This phase of our journey is coming to a close. We have been in San Francisco for 5 months, it went fast and slow. We built a little life here inside our bubble, the girls and I. The initial parts with my surgery and immediate recovery feel like a distant memory now, and thankfully so. My mouth is still raw and recovering from radiation. Dr.Seth says it will take another month to really recover. My mouth mobility slid backwards during radiation and so I'm upping my exercises again. Same on my lymphedema. I was a bit disappointed today because Dr.Seth said my 'wattle chin' will never fully go away, that only part of it is the lymphedema, the rest is the necessary result of reconstruction. So much for my modeling future! We are busy now with my follow up appointments, which are all going quite well. As well as preparing to leave and preparing to come back at the end of June for some telling MRI's.
I am definitely returning a different person. There is a hole at the base of my neck and a chunk of my thigh lodged where my tongue once was. I miss food, but am thankful to be drinking my meals orally. I speak with a keyboard in hand. I have been given a huge gift of spending 5 whole months day in and day out with my 19 and 22 year old daughters. Things are different inside my brain. I'm not even entirely sure what they all are myself yet. My life priorities have definitely shifted....well the priorities were always constant, but i allowed the 'urgency' of life to drive my actions. I hope I can be resolute about not allowing that to happen again. I don't think i will because my life seems finite (as everyone's is) in a much more tangible way now.
Our bubble here is safe. While i long to get back to all the people we love at home, i know that there are going to be transition challenges and i know that it will start to reveal more of the changes in myself. That is scary. I mean things like i haven't been actually alone for 5 months. I haven't walked into a store and tried to interface with people without a 'translator' next to me. Not even thinking about the challenges such as work. Or trying to be heard in a group of people who are all talking loudly at once (family!). Finding my new routines and deciding what changes i want to make in my life are all chapters to come.
But first, we have a lot of stuff to pack and a long drive ahead !!!!