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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Surgery #2 - Robotic Hysterectomy

I guess it is time for a post.

I just got home this afternoon from my second surgery, a robotic hysterectomy.  Everything looks good -- no surprises (as in no malignancy).  An interesting thing was that the back of my uterus was completely fused to my colon.  He had no idea how that might have happened, unless it happened after my C-Section.  My cervix was also completely encased in scar tissue, so he left it intact.  Again, no idea how or when that happened.  He mentioned endometriosis, but I have never had it -- never much pain with periods and everything always worked like clockwork.

I do think combining these two recovery times was a good idea.  I feel very good, all things considered, although I found out letting my pain med wear off this afternoon was not such a great idea.  And I am extremely bloated from the air they pump you up with for the surgery.  That's uncomfortable, but of course, will pass.  Haha.

I continue to feel great after my back surgery.  It did what I needed it to do and I am recovering wonderfully.  I think by a week from now, I will be feeling wonderful!  I just need to get through recovery and then life can go on and my plan to continue weight loss and get fit can move along.  I should start HRT in a week or so.  My sister, who started HRT in August, was telling me she has lost 15 pounds since the beginning of the school year, and she hasn't really been working on it.  So she believes there is a connection.  I am hopeful it will help my weight loss efforts move along a little easier.

That's all for today.  If anything is garbled, just remember I am one day out from surgery.  Lol.

Monday, February 17, 2014

So.Ready.

It is so awesome to feel better.  Yes, I have a little back pain, but compared to what I was dealing with for the last few months, I feel awesome.  It's hard not to get up and do too much.  It's my first missed day of work other than the day of surgery, and I want to get up and clean house -- mop floors, etc.  Now I know I am not supposed to do that, and although I did a little of it, I made myself stop.  I've sent a request to my daughters that perhaps a little cleaning would be good -- cleaning up after my dog.  He uses pee pads a lot of the time and it needs to be cleaned up so things smell better.  Beth is off work today and she said she would take care of it.  So, I'm trying to let that go right now.  :)  I'll be glad when I can take him out for a walk more.  It's been a while since I have done that.

Steph is sick and had to go off to work anyway.  I hate to ask her for anything, but there are things I am not supposed to do, like bend down to get things, so I have to ask for help.  I don't like it, though.  I would rather they leave things where I can get them and, for the most part, do for myself.  I don't know why I have such a problem with that.  It's the asking I don't like.  I want them to know what needs to be done for me and just do it.  I guess that's kind of unreasonable, huh?

My left shoulder is still bothering me a lot.  Hopefully that will settle down as I get away from sleeping in the chair.  I slept in the bed last night -- flat on my back with pillows under my knees and my neck pillow supporting my neck and head.  I woke up at around 3:00 with a pretty hefty backache, but no sciatic pain.  I took some pain med and was able to go right back to sleep.  Hopefully that will ease up as I get further out from surgery.  But it's still so much better than what I was dealing with before.

I do think I would like to go see a doctor about my shoulder next week while I am off work.  Hopefully it will clear up with some anti-inflammatory medication or something -- at the most, an injection.  I am so ready to get back to working out and hopefully it won't be too long (I am talking weeks, not days), before I can do this.  I want to get back to being focused on working out and eating right instead of avoiding and dealing with pain.  So.ready.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Surgery Report

I am one day out from surgery and feeling pretty good.  I have gotten up to walk twice, and guess what?  No leg pain!!!  There is back pain, obviously, because that is where the work was done.  The doctor said the nerve was more bound up than they anticipated.  I kept trying to tell them how bad I was hurting!

