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A little bit of a tough night last night.  I fell asleep early but woke with some pain and general uncomfortableness.  Ted and I bought “hospital” beds a few years ago.  We needed a new mattress and given our history decided it made sense to have the bendy beds.  Ted was about to enter the hospital to have a tumor removed so it was timely.  But the hospital mattresses add a level of comfort I wasn’t aware of.  They adjust based on your movement and man, what a difference that makes.  They might also make it easier to turn?  But it’s pretty fucking ridiculous of me to complain about a comfortable enough, warm, nice bed, right?  When I think of the 500,000 people in America living on the street, many of them sick and elderly.  Breaks my heart. Imagine being sick and sleeping on the sidewalk. Imagine being thirty years older than you are and sleeping on concrete.  Damn.  We are not very good to each other in this system. 

A few months ago, when COVID vaccines were first approved, I heard Dr. Fauci say something like, “it’s great news, now when Russia and China develop their vaccines, we’ll be on our way to…”.  Man, at that moment I thought, “We are fucked”.  We aren’t even close to figuring out how to be humans together on the planet.  We have the recipe(s) that will prevent thousands of people from dying and maybe hundreds of thousands from suffering life-long illness and we don’t share it?   The governments of Russia and China are fucking atrocious, but Russians and Chinese people are actual human beings. I’ve been to Russia.  I’ve felt and witnessed their kindness, sorrow, joy, and love. Jesus. We just don’t get it.  There is enough, people.  There is enough for all of us.  And most of us don’t need half of what we have. Anyway, humans are exhausting.  And I’m right up there on the exhausting humans’ list.

Sorry.  Soapbox.  I will step down. 

I showered today.  I almost showered yesterday but got scared, I even had a foot in the tub. I know the fear about all the bathroom stuff is from the last time I had cancer.  I didn’t realize I was still so traumatized from it.  The pain was absolutely excruciating and apparently, I remember it well.  But I showered today, and it was fine.  Just like peeing was fine. Thank. The. Stars.   I also changed my bag by myself.  Kind of.  Ted helped me at the end.  I made it back to bed without adhering it because I was afraid my skin wasn’t dry enough.  When Ted came up and started helping me, I remembered me doing it for him 17 years ago.  How we managed that time with those little kids I will never know.  I can’t imagine it right now. I cannot.

Just the emotion of changing my bag was exhausting. And I wasn’t even crying.  And the technicality of it. My stoma is very swollen, I have two lumps in my abdomen that I’m hoping are just normal swelling.  But those things make bag changes a little different and it will keep changing over the next six weeks or so.  I want to call Assefa but it’s Saturday, and I have Ted who is probably more of an expert than Assefa, in many ways if you think about it.  But not about the lumpiness. Ted doesn’t know about lumpiness. Ted spent 5 weeks in the hospital, so we were over the swollenness, I think.  Although he’s had all kinds of changes and stuff with his stoma.  Including cancer around it.  It is a lot.  A whole, whole lot.  All I can say is that if anyone finds themselves in this situation please put me on speed dial.  Please.  It’s a big fucking deal.  And having support makes all the difference.

The coughing fit(s) I’m having is caused because of my not using that fucking tubey plastic thingy nobody reminded me to use.  Thank goodness, my dear, rockstar nurse friend, Heather, is reading and willing to educate and guide me through this stuff.  Coughing right now feels like stabbing pain followed by extreme fire. Like someone actually built a fire in my belly.  It. is. Painful. The incision sites are super itchy and I need to wait to remove the glue. Although the glue on the incision where the drain was located came off.  And, whew, for those of you who’ve had a drain pulled out, how would you describe that?  That was bizarre.  Like a snake being pulled out of me.  Just weird.

I can feel the healthy parts of my body desperately wanting to stretch or move or something.  This is gonna be something else to rest for EIGHT weeks.  (Notice I dropped the ten or twelve weeks quickly.)  I already visualized myself using light weights with only my chest or arm muscles.  I know that’s not okay.  Before the surgery, I was doing a crazy number of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups a week.  I’m hopeful that will make my recovery easier and quicker but no one has said, “well, if you do a thousand sit-ups a day then you will only have to take it easy for 3 weeks”.  I probably need help remembering that. 

Okay, one more thing that I’m hesitant to share because WTH? It was a surprise to me. But… Well, you know Frank, right?  My dumb lovable tripawd labrador who hasn’t left my side. Well, last night when my stoma was releasing some gas (it’s a little loud right now) Frank cocked his head like, “What in the hell was that?”.  And in my head, I completely heard myself unconsciously think, “That was Ethel, Frank.”   I have not named my stoma but that actually occurred.

Thank you for all your kindness and crazy support.  It’s hard to explain the difference every small thing you do, provide, think, and share makes.  It truly is.

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