One eye down, the pain was gone (I thought) but back to uncharted waters.
It’s crazy how you become so focused or distracted on something but then something far worse hits. Many say the hardest part of living with cancer or really just living in general is the emotions, the feelings, and how to manage and channel them. I thought leading up to surgery I had prepared myself emotionally, little did I know there was no way to prepare emotionally and then the physical pain would be back.
In my head it was supposed to go like this – I have surgery, the pain would be gone and then buy some eye patches to wear for a couple months until my prosthetic lens was made. Arrr, I am a pirate – cool, I got this. I do love pirates:) I ordered practical patches for comfort and then fancy ones too. Little did I know the emotional reality of it all would hit and it would hit so hard, mentally indescribable. I can’t hide my disability, my cancer, it’s my eye, it’s my face. If I try to hide it, it calls out a problem even more. Many say I am hard on myself and my OMies say my feelings are normal and I will find myself again but it’s my face. That is hard, it is really freaking hard. Personally, when I am alone and look in the mirror after enucleation I like looking at myself without my natural eye far more than looking at my tumor filled eye, weird but true. There was something about having the eye removed that gave me so much peace but it didn’t help the reality I was still facing day to day.
The eye patches started arriving in the mail and when it was time to leave the house, I was not ready. I didn’t want to wear the patch because it seems like something is permanently gone/wrong. I mean it was, but I was not ready. I tried to prep the kids, by saying, “mommy will be wearing an eye patch, are you ok?” It was easier said then done because the first time I wore an eye patch in public, Connelly didn’t say anything but pulled my hair over my face. I asked if she was embarrassed and she said yes. I am too I said, but this is our life now and we have to deal with it. I then tried out a eye band-aide as it felt temporary so did that for a while, I was better the kids seemed better.
A week after surgery, emotionally still mess but physically great and had a great post op appointment, healing great! Paul and I were pumped so we did what any normal couple would do and buy a new car. We are clearly NOT normal, so of course it made sense. Any excuse to make a girl feel loved after her eyeball was cut out…I welcomed! Some husbands get their wife a ‘push present’ after they have a child, I get a ‘cut your fing eyeball out present’. Also, an amazing OM friend said good idea for more sensors as apparently folks don’t like blind crazy bitches on the road (anything to make a girl laugh). Don’t worry family/friends and others on the road, I am a safe great driver, my one eye is better than most two eyes combined.
As I started to breathe emotionally the physical pain came rushing back. During the holiday I was taken down by an infection of my orbital implant. To be honest, I was not surprised as nothing has gone my way or been easy when it comes to my darn eye. A top question I asked before surgery was what could be worse case and infection was on the list. The infection set me back a week as I healed and again tried to recovered. Truly blessed my folks and Paul were again by my side and our friends jumped right back to care for our kids. Again blessed because I had an amazing support system and care team. I was truly in good hands and totally took advantage of extra time with Paul and my mom stayed a couple of the nights with me too. Another silverlining moment, mom/dot night at the hospital watching our new fav shows. We did laugh as the last time she stayed with me in the hospital was shortly after I was born when I decided to stop breathing (super fluky deal, so had to spend time on a heart monitor…I continue to be my moms special child).
At this time, I am on the mend, I am staying steady. Still lots of unknowns with my immediate future, maybe another surgery…maybe something else but today I am stable. Today I am OK.
#mrscaptainron #youcantakemysightbutyoucanttakemyvision #FUOM #seriouslyFUOM
you are OK and I love YOU!