A week ago today I was just recovering from major surgery. I was convinced it wouldn’t be that bad. I had previously had a cesarean section surgery, and I had told myself this would be a lot like that surgery. I envisioned myself waking up, walking the halls within hours and feeling pretty good.
I woke up telling my recovery nurse that I had been sending lots of e-mails. They were very specific, important e-mails. I even looked for my phone in bed, hoping I actually didn’t send any, because God knew what I would have written in my drug-induced state. (smile)
I also woke up in pain. More than I’d thought. And it got worse. After a few hours, I tried to walk down the hall. I felt my face go instantly go pale. I felt myself sweat. I felt the need to sit down quickly. Thank God Chris was by my side and has been ever since. I’ve never been so vulnerable. But being vulnerable allowed me to feel something else—profound love and gratitude. More on that in a bit.
Then, I did check my e-mail on my phone (as my boss said, luckily it weighs less than my five pound limit). And one e-mail in particular was a big surprise:
All of us at Huffpost Women are wishing you luck and sending positive thoughts to you on your surgery today!
We'd love to syndicate the piece you sent us on The Huffington Post. When you can, please let us know if we may we use the attached photo from your blog as your headshot. Love the haircut!
Then another e-mail:
I spoke with your colleague, Shannon, and she said you wouldn't mind if we used the photo of you from your site to accompany your piece. We wanted to get this up today so readers can send you well wishes while you are in surgery. Here's the published link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-albertsoncorkery/breast-cancer-awareness_b_1954601.html
HOLY CRAP! Huffingtonpost.com is one of Chris and my favorite websites. If you are not familiar with it, The Huffington Post is an American news website, content aggregator and blog.
I was an official contributor to Huffington Post! I forgot that I had submitted it a week early when the site had asked for articles relating to breast cancer. I grinned from ear to ear. And so did Chris. And I don’t think it was just the amazing pain medication that was starting to kick in.
So, my surgery was on Wednesday. I was supposed to go home on Thursday. I ended up spiking a fever and needing a blood transfusion. I also was “graced” with a not-so-pleasant hospital roommate and her extremely loud family. I finally came home on Saturday. Lesson learned again: I am not always in charge of the plan.
On Friday afternoon Chris said, “I think the old Sarah is back. You seem to be feeling better,” which translates to “There is my opinionated wife that I love so much.”
I have read and appreciated every single e-mail, Facebook post/message, card, thought and prayer. Thank you for the play dates for my kids. Thank you also for all the meals. We are eating like champs. Like an Oscar speech, there are so many people to thank, that I don’t think I can ever thank you individually (although I promise to try with personal notes at some point, I hope the same rule applies and I have a year to get them out.)
But I really need to thank a few people personally:
- My sister. Stephanie Pershing, you are amazing. She secretly told Chris this surgery would really suck and he would need to stay with me at the hospital for a few days. She was right. She also ran my home like a tight ship while I was gone. She made sure my kids were safe and had extra fun. She even cleaned and rearranged the toy room.
- My dad. He arrived on Saturday from New Mexico and has done everything we have needed: laundry, driving the kids around (I now know where I got my driving skills), and pouring milk for the morning cereal. Who knew that a gallon of milk weighs eight pounds? He suggests we start buying the one-half gallon size next week.
- My kind and generous friend, Sarah. Thank you for organizing all the meals, rides to Iowa City and play dates. It has been so incredibley helpful.
- To the people who sat with Chris in the waiting room for almost 7 hours during my surgery—Judy, Marcia, Amanda and Curtis. I can never say thank you enough. It was such a peace of mind for me to know he was not sitting alone in a room full of strangers.
- To my cancer survivor and wonderful friend, Tiffini. Thank you for giving me the head’s up on everything to expect. Thank you for helping me make informed decisions. Thank you for checking in on me every single day as my needs keep changing.
- And to my amazing husband, Chris. My profound love and gratitude. I have never loved you more. I sincerely hope Obama wins because you deserve it this year after all you’ve been though.
Asking for help
Staying ahead of it