Home Sweet Home!
Hi, Gabrielle here. I could hardly sleep last night, tossing and turning with excitement (and yes, a bit of delirium from all the drugs that follow a major abodominal/cancer surgery). What was I excited about? The fact that they were going to let me OUT of the hospital by 10 AM today, Friday, Jan. 18. So much to do--packing, finding the "going home outfit" (loose, comfy, clean?), having the I/V in my right hand removed and the port-o-cath in my left collarbone "de-activated" until I will need it again for chemo next Friday. There were favorite nurses and CNA's who needed hugs and goodbyes, discharge orders to digest (don't lift anything over your head, only lift things weighing less than a jug of milk, walk, rest, take pills). There were flowers and cards and tea and candles and many other treats to pack up and take home from the blessed readers of this blog. And lastly, there were trips to two pharmacies to pick up all my new meds (one of which are daily shots to prevent blood clots that Daniel J. Dudley, future M.D. was taught to give to me by my favorite nurse, Kim.
I arrived home tired but elated. Never has home looked so good. I have walked three times through each room of the house today just smiling and taking it in. Love, peace, favorite memories, and comforts await me in every room. Clean sheets on my OWN comfortable (not rubber air mattress) bed. My lotion, my tissues, my blistex or Burt's bees at every turn. My neighbors--we have the best neighbors! Not to mention more flowers than you have EVER seen in one house in your entire life! So beautiful! So cheerful! '
Oh, and did I mention there was a UPS package for me on the porch? The note read "If you are opening this, it means you are in your cozy home and you have "earned" your very own "Mrs. Potato Head." It was from my former SPU assistant, dear friend, and cheerleader--Ami Archibald! I'm having fun taking off Mrs. Potato head's hair, replacing her bald head with her baseball cap, and imagining what I will look like about two months from now! ;-)
Thanks to each of you, dear family and old and new friends, for your words and deeds of kindness and love toward me and my family. Thanks for your continued prayers for my complete healing and endurance through the long battle ahead (well, only 19 more weeks--not all that long). Thanks for the FOOD that is filling two fridges and now that I can eat again, oh, am I ever enjoying your healthy, thoughtful, "healing" meals!
Lastly, I want to thank Steve, who though sick and needing to wear masks, visited me and did errands for me as often as he could this week while juggling home and bills and two jobs. He is the real deal, thirty years and counting. I want to thank Renee, as I did earlier, for girls nights in the hospital, great talks and spiritual comfort during the worst week of my life. I tell people she is my daughter, my friend, my pastor, and my therapist all rolled into one....and she IS. And what can I say about Daniel who spent more hours with me in the hospital than anyone else, anticipating my every need and caring for me with a servant heart, just as Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. What a great doctor he will make (and wherever that young woman is that I have been praying for since he was a baby...you know, the one who will be his wife one day...she will be blessed beyond belief by my sweet son.) ;-)
Ultimately, I offer thanks to Jesus who heard me cry out in pain and despair "help me Jesus" about a million times this past nine days. And He did. What a privilege it is to know and serve Immanuel--the God who loves us and is WITH us. Amen!