Saturday, April 01, 2006

Home from the hospital

Hello, all! I'm writing to let you know that I'm home from the hospital, and that all is well.

I had a very restless night last night - I felt okay but was unable to sleep much. Fortunately, I had a gorgeous view of the Seattle skyline and even glimpses of West Seattle and the Sound out my window, so I was able to stare out at that and feel peaceful, even if I'd rather have been sleeping. I spent part of the night walking in circles around the ward, as suggested by the doc and PT (though I doubt they thought I'd be doing this at 2am!) to help my body to recover.

During the surgery, my abdomen was pumped full of carbon dioxide, and this is the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing at the moment. Fortunately, the pain meds are very effective and I don't have much to complain about. I have four very small incisions, and I feel pretty functional, though a bit tired. Walking is fine, sitting is fine, but the process of standing up or sitting down is uncomfortable as those motions use the abdominal muscles.

After leaving the hospital, I met up with Lori, and she drove me to the Breast Cancer 3-Day Kick-off Event at Ingraham High School. We watched an inspiring video, got some fundraising tips, and viewed various products (hats, shirts, walking shoes, etc.) for sale. I'll bet I was the only person there who'd had a hysterectomy in the past 24 hours!

Thank you to all of you who have called and offered support...I know how blessed I am to have you in my life.


PS One thing I'm not thrilled about: I GAINED 8 pounds in this process!!!!! It's probably fluid retention and gas from the surgery, but I can't believe that I literally didn't eat solid food from Wednesday night to Saturday morning, AND I had organs removed, and I somehow gained weight. NO FAIR! The docs say that it will probably disappear within 3 days but still, I'm not pleased with my new, bloated self. Yuck!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Surgery update- It went great!

Hi All,

Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts today! Despite a delay of about 2 hours while we waited for the previous surgery to finish up, Kristina's surgery went very well. According to the Doctor she had minimal blood loss and a preliminary look at the ovaries etc, showed no sign of cancer. A more detailed lab will be done and results will be available in about a week. Surgery started at about 2 pm and went till 4 and Kristina had about 2 hours in Recovery. Susan and I visited her when she got to her room and although she was initially groggy and parched she perked up after a supersized value meal of clear liquids (broth, water and popsicle) and some pain meds. She graduated to full liquid- read Milkshake, and even took a few slow laps around the ward as her doctor had suggested. About 9 PM it all caught up to her and she decided it was time to go to sleep. Thank you all for your support and thank you Grammie and Grandpa for taking such good care of TK, thank you Paul for waiting around and getting lunch with me and thank you Susan for being there this evening (and for treating for dinner!). I fully expect that Kristina will be back home tomorrow and giving a more thorough update.

Good night

One Tired, and relieved, Husband ;-)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ready for surgery

I'm ready. I am in a good space mentally: I passed my EKG and chest X-rays today with flying colors, and my bloodwork from Wednesday all came back looking great, and I'm ready to go. I have lost at least two pounds on the liquid-diet-with-laxatives (YUCK!) that I was put on to prepare me for surgery, and tonight I plan on dreaming of chocolate cake. :-)

This evening, our friend Jenny had us over for dinner (mine was chicken broth and jello - Ryan, Jenny, and the kids all had "real" food!) and she gave me a lovely care package to take to the hospital. I am blessed by my friendships, and I do not forget that for a moment. Jenny is a new friend, and my friends new and old have surrounded me and made me feel cared for. Thank you to everyone for the calls, emails, and cards. I know how fortunate I am!

Tonight I had a nice, long bubble bath with Tessa, and an extra long snuggle with her before she went to sleep. I will miss her dreadfully while I'm recovering, but I know that she will be very happy with Grammy & Grandpa, and that they will have lovely adventures.

Ryan has been very supportive, and will be at my side at the hospital. Please give him a call or send him a thought or prayer, because while I'm sleeping, he'll be worrying. I love you, Ryan!

I will have Ryan update the blog tomorrow night. Wish me well - I'm off!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Surgery Prep: Shopping

Yes, you read that right. I have recently become a shop-a-holic, and I've been buying new clothes to fit my new body. I am just tired of being unfeminine - after losing a breast, my hair, my eyelashes and eyebrows, getting fat, being covered in scars, and now about to lose a uterus/ovaries (this month) and another breast (next month), I was ready for some retail therapy. I want to be cute, I want to stand out, I want to be fashionable. I want to be thin, and I want to be healthy...and I want to show off my thin and healthy body! Sooo, I've been prepping for surgery by shopping a little. (My grandma gave me a check....SO appreciated, I can't even tell you, and her gift has funding my little extravagances.) I have a long way to go to be truly fashionable but I have made some strides. :-)

In other, less exciting, surgery prep, I have just entered the liquid-diet phase of surgery preparation, starting by taking an oral laxative that tasted so bad it's a wonder I didn't throw up. Grrr that's not fun....!

Today I had my oncology appointment, and another Herceptin infusion. Tomorrow, I have an EKG and chest x-ray, as well as my admit appointment for the hospital. Fun, fun, fun.

Many thanks to *susan* for the call today. (No, I didn't find shoes I could afford...but I found a lovely pair of Manolo Blahnik's for $413 ON SALE. Are they out of their minds? They may have been perfect but for $413 I want an entire wardrobe, not just a pair of shoes!)


Monday, March 27, 2006

Surgery Updates

I just arrived home from my meeting with the gyn-onc, Dr. Paley. I was encouraged by our conversation, and I'm not dreading the surgery nearly as much as I was before.

- The surgery will be at 11:45am, meaning an 8:45am admit time, which is a huge improvement over the 5:45am admit time I was initially given!
- Recovery shouldn't be nearly as bad as I was anticipating. I will still be able to do walking (for both practical and exercise reasons), and I can lift up to 10 pounds with each arm, and I can push a stroller as long as it's the jogger that rolls so easily.
- Within two weeks I will be thinking "Why have any restrictions at all?" which is great news. (The answer to that question is "so I don't pull out some stitches, get a hernia, and require an operation to fix it!)
- As long as I'm able to eat and drink normally, I will be released from the hospital on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking of eating and drinking...I'm going to have some unintentional weight loss because of all of this! Starting on WEDNESDAY evening, I will be on a clear-liquids diet in preparation for the surgery. If you see me on Thursday and I'm a bit, umm, grouchy, then you'll know why! I will be starving on such a diet, but it is what it is. (Speaking of diets, the scale gave me a new low number this morning - hurrah!)

I think my parents might take Tessa for a long weekend trip in their motorhome, and I think that she and they will LOVE it, and I will rest, guilt-free, at home during that time.

Between now and surgery I need to get another chest x-ray, do more blood work, and get an EKG...more appointments (sigh). But I can do this, and I'm not as nervous about it as I was just a few hours ago.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

So tired again

Why am I so **** tired? Tonight we were all going to go to Paul & Libby's and I just couldn't get off the couch. I've done nothing all evening (Ryan & Tessa went to visit P&L without me, with my blessing) and I'm STILL tired. It's horribly frustrating. Life is meant to be lived, and here I am, doing nothing! I hate that feeling.

I also worry because surgery is days away and it is not going to raise my energy levels...