I am really, truly, here at home! I got home at about 4:00 p.m. yesterday (Valentine’s Day) afternoon.

This is just going to be a quick show of some of what I’ve experienced since I’ve been home and at the hospital, but mostly I want you to know that I am actually typing this myself at about 11:30 p.m. tonight – Monday. (I know, I should be asleep in bed – that is my next stop, I promise!)  Here’s what some of today looked like for me:

Hannah helped me with my Elf Hair today.  Good thing we’d had a little bit of practice together “Elfing-Around” before my surgery.  As you can tell with the “railroad tracks” starting at the top of my scalp, which head down over to my left ear (which looks like my right ear in the picture below), the scar is pretty big.  But my hair is already starting to grow over it, miraculously enough.  I’ve not counted, but there are LOTS of staples which should be coming out this Friday, when I meet with my oncologist and surgeon to receive some preliminary information on what my post surgery plans might look like.

I’m taking it one day at a time, and my suggestion is that everyone live life this way, too.  It’s a very good, very easy way of living life!


The picture below is from last night.  Marshall wrapped up my head again as tightly as possible before I went to sleep to keep all of the “yuck” out of my hair as I slept.  Tonight we’ll probably wrap it up again, just to make sure to keep the incision as clean as possible:


Here is a picture from a few days ago.  Today (Monday, February 15th) is the third day I’ve been able to wash my head since surgery.  It was pretty amazing that they had me up and washing it in the shower on the 13th, just two days after surgery.  What an amazing brain team they have at UVA!

Below is a somewhat defiant picture I took when I first saw what things really looked like under that wrap.  I guess I am entitled to a few defiant looks these days.  You can get a little bit of an idea of the “railroad track” that goes over my head and then down to my left ear (which again, appears to be on the right, but is really the left side of my head).


This picture, below, is where Marshall is driving me home from the UVA Hospital!  I was so excited to get back home!  As soon as I got inside, I pretty much said hi to Hannah, Mom, Dad and our beautiful collie, and then went right off to sleep! I had no idea how tired I was.

Backing up a few days from yesterday, the below picture is from before my head wrap initially came off for the first time, I think.  Actually, we may have already taken it off once – it is hard to remember at this point, silly as that seems!


Below, I am trying to “get my head around” the scar that I’m seeing for the first time.  It’s pretty big, I have to say.  But it is really just amazing how the hair is already growing back in place already!  And you can just scroll back up to the top of the page to see how much blood and gunk has already started coming off during the healing process.  The human body really is an amazing thing.


And yes, I am totally, totally working the Queen Mother thing in the second picture below.

Marshall recognized it, I think.  Thank goodness someone did!  That is Skylar Jordan, my RN from ICU, walking me over to my “regular room” in 6 West.  It was a very exciting walk to that step down unit, by the way.  Nate was my first nurse that night in ICU, and he couldn’t have been more wonderful or even-keeled either.  I was a very well-cared-for patient.  Thank you Nate and Skylar.  I hope you both know how wonderful you are, and hope you will always know in every little part of you how very much I needed you while I was in ICU.  Thank you.  Forever.


Okay, that’s going to have to be all for me tonight.  It’s too late for me to stay up any longer.

I am very, very grateful to be home.  Thank you for praying me here.

More tomorrow.



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29 Comments on "Hard to Believe – I am HOME! And I am very grateful to be here."

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Anne Carbone

So glad that you are doing so well Fran!

Barbara A Body

Hi Fran,
I liked the defiant look! As they say in mindfulness, ‘that’s okay’ – have whatever thoughts and non-judgmentally let them go…
Loving Kindness Meditation for you, Hannah and Marshall…

Jill Campbell

The Campbell family is praying for you !

Ed M.

So glad you are home and sleeping and recovering, Fran!

Cindy Stegmeier

Thanks for so openly sharing this journey with all of us. (pictures and all) I’m in awe of your courage. Looks like Hannah has been a trooper too!
Good to hear those staples come out sometime soon!
Sending love.


No words but “yay!” and “keep up the good work!”

thinking of you,

Nicole Clarke

Amazing. Simply amazing! You look and sound wonderful! So glad you are home and feeling a lot like yourself 🙂

Carol Ann Newell

Dear Fran,

You do not know me, but you are now on my prayer list. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”

My cousin, Mary Ann Marinchick, led me to your posting, and I owe her one! You are truly an inspiration to all of us…….keep up the good work and positive outlook.
Bethlehem, PA

Jennifer & David

Fran, I’m so relieved to know that everything went well. You look amazing even with the railroad tracks across your skull. I’m so thankful for modern medicine. You totally rocked the Queen Mother. Our prayers continue for good reports and for this to become a far off memory.

John Ragosta

So glad to receive good report. Hope to see many more. Best!


Wow!!!! Fran so glad to hear that you are home and all. Keep up the good work recovering. Sending prayers for all of you.



Anne Bear
Loved this post and your openness, Fran…thank you for sharing this journey with us. I read this passage today from Jesus Calling and thought of you. Don’t know if you read Sarah Young’s work, but I find it very grounding and always seems to be timely for whatever I am going through…Hugs, prayer and love to you~ Jesus Calling: February 16 Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again. Some of the greatest works in My kingdom have been done… Read more »
Phil & Mary Wotring

Fran, we are so relieved. Thank you for the updates. I’ve been where you have been and know you feel like you’ve been “born again”. How lucky you are to have so many family and friends behind you. Phil & Mary

Rob Warnement

🙂 🙂 🙂

You look great!! You are absolutely right. Everyday is a good day (and even better when you don’t have to think too hard about why)!

Anne Marie

Brave = beautiful. Brave + beautiful + beloved = Fran.

Debbie Rondeau
I cannot thank you enough for being so open to sharing, even such intimate moments and photos. You are truly inspiring! God definitely broke the mold when he created you, my dear. I am surprised they left hair, and didn’t need to totally shave you, though you would still be beautiful regardless! You are so correct, God created our bodies in such a unique complex way, and it is truly amazing how you are healing! God is so…..good!! All the time!!! Many prayers continue, even way down in FL (my parents and their community). Feel the love dear heart. Feel… Read more »
Mary Ann Marinchick
Hi Fran! Why am I not surprised to see the amazing progress that you have made in just a few days? Like my sister Kathy who had brain surgery 16 months ago, you are a woman of deep faith, who had the gift of a skilled surgical team, an amazing family, and the power of a huge prayer support system. I am so happy that you are doing so well. I know we approached Kathy ‘ s healing one step at a time, one day at a time. She is doing very well now, and I pray the same healing… Read more »
Pat Laurenz

Fran, I’m so glad you are home safely and I can’t believe how great you look just a few days post brain surgery. You have been in my thoughts and prayers so much and that will continue. I so admire your faith and trust in God. What a blessed gift. Sending my love and hugs. Off to Raleigh today to help with grandkids and from there to DC to help with grandkids there. So I’m out of pocket until late next week. Luv ya

Chuck McCurdy

Glad you’re home and in good spirits. Heard Hannah sing on Sunday morning and took it as a sign that things were pretty good. Stay strong.

Nancy Black

So good to hear from you. You are doing fantastic and we are all WITH YOU. Much love.

Marci Norton

I’m so glad you’re home and typing again! I was waiting to hear how you were doing; it’s much better than I would have expected after such a serious surgery. I think you look wonderful; the scars will fade in time! Make sure to rest up and get your strength back. Many healing thoughts are coming your way! Take care.

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