July was a typical Michigan summer month, although the weather was a bit kooky again, with more heavy rainfall in a matter of minutes, which led to more flooding for many folks (not us).
1) Big news is that I underwent a mastectomy (single) on July 21, due to my second breast cancer diagnosis. It was high grade DCIS, which is to say that the cancer cells had not spread, but the nucleus of the cells were showing signs of breaking out. I’m doing well, and the prognosis is excellent. Will not be needing chemo and I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t need medication, but I’m betting my oncologist will push for it.
2) Pre surgery, friends Renee and Kara took me to Grey Ghost. It was soooo delicious and it’s always nice to be in Detroit. Afterwards we went across the street to Second Best (same owners) for cocktails and some apple sour shot, which initially tasted lovely, but ultimately too sweet and none of us finished ours. Otherwise, the drinks there and also at Grey Ghost were really good.
3) It was hard to give up alcohol, which I was instructed to do two weeks prior to surgery, but even harder to give up caffeine! I wasn’t asked to give up coffee completely, but to cut down on it, so I switched to decaf for my afternoon coffee. Trader Joes is awesome for many things, but not decaf. You’ve been warned.
Many people already know this very true fact, especially Liz Rono, but any drink – whether it be alcohol, coffee or otherwise – tastes ten times better when served from a fancy glass or cute cup. Which is why I drank my decaf from this adorable ceramic mug I bought on our Cincinnati trip.
Someone please recommend a good decaf coffee that I can buy for my next surgery!
4) I’ve been cleared to walk, but not much else, so walking it is. It’s been nice and I am super happy that all is well with my health, but it bums me out that I can’t walk fast or break into a jog like I sometimes do. I know in due time and all that, but I want to get better right now. It (not being able to walk, then only being able to walk slowish) has made me realize that my daily walks pre-operation 100% have helped with stress and anxiety and my overall mental health. My agitation level post surgery is definitely higher than usual, no surprise there, but I think much to do with lack of exercise.
5) A good friend organized a meal train, which was super crazy helpful, and so many other people showed their support by sending flowers or helping with groceries or coming by for company or sending sweet gifts.
I was shocked, quite frankly, and overwhelmed in a good way at the outpouring of support for me and my family by the people here who I thought I was an outsider to. It was so touching and so needed and helped so much with my recovery.
6) A final note about my treatment and recovery. I have an expander inside of me right now, which is a plastic contraption that has three little port pressure points which hurt like hell at certain times. I can see the grape-sized bumps under my skin.
Slowly (once a week for several weeks) the expander will be filled with saline via a needle into one of the ports, until it reaches the size that the implant (which will be put in on my second reconstructive surgery in December) will be. I’ve had one fill and the first couple hours were fine and then it started to really hurt. OH WELL. Apparently also skin that has been radiated is a crap shoot when it comes to healing so we just have to wait and see.
7) The surgery pretty much occupied my headspace for most of July. I don’t remember much of what happened over the month. We spent the Fourth hanging out at my husband’s uncle’s backyard/pool, as has been tradition since we moved here, but I didn’t take any pictures. So I give you a home in my neighborhood with an American flag instead.
8) Obi the puppy does not give one iota that I had surgery. He has matured somewhat over the last month, but is still very much a puppy and still needs loads of attention and still gets into very much trouble.
9) One of the great gifts I received was two weeks of dog walking from my friend Megan. A life saver. We loved meeting all the folks at Central Bark, and Obi especially loved the puppy playgroups which we tried a few times, so we’ve decided to keep him going a few times a week for at least the next couple of months.
10) We had more fun in the kiddie pool this month and I had fun with my camera, which I haven’t taken out much this summer. I haven’t been motivated. Sometimes you have to force yourself a bit and then the creativity comes. So maybe I’ll take the camera out after writing this and plunk it on the counter to remind me to do that.
11) I need a new Podcast. Please help. The above are from IndieWire. Do you recommend any of these? I do not want self help or motivational Podcasts. LOL. I listened to “The Lighthouse” by the Australian this month. It was pretty good – about a missing person in Australia’s coastal picturesque town of Byron Bay.
12) This book you guys, I don’t know how she continues to churn out great books, but she does. Mystery, murder and full, fleshed out characters based on the Irish countryside. It does make you want to visit Ireland. Although I’ll skip the murder part when I go.
Tonight my nine-year-old’s bestie said goodbye one last time before she and her family leave for Florida. Our gal is handling it well tonight, but it might be a rough weekend. Plans tomorrow are to sleep in late, order Indian food for dinner and watch a movie. Nothing else.
I am sad, I am grateful, I am content, I am restless. I need I want I don’t know what I need or want. This was July and looks to be some of my August as well. I’m riding the wave and I’m okay with that.
I heart summer so hard and I am going to be outside (although no sun for my jacked-up surgery skin) as much as possible and enjoying not having any or many commitments. It feels luxurious in some ways, but I’ve earned this time of nothingness, to heal and figure things out. Enjoy your August as well. See you back soon.