Surgery Week Two: Unremarkable. But Also Remarkable
August 31, 2011

Unremarkable. It means ordinary, lacking distinction. Not something we generally consider a compliment.

But medical terms are strange. A test result that is negative is usually a good thing; positive means you have whatever awful thing they are testing you for. So unremarkable is a medical compliment. As in, the biopsy done during my surgery is unremarkable. Which means I do not have cancer.

Yesterday was my follow-up appointment and my first time out of the house since the surgery. I was excited to actually see something past the end of my driveway. Jim took off work and Sara Ann came along too. I did my hair, put on makeup and a clean t-shirt with my warmup pants and off we went.

I had looked forward to that appointment as the day the doctor would tell me I can drive again and medically clear me to get on with my life. Unfortunately, I still don’t feel like driving, leaving the house was so exhausting I needed a nap afterward and I’m still very slow and weak. The patience I wrote about last week? Um, I still need to work on that.

So here are a few observations from week two:

  • Facebook is really, really awesome if you want to live vicariously through your friends.
  • Having surgery during baseball season was an excellent decision on my part. The Cardinals regaining first place would further enhance my recovery, I’m sure.
  • Hulu is my new best friend, Hell’s Kitchen is awesome and people who work in restaurants don’t get nearly enough appreciation. Especially if there’s a British guy yelling, cursing and constantly berating them.
  • There really is no limit to the height that dirty dishes or dirty clothes can be piled. This theory has now officially been scientifically tested. I’d have photos if I weren’t so embarrassed by our slovenliness.
  • As crappy as some people can be, the really good ones make up for it. And I seem to be blessed with a ridiculous number of the amazing kind of folk. The kind who bring you fabulous dinners for three solid weeks so you don’t have to think about what you’ll eat. And the one awesome friend who showed up with a bottle of wine and a 20-pack of Diet Coke “to fill all my beverage needs.” And then there’s the one who showed up today with delicious soup, right at the time I started getting hungry for lunch — and another who brought dinner and sat down for a glass of wine and conversation.

And it all started with my mom, the long-retired nurse who still has all the skillz. She came from Jonesboro the night before surgery and stayed with me 24/7 in the hospital. She knew exactly where to put the pillow when I rolled over so it would support my back. She slept so lightly that every movement of mine or squeak of the hospital bed had her asking what I needed. And she knew that her car would be less bumpy on the ride home than my SUV. She did laundry, cleaned house, fluffed my pillow, fetched my meds and took care of me. Some things never change.

And after all these years, I still find it humbling, comforting and … remarkable.


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