It’s Shannon again!
We have successfully been discharged, are all at home now (Peter, Shannon, mom and reunited with Jasper The Dog). I may have had a nap or three since coming home at noon, but have also managed a short walk outside, which was lovely after being inside for 5 days.
It was wonderful to come home to letters, packages, and other fun goodies from all you wonderful people. There is just something so NICE about being able to open up a package with an adorable outfit or cloth diaper for the baby that makes us feel loved AND turns our mind to more positive things. In many ways, the timing of all of this is terrible, but in many others, it was actually perfect. Baby was far enough along that if anything happened, she would have been fine, and this is also about the time that many friends would have been sending baby things anyway, but all the bad stuff makes the good stuff so much sweeter and even more appreciated. Also, I do have to be grateful that even though we were monitoring baby very closely and the fact that being pregnant complicated surgery and the hospital stay, she is SO much easier to take care of inside than if we had discovered the melanoma when she was a newborn and Peter/mom/family/friends had to take care of an ACTUAL BABY in addition to helping me recover from surgery. Not that I would willingly have chosen any of this, but I am grateful for the silver linings when we find them.
Already, I’m feeling better just being at home. I’m no longer connected to all the tubes, IVs, inflato-socks, and drains I had at the hospital, so I can move more freely and feel more capable of doing things. I still have a “zipper” on the side of my neck from my ear midway to my clavicle, so I’m not especially keen on turning my head a lot, but I think that will probably improve once I get my staples out on Friday.
Although I am able to move more freely, I am very aware of the need to use this time for rest, so I am trying to balance doing things with sleeping. Even the things I am doing aren’t exactly high-energy, but I think staying a little active is equally important to recovery, since just sitting around isn’t healthy either. I’m so grateful I have recovered as fast as I have because that gives me hope that my body will be ready when the real work of labor starts (hopefully not for another month!).
I’m also looking forward to doing some of the low-impact nesting things that have been waiting for me, including some sewing and other little preparations. Again, it’s a silver lining that I won’t be able to work, and so I will have time for these little projects, but of course I would not have chosen this path for the world.
Finally, even though today was possibly one of the best days of our lives (Peter also got a job offer today!), we are well aware that this is not the end of our journey. Not only is the little one going to make her appearance soon enough, but melanoma is a sneaky, sneaky little bastard and it’s very likely that there will be further treatment after the baby is born. Hopefully, we will get some kind of a body scan to make sure nothing has metastasized further (they can’t do this kind of imaging while I’m pregnant), and even if everything is clear, it’s very likely that they will recommend “adjuvant” treatment, like interferon, to prevent any rogue cells that may have escaped the knife from spreading.
So while today was a GLORIOUS day, our battle with cancer isn’t over by a long shot, but we are as prepared as we can be for a fierce battle that we WILL win.
I’ll definitely keep everyone apprised of updates, both baby and melanoma related, but please also know that we might not have any big news or insights to share every day, and we might just be hanging out at home, not doing too much. I’m really looking forward to being bored!
For those who would like to help with meals or visits, I think we will probably be very up for both quite soon. If you want to come visit, you will have to be tolerant of my zipper/scars, because I’ve decided there are more important things than worrying about what people think about my face. Besides, these are my battle wounds and were hard-earned! The zipper should be gone by Friday, and so I will look less like Frankenstein’s mother-to-be, which should help the most squeamish among you.
As for meals, I think they would be quite appreciated now. I’m still on a liquid-to-very-soft diet, but we have found things that I can eat (and I can also blenderize many things). I’m more worried about my mom and Peter eating, so if people want to bring them/us food, our wonderful, amazing, fantabulous doulas are coordinating meals, so you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on how to love us through food 🙂
I hope to write more about my hospital stay soon, and all of the wonderful people that made it as enjoyable as it could have been, but right now, I think I’m going to sit down, snuggle my dog, watch a movie, and finish my super smoothie!
So much love to you all,