Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Recap!

I've been behind on blogging for quite sometime now but the past couple of days, I've been even more "behinder" than usual, if that's even possible!

But I have had so many things going on over the past two weeks and some of this stuff is really, to me, absolutely incredible too, but I HAVE to share it with you if that's at all possible.

First off -thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and I think by the time you finish reading this post, you'll agree wholeheartedly with my thoughts that those wishes and prayers all played together and worked -quite nicely, as a matter of fact.

About 2 days prior to my going to Pittsburgh for the scheduled surgery, I got a call from the surgeon's nurse telling me she had some results for me from the CT scan done as part of my pre-operative tests.

Seems that test revealed a nodule on the thyroid that has to be checked out further. So as soon as I am considered to be "back on my feet" I have to go have an ultrasound and have this checked out. From reading about thyroid issues online, both my older daughter and I -and this was reinforced to me too by my best friend who is a retired registered nurse -but thyroid problems, especially if they are malignant --(which accounts for a relatively small percentage of these things) are usually not that terribly difficult to cure. So I am thinking positive thoughts about this and getting this testing done now in the near future!

The surgery went well! They did a bit more than had initially been planned too. A full hysterectomy -although the surgeon did tell my daughter he removed everything except the ovaries and that was because he couldn't find them! I thought that was rather amusing -thinking maybe he was looking for cherries and they had turned to withered up old olives or perhaps, had been pulverized about seven years ago when I had radiation treatments for the colon cancer I had then! In addition to that, they also did bladder repair (nice) as well as full hernia repair too! The latter was a bit of a surprise as the surgeon called upon for the hernia repair had initially said he was thinking this might be just a bit of tacking things up here and there as he was concerned that full hernia repair might be biting off a bit more than would be easy to chew, ya know.

I had the surgery done on Friday, July 30th and returned home on the following Tuesday, August 3rd! Mandy and the kids came down to pick me up and we had a nice ride home -with very few issues with the kids. Okay, I didn't say NO ISSUES -just not a horrendous amount of them although there was a good bit of Mandy putting her hand between the seats, reaching back to two small children and ordering them to surrender to her hands whatever toy, book, or other thing one or both had that they were using to beat the other over the head with it. By the time we got home, the floor in the front of the car, under the dash, was pretty well on overload with these items.

The biggest drawback to my homecoming though was that they sent me home with a catheter still inside me. Now that, I know was a necessity, but it was also a royal pain in the dupa as far as I was concerned. It truly limits one's ability to do ANYTHING when you have to remember this clunky hose and bag attached to you, find a place to hang the damned bag and also, that wherever it is hanging, it is not going to give you near the amount of room you need to do even the simplest things in life -like easily get a cup of coffee, much less make yourself a quick sandwich! Yeah, just a royal pain in the dupa.

That catheter, as I already blogged before, also provided for a lot of comments over the past 10 days too from Miss Maya. More later in this post about her!

This past Saturday though, I did get quite a surprise when the main surgeon from my team phoned me to check up on me, how I was feeling, any problems, etc., etc. I was quite impressed by his call!

He also then informed me that he was calling to tell me that they had received the pathology reports from the surgery the day before. And he began to review the reasons I had been referred to him: Displasia in the cervix -right? Yes. Well, the report says there was no displasia. Hmmmm. Then he goes on to say what the report did show -seems there was cancer cells present in the uterus! Holy Rip! Really? Yes and he went on then to reiterate how happy he was that my doctor at home here had referred me to him and how happy he was that it had been decided that I have the full hysterectomy too! Why? Well because had I not done that, had I continued just having pap smears, etc., the cancer in the uterus would NEVER have been detected without having had the hysterectomy!

Is that incredible or what? Doesn't that speak legions though that someone was definitely looking out for me? I think so! And so does my surgeon!

So now, the upshot of that discovery is that in about 4-5 weeks, I will have to begin having chemo once again. I am not upset by this -not in the least -as I know I can handle this -been there, done that before ya know -and also, I know this is important to do this too in an effort to try to track down any possible little cancer cells that may have escaped the surgeon's scalpel and are not racing around my system looking for yet another place to land and take up residence then! Hopefully, the chemo treatments will catch them and will do a destroy mission on them then too!

