Thursday, September 13, 2007

home again

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.

23 comments:

LutherLiz said...

Yay Emilie! I'm so happy you are home. Home is the perfect place to recooperate. Feel free to call if you need anything (but you know that already!) Congratulations!

P.S. Daniel and Steve are adorable.

Jo on the go said...

Em,
So glad you're home.
Sending super-healthy and rejuvenating thoughts your way ....
(Lizba, that poem was awesome)

Monkeymama said...

It's good to hear that you are home! I hope your recovery goes quickly and that you get lots of help in these first few weeks.

Julie said...

Emilie, I'm so glad you're home and feeling better. You and the baby continue to be in my prayers. Let me know if you need anything.

Anonymous said...

Soooo cute! :)

-beela from ecfe

Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law agrees that Dr. T. is a terrific guy. I like him without knowing him, because he took such good care of you. That shot of Steve and Daniel is great--totally not a figment of the Vicodin buzz! So glad you're home.

Michele (Moosh) said...

Emilie, I am so grateful that our collective prayers were answered. You, my dear, are a trooper!!! Do what you need to do, feel what you need to feel, be what you need to be. Don't hold back! (Well, maybe hold off on swimming the Panama Canal at least until the incision is fully healed.... *wink*)

I'm proud of you. That's why I've actually been responding to your blog instead of just lurking. Sorry. I'm a lurker cause I usually have a little snugglebug in my arms and am too lazy to type one handed.

Anyhow, I hope everything goes smoothly from here on out. You sure deserve it! ((HUGS))

shannon said...

I'm so glad that you were able to return home yesterday, Emilie. You must be so happy to be there, and I'm certain that Steve and Daniel are thrilled to have you back home with them! Still thinking of all of you, and hoping for lots more great news!

Jenn said...

I'm glad you're home and the surgery went well. That is the cutest picture.

Jamie said...

Whoo hoo! I'm so glad your home! Being home will really help you to recover more quickly. Take it slow and do what you need to do in order to feel comfortable.

I'm so very, very proud of you!

Kristine said...

Emilie - That is fantastic that you are home! Congratulations to you. I bet it is nice and feels great to be at home with your family. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery.

Roxy said...

Welcome home!!!!

Soupy said...

oh Em, I'm so happy to read you are home, safe and sound, and healing! YAY! I've been praying and checking in every day -and I know that you will emerge from this stronger than ever, and the one who lived is such a miracle - to have gone thru all this! I truely believe he/she was meant to be, like you wrote before, and for that,I am so happy for you and Stephen. You have a beautiful family, and are thought of by so many of us out here !
Praying for get well soon "vibes" and let us know what you need - if anything!

liz in mississippi said...

I agree with Moosh

"Do what you need to do, feel what you need to feel, be what you need to be. Don't hold back!"

You know that I'll sit on the phone with you, or come up there and talk some smack about how unfair this all is.... I'm all ears, unless of course I've got something more important to talk about... sometimes I have diarrhea of the mouth... like my dot dot dots! Just tell me shut up and listen.

-Jo, Pitt came up with the poem/cheer all by himself... I just had to type it for him.-

LY,MI
Lizba

liz said...

Welcome home, Emilie!!

I'm thrilled for you! So glad to hear things are going well. Be gentle with yourself and know that you are loved...

Anonymous said...

Hey Em,
You mentioned a "bout of depression;" I can understand what you mean. Not only the general feelings that go along with the "c" word, but also the fact that you went from ordinary life, then suddenly to the combination of terror and excitement of the hospital (excitement including lots of attention), then a "let down" as you come back home and have to face "daily life" again, this time with a new set of baggage. BTW the doc seems nice.

You'll survive.

- Susanne

April-C-A said...

Em, how bittersweet to be home again! Glad to have the surgery behind you, but uncertain what the future will bring. I will be thinking of you!!!

Vicki (aka Kodi's mommy) said...

Emilie - so glad to hear you are at home. I'll continue to send you all the good vibes I have.

Kerry said...

I have tingles reading your post (and I wonder if Ewan does as well since he is currently BFing). I hope you will heal quickly and remind you to stay on top of your pain meds and not try to be brave about the pain. I continue to pray for you and will plan to drop off a meal as soon as our gang gets over this cold they all seem to have come down with yesterday.

Thinking of you- take care.

Ellen said...

Oh Em, I'm so glad to hear you are home sweet home! Like Sue said, you will survive. You are such a wonderful person, nothing bad will happen to you, and nothing bad will keep you from getting that new, sexy haircut. You don't have to let the cancer define you, you are too good for it. I can't wait for mom to be there and care for you guys.

Courtney said...

I am so glad you are home and doing well:) I love the picture of Daniel and Daddy:) Keep resting and good luck with the NT scan.

Anonymous said...

IF YOU LOVE EMILIE AND LIVE NEARBY please don't offer a vague "call me if you need anything." She's in the early stages of this ordeal. She may need you to go over there with a casserole or a load of supplies or movie tickets & babysitting without being asked. She's recovering from/enduring a physical and mental trauma plus being very pregnant. She and Steve may not have the energy or wits to ask for help when they most need it. And you know how stubborn and independent she can be (thank the Lord -- it's what's gotten her this far). The Lemmon family has to redefine normalcy and they need your hands-on support. DON'T WAIT TO BE ASKED, even if family members are helping (they may need help, too). I write from experience.

--thank you for loving them, MDM in MS

Emilie said...

Thanks, everyone; and thanks MDM -- I know of what experience you must be speaking. I'm happy to report that our friends and family in the area have been godsends throughout all this. We have a well-organized cadre of meal-bringers scheduled six weeks out, and for the moment, my mom is here helping out. I'll try not to be too stubborn about asking for babysitting help when we need it. :)

Love,

Em