Finally, I can post a proper post on this blog, and you all don't have to scroll down through dozens of comments. But I'm glad we had those, at least ... I can't believe there are 79 comments on it! You all have been so awesome with the support you've been giving my family and me.
I got home at about 4 p.m. yesterday. I was as surprised as anyone when the doctors making their rounds in the morning said they'd be giving me the discharge order that very day. Huh? Today? Am I really ready to go? I mean, I was no longer connected to tubes or wires of any kind, but still, I was tired most of the day, clumsy getting in and out of bed, still very aware of the aches and pains in my body. But it had been just about five days, like Dr. T. had predicted, and they seemed to think I'd manage fine at home — and I am, though I am still very groggy, clumsy and aware of the aches and pains.
Yesterday morning, I was sitting in the seventh-floor patient lounge I described earlier — the one with the beautiful view of the Mississippi River sparkling below, the St. Paul-Minneapolis bridges (I-94, Lake-Marshall Street and Ford Parkway) visible to the left, the downtown Minneapolis skyline to the right. I was just looking out the window when Dr. T. (my surgeon, the one who has the same birthday as me) came over and sat down next to me. He usually comes to see me in my room once a day. "You can run, but you can't hide," he joked, then told me that this spot, this view, was his favorite in the whole hospital. He seems like such a good, nice person, and I feel so grateful that we managed to get him as my surgeon. I know the first surgeon we met with two weeks ago pulled some strings to get us in with him. I will have to send them both thank-you notes when this is all over.
Anyway, when Dr. T. sat down next to me, I told him that I felt like it was going to be wierd to go home because up until now, I've been focusing so hard on just getting through this — the surgery, the immediate recovery. Once I'm home and getting back to normal (slowly — they say it'll take six weeks), I'll have more time to focus on the long term, to let the "cancer" word sink in, to contemplate the possibilities that this could come back, to wonder what the rest of my life will be like. Part of me feels so strongly that I don't want to let cancer define who I am as a person. That part of me wants to go out and get a sexy, crazy new haircut, or take up a new hobby with great passion, or to write a book, or something — I don't quite know yet — that will help remind me that my life and future are not just about cancer. A different part of me just wants to sink into a ball and succumb to a big bout of depression that I sense could be hovering somewhere on this recovery horizon.
Of course, right now (well, after I feel a little more well), I probably should spend the next few months focusing on this baby — The One Who Lived (lol!) — getting it ready to come into the world and hoping he or she hasn't undergone any significant damage in the past week. We'd already had an ultrasound set up for next week, the Nuchal Translucency Scan, which determines the risk for Down syndrome. Maybe we'll get an overall healthiness indicator then. I don't know if it's too soon.
Anyway, so I'm home. After a few tries with Steve's help, I've figured out how to get in and out of bed by myself, so that gives me some measure of freedom. Daniel hasn't seemed to have taken my absence hard at all — Steve is probably a better stay-at-home parent than I am! — but he also seems glad to have me home again. Before my surgery, Steve and I had spent a good amount of time worrying about our sleeping arrangments. Daniel still sleeps in our bed, and he is such a kicker that I was really worried we'd have to change his sleep habits, move him into his crib or onto a mattress on the floor or something. But last night, he slept between us as usual, and it seemed to work out fine. I stayed in the living room until Steve had gotten him into a sound sleep, which helped because lots of the kicking takes place when he is trying to get to sleep. Plus, I kept a body pillow between me and the center of the bed, so it added an extra level of protection for me. I don't know how Steve liked it — I think he felt it was a tight sqeeze and didn't get a very good night's sleep himself. All I know was that when I woke up at 3:15 to get a drink and take my Vicodin, the two of them were snuggled up next to each other and sleeping very soundly and happily, and I was so touched that I got up and took a picture.