Surgery Has Been Scheduled

Yippee! We had a scare for a moment that surgery would be postponed, however, a glitch in the Kaiser system was fixed and surgery was able to move forward. Thank you Jesus!

For instance, I had to take a covid test to make sure I was not infected. The result at first came back positive. I was like “no way!” I knew I didn’t have it. Then, I prayed and about an hour or two, I looked back at my Kaiser app to see results again. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. The results now said [UPDATE] Negative results.

I had contacted my oncologist to inform her and see about surgery

She got back to me the following week and told me that the lab had called her to let her know that the lab system had been updated resulting in false positive results. The person confirmed that I was indeed negative for covid. Hallelujah!

My friend Mary drove me to the hospital on the surgery date and stayed in the waiting room until surgery was over. The doctor contacted her to let her know that everything went well and that I was doing fine. Mary left after the news. What a blessing to have Mary with me that day.

She is also a hospice chaplain and on our churches creative worship team.

Anyways, surgery went very well. When I came to, my abdomen was bound in a wrap to cover the incision and hold everything in place. It felt good. I was in the hospital for 2 nights 3 days. Thankfully, the doctor ordered an abdominal pain blocker that worked great. I did not feel any pain or discomfort for those days. The middle picture below shows part of the incision after bandage was removed at home after 7 days. The doctor did a hysterectomy and abdominal debulking. The incision was/is very long.

 

 

My recover has not been as bad as I imagined. I don’t know about you, but I like to research things on google, and I like to ask for info from people I know have had hysterectomy’s. I learned that there is no “one size fits all.” For example, my best friend, who is also on a similar cancer journey, had a hysterectomy. Her recovery was different than mine. Her whole experience with chemo and doctors bedside manners where also different. 

She did not have staples but sutures.

She had nerve damage in her dominant arm from the chemo, so she couldn’t use it for months after surgery. I can’t imagine. Gratefully, we are keeping in contact. She lives in another state. It’s so weird that we both got diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 4 a year apart. I remember wondering if I prayed for God to heal her and give the cancer to me at any point after I heard about her diagnosis. I remember feeling so bad for her. Actually shocked. She had so many dreams and wanted to date and get married some day. 

I didn’t have the same dreams. For all I knew, we could have had it at the same time unknowingly. Doesn’t really matter.

When she was recovering, I inquired about her desire to marry and have children. Her response pleasantly surprised me. She immediately said “Oh, that’s not too big for God. He is a promise keeper. He can give me new parts. Not a big deal.” Got to love a woman of faith that will not be shaken by what appears impossible.

Back to surgery, recovery, etc…

I don’t know if you noticed, but I’ve been catching up on my posting. I think I have written 2 or 3 blogs today. This journey started at the beginning of the year. Therefore, today, I am going to catch you up. HEADS UP: This blog will be longer than normal.  

I’ve been home for 4 weeks recovering from surgery.

It hasn’t been that bad. I started sleeping propped up with pillows, so getting out of bed was easy. I got the idea to bend my right knee and pull myself up to a sitting position. Getting out of bed has been painless. However, there was a day or two that I had horrible gas. Then, I was in pain. Not severe, but oh so uncomfortable. My friend was staying at my apartment with me for 3 days after surgery to help me.  I called a friend who was an RN and she encouraged me to purchase an enema bucket kit. I couldn’t find one anywhere. They were all sold out at the local medical supply store as well. Nevertheless, the idea of a suppository came to mind, and my friend went to the store to purchase. 

That did the trick. Relief at last!

My friend also made meals for me. I didn’t really need help with medications, shower, or getting up. I used my phone to set a timer for when I needed pain meds. I didn’t want her to have to get up in the middle of the night to help me. I was glad she came to help because neither of us knew what I would need. People recover differently. I ended up sending her home early because I was doing fine. I asked a friend, who was an RN, to come and check on my incision bandage the following day. Every thing looked good.

Getting the staples removed!

Oh my goodness. I was so concerned that it would hurt (bad). I was overthinking it. A couple friends told me their horror stories which freaked me out. Nevertheless, when it came down to it, removal was not bad. Only a few were embedded in the skin, and those stung while being pulled out. The nurse was great. She talked non stop and pulled slowly on the embedded ones. 

 

I was able to walk around the apartment pretty good. Better first thing in the morning. Able to stand and walk upright. My vertical incision was 9 inches, yet, looked like 15!!