On my walk this morning, the nurse kept having to tell me to slow down.  So that is good progress.  I have had a little pain in my right thigh when I lay too flat.  They said that is because it is stretching the sciatic nerve and did not seem to be concerned about it.  I am staying one more day in the hospital since Stephanie (my biggest helper) is sick with an upper respiratory infection, or something.  She is going to the doctor this morning.  Bethany is busy with wedding stuff, so wouldn't be available to help much today, and my sister (who stayed with me at the hospital yesterday) is going home this afternoon.  With the dogs and cat to deal with at home, I thought it best to have one more day of rest before going home.  I have one more dose of antibiotics to be taken at 9:00 and then they will remove the IV.  I was on morphine until less than an hour ago, so will see how I do now that I am changing to oral meds.  I'm ready to have the IV out so I can get up without having to be unhooked from everything.

I'm about to get those meds and am starting to get drowsy, so am going to nap for a bit before people get here to visit with .

Have a great weekend.  I'm so glad I got this done!  (If it's a little garbled, remember I am drugged and drowsy.  I'm just not sure.  Lol.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Another Decision

I got word from my back doctor that she would prefer that I wait 3-4 weeks after the back surgery to have the other surgery.  I asked for the estimation of when I could return to work.  With the desk job, she said probably 3-4 weeks, but 6 weeks is a safe estimation.  :/  However, I will have my first post-surgery appointment exactly 2 weeks after the surgery, and then they will let me know if I can return to work.  She said it was possible I would be ready in just two.

Now I don't know whether to wait for the other surgery until at least after the wedding, or what.  The closer we get to trial (in June), the tougher it will be on others if I am off, so the smarter thing, I think, is to go ahead and get it in the 3rd week after back surgery.  I don't think my boss is going to like that too much, but it really is smarter than waiting until after the wedding.

Tell me, if you knew there was a chance that the cysts you had in the body were cancerous, even a small chance, would you want to wait several months, or even several weeks, to know for sure?  I just want to get it out of me.  The Lord knows, and I am sure He has it all in His plan.

I have pre-op testing and surgery counseling this morning.  So another busy day.  Over and out.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Appointment with Oncologist and Counting Down the Days

I had my appointment with my oncologist today.  It was pretty much what I thought.

  1. The cysts (there are more than one, on each ovary) are likely benign (greater than 90% chance).
  2. Because I am postmenopausal and have not had a cycle for a couple of years, they are not going to go away.
  3. He cannot say that they are not cancerous and the only way to know for sure is to remove them.
  4. Ultimately, they need to be removed.
  5. The big question is when -- now, wait until the Summer, wait a year?
I asked him, if I have them removed, can I have the surgery a short time after the back surgery, so I can have the same recovery time for both.  He said as long as my back surgeon didn't have a problem with it, he did not (and neither did my primary care doctor).  I have posed that question to my back surgeon and am waiting to hear back.

The surgery is laparoscopic and is done as a day surgery (provided nothing unexpected is found when they get in there).  They would remove both ovaries, since I am past child-bearing age.  I would go home the same day and it is a fairly short recovery time (more about that in a minute).

My thinking on it is:

  1. Since I am meeting my deductible this year with the back surgery, I definitely want to have it done this year.
  2. I would prefer to use the time I am recovering from the back surgery to do this and recover at the same time.  I would like to use any new vacation I get later in the year for an actual vacation!
  3. If there is any chance that the cysts are malignant, I want them out of me.  The sooner the better.
So, I will have the surgery possibly a week after back surgery, if my back surgeon doesn't have a problem with it.  One of my bosses thought this was more important than the back surgery and I should put that off.  I disagree.  If for no other reason, I cannot even lay on my back right now without setting off bad sciatic pain (and I cannot sleep for any length of time on either side).  After having the cysts removed, I would have to sleep on my back.  Possibly I could still sleep in the chaise, but it is creating its own problems (which are getting worse).   It is very important for me to get back to functioning.

