After about two and a half hours, the surgery part was done. My dad was back. My head was wrapped in bandages. Lots of cotton and tape and gauze that basically formed a football helmet. I was woozy. The nurse went over the post-op care with me, and then my dad and I walked out to my mom. Mom grabbed me because I was walking oddly. It was a beautiful summer day. How I would miss the summer sun.
We went home, and Dad went to pick up my antibiotics and then came over to Mom’s to drop them off. She invited him in for coffee and surprisingly, he stayed. We sat in the living room while my divorced parents reminisced/caught up/laughed. This was kind of amazing—not their civil attitudes, though that, too—but their ability to have a conversation like old friends rather than exes with shared parenting responsibilities. I have friends who have divorced parents that remain friendly. Mine, for the most part, have not.
Anyway after that, my younger brother Will came home from caddying. He and my mother totally spoiled me. Mom went to the store and bought the current issue of every single magazine for me (I’m a magazine editor because of my childhood obsession), and maybe eight different kinds of ice cream.
The three of us watched episode upon episode of “Damages.” Will was totally attentive to me like my mom, somewhat out of character for him. “Can I get you something? Water? A blanket?” Like he clearly wanted to help me but didn’t know what to do. I’m like, “Bro, relax. I’m cool.” He cooked dinner for the three of us, and it looked and smelled fantastic, but I started violently vomiting so I wasn’t able to have it.
Since I haven’t gotten sick like that for 10 years, I was disturbed, but felt much better once it was over. I went to bed. Around 7am, I noticed I was bleeding through all of the bandaging. (And for the disgusting full-disclosure record, had been losing a lot of blood elsewhere all week.) I called the doctor at home; he’d made it clear that if anything was suspect to contact him immediately. He thought the bleeding was probably normal, but he wanted me to come in just to be sure.
The pressure to my head from the vomiting instigated the profuse outpouring of blood, so he re-bandaged the wound in a way that applied more pressure. It was completely uncomfortable and cut off a lot of my circulation, causing these marks on my neck and in the words of my mom and brother, “Your face looks really fat.” Thanks, guys. I really wanted to kill my worried family for making me go through this. If it were up to me, I would have let nature take its course. In a way, I hated the confidence of the doctor, because it tricked me into believing that the surgery would be no big deal and I could get back to my routine the day after.
Cancer, meh. I was more likely to die from the trauma of getting it removed. I can’t believe I lived through that.
To be continued…