Monday, December 2, 2013

Thankful for So Much!

Going into my fourth surgery in nine months a week and a half ago, I was thinking about how truly blessed I am.   I am feeling thankful for so much.  I am thankful that my dad was able to fly down to help out while I was in surgery and for the few days after while I was recovering.  I was thankful to be able to spend some quality time with him (and teach him how to change diapers).  I was thankful to be beyond cancer treatment, cancer free and into the recovery stage, even if it did include a new surgery.   I was feeling thankful for excellent physicians and medical staff.   (It meant so much going into surgery to hear literally all of the staff at the hospital tell me I was in the hands of one of the best).  When you feel that thankful there is really no room for worry.  When you feel that thankful, you find yourself saying more prayers of thanksgiving than prayers seeking help.  But, I am thankful that I have family and friends to lift me up in times of need.

My surgery went very well--thanks again for your prayers.  I came home from the hospital that Thursday before Thanksgiving to kids who were being well cared for by my dad.  This surgery was not foreseen but was necessary and critical, as the need for it arose due to another reconstruction complication.   I elected to have it on Thursday and asked beforehand if I could leave a few days later for our planned trip to Oklahoma (for Thanksgiving).  Thankfully, Drew had already scheduled the few days before Thanksgiving off as vacation, so the timing actually wasn't too bad.  But, it meant traveling with a surgical drain tube.  The doctor said it would be alright to do this (not his preference though) and he made me promise I would rest during the trip.  But, I realized today that my definition of rest is different than the doctor's office definition.

Today, I was finally able to have the annoying drain tube removed.  Since we were out of town all of last week, it was my first post-operative appointment.  The nurse asked me how many hours per day I have been resting.  My reply--"hours per day?  And, how do you define 'rest'"?  I wanted to make sure I answered her correctly.   Apparently, when she said, "rest" she meant laying down flat on the couch.  Oops.  I hadn't done any of that.  Maybe a little at night before bed.    My "rest" definition would be to "take a break by sitting down for a few minutes every 30 minutes or so."  When we were at my parents' house though, I had done a LOT more sitting though than I would have at home since the kids were very entertained with all of the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.  But, then we came back home, we put up Christmas decorations, unloaded luggage, etc.  Yeah....not so much rest.   I mean, how much rest can anyone truly get anyway when your primary job is to watch an almost 2-year old and a 4 year old?  Since I had the drain tube removed today, the nurse told me I had strict guidelines to go home this afternoon and get two full days of rest (defined as 6-8 hours per day in 1-2 hour increments of laying down flat).  And, I have lifting restrictions for another week and a half.  Drew can't work from home because he has to work in the office this next couple of weeks, so it may be a little interesting over here.  But, I've devised a plan and it's going to work and the kids and I are going to enjoy it.  It's just such a small piece of time of difficulty in the big picture of things.

And, I am thankful for so much.  It was a bit of a feat to make it to my parents' house for Thanksgiving this year with the surgery. But, I wanted to go so very badly.  Plus, we had to return my dad to my mom (he had a one-way flight here).  :-)  The last time we were there for Thanksgiving was 2009!  We were at Drew's parents' house in 2010, and then I was REALLY pregnant and advised not to travel for 2011 and then I was undergoing chemotherapy in 2012.   We were GOING to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving this year, by golly!  And, we had such a wonderful time with family.  I took way too many pictures, had some wonderful time of fellowship with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, nieces, nephews and even family I hadn't seen in many years.   I ate ridiculously delicious food and just had a blissful time.    Oh--and I may have even played a few games of laser tag (don't tell my doctor).  You know I am going to share some of the photos I took!  I want my blog readers to see just some of the special people I got to spend quality time with last week.

My sis, Holly, and her family (Lilly, Linnea and Ryan)

My lovely niece, Lilly.

My brother, Jeremy, and his family (Brandy, and silly Traber, who is only a month younger than our Luke)

My cousin, Whitney, and uncle, Ronnie

My brother, Jason, and his family (Emily, with Natalie, Brody and Kaylee)

Playing a little chicken on a log during our traditional Thanksgiving sunset walk.

My niece Kaylee--doesn't she look like a little princess from a fairy tale?
Our youngest niece, Natalie.

My cutie-pie niece, Linnea, leading the way through the woods for her mom and sister during the traditional Thanksgiving walk in the woods at my parents'.

Kaylee and Brody

Luke and Grandpa--always leading the way for all of us through the woods.

The guys created a new Thanksgiving tradition--laser tag in the woods.

Watch out for these guys!

Our sweet Abbey-girl!  She's singing a song here.

I hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving as well!