Friday, February 6, 2009

Cutting -- Not the Crafty Kind

I don’t much like the idea of surgery.

On Friday (today) we’ll be waiting, as our 22-year-old resident artist and ace-kid has his second cancer surgery in seven months (if you don’t count the surgical biopsy -- that would make it three).

I don't get angry about a lot of things -- even things I probably should. There's no percentage in it. But how they botched his first surgery just breaks my heart and yes, angers me.
I am deeply distressed anyone has to go through this, much less a kid. And a good kid, at that. And while I'll periodically ask, "Why?" the fact is, we never know why; we just have to have faith that in some way this is helping us be better, stronger people; helping us learn to ask the right questions the first time and remind us of how very valuable and fragile life can be.
Please keep us in your thoughts (along with the ideas of “no complications,” “got it all” and “excellent prognosis.”)

In another month, we get to do it again – this time with me, as they’ll fix a torn rotator cuff.
And bone spurs at the shoulder. Bye bye, Artiscape. I’m glad it’s an annual event.

Yes, it's the hand I write with. Do art with. My lovely left. I won't be able to do what the fellow above is for awhile.

I was odd sitting in the surgeon’s waiting room today. He’s part of the sports medicine unit, and if you didn’t know that before, you’d get the idea in the waiting room. The first clue was enormous, wall-mounted HD-TV with the Big Ten channel playing sporting events – far too large and lifelike. I saw chunks of wrestling, basketball and part of a documentary about a coach I didn’t know. (It was a long wait.) All these warriors and all I want to do is knit and cut things out and glue them back together in different ways!
The enormous photos of sports activities were another clue. As were the string of younger-mostly-men patients waiting – some limping, some in slings, some with crutches.

No images of pan flute players. Or actors. Or artists. Or book-readers.

Only the lovely fountain seemed un-sporty, and the only sign of “relaxation" in the room.
I felt “I don’t belong here.”

I was relieved that the doc had at least a little gray in his hair, given that he looked pretty young. He was kind, smart, answered everything, didn’t rush me. Kind of cute in an "ER" or "Gray's Anatomy" sort of way. I hope he knows how to do surgery.

I’ve known this was likely to be coming for a few weeks. I’d even started practicing writing with my right hand and driving with my arm stuck to my side, as though it was in a sling. I had trouble cleaning the litter box one-handed, folding laundry was a joke and opening things is still hard. At least I have a few weeks to practice.

I'll be off a day or so while we're in Ann Arbor with Greg, but thanking you in advance for all the good vibes and wishes.


Kristine said...

Hi Jeanie-
My best thoughts for your friend's surgery and to you on your shoulder. I hope in your recovery you can relax with good books and movies.
Take care.

Becca said...

Sending positive vibes to Ann Arbor today :)

Unknown said...

Prayers winging their way to Ann Arbor - hope all goes well for Greg this time.... big hug and squeezes to you all xxxx

Laura said...

I am sending prayers your way right now......many good thoughts and a wish for you three to hang together throughout all of this.

sending love too

beth said...

you know I'm right there with you in more ways than one !!

and LOL....I've been doing the same thing with my arm, knowing that the specialist next week is going in a different direction with my therapy and who knows....she might want me to immobilize just in case, I've been practicing !!

Unknown said...

I'm keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Quiltmoose - Dagmar said...

Dear Jeanie,
I am thinking of you and your family and sending you healing vibes, prayers and positive thoughts!

Best wishes,

Joanne Huffman said...

prayers, healing thoughts, positive vibes, crossed body parts, and lots of loves to you and Rick and Greg.


Karen Owen said...

I'm sending you all lots of prayers and wishes for a full recovery. And as for the laundry - don't fold it - just keep it in the basket until you need it like I do. Hee hee!

Judy Winter said...

Thoughts and prayers with you guys today and in the days ahead. xoxo Judy & Dick

HerzBlatt said...

I pray for your friend and hope that he will be helped!!!
I wish you all the best and I only can tell you, that I had the same shoulder problems several years ago and I am sure you will be fit as I am today again!!

Mary Timme said...

Surgery is never fun! I like to think I've lucked out as I'm allergic to all know antibiotics so surgery is out of the question for me.

Close to 20 years ago they did hand and arm surgery on me on both arms and hands with in a few months. I also had my gall bladder taken out in between those surgeries and am glad I can't have any more. I've learned to use mine in a lighter way and to stand differently and get massage to help my shoulder. The surgery is supposed to be better now than way back then, so, I'm praying yours will go well.

BONNIE K said...

Well, since I got your email today, I guess it's one down, one to go. I"m glad Greg is done with this; he must be relieved. As for you, maybe someone considers knitting to be a sport. I'll be glad when yours is over too.

Beth Leintz said...

Best wished on your visits to the hospital. Wouldn't it be nice if they had beautiful statuary like your pictures instead of ESPN

Anonymous said...

my heart is in your pocket, beating right along with yours. don't worry though it is a lovely lace heart with cream colored vintage satin ribbon all along the edges and filled with the softest of down feathers you will ever touch. and it's warm and it beats in harmony with your pulse. place your right hand (not your soon to be constricted left) in your pocket and remember you are not all by yourself jeanie. i hope you are getting ready for a restful sleep right about now my dear.

paris parfait said...

You and your friend are very much in my thoughts and prayers. As for the sports medicine doctor, they're the best for these types of things - one performed my knee surgery in San Francisco. Sending a big hug your way. xo

Anonymous said...

For some reason my comments often don't stick here, Jeanie!
So, let me say again: I am so pleased for the happy results of Greg's surgery. It is so hard to see young people being hurt.
And good luck with your surgery! Keep working with that right hand, and when the left arm has healed, you can work away with both!
Wishes and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

Anonymous said...


My best wishes to you on your upcoming surgery.

Perhaps it will force you to take a well-deserved rest and take care of yourself first instead of everybody else--give you time to do all the reading you've been putting off and to pamper yourself.

Beth said...

I am sending good vibes for both you and Greg. I know it will be hard on you not being able to write. But maybe you can still type on the computer. You may have to peck the keys like my hubby does. Ha!

Annie Jeffries said...

Got you on my prayer list Jeanie. Blessings, Annie

Anonymous said...

Oh, Jeanie ~ I'm so sorry I came late to all this. My best to you and your family, and hopes and prayers for quick and complete healing.

As for sports medicine... My mother, at age 80, fractured her tibia and fibula at the ankle and a sports dr. fixed her up. At 85, another sports medicine fellow did HER rotator cuff surgery, and she healed beautifully. A year ago, after a fall, she had reconstructive hand surgery by yet another sports medicine surgeon, and was back to her knitting and needlepoint within six months, with no apparent loss of ability or skill.

We LOVE the sports guys. In my mother's case, they do suspect her of secret soccer games.... but they're the best in the business.

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