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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Rest of The Story

Well, tomorrow is the 12th year anniversary of my surgery, so I'd better finish the story.
So there I was on the same floor as the heart patients, most of whom where in their 70's. I was feeling great now that I could breathe and swallow again. I started in one room and later was moved after the other patient went home and they needed the room. I ended up rooming with Mrs. Walden, who was in her 70's, diabetic and hard of hearing. Now if you've never had surgery you might not realize that they monitor all your fluids, incoming and outgoing. They give you this little thing called a potty hat to gather your urine(this is some of the glamorous stuff). So I had a potty hat and of course, Mrs. Walden had her own potty hat. At one point Mrs. Walden got out of bed and headed to the bathroom. My mom tried to ask her to wait a minute as my potty hat was on the toilet, but remember I said she was hard of hearing?? She was REALLY hard of hearing and didn't hear a word. We had to call the nurses station and ask them to come take care of the "potty hat situation". Even in the midst of serious stuff, there is room for humor.
I had to stay in the hospital for a week. I couldn't go home until they had given me a bone marrow test. The head nun in the hospital talked to about what the procedure was like (she'd had it done before). She was honest and told me it was painful for her and not to be afraid to cry or scream, that was normal. Needless to say, I was nervous. My doctor that came to do the test was British, so that was cool. I did see all the very large needles, which was not cool. He explained each step of the procedure as he numbed my hip deeper and deeper. Then it was time to get the sample and a bone chip. Once again, I believe prayer saw me through this, it only felt strange, not overly painful. The doctor and his assistant assured me that it was okay to cry or scream. I said I would do that when it hurt, but it never got to that point.
The doctor's tool slipped while he was trying to get a bone chip from me. He told me I had the hardest bones he'd seen, which was good, it turned out no cancer had spread to my bones, in fact the cancer was in stage 1A (that's the very first stage).
I went home a week to the day after my surgery. I was so glad to go home ,even though, really, my journey had just started. I returned many times to see the oncologist, a surgeon to put in a port for chemo and later to have it removed and the radiologist. I had chemo for 6 months and 23 doses of radiation. I had so much treatment due to the location of my tumor, near my heart. God led me through this time, it was very isolating, I could not work, attend church or be out in public much due to very low white blood cell counts. There was a chance that the chemo could have sent me into menopause and that I would have never been able to have children. It was hard, but I trusted that God had a plan and I didn't know what it was, but I needed to trust him.

1 comment:

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Isn't it strange that most of the people who are now closest to you, with the exception of your parents, have no idea what that time was like? Your words take me back to when my brother Pete was receiving radiation treatments before his bone marrow transplant. That filled our lives. It dictated every action. It changed who I was, but Jeremy and everyone that I see on a daily basis has no clue about that part of my life. Strange.