First things first: My email got hacked last night, and all of my contacts got a link to some weird raspberry keratin supplements. This is actually kind of hilarious to me because a month ago, I would have been so pissed that my email account was possessed and used to send bizarre smoothie infomercials to my friends, but this morning it was only one of a number of embarrassing and crappy things I had to deal with, so I almost don’t even care. But I do want to find the hacker/spambot and let it know that it is illegally accessing the email of a cancer patient, because I bet it will feel super bad and hang its head in robot-criminal shame. Anyway, I’m sorry if you got this lame link. Please ignore it.
For the past few nights, I’ve been sleeping in a chaise lounge in the living room. There are a few reasons for this. For one, I literally am not yet physically able to climb stairs. For another, I have to sleep in an insanely awkward position on my back with my chest and head raised, like I’m a zombie waking up on the steel morgue table. But the most important reason I’ve set up shop in the living room is because TV is my best friend right now and I don’t have a television set in my bedroom.
Speaking of TV, it’s the third-best thing in the world to me. (The first two being, obviously, burritos and Percocet.) I’ve been watching the Oprah Winfrey Network almost exclusively, because it feels like having my own personal life coach there to talk me through the especially miserable moments of recovery. When I’m lying uncomfortably in my chair trying to untangle my surgical drains and arrange them comfortably in my sweet fanny pack, it helps to have Oprah interviewing a man with no arms and no legs, so that I can remember I’m not the only person in the world who’s been dealt a bad hand this round. The only issue with the OWN channel is that I fell asleep to it last night and woke up at 5 in the morning, when my pain pills wore off, to Dr. Oz talking about breast cancer mortality and citing a bunch of statistics about how many women it kills. No thanks, y’all. I broke up with statistics when this whole thing started, so I don’t care about the odds. I’ve taken the most aggressive route at every fork in the road, so those stats aren’t for me. “No half measures, Walt.” (That’s a Breaking Bad reference. Like I said, TV and I are getting intimate.)
It’s been four days since my surgery, which means it’s been five days since I’ve showered. I don’t wanna gross you guys out, but seriously…it’s disgusting. Thankfully, today, I’m finally allowed to begin undertaking the Herculean task of cleaning myself. The plan is for me to sit on the floor of the shower naked, cradling my drains in my hands like my little plastic babies, while my mom shampoos my hair. At some point in a past existence I might have been embarrassed about this scenario but considering that the only way I’ve been able to use the bathroom for the last few days is by asking my mom to pants me since I don’t have enough arm dexterity to reach my underwear, we’re way past the point of preserving my dignity. I can’t shave my armpits because the lymph node biopsy took place there and also I can’t lift my arms above my shoulders, so we’re just gonna get real European up in here for a little while.
By the way, I know I say this in every entry, but you guys are the BEST. I cannot keep up with the amount of flowers, gifts and letters I’ve been inundated with. Your texts, calls and GChats make my day. I know I haven’t had a chance to reply to all of you and sometimes I miss your communication because I’m really high on narcotics or in a muscle-relaxer-induced coma, but I have read and seen everything you’ve said and sent and all of it is AMAZING. I am truly blown away by you. Whenever I feel tempted to consider myself unlucky because I got slammed with this cancer BS, I just remember how many of you have have reminded me how loved I am, and I remember that in truth, I am one of the luckiest people I know.
Recovery is no walk in the park (or walk anywhere, since I am an invalid), but today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better than today. Truthfully, I’m just thankful to be alive. This surgery was intense, but there is no doubt that it saved my life. That’s worth a few weeks of hairy armpits.