people whether through cancer, surgery, injury, stroke…your life can be uprooted at anytime…no matter your health or how much kale you eat. Those habits can definitely help you through but I doubt they are the end all be all or I wouldn’t be writing this.
So after nearly 4 week of therapy I can walk with a walker, I can type, feed myself, hold normal conversations, walk a little on my own, move around in a manual wheelchair, maneuver around by house a little to make simple meals and get used to getting around the house between walker and chair. I can’t be left alone at this point so I don’t fall and make this worse…my strength needs to continue to build. I’m doing mini crunches, lifting light weights, working on core strenght…but it’s not like just going to a trainer and bulking up…three wees of laying in a hospital in critical condition part of the time really made things a challenge. Somehow I made it through, with the love of my God, my family, and friends…I am so truly thankful and although my recovery is still taking time…it’s happening. I continue with outpatient therapy starting Tuesday.
My mother has been here for nearly two months. She refused to go until I’m home…so now I’m here. She will continue to be here to get me situated through the end of the month…I couldn’t have done this without her by any means… she’s been by my side the whole time. Johnny has been amazing with coming to the hospital, working, keeping up with Kat, closing on the house…I don’t know how he does it. My sister Heidi flew in to help for a week with the move and unpacking, my mother-in-law has helped with rides, sister-in-law and a friend providing delicious meal for the family here and there. Yet the call for help doesn’t cease at this point.
So now help is going to start backing off from the family so since I’m home I’ m starting so seek out friend, family, church and community help. In the next few days there will be a Care Calendar sent out to a lot of people to sign up to help in different ways. I haven’t had a chance to really think about it in the hospital because I had no idea what to expect at home. Now I’m getting some idea. The biggest thing is going to be just people coming over in shifts, like 2-4 hours initially until I’m comfortable being more independent. It’s such a hard thing to ask for help since I’m used to being in control.
My inspiration for the day is I am improving a little each day and knowing I have more than 25 people I can email for help and the word can be spread!
My indulgence…using my own shower rather than the hospital set up…liberation!