Tuesday, of this week, older daughter Carrie took me back to Pittsburgh to have a test done on the bladder to ascertain that all is working as it should be there and if so, then they promised to remove the catheter! I am so happy to report that all went as it should and they did the test and then took that God-aweful contraption out of me! Free at last, yes, free at last and such a good feeling it was too!

Then, on to the surgeon's office to have the incision checked out and the staples removed.

Because Maya has been displaying some not always positive behavior in recent weeks at the babysitter's house -a place where prior to my problems making it necessary for her and Kurtis both to go spend time with Jenn-Jenn (Mandy's best friend who is their sitter) Maya was becoming unruly and thus difficult to manage. We figure it was a jealousy issue that she didn't want Kurtis to share the little throne royalty such as her majesty, Miss Maya, had in Jenn-Jenn's home. So, because of that and because she usually behaves quite well for Aunt Carrie, we decided to take her along on our trip to the hospital and doctor's office -to kind of return her place of glory to her, ya know.

And that worked out just great -fine and dandy -and quite fun for Carrie and I as we listened to Maya singing in the back seat of the car, watched her watch in total fascination too the various things taking place as the medical people checked me out!

When the med assistant came into the examining room to check the incision and remove the staples, Maya and Carrie were there with me and the assistant asked Maya if she wanted to watch her remove the staples.

Boy, you never saw a six-year-old respond to a question like that as quickly as Maya did! You betcha she wanted to watch that process! So the assistant procured a little stool, put it alongside the examining table and helped Maya to step up there so she could watch her carefully snip, then slide the staples out of my abdomen.

And was Maya fascinated? Was she ever!!! If she could have gotten her nose any closer to see what was taking place, it would have been resting directly on my tummy! She was spellbound, really and truly spellbound with no talking during the entire procedure from her, just eyes glued on the "prize" as it were!

The assistant, as well as the urologist who checked me out yesterday, were as fascinated in watching Maya watch the staples being removed as Maya was! Incredible, huh?

After leaving the hospital, we had decided we would be taking a longer route to return home as we wanted to stop by my cousin's house in Latrobe, PA (About 40 miles or so south and east of Pittsburgh) to visit a bit with her and her husband -both who have had some really big major medical issues in the recent past.

So, before heading down to their home, we stopped in Murraysville at the Hoss' Restaurant there for a nice big meal.

As I got up to walk to the salad bar, Maya called out to me -"Gram, you sure are walking much better since you got your staples taken out!" I was kind of stunned, not expecting her to say anything -much less that comment -and I turned to her and said "What?" And of course, you know, don't you, that she repeated that sentence in a much louder voice -to make sure, of course, than every other patron in the place heard her then too!

After enjoying the meal, before we left, we all went to use the restroom and as I walked in there, Maya -again in a pretty loud, very clear voice, announced to the world, "Gram, you can sit down and pee now can't you?" To which I responded, yes, Maya, I can and then she shouted out, "GREAT!" You betcha, sweetheart, it is great! Both that I can do that procedure again and also, that you are savvy enough at your tender age to think that all this is "great" cause yes indeedy, baby girl, it sure as Hell is!

Then on down to visit with my cousin and her husband and I was so proud of Maya while we were there as she was as close to being angelic as is ever gonna be possible when you are six years old and your name is Maya!

Now, my cousin's husband has health issues and as a result, he is on oxygen 24/7 and Maya had never been "up close and personal" ya know with the breathing mechanism he has to have. He overheard Maya whisper questions to Aunt Carrie about what that stuff was around his face, in his nose, etc., and he called her over to him and then, removed the breathing tube and showed her how it works. Once again, she was mesmerized by all this "teaching" stuff, ya know. He held the tube to her ear so she could hear the sound of the oxygen as well as holding it by her hand too so she could feel it and the he calmly explained to her that he has to have this so he can continue to breathe and she was able to grasp it all, take it in and also, have to fear or questions in her mind now if she sees other people with devices like this!

Thanks so very much to him for taking the time to explain that in an easy to understand manner and alleviate any possible fears that she could possibly have taken away if she didn't have all that explained to her, ya know. Best thing he could have done for her, then and there, for sure!

