Redefining “PRE-OP”


Date: March 7th, 2011

Time: 8:30 PM

Status: Redefining “Pre-op”

Info:  Spring break to many college sophomores can mean any number of things.  Road trips, chillin, Mexico, cruises, hitchhiking, camping, heading down to Fort Myers to watch the Red Sox spring training … anything but going home, right?

Our college sophomore – Taylor – is home this week and the timing of this scheduled break in her studies could not have been more beneficial if we had planned it out ourselves.  When your daughter is 3000 miles away and not aware of the day-to-day after learning about the onset of breast cancer we can’t expect her to learn it all, or digest it all during a six-day sleepover.  Heck Taylor’s been home since last Friday evening and I’m pretty sure her bags are still not unpacked!! 🙂

As we know there’s a number of resources each of us have our fingertips should we decide to pursuit them.  I’ve learned a ton of stuff about breast cancer, the gene, coupling, Ashkenazi diseases, better nutrition & dieting,  networking, networking, networking, and something to do on Monday nights rather than watching the Bachelor.  Remember that blog?

Tonight I sit here (Monday night) watching the three ladies in my life enjoy the nightly fruit dessert I create in the afternoon after walking in the door.  Tonight’s wine glasses includes the recent harvesting of strawberries, kiwis, pears, blackberries, white & red grapes, and a girl scout cookie on the bottom! What’s life without a nice surprise, right? As they sit there watching all the previous contestants of this show snap back at each other I share with you my own definition of a healthy pre-op.

As your mental calendars may remind you – we are single digit midget’s regarding the number of days before heading south to Marin General Hospital next Monday morning at oh-dark-thirty.  Taylor’s visit has just been perfect.  Her injection of humor and good heartedness makes these next seven days that much more relaxing.  Many readers of this blog know our two daughters; Taylor (20) and Logan (15).  These two truly are good sisters and really dig having this time to share but here’s the kicker … I have a lot going on at work recently.  The company I work for did not win the re-compete on the contract so today we met the new company and heard their two cents on what they’re bringing to the table.  Bonnie, being the kick-ass wife she is wants to know how the meeting went as I read from the multiple texts on my phone during the  meeting.  When I had the chance to call her later this afternoon the first question I asked “did you stay home today?” … her answer was of course … “yes.”

Time spent with each other is so precious and I’m happy Bonnie and our oldest was able to steal the day from everyone and enjoy each other’s company.

There’s a guide on-line entitled “A Patient’s Guide to Surgery” with an introduction that reads … “The PreOp-Guide is the one indispensable source for all of the information you will need to prepare yourself mentally and physically for surgery. There are thousands of web sites with information about medical conditions, therapies, and surgeries, but this is the only site which will explain the process of surgery: from the initial laboratory testing and evaluation to the operation and finally through discharge from the hospital. By reading The PreOp-Guide you will learn how you can ensure the best possible outcome after surgery.” This guide includes 11 chapters ranging from Introduction to Complications to Post-Op Recovery …

One chapter that this guide (and I’m not hammering this – believe me) does not include is this: FAMILY.  The closest I’ve ever been to becoming a medical practitioner was a stunt I pulled while a patient at Beverly Hospital back in 1977.  My friend Mark who was bound to a wheelchair and I went out for a walk – we were supposed to be recuperating … our stunt included a planned trip to our high school down the hill (a sizeable hill!!!) me with a shattered knee, and crushed shoulder pushing my lifelong friend in a wheelchair, both mind you in hospital gowns with our backsides flapping in the breeze. Well, when we heard Mrs. Farley (head nurse) and six other nurses sprinting towards our direction all yelling “PAUL CHENEY!!!!!” … we knew the gig was up!  Darn good thing too … there’s no telling what the outcome would have been had we started our descent down Herrick St.  Our walks in the future were restricted to the hallways. 😦

I received  a kick-ass email from our newest friends and breast cancer kickers down in the Houston, TX area this morning that really started my day.  It’s all about keeping each other informed – good, bad or otherwise, right?

There’s three empty wine glasses on the coffee table … Bonnie is blow drying Logan’s locks and the Lu-dog is lying next to me.  It turns out there’s still an hour left to this Bachelor program.  I wonder who is going to be blowing drying Logan’s mane next week? If that’s my biggest problem in the immediate future I’ll take it.

Open to any suggestions.

Nancy – great emails from you and Trevor.  We’re thinking of  you guys every day.  Let Payton know my BOSOX hat is always on!

 

Keep her close you guys,

 

Peace,

 

 

Paul

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4 thoughts on “Redefining “PRE-OP”

  1. Close to my heart and head…What about a friend of Logan’s…helping her blow dry her hair…Sooo keeping you guys close and I love you and even though I’m not there (east coast family)everyday Bon you are in my thoughts..with the love of an amazing husband and 2 beautiful daughters you WILL get through this…Call you later,,xoxo

  2. HI,LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR WRITING EVERY EVENING…I AM EXTENDING MY OFFER TO U PAUL AS I HAVE TO BONNIE. IF U GUYS NEED ANY HELP GIVE ME A CALL AND I WILL BE ON YOUR DOOR STEP ASAP. IM SERIOUS AND PLEASE CALL ME IF SHE WILL NEED HELP WHEN SHE GETS HOME…SHE WILL NEED ALOT OF TLC AND I HAVE ALOT TO GIVE,SO TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES AND IF U NEED ME I WILL BE THEIR…SOUNDS NLIKE A SONG..LOL HUGS AND KISSES TO ALL INCLUDING YOUR LULU,,WE HAVE A LULU AS WELL BUT R LULU WAS KAHLULA LOL

  3. Paul, 2 more bits of advice (but hopefully not two-bit advice) for Bonnie: get a can of aerosol deodorant. She may have trouble reaching to apply non-aerosol deodorant for several weeks. And get her a cute sling bag to hold her surgical drains. I recommend Vera Bradley in a fun pattern, since it & the drains will be a constant companion for a few weeks. Much easier than safety-pinning drains to clothes, and liberating too. I never felt house-bound by my drains, and people remarked that they never noticed them either bc of my sling bag. I bet your girls can pick a cute pattern for Bonnie’s bag. That was a lifesaver for me, and I’m now using mine again to hold drains post-reconstruction. Also be aware that she may have trouble moving her arms at all for the first day or so. Don’t know why I didn’t expect this post-mastectomy, but I had to be fed & needed someone to apply my chap stick. I might have felt less hopeless going in had I known that. Thinking of you guys and I feeling confident that it will all go smoothly, she will recover beautifully, and life will go on.

  4. Pingback: An Emotional Rescue | CANCER … We "CAN" beat this!

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