Seriously though! SURGERY IS OVER! I DID IT! WE DID IT! Such a literal weight off my shoulders (though that weight has been replaced with rock solid tissue expanders)
The last few days…how can I even describe how the last few days have been?! You heard about the press conference day, but Thursday, the day before surgery was something else. That night, the one and only Detroit Red Wings treated me to a private family dinner at Joe Louis Arena. Then after dinner, a private show from the band Kaleido and a tour of the locker room. I walked in, saw all the lockers and immediately asked “Where’s Howie’s?!” because it’s no secret he is my favorite player. There, hanging in his locker was a jersey as well as a bag full of goodies from the organization (including tickets to next year’s BCA night with a locker room pass after the game). As I was sifting through my treasures, I look up and GUESS WHO?! My immediate reaction is to turn around, fall to the floor with my face over my mouth and scream some expletives. Then I turned back around and nearly knocked him down with the force of my hug screaming “I named my bunny after you!” The whole night is one I will never forget, especially since the video of the event has gone viral, collecting nearly 100,000 views on youtube in the first 30 hours it was online. All sorts of sports stations are doing stories on it, it even made the main screen of the NHL website!
Needless to say, I spent the rest of my night dancing around my living room. That, and interviewing with the Pink and Blue Movie crew that flew in to follow me along my journey! (I didn’t mention it earlier because I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to, but now I have verbal permission, THANKS ALAN). The documentary will be at film fests all over the country as early as this October, so be on the lookout! My family and I are very fortunate to be so involved with this world-changing film. In fact, Alan was the one that arranged the whole night at Joe Louis, along with the Wings of course, and Mikey Eckstein.
What a great send off! Yesterday morning I was still riding the high, and I think I rode it all the way into surgery! I never felt any fear, just sympathy for my family and how sucky (not a word, I know) it must feel to have to sit in the waiting room for so long. I tried to ease some of their anxiety by packing them each a care packing full of goodies, and in each were 4 letters for them to open sporadically throughout the surgery (one when surgery starts, one at the halfway point, one when it’s over, and one when they felt scared). Guess what? All 4 of the “open when you feel scared” letters were still sealed when I got out 🙂
Speaking of getting out…the OR was booked for 6 hours, and I was out after 3.5. In the words of my surgeons, it was ‘boring’, ‘uneventful’, and ‘extremely successful’. Everything I could have hoped for! They had told my family I would probably be unconscious for another 2 hours and then have some groggy drugged out awake hours after that, but my first words when I saw my sister turn the corner were “Good morning, Sunshine!”. I was completely awake, conscious, sitting up, and halfway through my first glass of ginger ale. People were amazed, nurses and doctors stopping by because they couldn’t believe it (perks of being young, my body needs less rest than most others!).
The rest of the day was spent chilling out, watching Netflix, attempting to nap, eating watermelon, and perfecting the art of holding all 4 wires that were connected to my body up when I had to pee (sorry for the TMI, but it was an accomplishment when I finally figured out a system).
Now I’m home sitting in the electric recliner answering the thousands of emails, facebook messages, friend requests, and texts that I’ve received (from around the world! Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, France, England, etc). It’s unbelievable. People hearing my story and wishing me well, giving me things, offering up tickets for Tigers game and future Wings games, and asking me to be a guest speaker at their fundraiser events. I’m so overwhelmed with the attention my story has gotten over the last few days.
Thank you to the Beaumont staff of doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, aids, etc for all of their help. Thanks to Alan, Mark, Charlie, Scott, and Ian for all of their hard work filming for Pink and Blue. Thanks to Kaleido, Mikey Eckstein, Dan Mannes, Christy Hammond, and Jimmy Howard for making my dream a reality. Thanks to the entire PR staff at Beaumont (especially Mark Geary, sorry to force you to come in today on your day off!) and all of the well-wishers and people who have prayed and sent positivity my way the past few days. It has definitely helped!
Until next time xoxo,