I am now three weeks out from surgery. Kind of hard to believe. I am so grateful to be three weeks out, and not the first week or the second (which were their own particular kind of hell). I am definitely getting better – the most marked difference is in the pain department. While I am not pain-free, it is a level I can tolerate.
Today I will see my surgeon for the first time in a few weeks (she was on vacation last week – so I saw her partner instead – I like him a lot, wish he could be my surgeon – appreciate that he gives out straight answers and doesn’t get defensive or feel the need to apologize for what he is about to say – he’s up front, direct – - what I would give to have that from my surgeon, oh well, I digress). So i see my surgeon today. I believe she will take out the one remaining drain (after surgeries sometimes drains are put in to help your body to drain blood, fluid and tissue away from the surgical site – I know, kind of gross, but, that is what it is). These drains help your body deal with that stuff so that your body doesn’t have to absorb it.
Anyway, I had just two drains with this surgery (I had expected more, since there were four incision sites. One drain was removed last week and the last drain may come out today. I should probably leave these details (and others I will spare you from now) for a “for cancer patients” blog. I would have really appreciated knowing more about all of this stuff, (how you have to maintain it as a patient, etc) before my first surgery. Instead, you get a one page handout that shows a line drawing of something called a “Jackson Pratt” drain. Not very helpful – doesn’t prepare you at all.
So, I am very tired. This weekend was a long one for me. My Mom, who is getting better, has had some kind of flu bug (she has promised me she is going to call her doctor today – she’s been quite stubborn about getting over this on her own). Anyway, as a result, I haven’t allowed my Mom or my Dad to come over for several days now. Mainly, i want my Mom to get rest (something she does not get here as she is always doing something for me). But, also, I should not risk being around anyone who is sick. And, even though my Dad is not sick, he has been around her, so he could potentially give me what my Mom has. I doubt it. But, I have to say, it is putting some pressure on my Mom to actually go into the doctor (since I keep telling her that she can not come see me). I am not trying to be mean, I am just concerned about her – I want her to get checked out by the doctor and I also do need to be pretty cautious myself.
But, since they have not been here for several days I got low on groceries (I can’t yet drive to the store, so my parents usually go for me or take me there). Anyway, a friend of mine took me last week and now I need to go again. I have a doctor’s appointment today and should be able to make a stop on the way home to pick up some groceries.
I am just so incredibly tired of having to rely on everyone for so much. I had no idea going into this thing (not to suggest that I had a choice of going into it or not :)) that it would be this long a period of time – needing to rely on people for so much. It is unimaginable. And, the thing is I’ll have a little stretch where I am pretty good and can fend for myself, then surgery and I am right back to being useless.
I am, however, getting better. I still can’t drive, probably at least a few weeks more of that – very frustrating. Although, I am so physically tired and my arms are still so limited I would not want to drive right now. But, you understand, I just wish that I could drive, and, I especially wish that I felt well enough to drive.
I am getting better, just really tired of this whole thing, so worn out from the past 15 months and really hoping to get a break from all of this sometime soon. I know I still have the next surgery (same one that I just had) ahead of me, which is fairly major. But, I really hope to feel well in between this surgery and the next. And, then, after the next surgery I just pray that this will all be behind me. No more cancer, no more surgeries, no more feeling like this. I want my life back so badly. And, I hate to admit it, but, I can understand why people stop treatment because at some point your quality of life is just not there anymore and you can’t do it anymore. So I pray that I will be one of the lucky ones and that I will be clear of cancer.
Once I have the second surgery I will be able to have a brain MRI (something my oncologist wanted me to have last month – but, I couldn’t because there is metal in the expanders in my chest). So, after I have the second surgery (one expander was taken out in the surgery I had three weeks ago and replaced with an implant) I will no longer have any metal in my chest and so i can proceed with the brain MRI. That is when I will know with more certainty about whether I am cancer free. So there is some pressure to have that second surgery as soon as possible in order to get the brain MRI done. But, I think I have to wait at least 3 months between the surgery I just had and the next one. I will find out more about that when I meet with my surgeon today.
Well, what a ramble this has been.
Please continue to keep me in your prayers, I need it and I greatly appreciate it.