Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Good News. Bad News. Good News. Bad News. GOOD NEWS!
I posted about coming home Wednesday and how sweet it was to sleep in my own bed the 2nd night after surgery. It took some nest-making and my friend Gayleen was very patient in creating just the right spot. I slept well, albeit drug-induced. Apart from moments of searing, weird, hot-lava pain, it was a good night. Then came Thursday. I mostly stayed in bed, but did a couple little walkabouts inside my house. Gayleen helped me shower. At the risk of sounding weird, it was BLISS.
Friday, I crashed. In our family, we call them "episodes." At the end of the day, we concluded that my body had basically reached its limit of toxic pain meds. We cut the vicodin out and halved the oxycodone. It took a while, but what a difference! The tough part of this is that everyone (including the doc) tells you to stay ahead of the pain. They sent me home from the hospital with 2 meds and with instructions, which I followed to the "T." But most of Friday, I'd get up, feel tremendously dizzy, lay down, sweat and just barely stay conscious. It was very nearly a 9-1-1 kind of day.
Saturday was SO much better! I woke up feeling like a new woman. There were fewer drugs in my system, and it mattered. My brother Tim flew up from San Diego for the day and we had a wonderful visit. The picture at the top of this post is of when he refused to sit in the chair by the bed and had to actually climb in next to me. I love this man!
Sunday I woke up in the wee hours with serious leg pain. I could barely walk to the bathroom. My friend Dawn was staying with me at this point and she helped me in. By 6AM, I knew something was not quite right, so I called the on-call doc in my surgical group and he recommended that I head to the ER immediately. Dawn took me in the still-dark morning. They did an ultrasound on both legs and sure enough, each leg held a blood clot. I was given a shot in the belly of quick-working heparin as well as a coumadin tablet. We got home around 1PM. It was a long morning. Posse-friend LorieAnn stayed with me through this backward step and has been great about giving me shots. As it stands, I'll be getting these shots 2x/day through Wednesday (tomorrow). I'll have my coumadin level checked and see where we go from there. This was a discouraging day for me. I have never been on a drug longer than about 10 days. They're talking about 6 months on coumadin. But...blood clots can be serious, and I don't want to mess with it. I'll do what they say.
Monday! At 10:00 I had my appointment with Dr. F. It was good to see him on this side of surgery! The first thing he did was to remove the drains. I will post more about these drains, because they deserve their own post. Let me just say this: Getting them out was wonderful, awful, horrible, disgusting, and liberating. I was glad when it was over. Once the drains were removed, Dr. F sat and explained my pathology report to me. This was my moment of truth.
He explained that I had made the right choice. He said they found more pre-cancers than expected on one side, and that I have all but guaranteed that I will not get what I was gonna get. And then he told me the best news of all: NO FURTHER TREATMENT IS NECCESSARY! What music to my ears! Yes, I would have walked through the next door regardless of what it was. But this really was encouraging news! I left his office buoyant and ready for a nap!
Rejoice with me at this news! My friend LorieAnn reminded me that God would grant grace for whatever the news was. True. I had wrapped my head around the possibility of chemo. and I knew that God would be my Hand-Holder regardless. But I did have a tremendous sense of gratitude and relief upon hearing the news! More soon...