CHAPTER 2 – #Removing-the-Peach

Around mid January 2015, I decided to take a weekend trip to London. Considering that I had not been able to go anywhere for the holidays and my fantastic welcome into the New Year; and of course the fact that my former-friend decided to try and off herself in my home (less than a month after I moved in); I felt I owed it to myself. I called Cookie to see if she was going to be around that weekend and off I went. Immediately she noticed my #weight-loss and then of course I had to tell her about the swollen lymph node. I told her that I had already seen a doctor about a month ago and that I was going to see a doctor when I got back. That weekend was really great. I got to spend time with my high school friends. #Laugh, #joke, and just have #fun. I did not need to think about anything but relaxing and having a good time.

When I found out about the #surgery, I called Cookie that day and she was on the next flight to Istanbul to be with me. (I had a feeling that she already knew what it was but did not want to tell me. I already sensed that it was something #bad). It was at this point that I told my brother. No one else knew, no other friends or family. Cookie arrived that Sunday. I was so happy that for the first time in almost 2 months, I went and got some groceries. We even had a proper meal at my dining room table that I had never used. Then it was Monday February 2nd, 2015. We arrived at the hospital at 14:30pm as directed, filled out paperwork; I spoke to Hannie on the phone, and got checked in. I undressed and put on my gown [Side note, the first time I ever had #surgery, I put the gown on backwards, open in the front. The nurse almost died laughing when she saw me. I think she also pitied me a bit…] and nervously kept braiding my hair. Cookie took it upon herself to take pictures of me throughout the process: while I scowled at the bracelet on my wrist written in Turkish, to the nurse that had a cap with the Apple logo, while she put the #IV in my arm, and me putting my necklace in a pee jar so I could take it into the operating room with me.

The #surgery itself did not take very long. I think at the most 45 minutes. Cookie was in the room when they wheeled me back in. The #pain was #excruciating! Imagine them removing a peach from your insides. Imagine how much space it can take up inside of you and what removing it does to all the surfaces that it previously touched! It felt like I had been skinned alive! (I exaggerate…) And to get #pain medications? Forget about it! It took an hour for Cookie to finally get someone’s attention and they gave me something that was basically ibuprofen. That didn’t work. [No matter what I tell doctor’s they do not believe me when I say I metabolize #medication very quickly, especially #pain #medication and #anesthesia. (Bless the anesthesiologist in London who actually cared when I had my second #bone-marrow #biopsy, on the third try…) Therefore, you must give me something stronger!!! I cannot stress it enough!] And so it took Cookie another hour to get me water and another hour to get more meds, needless to say they did not work. Also I could not leave until the doctor came and officially discharged me. We did not leave until about 19:00pm. But as the story goes, ‘#the-story-of-my-life’ as I like to call it, that was not going to be the end of my night.

Once we got home, and given that I had not eaten since the night before, we decided we both #deserved a treat and ordered some Burger King. I was strategically positioned on the couch so I could not move. It was pouring rain outside. Rivers, no oceans, of rain. Suddenly through the sound of the television I kept hearing something that sounded like a waterfall. I asked Cookie if she heard the same thing. She said no. This was about midnight. I told her; no I think it is raining inside the house! We both jumped up. I just had surgery, and while she ran I quickly waddled my way to my bedroom at the other end of the hall. It was raining in my bedroom! How? Why? And why the fuck today of all days??? The AC unit had turned into a waterfall and the floor was flooded. We quickly emptied all the plastic containers I had and placed them under the AC unit. She grabbed the mop and I grabbed towels. I had to call my doorman, who has 2 young children and a wife, and woke him up at 1:00am to come and help. He figured out that the AC tube was connected to the main water drainpipe of the apartment building! So because of the rain the pipe got clogged by leaves and other crap, the water had nowhere to go but inside my house! He managed to stop the water, all was well and we went back to sleep. The next night I heard the same noise. It was #fucking deja rain vu. Because he plugged the AC tube back into the main pipe it started leaking again! Luckily we caught it in time and removed that plug from the pipe forever. #Fucking nightmare. Needless to say I was in a lot of #pain and my #recovery was not going as #planned.

So Cookie’s last night finally arrived the next day. She felt it best I get off the couch and so we went for a walk. We went and got our hair done and then went out to dinner. It took a very long time for us to walk just a short distance; nevertheless we had a good time. Her being there with me meant so much that I don’t even know how to express my gratitude or how I will ever be able to thank her. She made sure I ate 3 square meals a day and refused to let me off the couch except to use the bathroom. I knew that once she left I would be a #mess. I would be #alone again and in my head. Constantly #thinking, #wondering, #waiting, trying to figure out what was next. Trying to force myself to realize that my life could possibly be #forever-changed.

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