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An Update On Being Home

Cancer is a weird thing. I thought chemo would be the toughest part of treatment and in a lot of ways it was, but the surgical side of cancer has offered a whole new level of complexity. As you already know if you have been keeping up with our story, I was recently hospitalized for a little over a fortnight after some very serious complications from one of my tumor-removal surgeries. Being in the hospital was hard for a lot of reasons, but coming home has been met with challenges as well. We had hoped that home would mean faster healing, but instead, home just means not being in the hospital. Turns out, healing from significant surgery is a really long and hard process. 

People have started to ask, “What’s next?” To be honest, right now is so challenging that we aren’t even thinking about what’s next (and neither are my doctors). It’s hard to describe how life looks at the present, but I’m going to give it a go: Envision an eighty year-old’s mobility, speed, medicine stash, and even fashion sense (cardigans + sweatpants) and you pretty much have recovering Adam.

Physically, I’m still really limited. I use my cane to walk everywhere (“everywhere” right now means either in the home, to the car, or in a doctor’s office).  At home, when I get up to “run an errand”, I usually have to stop and sit in each room because I lack the endurance to walk from one side of our house to the other. I have to stand up slowly because my blood pressure drops and I get dizzy if I move too fast. Once moving, I struggle to catch my breath, so I move like an inch worm. As you can imagine, this all makes common tasks quite difficult due to my dependence on the cane (and subsequent one-handedness) and glacial movement. Also, I’m not allowed to lift anything over 10 lbs (imagine a gallon of milk) so pretty much moving is not worth it.

However, the cane isn’t the only tool at my disposal, the hospital recommended I get a super cool shower chair. I can’t stand for very long at the moment, so the chair is a necessity in order to be clean (since good hygiene is still a cultural priority). Let me tell you, the shower chair could become a full time staple in the life of Adam Buzard. Sitting in the shower isn’t too shabby. Granted, it’s a medical chair and it’s not that attractive so I doubt Allison will vote for it’s permanent placement in our bathroom. 

I’m on a lot of meds (and the list keeps growing). We've maintained a medicine log since I started chemo, but the post-surgery regimen is by far the most rigorous. The medicines each serve a vital process in the healing process, but I still struggle to choke them all down, it’s hard to feel so unhealthy.

One of the hardest aspects of recovery has been not being able to do anything. It’s not just the social stuff that I miss (although I do miss having social energy), but it’s the not being able to contribute to anything happening around the house. Movement is such a chore, and I can’t lift anything, so I sit in my comfy recliner watching Allison bustle around and wish that I could do something to help. She has had to take on even more responsibilities, if that was even possible in this season, because of my restrictions. She’s one-handedly handling all of our household responsibilities (which thanks to spring now includes mowing, edging, and wasp-nest-killing), running all the errands (because I’m not allowed to drive), while still working full-time and she does it all without hesitation or complaint. It’s tough to feel like I’m not contributing to much of anything these days.

So, there it is. Recovery isn’t easy or pretty. I hate feeling like a downer, and as soon as we can write a “things are awesome” post, we will.  But until then, thanks so much for being with us on this journey. Your prayers, support, encouragement, help, and friendship mean the world to us at a time when we are in such need of our community.

Thank you...

...adam

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Comments (7)

  • Ellen Tucker
    Ellen Tucker

    Dear Adam, You will come out of this feeling so much empathy for the elderly and handicapped. You will look at them and see the young, lively person inside them. You will be able to give us all lessons on how to approach that time we are all headed toward. Only someone 30 years nearer to that time than you are would see it this way, I guess. But I do want to thank you and Allison both for chronicling this journey you are on. I hope this doesn't sound too strange, but this Easter, as I thought about the stations of the cross, I thought about the journal Allison has been keeping. I thought about how Jesus, in doing what he did, didn't take away our suffering. Rather, he gave meaning and dignity to it. What you are writing has the same effect. Thank you. Ellen T.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Alece Ronzino
    Alece Ronzino

    thank you for your bare-bones honesty here, friend. love you.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Renee Walbert
    Renee Walbert

    Adam- though Aaron and Deidra haven't faced down cancer, the surgery thing has been a constant in their lives As has been the assorted equipment that comes along for the ride, sometimes permanently, sometimes for a season. Haven't had a 12 month period where one or the other hasn't been facing a life threatening situation. But we celebrate the in between times and live our lives with joy when we can, joy mixed with sorrow in other times. You are in our prayers. And it's ok that recovery is boring. Sometimes boring is better than exciting. Praying that you get to post that "all is awesome " blog in the near future :-)

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Kimberly Peterson
    Kimberly Peterson

    Hi, Adam! I so appreciate your honesty about how things really are in the surgery recovery process. I can honestly tell you that we have recently been there and Brian's surgery complications nowhere compare to the ones you are dealing with. You are right - healing from a big - in your case - REALLY BIG surgery takes time. And it is really hard to feel really yucky and to have it hurt every time you move. I watched Brian struggle with some of the same feelings you're experiencing - helplessness, not being able to do anything without feeling fatigued, being dependent upon someone else. I think that is really difficult for most people, but especially for guys. I am going to be praying for God's healing touch to be upon your body, for His Spirit to encourage your heart and spirit as you heal, and for God to carry you through this healing process. You are an amazing man, Adam, and you have been through so much physically, mentally, spiritually in the last few months and you have persevered through it all. Hugs and love to you both!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Anne Frank
    Anne Frank

    Hey Adam and Allison, I'm sending you love and hugs from Phoenix. I missed seeing you this last trip but I'll be back. Just wanted you to know we're still praying. Still believing. Still thanking God that I know you.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Samuel Abraham
    Samuel Abraham

    Thank you for the post. We are praying for you and Allison. God Bless.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Denae Allen
    Denae Allen

    thinking and praying for you guys!

    4 years ago · Reply

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