Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Post Surgery Update

Hello again friends and family! And people I don't know who read this too!

I'm home after having my surgery yesterday. I figured I'd give a detailed play-by-play of the day, and everything I know so far. =)

So, I talked to my main nurse on Monday, to make sure they had all my blood and EKG test results before my surgery yesterday. She said that they had everything they needed, told me to be at the hospital at 1030am for my noon surgery. I asked her about the no food or drinks after midnight, and she told me that since my surgery was at noon, I could eat and drink after midnight, but nothing after 6am.

We dropped the dogs off at my mother-in-law's house Monday night, she and her husband are really awesome with watching the dogs for us whenever we need them! Monday morning, I woke up at 530am to eat breakfast before 6am. We left for our 2.5 drive a little early, because it was raining. We still managed to get to the hospital for registration and check-in by about 10am. The hospital was so nice! The inside was a little fancy, very comfy, and every single person we talked to was polite.

I registered, and we had about a 45 minute wait until getting put in the pre-op room. Once in that room, I got changed into a gown, with my butt on display to the world! Haha! We waited a bit. I had a nurse come in to take my blood and put in my IV. Another nurse came in to take down my medical history and all the medications I'm currently on, and I signed all my consent forms. We waited a bit longer. I had the anesthesiologist come back and talk to me about what all he was going to do. He asked when the last time I ate was, I told him (at that point) about 7 hours earlier. He was concerned, he said you should never eat or drink the day of surgery. Nothing after midnight the night before surgery. He said it changed what he'd be doing a little bit. It's a bit more invasive if you've eaten too close to surgery, because you can run the risk of throwing up food while you're under anesthesia, and then breathing that food into your lungs. So I had to have a full on breathing tube, instead of the less invasive mode. But he was actually really great, because he said some of his colleagues would've sent me home and rescheduled my surgery for another day, all because my main nurse had given me incorrect information. I'm so glad he didn't! After that, my surgical nurse came in to give the knock out juice and wheel me back for surgery. I said goodbye to Brian, got a kiss, and was wheeled away. He took my surgery time to run and get himself some food, since he'd also eaten at about 6am, and was starving by the time they wheeled me back for surgery at about 1pm.

I remember moving from the bed to the surgical table, and they put the oxygen mask on me. The next thing I remember is waking up, very groggy, with an oxygen mask on in the first recovery area. Apparently, my surgery took closer to an hour instead of 30 minutes like the doctor had told Brian. So he was little concerned as he was waiting for the doctor to come out and tell him that I was okay. And then I was in the first recovery area for a whole hour before remembering anything specific. Coming out of anesthesia is not fun! I was FREEZING! My throat was all sore and scratchy from the breathing tube, and my head hurt so much! And I was sooooo nauseous. A new nurse asked me how I was doing, I told her that I was cold, my head hurt, and I was nauseous. She immediately got me some warm blankets, and gave me something in my IV for the nausea. I slowly started to get warmer, and stopped shivering. They took the oxygen mask off, and let me breath on my own. Apparently though, my normal breathing is too shallow, as the oxygen alarm kept going off and she kept telling me to take deeper breaths. The nurse put me in some super stretchy mesh panties, for my bleeding, and after about 30 minutes, they wheeled me into a recovery room and I was able to see Brian. =) I still felt a little wobbly, I told Brian that my arms and legs felt all limp like noodles. But I ate some crackers that helped the nausea. I took a little walk down the hall to the bathroom, with a little help from Brian. I was able to get dressed, got a prescription for pain meds, and a list of what I can and can't do. No driving, no signing papers, no making major decisions, no bathing/showering for 24 hours, those kind of things. Brian signed my discharge papers, and we could leave! He went and pulled the car around, as they wheeled me to the car. And we were headed home right around 4pm!

