I owe you guys another post and this time I will publish some pictures. :)
The first few days off the therapies were honestly some of the worst I've had thus far. Without the side effects to, um, soften things up, the oxycodone had free reign to knot me up big time. I return with a pary of Senokot pills and plenty of water but that just gave me ammo for more tears. I got really conscientious of my water and fiber intake after that and marched on through. The rain through the weekend both helped and hurt; it was depressing outside, but the patter of rain on the roof always helps me sleep well. Things are improving, but it's no time to let me guard down. The boys have been especially sensitive to daddy being hurt and Jody caught a sneak snapshot of Hurley giving me love the only way he knows how. :)
Yes, that is some hair on my face. It is not much and probably never will be, but it is more than I've ever had before. You may have to zoom in on the picture but I won't be offended. I've always been a babyface. I forgot to shave the morning after my birthday and again the morning after that. So I let it go. I'm not working so I don't have to look professional (as if I ever do!) so I figured why not. Jody noticed and has decided she won't let me shave it off. She likes it and wants to see how it might grow in.
Jody also booked us a long weekend trip too... to Cancun! She's cutting it very close with her leave balances and may have to take a day or two of unpaid leave courtesy of the FMLA, but we can thankfully afford it and she believes I deserve it. Four nights of all-inclusive pampering at the Westin in Cancun will be a very very welcome escape. In turn, I made appointments with the wound care center at GBMC (to learn about caring for my ileostomy), a pre-surgery check up, and a port flush. I've also got followups with both the radiologist and oncologist in there. The trip will be a nice way to relax before two weeks of business and family visits before I check in for surgery. Remember to come and visit!
Wednesday this week was Halloween and I was feeling pretty strong; strong enough to try for a trip to Skyline Drive. The timing is always bad. If I wait for news stories that the leaves are changing and it looks pretty, that's always too late. Trying for a weekend drive always results in bumper to bumper traffic up there with all the other hopefuls. And then there's the weather. Well, I'd been eying the weather reports and seeing the leaves change here had me figuring the higher altitude and more southern latitude might work in my favor. I'm not working so a weekday trip would be very doable. I called Mom to see if she wanted to go too... hehehehe
As you can see, we hit it pretty perfectly. Traffic was a non-issue, the sky was perfectly clear, and the trees were turning but not quite ready to let go. I also got to take the GTI instead of the Escape so the drive itself was more fun too. :D I packed my small cooler with some water and Gatorades and a big sub sandwich. Mom brought some chips and snacks and we picnic'd just south of the tunnel near the VA 211 crossing. I do admit I pushed it pretty hard that day and Mom took the wheel for the last hour on the way home. However, it was not a trip I could have done two weeks ago nor did I get as wiped out as some daytrips before. I'm feeling better just not 100% yet. Getting out helps though... this weekend I'm hoping to finally see the Punkin Chunkin!
Some have asked if I still want to be on prayer chains and lists and I appreciate all of you. I'm specifically concerned with my skin "down there" still as it's still quite tender. I am also still very anxious about the surgery and recovery coming up. I know I get to be knocked out and just wake up fixed but it is still pretty scary, not to mention all of the possible/probable complications and the recovery time. I can't ask all of you to do this, but I did want to share one thing; one of Jody's coworkers is flying to Israel on what sounds like a pilgrimage. She is going to visit the wailing wall, part of the ancient wall of Jerusalem, and she is going to pray for me there. I am honored and humbled that she would do this for me just as I am honored and humbled by all of you writing and encouraging me. So yes, I would like continued prayers and I promise to pray in thanks for all of you too.