The full upshot of the trip to the hospital, seeing all these things, etc., is that Maya announced to Aunt Carrie and I last night then that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. If she keeps going as she has been thus far, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if she does follow through and do just that!

Tonight, when the kids got home from the sitter's, after having a piece of freshly baked yellow cake with chocolate-peanut butter icing on it, I wheedled Maya into getting a tube of body cream I had handy and got her to rub it on my legs and feet -felt so darned good and cooling when she did that!

However, she's a bit of a sadist at times too as she dearly loves to come across any "boo-boos" that might be present on my legs at those times -old bug bites, or scratches the kittens have left when they tried to use my fat legs as climbing implements or scratching posts -and when she encounters things like that, she dearly loves to dig at them! Why, I'm not sure but that's her way. And that's what she did tonight until she managed to scratch each and every mark until it began to bleed a bit. So then she told me she had to get some bandaids and put them on these little boo-boos, you know. As she came back to me with the bandaids, she informed me she was using the "brown bandaids" on my marks as she didn't want to "Waste her pink Miss Kitty bandaids on my boo-boos!"

And at that comment, both Mandy and I howled in laughter!

So now, my left leg is proudly displaying 7 brown bandaids there to protect those minor little injuries they already had.

Nice to know she's also concerned about not wasting some things in the household too, isn't it?

So there you have it -as encapsulated a report as I will probably ever be able to provide to you about things and events in my life in the past two weeks!

(I just happened to think too in the past, Maya has never hesitated to share her "Dora, the Explorer bandaids" with me so maybe these Miss Kitty ones are considered to be extra-special in her train of thought.)

And now, I think I'll retire for the night!
Pleasant dreams to all and thinking totally positive thoughts about the way things are going in my life here these days!


Sandee said...

Looks like things are running along quite smoothly. I'm so happy to hear that. You are on the mend and that's absolutely wonderful.

Thanks for keeping us updates. Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

I'm glad that they found those cancer cells early and that you are gong to be just fine.

Suldog said...

Isn't it a wonderful thing to realize that something you may have taken for granted - peeing, in your case sitting down - has become something to rather enjoy and for which to be grateful? Amazing how God reminds us to remain thankful.

Sounds like she really does have a decent shot at being involved in medicine, what with her tremendous curiosity about procedures. I would have run from the room when I was her age, had someone asked me if I wanted to see staples removed.

... Paige said...

I'm so glad that they took the baby barn! I know I sure don't miss mine, not one little bit.

I, too am glad you can go pee and walk without staples


TechnoBabe said...

I can picture Maya watching the staples being removed. It sounds like the hysterectomy was indeed a blessing for more than one reason. You are recovering from that surgery and all the extra fix-its they did at the same time. You had some great doctors. I am so glad you are doing well and you have a great attitude.

Maggie May said...

Sorry to hear about the chemo but glad it isn't fazing you.
Hope Miss Maya can perfect her medical knowledge and practical work & observations and end up as really good doctor! (Or maybe a nurse!)
Glad things are all going well and that do admire the way you tackle things.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Skittles said...

Thanks for filling us all in on the happenings in your life. It always is so full and interesting!

Ya know.. I prayed for you from the time you went to the hospital until you came home, went back to get your staples out. I have been praying for healing etc. Something told me last night that I wasn't done with you and I see I was right. I'll just keep you at the top of my list. :)


(If I had Miss Kitty bandaids I'd share them with you. :P)

Marguerite said...

So glad that you're feeling better and that you got your staples and catheter out. So sorry about the need for more chemo, but greatly admire your positive attitude. You are truly such a strong and amazing woman, Jeni! Blessings, Marguerite

Travis Cody said...

I'm glad to hear that things seem to be progressing reasonably well after the surgery!

Kat said...

Oh my! It certainly does sound like the Man upstairs was watching out for you. Hooray! And that is the best attitude for getting chemo that I've ever heard! But we should all be grateful that chemo is an option these days. I'm sure you'll do beautifully with it!
So glad you are doing so well now. Lord knows you've been through it.

And it does indeed sound like Maya has a future career in the health industry! :)