Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So much to do....and yet...

Well, it's officially the holiday season. I have a lot to do before
next Tuesday's surgery!! This weekend, after the basketball games and
swim meet, I am hoping we can get our tree up and decorate the house.
I love Christmas time. It was always such a special time for me
growing up. Our trip to Grandma and Grandpa's the Saturday before and
gathering at Uncle Dick's house. Santa always made a special visit and
we had homemade ice cream with homemade fudge sauce after our lovely
buffet meal. Then, the entire family returned to 333 Main Street for
our family Christmas. There were ornaments hanging from each square of
the tiled ceiling and a sweet "bird" sang from within the tree
branches. We watched patiently as everyone opened gifts, chatting and
enjoying our family time together. It was just as Christmas should
be: full of memories and traditions to remember even as adults. My
own children shared some Christmases just as I did; however, now Gram
is in a nursing home and we no longer gather at her home. I miss this
tradition each and every year. One year, cousin Jon played the guitar
and we all sang "the grinch song" among other classics. It was such a
special time. Some years, our tree does not go up until December's too busy, too much to do.....excuses, excuses! This
year, as I recover from the sofa, I can't wait to be surrounded by the
sights, scents and sounds of Christmases past. I even have a "bird"
to hide in the tree. Something about traditions and memories I hold so
dear will certainly help me heal! What could be better than
surrounding myself in a continuous celebration of the birth of a
Precious Babe--Jesus Christ our Savior. This feeling from within me
warms me and gives me peace. One day soon, I will be free from this
mysterious mass, maybe not free of post operative discomforts, but at
least I will be surrounded by these comforting memories. I will
especially be comforted knowing that Jesus--the reason for this
special, magical, glorious season--is in my heart <3 <3

The Mass

Wow!! Parent teacher conference time snuck up on me already! Halloween flew by, as did most of November. Backtracking to October makes me realize why this is. On Cameron's 10th birthday, October 13th, I went in for my physical. Being the wise nurse I am, I had "defered" this glorious event for an extra year. Come to find out, not a good plan!! I almost hit the ceiling as she palpated my abdomen; tears followed....pain! Aweful, sharp, piercing pain!! Three days later, an ultrasound--and a very quiet, calm co-worker--would reveal a 16cm mass on my right ovary. Normal ovaries resemble an olive.....mine could be compared to a volleyball. Fear, worry, anxiety all etched into my head and thoughts as I sat in the lab for blooddraws and listened to prompts through the CAT scan. My family and co-workers literally held my hand as I trudged along begrudgingly. I did not ask for this, nor do I want this. Here I am, facing major abdominal surgery with a job, five
kids and too much to do to be laid out for what my doctor wants to be 12 weeks. The surgery date alone took forever to get and the reality of being "alone" at Maine Med keeps my nerves on edge. Although it is a wonderful hospital, many of my memories there are sad ones: the ultrasound that revealed my 29 week old fetus's heart had stopped beating, and the birth of a still, yet beautiful baby boy; the countless visits to my ailing Father's bedside as I watched him slowly slip away and the last I love you's we said on that Christmas Day; the arms of my step brother who met me at the door and practically carried me to the eighth floor where my Father's lifeless body lay. Not even counting stressful, anxiety ridden days of nursing school caring for patients and doubting my abilities, I feel as though too much is etched in my head. I will go there next Tuesday morning and hope for a nicer experience. Many people have tried to help me with the surgical
anxiety I am feeling. I know positives exist: no more heaviness, no more back or abdominal pain--except from the large vertical wound I will wear--no more concerns over ruptures or torsions. In the end, a positive experience will certainly help with all that has happened. Pastor Stu a d many a Christian hymn would encourage me to "cast my burdens". I am trying, but human nature tries to take over and grab them back along with a few more each time. There will come a time when I will need to just give in and allow God's hand to be my only guide. He knows it is hard for me to let go, but that is what I shall do. When, not sure. Could be at 10:00 Tuesday morning as I am counting down to sleep, tears in my eyes, fears in my heart. I hope not, I really do, but conquering fears and letting go take time...lots of it. As of next week at this same time, I will be ovarian mass free. Possibly other organs and nodes may need to be removed too, but again I hope
not. I pray not....only God knows. I am just a passenger on His mighty ship.