Thursday, July 22, 2010

Six Months Down - Six To Go

Today is six months since my surgery. Six months ago right this minute I was choking on tears as I signed a mountain of papers all of which seemed to highlight the risk of never seeing my family again.

It's been a great and terrible time for me. I've seen victories no one imagined possible and suffered pain and setbacks I didn't think I'd make it through.

Now, six months later, I barely recognize the woman I've become.

I was 30 when this began. Barely a grown up, with young kids and big dreams. Now I'm a tired 37 with teenagers and a family who worries about each step I take. It's a hard pill to swallow. While I did my best to fill the hard years with good memories, I mourn a little for what we didn't do, the fun we didn't have.

Today, according to my ex-doctors, I can start getting out of bed and trying to resume basic activities.

... like the rope course?

LOL. They meant showering and cooking dinner. I've been doing that since Day 10 after surgery. 

For a bit there I was hiking and keeping up with everyone pretty well. Then I got this nasty cold that settled into my lungs and the coughing feels like getting injured again all over. There have been some dark days the past two weeks but I  have no reason to assume they're here to stay - it's just a blip.

The weirdest part of going into something at one stage of life and popping out of it in another is I'm not sure who I am anymore. This isn't a moan-y mid-life crisis sort of sentiment - in fact, I'm positively jubilant about getting to know this older, weathered, wiser woman - it's just odd.

So many of the things I made myself good at (like crafts and blogging) were based on my inability to do much else. Now that I have options, I don't want to keep my focus so narrow.

Things I know:

* I'm creative. Art is essential to my me-ness.

* Homeschooling teenagers takes a lot more time than homeschooling eight year olds.

* We moved to a gorgeous area and we haven't explored all it's peaks and canyons.

So Nicole 2.0 will minimally be busy with those things and I'll be posting about them here.

The things I don't know list?  Well, it would go on for pages.

I hadn't really planned on writing such an introspective post, my intentions were more on the Hooray, half-way there side. But my mood has been quieter, less *SQUEAL*, a little more thoughtful. 

Thanks everyone for all the support over the last few years. You all have been essential to my success in getting better. And I still really need you as I have six months of healing left to do.


Jenn said...


Kathi said...

Jenn just said what I was going to say.

However, being me, I'll add a bit more.

You're an amazingly strong, resilient woman who has endured and triumphed over so much.

I can't wait to see what else you conquer as you continue your recovery!

Claudette said...

Your an inspiration to us all.

Carmen said...

I'm sure you are going to want to slap me senseless for this next comment but... hasn't that 6 months just flown past? From this end... it feels like only a couple of weeks ago you were in all our thoughts and prayers hoping you would have the outcome we all wanted and now you are like Tarzans Jane swinging round rope courses!! :D

I know what you mean about finding yourself - I feel like I'm going through a similar sort of phase at the moment though it's definitely different and less hurty circumstances that has bought mine about.

You are one of my hero's Nicole - no matter who you turn out to be ;)

Stephanie J said...

I {heart} you - glad to hear you're doing well, despite the last 2 weeks - which, *fingers crossed* will be done & gone before you know it. Keep up your awesomeness - but maybe lay off the rope course for a few more days?! (LOL!)

Mima said...

6 months, well done to have achieved that with all the problems and difficulties that you have overcome. You are an amazing lady, and I hope that you continue to race through your recovery and back to normal life, I'm sure this few weeks is just a blip - a painful problematic blip, but a blip all the same.

I know exactly what you mean about the time thing, I got ill about 10 years ago, and my life since then has been so extraordinarily different. I have missed out on things, but I like the person I am now much more! I do feel as if I have been out of time though with other people.

chksngr said...

Oh, how I love this!! What an amazing journey you've been on! Its so good to see you in a harness on a ropes course!!!

grrlpup said...

We need you too!

Wow, can you imagine what it would have been like if you were just now getting out of bed and showering. SO GLAD it didn't turn out to be that way. (Thanks to your kick-ass fighting skillz, I suspect.)

Can't wait to hear about your new adventures and the homeschooling! I always thought teenagers would be on their own more with education and take less time-- is it just harder to find an organized curriculum that fits?

Feel better-- I hate when coughing hurts!

Dot said...

I don't think I knew you 6 months ago, but I've been so impressed with all that you've done! 6 more months!


Latte Mama said...

You are very creative, and I'm glad you were able to find other outlets for your creativity. Time will fly by, Christmas will be here before you know it, before that Day of the Dead, can't wait to see what projects you come up with :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on six months! :-)

And I like your list of "things I know." :-D

GlitteryKatie said...

I can't believe it's been 6 months!
You're an inspiration Nicole and I ADORE your art!!
kt x

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

I can't wait to see what you'll try now :D

Eileen Bergen said...

I am beyond touched by this post and pray you all the best.

I understand the mourning of the lost time in your life (and your family's life).

It IS a mourning process and you WILL get beyond it - to a brighter side.

I look forward to your creative return - if that's what you decide you want to do with the next part of your life.

Sometimes we have choices in life. Other times, things are forced upon us ;-)

Laura O'Donnell said...

so glad to hear how well you're doing!

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I just found you a few days ago but know you are so STRONG!

This was a great post.

madebymegs said...

I just want you to know how frickin proud I am of you. You have taken this adventure with stride and never let it get you down. You know what battle I am in right now and I look up to you and praise you for your strength and determination not to let his damn thing beat you.

Don't mourn what you didn't do...get excited about what you are going to be able to do now. Jump for joy you are better than ever and know that whenever you need a kick in the ass to get your butt in gear..I will kindly remind you of it!

Great job my friend and I can't wait to see what you will accomplish in the next 6 months!!!

Mim Smith Faro said...

Good for you! Continued healing and wellness to you and enjoyment in your new phase of life. ((hugs)) and HIGH 5s!

Latte Mama said...

Hi! Love your creativity and left you an award on my blog, swing by when you get a chance :)