Recovery point

Jan 04

For each of the past three years, I’ve had one major surgery per year (and a smattering of minor-ish surgeries mixed in).  In 2012, and 2013, I spent the bulk of the recovery time in my parent’s basement while SuperGramma stepped into my shoes to allow the girls as much consistency as possible.  (SuperGramma rocks.)

I guess you could say I am a good recover-er.  I try not to overdo it, and am quick to halt when I realize I’ve overdone it.

This time, Greta is no longer a toddler (?!), Brad was off on holiday time for the bulk of the initial recovery, and I’m not facing chemo after surgery.  It meant that I could recover at home.  We hosted Brad’s family over several days (a week?) at New Year’s, and I was, shall we say, The Hostess with the Least-ess.  🙂  Brad had his hosting hat on, for sure, but I positioned myself on the couch and was grateful as our guests navigated my kitchen and grocery store to cover most of the village needs during that time.  (Thank you, again!)  The girls got to play with their cousins and I’m pretty sure they forgot I was sidelined.  Healing, that’s my game these days.

On Tuesday I’ll be three weeks post-op, and halfway through the “six week recovery” Dr. Wizard told me to expect.  Practically, I can still read bedtime stories, but I read them with less literal gusto than normal.  When I go upstairs, I need to pause and rest for several minutes before I proceed with the task I set out to do.  I’ve been to church twice since surgery and feel chagrined when I’ve started to sing before realizing that triggers coughing and discomfort.  Lung capacity has some sort of direct correlation to singing FYI.  I can do one outing a day, and the grocery store counts.  I’m a slower, weaker, quieter version of myself, but I’m grateful that my trajectory is a good one.  I’m also NED (No Evidence of Disease), and thrilled about that as a medical status.  I haven’t taken any pain medication in the past week (ish), but I still have pain at the incision sites and what must be a heckuva-lotta internal trauma/bruising in and around my right lung/ribcage.

Cooking isn’t happening, which means I’m being waited on (thanks honey).  Cleaning and taking down Christmas will wait; I won’t get twitchy about it because all of The Important Things are covered, and that is good enough for me.  I have appointments with my surgeon and pulmonologist this month; they both want chest x-rays.  Everyone is hoping that what is left of my lung has fully expanded.  I’m actually a bit neutral on that point because I don’t mind medical snafus that are not life-threatening.  I worry in order: a semi-collapsed lung is better than a metastases, right?  At any rate: 2015 is off to a great start, and I’m looking forward to a year of being medically boring.  Cheers!

Yesterday Maren changed clothes between the machines, and carried up/down stairs five loads of laundry for me!  This was such a practical help, and she did it with no complaining.  Watching her lug and tug the bins up the stairs throughout the day made me so proud of her developing perseverance and work ethic.  Finding joy in service is a fantastic life lesson, and I think she was really proud of herself when we looked at what we accomplished together at the end of the day.  Did I mention there was no whining?  I’m so proud!

Greta got herself dressed: she ran to my room and I kept sending her back with one task at a time.  First undies; she ran at breakneck speed to her room, returned, did a little shimmy to show off the new duds.  I next sent her off for a shirt, and the same entertaining run, shimmy, run scenario ensued.  Then, pants, socks, brush hair, wash face, clip for hair, sweatshirt.  I was quite impressed with her listening; with lots of encouragement and praise, and we both felt pretty great about the end result.  She really is such a fun kid to be around.

Between Maren’s hefty lifting and Greta’s laps between her room and mine, this whole self-sufficiency thing is going to be good for their stamina.

Life is good at our house.  We’ve been so blessed with moments that matter; my heart is full.


  1. ShannonK /

    Yay! Thank you for updating. Loved seeing you today! I am praying for an extremely boring medical 2015! I love NED – she is wonderful!

  2. You never cease to amaze me! finding ways to be a smarter, smoother mother in the midst of such a different reality! Love to all!

  3. You go girl! So glad to see this update. Happy New Year!

  4. Lisa Smith /

    Thinking about you every day and praying without ceasing. xo

  5. You are blessed. May the blessings continue! ♥

  6. Maryann /

    Happy 2015 to all of you! Great job Maren and Greta! XOXO

  7. peggy /

    Jen, you are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! You certainly didn’t let anything dampen the holiday for your little girls…and in the process of your healing, you’re instilling some life lessons of constant perseverance in both of them (and all of us). I predict once you’re healed, you’re going to be flying under the medical radar from now on…and that’s what I call “Doing Today(Life) Well”! ♥p

  8. Being recognized for doing something well, is a great confidence builder – we all need that. Your girl’s self esteem will continue to blossom and they will become confident women. You are awesome at planting those those seeds of character. The “Princess mentality” does not work in the real world.

  9. Bonnie J /

    Happy New Year Jen!!! Isn’t it really the little things that matter most. This is a Good day and one to Rejoice in !! Rejoicing with you and standing with you in this Newest of years!! Bless the Andersons !!!

  10. Julie Talford /

    Glad you are doing well with the healing time and the girls are growing up and learning to help and do for themselves too. I hope 2015 is so boring for the 4 of you!!! Hello the family….


  11. Tonja /

    Smiling on this end

    • Tonja /

      Not sure what happened there… as I was saying smiling on this end as I see the cute little girls that you and Brad are so fortunate to share. Also, I got my bubbles today….love them❤️

  12. Hillary not DE now CA /

    Hostess with the least-ess, my new favorite title! That is so good–I like the idea of a village waiting on you. Think you made MY side hurt when you mentioned the incision site. Keep being patient with yourself and patient with your progress. Lung function will be back before you know it and you will be swimming in the sunshine!!! (yay!!!!!!!!) Sending you lots of healing wishes from CA., and a VERY healthy 2015!!

  13. Keep it up Champ….Love you guys!!!