I went to the Doctors on Monday after Easter for my first follow up after surgery and they were actually able to take out two out of the five drainage tubes! They said I was healing amazingly well and I was super excited! Plus, they exchanged the humongous tubes for some nice small travel tubes which would make life a bit easier for me.
I let them know that my mama had passed away and that the funeral would be that week and asked if it would be okay if I flew. They had let me know that I could not lift anything and that I should have someone lift anything that I had, especially if it had to go above my head. They also recommended getting “wheelchair” or medical needs on my ticket as I just went through a surgery and that way I could get wheeled to the gates. Thank goodness for that as you have no idea how out of shape you are from just a little surgery!
Aaron had booked my flight for April 23, the prayers were April 24, the funeral was April 25 and I would come home April 27 as I had another Doctors appointment April 30th with the surgeons. I knew I could do it,even though part of me did not want to fly alone or be alone at such a hard time.
My cousin Teresa who lived in St. Louis was going up for the funeral so we decided to meet in Chicago and then fly the last leg together, so that way I wasn’t alone and she could help me. Let me tell you, I could not take the pain killers they gave me as I didn’t even know my name, so I just took a big bottle of extra strength Tylenol with me, and I took those every four hours and still was in pain.
Let’s just say that things didn’t work out the way they were supposed to. Teresa was on standby flights and could not get to Chicago so I ended up travelling alone. I never told my sister she didn’t make it because my sister was flipping out that I was even travelling after surgery, never mind alone. It’s funny how Julie and Danny (my sister and brother) both did not want me to come. They didn’t want me to travel after surgery. They were worried about infections and that I had drainage tubes in and just felt I should stay home. They made it very clear that no one would be offended if I didn’t come and that they completely understood. That made my heart feel amazing…….it was very kind of them after everything they had to go through with my mom the past few months.
At no time did I ever think I wouldn’t go to the funeral. When I prayed, I always asked God to see my heart and that if He could, to make it possible for me to go and be at the funeral. I needed to see everyone and say good bye. Being so far away, it’s like you’re not part of what is going on and it’s almost like it’s not real. Being at the funeral made it real for me. It made me really see that she was gone. Being at her apartment for the last time………looking at her things…….her dishes, her cups, her pictures……things I just wouldn’t really see again in the same way.
I knew I could get through the flights alone and the travel alone. I had God with me at all times and He already provided a way for me to go and say my good bye to my mama……..I just had one small thing to deal with before I left.
The day before I left, I had a huge break down in the bathroom with Aaron. It was right after a shower, he was drying me off and he was showing me what to do with the bandages and tubes so I could show my sister Julie so she could do it while I was there. That day, April 22, was the first day I even looked at my scars and what was left of my breasts. It was the first time I put my hands on them and touched the skin and I just cried as I looked at myself in the mirror. It was the first time I was acknowledging how I looked and it had been exactly seven days and it was about time. It had to happen so that I could face my next challenge……travelling to my mamas funeral. Crying can be so healing and cleansing, like the rain……..I LOVE the rain…………
Like it says “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Laura and Amy Applebaum sent me that plaque after they heard about my diagnosis and have kept inspiring me and encouraging me through everything. It’s really the little things that make a difference…..the prayers, the love, encouragement and friendships.