Sure enough, the subconscious sleeping mind begins to awake, and reality slowly sets in. It’s coming back to me. I am on my couch, not in my bed. I can’t move and my chest hurts so bad because 5 days ago, I had a bilateral mastectomy. Oh, and I have breast cancer.
With eyes fully open, I get up, I scoop up the 2 pain pills that I have waiting for me, and I sip water through a straw.
Here is what I have learned over the past 5 days. In order to manage the pain, the pain medication needs to be taken at regular intervals. The worst thing you can do, is wait for the pain to get unbearable before taking a pain pill. Well, I have overslept about an hour. The fact that I slept a full 5 hours is fantastic, but the fact that I am in such intense pain right now, basically just sucks.
While I sit on the couch and rock back and forth, waiting for the pain to subside, random thoughts run through my mind:
I am not extraordinary, I am simple. I am not tough, I hurt and I am weak. I am not strong, and am not a fighter – I am of the "flight," not fight category… or at least that’s what I always thought. But then I remember some things that have been said to me recently, that made the tears of happiness flow down my cheeks.
The first thing I need to remember is that I am not alone.
Ashley posted this to my facebook wall:
Strength, courage, and the power of love
Is all you need to strive and rise above
This monster is no match for a woman like you
Because you’re strong enough to pull through
Though it hurts, you cannot let this thing win
For the world has lost too many and you can’t be one of them
Give your all as your loved ones stand by your side
Remember that you’re not alone; this is OUR fight
So never give up, we’ll get through this together
All it takes is a little bit of hope to make everything better
I wrote this for you. I love you mom! Hope you're doing okay.
This was posted to my facebook wall by Brooke:
Hi! So I've been thinking of how I should come about this all day and uhm I don't know how so I'm just shooting for the stars here! I am honestly so excited for your path to recovery, not only because you don't deserve this awful thing trying to attack you but because you're already touching so many people. You have this vibe when you walk into a room that says "Hello, I'm Shelly. I will laugh until I cry before I leave this room, and you will be laughing with me I promise. I'm here to get sh*t done." You make friends wherever you go and that's an amazing thing to have going your way. You have so many "followers" already that this journey you're about to overcome is going to tough so many hearts! I'm excited for YOU, out of all people, to be the one to set an impact on others. I believe God chose you because He knows how strong and dedicated you are. You light up a room with your smile, you're laugh is so contagious, and you get hard work done when it needs to get done. I just wanted to say how proud I am of you nailing this life changing obstacle right on the head! With cute work gloves on of course. So I hope that all came out right and I didn't miss anything!
Love you Shell Bell xoxo
Looking at the photos of everyone wearing pink and reading the kind words of support from my family and friends, brings me comfort as I continue to sit here and rock back and forth, waiting for the pain to be at a more manageable level so I can fall back to sleep.
If you have experience with pain management, please feel free to add your story in the comments below. I remember it being very helpful to me when I was searching the internet, to find several stories of experience.