Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Awoken from Monotony

I'm writing from my hospital bed in Shaarei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel. I'm on my 3rd day post-op and just really looking forward to going home. Everyone has been so nice and caring to me from my family and friends whose love and support I couldn't live without to the surgeons, nurses and hospital staff who are so skilled, gentle, and patient.

One of the puzzling things in life is how a crisis wakes you up from your monotony. Of course there are so many levels of crisis - fatal and life-threatening and the more mundane like might-be cancer or it's-a-tumor-but-it's most-likely-benign (so just be mildly worried until you get the pathology results in two weeks...) variety. In my case, I went from being in complete control of my busy household and life to sitting in a hospital bed with a drain hanging out of my swollen neck and really completely depending on my devoted mom and DH to take care of my kids and house and my friends and family to help with errands, meals, laundry.... And when compared with the more scary or life-threatening crisis types, my 3-4 night hospital stay is really not so tragic.

All of the reactions have happened for me... the emotions of losing physical contact with my young children, having constant outpouring of love and presence from my parents, husband, and brothers. Amazement by the actions of friends, family, and community who have called, sent loving messages, made my family meals, and come to visit - I'm so thankful to have this surgery behind me. I'm so uplifted and inspired by so much kindness....

The surgery was a success. My surgeon removed most of my parotid gland without damaging function of my facial nerve. The right side of my face from my ear and jaw down to the underside of my chin is completely numb. The surgeon said I may not regain any feeling there which is really disappointing but I guess I knew the risk was there. The upside is it's less of a problem for me, as a woman, as I don't need to shave... if that's any consolation? Several suspicious lymph nodes were removed during surgery and frozen sections were performed while I was still on the operating table and I'm very happy to say they were cancer-free! We still have to wait 2 weeks for the pathology reports on the tumor itself and I'm pretty confident that it will be good news...

I was told yesterday that I'd be in the hospital until tomorrow but I might be having the drain removed today and get to go home!!!! I'm hoping for that!

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