I’ve had a chronic cough (for over 40 years) that continues to hurt my incision/lower abdomen at times. Makes me walk more hunched over in the afternoon.

My job surprised me with a get-well plant, with balloons, and a bear. It was a knock and run delivery. So thoughtful. I loved it.

I didn’t wear the abdominal wrap for a week or so because I thought that it might harm my incision. Glad a couple friends helped me with that. When I put it back on, my abdomen felt so much better. I did have to remove it from time to time when it got uncomfortable. 

Okay, 4 weeks after surgery

I started cycle 4 of chemo therapy. That was a week ago. Another friend took me. I had no reaction while getting the infusion. It took about 4 1/2 hours. 

Becky was great. We had good conversation the whole time. I wore one of my wigs this time to keep my head and back of neck warm. That was a wise decision. The room wasn’t as cold as others. The time seemed to go by pretty fast. We laughed a lot at times. Becky is such a sweet woman. She has a big heart, very creative, and has a counseling ministry. We’ve had some great prayer times together with powerful breakthroughs. I’ve also learned a lot from her journey in life.

After I got home from that chemo infusion

I felt good until Friday afternoon when I started feeling the same side affects as the very first cycle: Mild stabbing pains in my lower abdomen and at times my legs and arms. I couldn’t sleep that night. Thankfully, I had some Morphine left over from April. I took a little bit along with XS Tylenol and Motrin. I felt the pain leave fast. I could sleep after that. The following day, I took the same dose and slept on/off all day Saturday and part of Sunday. The side affects pretty much left by Sunday late afternoon and by Monday, I was feeling much better. 

Every day, I have felt better and better.

It’s now been 1 1/2 weeks since my infusion. I’ve experienced some painful gas again. At first, I thought something might be wrong with my lower abdomen. Some days, it is more sore than others. Thankfully, I discovered that the extra soreness was just gas. Hallelujah! 

It’s interesting how abdominal surgery

causes gas and irregular bowel movements. I was so regular a few days after surgery. Better than I had in years. Like, I was going after each meal. Then, with this last chemo infusion, everything changed. It’s normal to get constipated due to all the medication I’m given. However, today, I had two bowel movements for the first time since last treatment. I was encouraged. May sound odd to talk about this, but for anyone who has ever gone through this would understand. 

Okay, I think I’m all caught up to date. 

Oh, I forgot to mention that one of my dogs had to be put down for kidney failure and other illnesses a week before surgery. A good friend had been taking care of my dogs since April brought him to the vet and stayed with him during the whole procedure. Now that’s a good friend. His name was Rocky, who I had inherited from my mom after she passed 9 years ago. Then, I was given another dog a few years ago. Here they are.

The brown and blonde chihuahua is Rocky my mom’s dog. He was the sweetest dog. So happy and content. The blonde one is Bella-boo. I had prayed for a blonde chihuahua that could keep Rocky company after I started working again. I was in college for 6 years, and right before I got a job, God answered my prayer and someone gave me her. 

I just got her back last weekend. It’s been wonderful. She loves the sun, and I have a big patio that she hangs out in most of the day. She loves to find/chase lizards and squirrels. I used to have rugs on the patio and lizards and squirrels were frequent guests while the dogs was gone.

I had so many come over. One was such a hog! He/she loved the almonds and would scratch at my front door and look in my windows to let me know it was here. I loved them. I got one squirrel to eat out of my hand. Then, I started feeding them vegetables. They loved that. Since I was home bound, feeding the squirrels was my daily joy, and doing so, kept me moving in the morning rather than sitting on my butt all day. 

Per doctor, I was to walk every day after surgery

The squirrels helped me keep moving, at least in the mornings. As I got a bit stronger, I was able to take short walks around my apartment complex. Now, I walk every morning with Bella-boo except on Saturdays, I let myself sleep in.  Okay, now I think I’m caught up (pausing to think). Yep. That’s it. I will be seeing my oncologist next week on Wednesday for last post op. I will report on what she said about surgery, findings, and prognosis. I will be asking for a referral to a liver specialist/oncologist for consultation. 

Though all my scans show that my liver could be full of cancer, due to multiple lesions on the outside of it, we don’t know definitively without a biopsy.  I need facts, therefore, I want to hear what a liver specialist/oncologist would advise after reading all my records. I want a biopsy too. Please pray with me that my oncologist would grant me this request. I think she will. She may even order the liver biopsy if she can.

Meet me back here next week. I should have a post by Friday evening.

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