20 August 2013

Post Operation Update

This photograph was taken two days after I left the hospital for my combined operation to remove my thyroids (total thyroidectomy) and for the lipoma on my right arm. Some of you have asked me discreetly about it. . . 

The lipoma had been on my upper arms since childhood and it never really bothered me. My doctor-cousin, Dr. Michael Tee, had actually seen it years ago and told me to have it removed but since it does not pose a problem except for aesthetics, (lipomas are soft tissue benign tumors) I decided to pass. 

The funny thing is, when the doctor-parents of the kids in my art workshops would comment on it I thought I heard them say "lymphoma" when what they said is it could be 'lipoma' and that is what I tell people whenever they comment on it. "Oh, its just lymphoma, nothing dangerous" I would say. Haha! No wonder everybody looked shocked!

Surprisingly, when kids see my lipoma
they ask me outright what it is
and does not make a big fuss of it
and most kids would actually cradle and hug my arms
loving the feel of the soft, fat mass on my arms.
Most of my kid students love to hug. Fyi.

However, when adults see my lipoma
they either discuss it behind my back
or ask me outright what it is.
I actually admire people and strangers
who would actually ask me about it.
I feel their concern and sincerity.

Now, my thyroids is, er was, another story.

In the late 80s while accompanying my older sister Loyd to the hospital for her hyperthyroidism, the doctor suddenly advised that I also take the RAI (radio active iodine therapy) with Loyd. I was shocked then since I do not have any of the symptoms and I felt it was so sudden but I got outvoted (doctor and family) so I had RAI then. In my recent operation, when the doctors were interviewing me before my operation, I mentioned this and they were sort of disappointed because they said RAI is actually only for cancer or extreme cases. Hmmm, I felt betrayed. But what the hey . . . .

Now this is my before and after shots:
The lump on my neck grew bigger this year
and the reason I dilly-dallied was because:
1. I do not have the time (I was curating a major show);
2. I do not have the funds for it (art consultants do not make much)
3. and, I do not feel the time is right.

Ok, call me silly,
but I believe in fate
and of the workings of a Higher Being
of trusting in my spiritual energy
and all that shebang ;-)
In short, I affirm and pray
and allow events to 
rule my life.

True enough,
while I was returning the call of a filmmaker 
I dialed instead the number of my doctor-cousin Dr. Tee
and babbled my predicament.
After the call, I sat in complete bafflement.
What was that all about?

Completely trusting my fate
and setting aside my confusion
I saw Dr. Tee as agreed
and right then and there had tests
and returned two days after 
and in two days I was confined
and operated on and am now home.

Had I been given the chance to mull my fate
and study my options,
and catered to my fears
I am sure all these would not happen.
And this is what happened:
I had two operations (I jokingly call it "all in")
and did not feel any major pain
all the warnings about after effects I did not feel at all!
Everybody commented on how strong I was
talking, eating, and connecting to the other patients.
My only discomfort is that I can not take a good shower after
but then, I can wash myself slowly,
brought my arsenal of toiletries
(a good toner to clean my face haha!)
my good sense of humor,
and it pays to have a team of professionals
doctors and hospital staff
who are experts, caring, young and gorgeous
(my friends all laughed whenever I say this!)
and again, the right time to have it . . . 

Of course, I will not discount the many miracles I had.
Until now, I still can not believe and understand
how I was able to raise the amount needed.
Although I owe people some money for the operations,
a lot gave unselfishly and unconditionally!
I am totally overwhelmed!
I am still racking up huge amounts for post operation
but I am confident I will get by.

And the many nuances and insights I had
which I will keep to myself for now.
Suffice it to say
I will never ever imagine this experience
but time and again,
it always manifest.
I feel blessed. ;-)

So now I am back to spending time with my hounds . . .
. . . animals, like dogs, are overly protective when their human is sick.
My scars are dry and healing fast.
I have to clean them daily and protect from elements.
Soon, I will wear them proudly like a badge . . .

When I did an art workshop with a kid last week,
he told me "I love you teacher!"
and I felt another gift in those 4 year old eyes
so that when he asked to play after the workshop
I gamely folded paper airplanes for us to play with.

And look:
I received an early holiday presents ;-)
My swap artworks sent by mail!
It felt like Christmas instead of Oh-Ghost month ;-)

And look:
We had red alert weather since weekend
that left many areas flooded and impassable.
People have been calling us and texting us in worry.

Yes, I know my place is in the news.
The stories are correct.
But by some mysterious force
my house and our streets are wet but not flooded:

And before I sound preachy
and unbelievably optimistic
(You would be surprised of how some people actually hate optimism and the good luck of some people so I really try not to babble too much. But I needed to 'tell all' here in response to requests from friends who wanted to hear every details of what I went through and my inability to accept each and every invitation for coffee and chat) . . .

I am in the whirlpool of joy.
And if you were one of those who prayed for me
and whispered and sent healing lights my way
I am sending you the same whirlpool
so that together we can affirm
and understand its power.

So mote it be.


DeniseinVA said...

Hello My Dear Friend, you are an inspiration!!! Having gone through all of this you are still smiling and upbeat. You bless us with not only your friendship but with your fortitude. I have missed you too, and am proud to call you friend. Still sending prayers and lots of healing energies your way, with lots of hugs to go with them. Denise xxx

Anonymous said...

lui, i admire your guts when you finally decided to see a doctor and more so go under the knife. i wish i have the same amount too hehehe.

and you don’t need to hurry work, take time to recuperate. sweepy and babur must be so happy to see you home and i’m happy to see you back in track. stay safe and dry! :)

The Artful Diva said...

I'm glad to hear you are taking it easy!

Cheri Wildcatwoods said...

I am glad that you had the surgery and got the money to pay for it. I too have had some surgeries and was able to do it thanks to many kind friends. Will be thinking of you - one of my scars is also on my chest.

Cats of wildcat woods

Sweepy said...

You will always look super woofy to me!

Anonymous said...

Lui, I'm so glad to see you looking happy and well. I missed your posts which are always so lovely and inspirational. Happy you are on the mend and still sending healing vibes your way.

Lisa Gordon said...

Lui, you are such an angel, and a true inspiration.
I am so glad that you are okay, and I know for sure that your little creatures are too!

You get lots of rest, and do exactly as your doctor tells you!! xo.

Photo Cache said...

so glad you have good people around you who truly cares. you are indeed blessed.

Nancy said...

So good to hear you are on the mend. xo

Viola said...

You are such a strong, and positiv-minded and sweet lady! and I admire you Lui!
You've been through quite a lot here.. but you came over it.

Now - stay strong and still positiv as much as you can. I feel and know you can fight it!

Love with healing lights
viola xo