Random Thoughts Post Surgery

I’m happy to report I successfully made it over that last hurdle and managed to drag myself away from a certain pool as well. I am going to try to stay away from all pools and hurdles for a while!

As everyone who has been hospitalized knows, you don’t get much sleep in a hospital. It’s weird; when you need to rest the most, you can’t. It’s not possible unless you are getting way more drugs than I did. Even in the middle of the night, my mind kept working quite well, always filling up with random thoughts.

I decided to share some of my randomness here today. Sometimes you just are better off not trying to fight it…

First of all, my doctors, family and friends told me I would feel relief when this surgery was over. They were right. This would be an acceptable time for them to say, “We told you so.”

I do feel tremendous relief. I can now proclaim to myself I have done all I can do to stop the cancer beast. I have taken all the steps known to me at this time to keep the beast at bay. This feels really good, empowering actually.

Next, I decided my doctors don’t always appreciate the patient’s sense of humor. When I mentioned to them that since I was on this assembly line of sorts anyway, maybe I should have a few other procedures taken care of (like maybe a few nips and tucks, or perhaps that colonoscopy I’ve been putting off), they just rolled their eyes. It makes me wonder what they really think and say when their patients are finally out cold (think Grey’s Anatomy). It’s probably a really good thing we don’t know…

Another thing this latest round of events further confirmed to me is that since cancer, I’ve become quite attached to my laptop and online community. Once again, I made promises about leaving my laptop alone for a few days and as expected, once again this presented a bit of a challenge. The ongoing support I have received from my family, friends and online community is important essential to my well being. (Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and comments).

I don’t like being without any of them for any length of time.

One of my “crazier” thoughts while being poked and prodded was about teaching, more specifically about teaching fractions. I found myself thinking about the statement I sometimes made when teaching my students about fractions. The statement that says, a whole is the sum of all its parts. Since cancer, I’ve removed a few of my parts. So, am I still a “whole” person since I am no longer the sum of all my parts? Did I mention it was one of my crazier thoughts?…

I also learned the mind, or at least mine, is clearly divided. There is my rational clear-thinking (OK semi- clear thinking) side which told me this surgery was something I needed to do. It made sense. Then there is that mysterious “other” side; the side which tends to overthink, over analyze and over imagine all those ambiguous “what if” scenarios. Balancing these two sides in order to achieve some kind of equilibrium/sanity is not always a simple undertaking, but it is possible, at least most of the time.

Perhaps most important of all, I accept now that processing is an essential component at each and every step on this cancer gig.

I have also learned this processing part should not be rushed. If you do rush it, the next step will probably require even more processing. So you are actually saving time and anguish in the long run if you give yourself time upfront to process/think/feel/cry/rant/react, or whatever your particular processing regime requires.

Give yourself permission to do this.

Another bit of very welcome random news was a phone call from my doctor telling me they found no abnormal/cancerous/precancerous cells in my removed “parts.” I love it when doctors don’t wait to deliver such news.

One final observation, I’d like to make is that spring finally arrived in this part of the country. When I left for surgery, we still had a couple of those disgustingly nonwhite lingering piles of snow. I’m happy to report, they have finally all disappeared! And the little lake we live on is ice free!

Spring is here!

How do you process “stuff”?






28 thoughts to “Random Thoughts Post Surgery”

  1. I’m so glad you’re on this path.

    And I think my surgeon thinks I’m insane. I’ve cried more around her than I ever have around another human being in my adult life.

    Beautiful picture. 🙂


    1. Katie, Thanks for coming by and commenting. It does feel good to be on this path now, such as it is. I doubt your surgeon thinks you’re insane. Do your tears make her uncomfortable? I’ve only allowed myself to cry once at a doctor’s appt. Usually I can make it til I get home…or at least to the car!

  2. I love, love, love this posting. Thanks for your candor and inviting us into your life.

    Congratulations, Nancy, on hitting a huge milestone! Getting that surgery over and done with was necessary, although it’s understandable how your mind plays games at times.

    The hospital really stinks. I don’t know how else to put it, but it seems that the place one is supposed to get well in is actually a place where one has to leave in order to get well.

    A lot has happened to you in a short time. It’s going to take a lot of processing, so I’m glad you are not rushing it. I’m glad the medical news was good.

    I am proud of you and admire your courage, wit, honesty, and your going through with very difficult things, all to keep as healthy as possible.

    1. Beth, I’m glad to hear you liked this post. Thanks for the congrats, your comments and loyalty. Mostly thanks for being one of those online supporters I’ve come to rely on. And yes, more processing to come. Are you still processing even now?

  3. We’re glad to have you back as well Nancy, because we MISSED you too!!!!! Agreed, hospital is no place for the sick. Has anyone ever wondered what the lack of sleep does to the healing process???? It cannot be conducive that’s for sure.

    How do I process stuff? I’ve now had more bad news than anyone should ever have to deal with in a lifetime so I find that I just say in mind “whatever” and carry on. There’s nothing else to do. Another trick I use is to project myself into the future and think of something fun that I like to do. I imagine myself in that happy place and that sometimes helps. Or sometimes I just don’t get out of bed because you know what? Sometimes we just a need a good wallow because it can get all too much. Trick is not to wallow forever.

    1. Anna, Yes, you are all too familiar with hospitals aren’t you? Ugh. Thanks for sharing your processing techniques. You’d think we’d be quite good at by now wouldn’t you? I agree, sometimes wallowing is good, even necessary I think. Thank for your continued support and friendship, Anna.