My nausea didn't completely go away, and my headache was awful, I ended up staying awake long enough to text family and close friends that I was okay and headed home. After that, I silenced my phone and fell asleep for the entire 2.5 hour drive home! I woke up about a mile away from home, still with a pounding headache. I took some aleve, which didn't help. Brian dropped me off at home, and then went to pick up the dogs and dinner. I had a caffeinated drink in the fridge, so I drank a little of that, thinking that my headache felt more like a migraine than a regular headache. Then I fell asleep on the couch for the hour that Brian was gone. I woke up feeling a little better. No more nausea, but still with a bad headache. I ate a burger and some fries, they tasted AWESOME! I stayed up for a little longer, and then headed to bed. I had moderate bleeding and minimal cramping at the hospital, and a little bleeding once I got home. But the bleeding completely tapered off overnight.

I didn't sleep very well, between my headache and the caffeine I drank, I woke up this morning with a very sore and scratchy throat, and I felt like all my neck and shoulder muscles were sore. But I was still feeling pretty well! I called my doctor, because he hadn't stopped by to talk to me after surgery about how it went. My main nurse said she'd call me back after she talked to him. I felt pretty good throughout the day, ran errands with my hubby, and spent the rest of the day resting at home. I didn't have any bleeding or cramping all day, and no more headache!

My main nurse finally called me back around 3pm. She said that according to my surgical chart, a moderate amount of tissue was removed and sent to pathology for testing. She said that my doctor was very thorough and didn't find anymore tumor in my uterus!! According to him, it's all gone! I don't have to take to cancer pills anymore! I have a follow-up appointment in three weeks, at that point all get checked out to make sure I'm all healed from surgery, and I'll get the results from my tissue pathology. But as of right now, it's looking like the cancer is gone! Fingers crossed and all the good thoughts that it's true!

I'm doing well right now. Mostly tired. No bleeding or cramping. My nurse said that the bleeding might come and go, or I might not bleed at all until my next period. She said that they're only concerned if I start bleeding too much. My throat is still sore. Mostly I feel like I'm sick, cough and sore muscles. But I don't have to go back to work until Tuesday, so I have plenty of time to just relax and heal. But with the good news my nurse gave me today, I'm feeling pretty great! I'm so excited for my appointment in three weeks, I kind of wish it was here already!

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes! They're certainly coming through loud and clear! You are all great, and I can hardly wait to update you all after my follow-up appointment in three weeks!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pre-Surgery Update

Hello world! Here is another quick update about the medical fun stuff I've been working with lately! My surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday, August 30th.

I had to go to my primary doctor yesterday for an EKG, just to make sure my heart is healthy before surgery. And it mostly is! The last time I was at the doctor, he said that I have a heart murmur. He thought it was just because of how severely anemic I am, so he wasn't concerned. I asked him if the murmur pointed to an aortic aneurysm, because I have a biological father and sister who both passed away from an aortic aneurysm fairly young. He said no, a murmur isn't a sign of that at all. He said high blood pressure is a sign, and my blood pressure is great! But he went ahead and referred me to a cardiologist for an echo (ultrasound of my heart), to look for an aortic aneurysm, just in case! And the cardiologist will also look for a reason for my murmur, to make sure it's only from my anemia and low blood count. But the actual heart function is great, very healthy! I am good to go for surgery on Tuesday! I also had some blood drawn today, but I can't imagine anything they're testing will come out poorly and prevent me from having my surgery.

Just another explanation on what my surgery actually is, since I've been getting more questions about it lately. It's called a D&C, dilation and curettage. Basically, they are going to dilate my cervix and cut away part of the tumor/uterine lining for further testing. They'll also measure it to see how much the tumor has shrunk, and gauge my progress with my cancer shrinking pills. My doctor mentioned that the best case scenario would be for the tumor to have shrunk so much that when he goes in to take part of it, it will be small enough that he can just remove the entire thing. It's not expected though, so we'll see! We'll get to the doctor's office at 10am, my surgery is at noon. I'll be under general anesthesia, the procedure is supposed to take about 30 minutes. I'll have to hang out at the doctor's office for a few hours after, to come off the anesthesia and they will monitor me for excessive bleeding. I took the rest of the week off work, since I'm not sure how much I'll be bleeding and I don't want to deal with that at work. But then I'll be good to go! If they aren't able to just remove the whole tumor then, I'll stay on my cancer pills and most likely have another appointment in another couple months. 

All your thoughts and prayers are appreciated! I'll post another update after I have my surgery, to let know everyone know how it went! Thanks for reading! =)