Friday, April 15, 2022. I woke up early to post the website and social media updates for my 4th single release, Romeo / Knight of Cups. I had written and prepared the content before my surgery so all I had to do was upload, copy, paste, and share. I took a dose of pain medicine, rolled my chair up to my desk, and got to work. It took about two hours because my brain was still a little foggy from the heavy anesthesia medicines. I had been unsure of my ability to do this work because I didn’t know how I’d be feeling. But where there’s passion, there’s extraordinary ability to overcome. It’s visible in everything I’ve achieved thus far in my life. Once I have my mind set on something, nothing can stop me. Sometimes I might need to alter my course a little, but I don't let anything get in the way of reaching my goals.
Saturday, April 16, 2022. Flowers had begun arriving from my Flock. I wasn’t even expecting a single bouquet, yet I received a whole table full. People sent cards and gifts that I arranged on my dining room table so I could admire them. I didn't understand the substantial influence of flowers/cards/gifts until now. They gave me the courage I needed to persevere. They made me feel special and loved. I received socks, hand lotions, a crystal charm necklace, bracelet, a candle, and several stuffed animals. I lit my candle every day and used my other gifts with joy. My gifts gave me healing superpowers.
My Flock wasn't just sending flowers and gifts. They flew close, calling and texting me regularly, protecting me from whatever scary or unpleasant thoughts occasionally popped into my head. One of them, long-time colleague and fan of my music, Colleague-Listener P, had blocked his calendar for 30-minutes a day, to listen to The Music Tarot. He told me he planned to do this for the entire time I was away on leave. I was astonished by these kind gestures of support.
The recognition of a positive outcome of cancer hit me again as I thought about how much people really cared about me.
It was incredible to see friends and family show up and face this scary diagnosis and major medical event right alongside me. We were all being brave together.
Sunday, April 17, 2022. I took my first post-surgery shower and it felt like a gigantic milestone. Miah stood outside the shower curtain and waited until I was finished. Seeing my new body wasn't a shock to either of us. I give credit to this reaction in one part due to the Fit-Pix app, another part due to the mental health therapy we had both been receiving since my diagnosis, and a third part due to our personal preferences. Neither Miah nor I are very materialistic. We are more focused on personality than physicality. We see the soul, not the scars.
I’m not going to say I wasn’t a little bit insecure. It was weird being suddenly flat-chested, and I did need a period of adjustment. But my initial reaction was more that of pride and accomplishment, rather than trauma and disgust. Miah played a large role in this outcome. He’d made a point to compliment me and provide extra encouragement. He told me I’d never looked more beautiful to him.
Twice a day, he opened my compression binder and checked my incisions, stripped my drain tubes, and emptied my drains. “Everything looks great babe!” he would exclaim. He even phoned the on-call resident surgeon for me when I was nervous about having a recurrence of the hematoma. But nothing else went wrong. Everything was healing as it should.
Thin-Gorgeous-Extremely-Successful S came to visit. I asked her to bring some potato chips because I was craving them. She showed up with two bags of Ruffles, Ghirardelli chocolates, and several other generous gifts. During our three-hour visit, she convinced me it was important to do something special and treat myself. I decided an online shopping spree was in order. I hadn’t bought a new wardrobe in over a decade. Sure, I had purchased a new shirt or pair of pants here or there, but it was nothing substantial. Now that I had a new body, it was the perfect time for some new clothes. I remembered the conversation with Financial-Planner C a few months back, when she said,
“You have enough money going to your retirement. Your extra savings isn’t calculated anywhere. You can do whatever you want with it. I’d like to see you, Lorie, pursue your passions, your music, and do the things that make you the happiest.”
Fashion and accessories indeed bring me happiness. I resolved it was ok to go all out and splurge. I asked Miah what he thought about this and and how much could I spend of our money. His response? "I think that's a great idea. Have at it, and get whatever you want."
End of 14 - Compassion & Love