  4. Nancy, So glad the surgery is behind you. I’m so happy the news was good. You certainly have been through a great deal in a short period of time. You and David are both in my thoughts and prayers. Great post.

    1. LaVonne, Yes, we are happy another hurdle is behind us, that’s for sure. Thanks for your comment and continuing support. Happy Easter!

  5. I majored in English. I am breaking out in a cold sweat at the prospect of having to find a common denominator…

    Go to the head of the class, Nancy!

    1. Katherine, You are so funny! My skills are a bit stronger in English as well, at least they used to be! Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m happy we have connected.

  6. The hospital SUCKS!!!!! After my mastectomy I was put in a co-ed ward with 2 men who snored and moaned all night and a woman who spoke to the nurses all night with the same tone my son’s kindergarten teacher uses when the kids are particularly squirrely. By the time my husband came to visit in the morning I was desperate to leave so I could SLEEP!!!

    I process stuff in little bits and pieces and try to avoid thinking about the big stuff at night. Fear lives in the shadows.

    I send you big healing hugs. And enjoy spring!

    1. Cyn, Thank you for sharing about your hospital stay, makes me think maybe mine wasn’t so bad after all! I bet were you indeed desperate to leave so you could get some sleep. Yes, processing at night, not a good idea. Fear most certainly lurks around in the shadows. Wise comment there. You enjoy spring too!

  7. I too have often wondered what the staff really say about patients!
    You are so right about the processing, every stage needs time. I find my counsellor invaluable as part of that process, someone objective I can talk to.
    Hope you have a good recovery and great news about no abnormalities.
    The photo IS really lovely.

    1. Sarah, Thank you for taking time to comment. I think it’s probably better we don’t know everything hospital staff says about us! I’m glad you have someone objective to talk about stuff with. Thank you for your good wishes, Sarah. I appreciate them so much.

  8. Nancy,
    Processing has a timeline all it’s own. I’m experiencing that now with the grieving process. Just when I have a good day, the grief yo-yo drops me on my head again.

    And yes, you are still the sum of all your parts, or should I say all of the parts you have. That is a relative statement:)

    So glad you’re on the mend. You’re in my prayers daily.


    1. Brenda, Thank you for your thoughts. Grieving for sure takes a huge amount of processing and I’m not sure it ever ends. We just keep evolving through it all. You seem to be making your way, or so it seems. I hope you have lots of support that is actually helpful. Thanks for your encouragement, friendship and prayers.

  9. Nancy, I’m so glad you decided to share these thoughts. I know it seems so personal, but we all have them. When I share and read all the amazing comments, I know I’m not alone with this crap and that helps me to process more than anything, I’m glad you’re home and back with your laptop. Your absence was noticed.

    Oh, and you made me laugh wondering what the docs are saying once you’re out. I think that too, but I certainly don’t want to know!

    1. Stacey, You are absolutely right; reading comments helps the processing tremendously. Knowing others are dealing with similar things and realizing we aren’t alone is so helpful. That’s why I always look forward to your posts and those of so many others. I also value comments by non-bloggers, too, since they often have a different objectivity. Anyway, thanks for you kind words and friendship, Stacey. And yes, I don’t want to know what they say about me when I’m out either! Although…

  10. Great news that your pathology report was all clear! And personally I think it’s great that you have a sense of humor, don’t let anyone/anything change that. So glad to see you’re on the other side now..

  11. Oh Nancy, I am thrilled that you pulled through surgery so well and the pathology report showed nothing out of order! That is such wonderful news.

    I love your random thoughts. That expression “cancer gig” made me laugh!
    Processing emotions over time is natural and right; nothing of that nature happens overnight. Like apple cider I have to mull things over; forgiveness is my mull-things-over topic this week.

    Having this loving blog community supporting you must lift your spirits to new heights. Like you I become addicted to the computer to get my online friendship fix.

    I’m very happy the snow has melted in your area and your lake is ice-free. Spring has finally sprung in our little corner of the country, too. Maybe I won’t have to drive in the stuff until late in the year, lol.

    Prayers for a full recovery,

    1. Jan, Thanks for your comments and support, Jan. You are certainly a part of that loving community. Processing and mulling, two important words I know well. I think I’ll be doing both for quite some time. And the snow, just got some more…

  12. Glad the surgery is behind you, and went well. I couldn’t agree with you more about the hospital, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Thank you for being so willing to share your thoughts and feelings. It’s posts like these and comments of others that make me realize all I am feeling is normal.

    1. Garden Lady, So glad to get your comments. How are you doing? It is nice to have our feelings affirmed isn’t it? And normal, what is that anyway??

  13. Um, told you so!!

    Seriously, thrilled, thrilled you are over that hurdle and doing well. You’re on the road to recovery my friend and LIFE on the other side is amazing!

    1. Lisa, Ha. I love how you aren’t afraid to tell it like it is, so yes, I’m hearing you say, “I told you so!” loud and clear. Thanks for your good wishes, advice and friendship! I appreciate them all.

  14. Thanks for your sweet comment. Yes, I’m still processing the cancer beast, but it’s getting better.

    My physical changes and lower abdominal and back pain are constant reminders of cancer, so it’s hard.

    Like you, I am doing the best I can to take care of my physical and emotional well-being.



    1. Beth, I’m glad to hear it can and does get better despite the reminders that will be with us forever. Thanks for adding this comment, Beth.

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