Over The Mountain

December 12, 2012 by Julie Moon

Today marks two weeks post surgery.  This was my third major surgery for 2012.  My mom jokingly calls this one my barbie surgery because this was the one where we fixed all the scars, cavernous hips missing large amounts of tissue and recreated a nipple (sort of…it’s nothing special).  I traveled to Charleston on the 26th with my mom.  She’s been so amazing this year for me.  She’s been through the toughest parts.  She has been the one to see me hurting the most and she’s been the one to receive the most complaints and general recovering Julieisms.

We stayed with our friends again who we lived with for a week and a half after my first surgery.  It was so great to catch up. I stayed at their house so long before it felt like coming home in a way to visit them and sleep in “my old bed”.  We got up way early for surgery and like a doofus I took my antibiotics (on an empty pre surgery stomach).  I do this every time because they tell you to start them the day before and I’m such a darn rule follower that I took it that morning.  Nevermind that they were already going to give it to me in my IV at the hospital.  So I eventually threw it up in the preop waiting area. Oh well…maybe someday I’ll learn or remember.  I brought my beautiful quilt with me again as I waited.  Every staff member was wonderful, my doc, nurses, anesthesiology staff…they were all so great.  I don’t remember now how long surgery was…but I was out sometime after lunch.  So maybe 5 hours?  We stayed at East Cooper overnight so I could sleep on the air bed.  I was so grateful to not have to wake up and get up and get out of the hospital right after surgery.  That was such a pain the last time.  I have lots of blood pressure issues when standing up for days after surgery.  Then we came home to Athens and my mom came with me too.

I came home with two drains and a compression garment from my knees to my ribs.  Joe lent me a laptop to so I could get cozy in the recliner while keeping up with the world and my friends.  It’s all a bit of a blur now.  Heck, life feels like that when I’m not on pain meds or recovering from surgery.  Mom helped me wrap Christmas presents. I tried to get most of my shopping done early so that I wouldn’t feel stressed about getting Christmas ready for three small children.

My friends brought meals again…I feel like I owe them all a night out.  In fact I get emotional every time I think about the people who have served me this year.  Near and far I have felt so much love and support it is just more than my heart can hold and my heart bursts out through my tears every single time.   I truly know who my friends are this year.   I truly know that my family loves me dearly.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that this village I am a part of is good to it’s core and without them I would be lost.

This past weekend the Mister had some work to do in Charleston so we planned weekend sleepovers for the bigs and Joe, Scarlett and I traveled to Charleston together.  Scarlett and I hung out in the hotel and she enjoyed jumping on the bed, watching tv in bed and buffet breakfast.  It was quite a treat to spend time with just one child…but I definitely missed my big kids so much.    We saw Dr. Craigie on Monday and he pulled both my drains! Thank the Lord!  He said I should wear my compression for another couple weeks.

Though I still have lots of visible scars I feel like my body looks more like normal than it has in a year.  I feel close to whole.

Tonight at dinner Savannah asked me “So which one of us kids do you think has the gene?”  *sigh*  I told her “I hope none of you sweetheart.”  She’s thinking lots about it I know.  It’s deep in that brain of hers that goes a million miles a minute.  I know my children won’t fully GET what I have done until they have a friend whose mother gets breast cancer, goes through chemo and heave forbid dies.  They are too young to have SEEN that yet in life.  But I hope they understand what this year of sacrifice has meant for them.   Scarlett said “Mommy I wish you weren’t sick.” and I know that I”m not “sick”.  I know that I’ve done this so I won’t ever have to be “sick” from breast cancer…like so many others in my family.

I’m so excited about 2013 for them.  I’m so excited about a mom who isn’t traveling out of town for surgeries.  I’m so excited about a mom who doens’t have wounds and can get in the pool.  I’m so excited about a mom who feels great and can really enjoy the year with them.  My children and my husband have been strong troopers.  My husband…no words for the love and support he has given me through this decision and my journey.

Whew…what a year.  My journey isn’t over.  There are still some more surgeries in my future regarding ovaries.  I still have some decisions to make but overall…this was the biggest mountain and I’m on the other side.  I didn’t climb the mountain alone and sometimes I was carried but we made it over the mountain.  God is good!

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