And They’re Off

Well, I’m back home, sans boobs. And while my two nurses–Mary and my Mom–are out seeing Maya Angelou at the IU auditorium tonight, I’m sneaking onto the computer. Shhhh! Mary is quite the taskmaster regarding how much I’m supposed to be resting, using my arms, doing my exercises, etc…so this post will be short and sweet.

As many of you know (thanks to Mary’s email update), the surgery went well. The surgeon removed six lymph nodes and the pathologist deemed all cancer-free. (Yes, I know, six sounds like a lot; the surgeon assured Mary they were very small nodes, but I’ve yet to get the full story on that.) Although neither Mary nor I were dwelling on the possibility of metastasis, hearing that the lymph nodes were negative was a relief that defies description. 

I can’t say enough good things about the hospital. Everyone was professional, courteous, and kind. Best of all, no one blinked at Mary and I’s relationship. And, yes, the fact that we were worried about homophobia at a time like this is sad but true. And, no, we weren’t just being paranoid. My surgeon operates once a week in a town between Bloomington and Indy. The location was more convenient for us, but his nurse didn’t feel comfortable scheduling my surgery there because she feared how the staff might treat us. So, we went to the “big city” and everyone was very politically correct, except for one brazen nurse who made Mary blush, but I’ll let her tell you that story herself.

Now, I’m at home, therapy kitty in my lap, painkillers in my system, and, honestly, your kindness and generosity has put me at a loss for words. I want so badly to write something funny or profound, but the only thing I can think of to say is thank you. Thank you to all of you who’ve sent flowers, cards, and well wishes. Thank you to those who’ve left delicious food on our doorstep. Thank you to those who’ve taught Mary’s classes. Thank you to those who’ve kept us in your thoughts and prayers. To feel nurtured on every level–physical, emotional, and spiritual–by such a loving group of people is an amazing thing.

I will never be someone who says “cancer is a gift” because (to quote Kris Carr of Crazy, Sexy Cancer fame) “I would never give it to you,” but I can say that feeling this loved and supported by so many beautiful people is the most life-affirming gift anyone has ever given me. Thank you.

11 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    Thanks for sneaking onto the computer to let us hear from you! so glad it all went well. Some South Indian food coming your way on Saturday 🙂 xxxxxxxsusan

  2. kim says:

    good to hear an update, you sneaky one. hugs to you.

  3. Teresa Mears says:

    Catherine, I’m so glad to hear you’re home and recovering. The day of your surgery, one of my colleagues was celebrating her 10th cancer-free year after her breast-cancer treatment, and I’d like to think that’s an omen for you.


  4. marissa says:

    thanks for being sneaky catherine! it’s so great to hear your voice.

  5. Clare says:

    So glad to know you’re home, kitty in lap, typing away (amazing!). Painkillers are good, too. You’re in my thoughts often … With love, Clare C.

  6. Amy says:

    Welcome back! Sleep lots and watch some good bad movies. xo Amy

  7. Suzanna Walters says:

    Sweetie – I am sooo very relieved to hear you are well (while I love my sabbatical I do hate being so far away during this time – so Emma gets all the chicken soup i would make for you…) Here’s a great movie to watch while you’re recovering (ok, really depressing but you shouldn’t laugh real hard now anyway): “I’ve Loved you so long” – fantastic Frenchie movie, bittersweet tone, perfect for bittersweet convalescing. And I think you should also bone up on your poker skills so that you are a more serious contender because, alas, cancer doesn’t mean I will take it easy on you at feminist poker night.

    love love love from Suzanna and seriously teenaged Emma

  8. Barb says:

    all so nice to read. Glad you had such good news and had-and have–such great care.


  9. Anne Ehrman Monell says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story during this crazy time. I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but it sounds like you’re getting great medical and emotional guidance. My mom and I are thinking about you here in Louisville. Hang in there.
    – Anne

  10. Ellen says:

    Catherine—I’m new to the story, just catching up, but I am so glad that you’re doing well after surgery. And, one of your previous commenters got it exactly right: love your blog voice—it’s brave and funny and cynical (in a good way) and loving, and I’ve been laughing out loud. Laughing, reading a breast cancer blog. Only you could do it!

    All kinds of love and prayers coming at your from your northern friends!

  11. Joyce says:

    My deepest hopeful thoughts will be with you – and Mary – actually, my love, as well…….