One other thing I have to decide.  We discussed HRT, which I would definitely need after having my ovaries removed.  If just the ovaries are removed, I would have a combination of estrogen and progesterone.  This slightly increases my chances of getting breast cancer.  If I go ahead and have a full hysterectomy (still laparoscopic), I would only take estrogen.  Taking just estrogen would actually reduce my chances of getting breast cancer.  I am not terribly worried about breast cancer -- I don't know anyone in my family that has had it and the fact that I have had a breast reduction reduces my chances of getting breast cancer.  There is another reason why having everything removed is more appealing, but I will spare any male readers the TMI.  People I have talked to who have experiences on both sides say they would have everything removed.  So I am leaning in that direction.  I don't need any of it and it would save me some unpleasantness and decrease my chances for any other problems.  If I decide to do that, I would spend another day in the hospital.  The recovery would be about the same, I think, as long as everything is done laparoscopically.

I got up this morning and, with the pain I am dealing with, if I didn't know relief was coming on Friday, I would have had a hard time coping with going to work and getting through my day.  I am hurting more on my upper half and my lower half feels just as bad as it has been.  I am counting down the days.  Even staying at home off my feet is difficult because the shoulder and arm pain is increasing.  I don't pretend to know how it feels to have a stroke, but today I felt a little like I could relate.  My left arm hurts so bad I just want to hold it close to my body and not reach for anything or lift my arm up.  The lower body is getting to be such a pain to move that I feel crippled, almost.  I can move, but it is tough and it hurts.  So, no, I am not paralyzed, but I am shuffling along and holding my left arm close to my body and moving it as little as possible, at times, so I look kind of like I've had a stroke.  (Thank God I have not.)  I'm just one ball of pain.

Sorry for all the complaining.  I'm so ready to move past this.

I didn't do great on my eating today, but not too much volume-wise.  Still trying to pull it together.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hanging In There

Just checking in a minute.  I've kind of lost focus the last few days.  I guess that is not unusual during times like these, but I want to try to pull it together between tomorrow and Friday.

I see the oncologist Monday and hearing what he has to say should help, depending on what it is.  I got into thinking on what could happen one day, but have managed to stay away from there since then.  I continue to believe it is most likely nothing.  I'll just feel better when I know that for sure.

I am looking forward to Friday -- counting down the days to feeling better.  I know it will be a while after that that I will really be able to do more, but just moving in that direction will be very encouraging.  I hope to be able to be walking on the treadmill in the not-too-distant future.  Of course, I will do what my doctor says.  I have read that you are encouraged to walk after the first few days.  I don't know how far, but we will see.

Meanwhile, I'm hanging in there.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Surgery Scheduled

The last few days have not been great eating-wise.  I think all the stuff with the pain finally got to me.  I was back on today.

The good news is, surgery is scheduled for next Friday, February 14 (Happy Valentines Day to me!).  I am glad.  I am so ready to feel a little better.  It will be what is called a foraminotomy.  Hopefully I can get back to at least walking again fairly soon.  Then on to other things after a while.  At least I hope to feel better for work and my daughter's wedding next month.

Sleep is eluding me tonight.  I have one-half a pain pill left after taking one before bed (and rationing the last few days).  That could be another reason I had eating troubles.  I don't know why the doctor's office cannot get their act together on getting refills done on a timely basis.  I even talked to my doctor's nurse at my appointment today.  She said something about having to go through a procedure if I was asking for an early refill.  But it is not early.  It's a couple of days late.  I finally took a second muscle relaxant.  I hated doing that because I will drag tomorrow.  But my pain is not under control and that is making sleep difficult.

I also heard back on my sonogram.  The cyst ("mass") is still there and they don't like the look of it.  They are referring me to an oncological surgeon and it will have to be removed.  That does not mean it is malignant.  They just have to make sure.  I am not worrying about this at this point.  I am quite sure it is nothing.  The ovarian cancer screening blood tests came out good.  I don't know the numbers yet, but she said my blood sugar is good, my cholesterol and all my other numbers are good.  The only thing that is low is my Vitamin D level (it is 17 and should be over 30).  So I have to get a supplement.  I will pick one up in the morning before work.

I watched The Biggest Loser finale tonight.  If you haven't watched it yet, I won't spoil it for you.  All I've got to say is -- too skinny.  Way too skinny.

That's all I've got today.  That was a lot to take in.