Friday, December 30, 2016

Post-Surgery Update - 2nd Surgery

Time for another update, since I had surgery again yesterday! It was the same surgery as before, a D&C - dilation and curettage. Basically, they dilate my cervix and and do a tissue scraping. That is then sent off to pathology, to see how my pre-cancerous cells are doing. I'll find out those results in about three weeks, when I go in for my follow up appointment.

I was a little worried before surgery, because I have been sick for the past few weeks, and I was afraid that my chest congestion and cough would make them cancel my surgery. Actually, I was really worried about it. The whole reason we'd scheduled this surgery for December instead of January was to get me in before my health insurance deductible starts over January 1st. Right now, I'd owe $650 for my surgery, and then I'd get a couple small bills for anesthesia and blood work. If I had surgery in January instead, I'd have to pay a $4000 deductible. Quite a price jump!

Check-In - So, we get to the hospital and check in. Everything was smooth there. Confirm who you are, sign some papers, pay for surgery. Last time, we sat and waited almost 2 hours between check-in and getting called back to pre-op. This time, we waited less than 20 minutes! We had expected to wait so much longer that when I got called back, Brian was out at the car!

Pre-Op - We go into my room, I get changed into my lovely hospital gown. You know the one, nice and breezy in the back! My pre-op nurse comes in for all my history questions. She was actually awesome! Very friendly, very personable. I think I'm going to contact the hospital and write something nice about her. She made us both feel relaxed as we were waiting. She put in my IV and gave me anti-nausea meds, since I told her the anesthesia made me nauseous last time. Next, my anesthesiologist came in to talk to me. I told him about my previous recovery after anesthesia, nausea and a migraine that lasted 3 days. He told me that the migraine isn't a common reaction, but he agreed with our thoughts that the migraine was just my body's reaction because I don't smoke, drink, do drugs, and I rarely drink caffeine. So my body just freaked out. Then I asked him about having chest congestion and being under anesthesia. He said that it wouldn't help my breathing, but it certainly wasn't going to prevent surgery. He actually just thought my cough was from being a smoker, so Brian and I think that he probably gets people in there for surgery with way worse congestion than what I had.

Pre-Op 2 - Next, my oncologist came in to check on me, right before we head back for actual surgery. I had some questions for him this time, that he was happy to answer.

- I asked how many more of these surgeries he thought I'd have to have - He said that he's pretty confident that this would be my last one! He said that with how positively my body has been reacting to the treatment so far, he doesn't think I'll have to have another surgery! He said he'll know for sure once my pathology results come back, and we can talk more about it at my follow up appointment, but he's pretty sure I won't need more surgery.

- I asked him about waiting to start trying for babies. I had been told by my ob/gyn that, in her experience, I would have to wait a full year after going into remission before I could start trying to get pregnant. I asked him if this was true, and he said NO! He said that with my type of cancer, there isn't really a risk of being pregnant and my cancer coming back at the same time. With breast cancer, if you get pregnant after being diagnosed, they usually recommend an abortion because your pregnancy hormones speed up your cancer cells. With my type of cancer, pregnancy hormones won't speed up my cancer cells, so I could be pregnant while still having this cancer, deliver a healthy baby, and then do my cancer treatment. That was a relief to hear, as I'd been worried about getting pregnant after all of this!

- Next he said that I should stop taking my cancer pills, AND stop taking birth control. He said to keep using condoms until my follow up, but that after my pathology results should be coming back pretty much clear, there isn't really a reason to continue to prevent pregnancy now. He told me to keep dieting and losing weight, because the more weight I lose, the healthier my pregnancy will be. He's going to put me back on metformin, to help with my PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). But after my follow up, we should get the all clear to start trying to get pregnant! He said that he'll put me on a pill that will force my body to have a period each month, and it will hopefully also force my body to ovulate. I don't think it's going to be BOOM! Here's a baby for you! But I'm so excited!! So much good news so far, I'm so excited for my follow up appointment!!

Surgery - my actual surgery went really well. It was pretty quick! My recovery was so much better than last time! I woke up with a small headache and a really dry, sore throat, but no migraine and no nausea! I was actually ready to go about 45 minutes before we got to leave, because their post-op rooms were backed up. So, they let me get changed in recovery, instead of waiting for a post-op room. After that, Brian signed my release papers and we were free to go!

On The Way Home - Last time, I was in so much pain from my migraine, I feel asleep almost immediately after getting in the car and didn't wake up until about 5 minutes before we got home. 2.5 hour drive! This time, I was feeling good! We stopped at a gas station for gas and a snack for me because I was starving! I scarfed down a cinnamon roll in like 3 seconds. Next stop, Bush's Chicken! I loooooove Bush's Chicken, and the closest one to our house is almost 2 hours away. It's a really great fast food, fried chicken place. Not expensive, always fast. And they have THE BEST ROLLS! So yummy! We had planned on getting Bush's after my last surgery, but since I pretty much passed out in the car, we went straight home instead. I was so excited to be feeling good this time, and so happy to stop for Bush's. After a couple pieces of chicken in the car, I feel asleep for about 90 minutes on the way home, woke up to a very sore throat, but my headache was gone!

Recovery - So far, I'm feeling great! My throat is still a little sore, but my bleeding is minimal. Besides just being tired, I'm feeling pretty good. I have today, tomorrow, and Sunday to recover before life gets back to normal. I don't think I'll have any problems being ready to start my new diet and exercise on Monday! Going to kick this cancer away, and have myself a healthy 2017!

That's all I have so far, I know it was a long post. I want to thank everyone for their happy thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. And I'll write up another blog as soon as I see my oncologist for my follow up in about three weeks! I can't wait! =)