Dear Incentive Spirometer, I hate you.

2 min readAug 31, 2022


I hate you (photo by the author)

Hey Medium, long time no see. I finished my cancer treatments at the end of July and took sometime to have a life before getting back to being a “warrior” (I hate that word.) CT and PET scan showed that the tumor had shrunk a little and there was no more uptake in my lymph nodes.

So. Surgery. Yeah, good times.

This past Thursday I had a full median sternotomy. Literally, had my entire breastbone cracked open. Right now, there are some pretty serious Bride of Frankenstein vibes going on around here.

I remember waking up in the worst pain I’ve ever been in, which given how my gall bladder surgery went, is a lot. And then I spent the next couple of days puking my guts out. I had a Dilaudid button for pain, but guess who likes their drugs with side effects?

This was my first time ever spending the night in the hospital. I had my own room, for which I am grateful and wonderful nurses, for which I am even more grateful. But, it’s lonely, all alone at night when you feel like absolute garbage.

I came home Sunday, once they took my button away and I stopped throwing up. If my butt was going to hurt from sitting all the time, I’d rather do it at home. Oh and after they took the tubes out. At one point I had…one catheter, two IVs (though the holes in my arms say there were more) and three (3!) huge test tubes. And when your doctor says it doesn’t hurt, just feels weird when they take them out…Lies!

That Spirometer though. Nothing makes you feel older or more helpless than that little piece of plastic. It’s all I can do to get that thing above the 500 line (it goes to 2500.) My lungs just hurt. I ld give anything to be able to yawn or sneeze or take a deep breath.

I know it will get better, but when you’re in the thick of it, it sucks.

Sorry so short, this is literally all the energy I have these days.

Now we wait on pathology and spend the next 6 weeks with T-Rex arms.

Also, how am I just discovering you can’t write for Medium on your phone? What’s the point?

My last supper before surgery. (photo by the author)




Part time erotica writer, full time estate saler, cancer haver.