Sunday, January 17, 2010

Coping...and gaining strength

(Warning: This might be very rambling.  I am on some strong pain medicines, and my body isn't used to it.  If this isn't coherent, I apologize.)  The is the first time I have been on a computer in over a week...and it has been a LONG week.  The surgery was a little bit more intense than I expected.  The truth is...I was so busy asking questions about my cancer, that I barely asked any questions about the surgery.  As Larry mentioned, it was a success and I am recovering.  I got home from the hospital on Friday afternoon and I have been keeping my bed warm since.  Today I mustered up the energy to come downstairs to update my blog.  I am feeling stronger, and am so grateful that I am no longer on a clear liquid diet.  That lasted most of last week and had me so weak.  I don't have much of an appetite, but I am grateful for a regular diet. 

The Dr. removed half of my colon and several lymph nodes in the surgery.  They were all sent to pathology and we got some preliminary results back but will wait another week for the rest.  There were not any more tumors in what was removed which was great news...but they did find some very irregular gland cells that were red flags, so they have sent my sample to a GI specialty lab that will hopefully be able to identify them.   I am trying not to think about the "what if's" right now...and am focusing all of my energy on healing.  While I was in the hospital, they did do a tumor board on my cancer where my Dr. presented my case to a board of oncologists and other specialty doctors.  They decided that this case will be better handled elsewhere and I know that I will need to travel for some consultations so that I can get the best possible care.  The oncologists that are local don't even do the type of Chemo that I will likely be receiving.  It is a treatment that involves surgery where they will open up my abdomen, strip my whole abdominal cavity of the lining, and pour in a very hot chemo treatment to figh the cancer that might be there.  I will have to travel to do this and will be hospitalized for a few weeks when they do it.  It scares me...and I just don't want to think about it yet.   (For the researchers out there...it is called heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy or HIPEC)   Lets not go down that road yet though...it is the most likely outcome with what we currently know...but there is a chance that I won't need to do that...and I am desperately holding on to that chance.  I will however, do whatever I need to do beat this, and give myself the best odds to be cancer free in the future!!!

FYI:  I have felt so uplifted by your cards, messages, emails, flowers, thoughts, and prayers.  I am so grateful that I do not feel alone in this fight!  I am sorry that I can't respond individually to your messages, but please keep them coming.  They give me strength...and I need it right now!!!

I do receive emails on my phone, but it is challenging to respond to them from my phone.  My iphone keyboard doesn't work well with the amount of medicines that I am on.   I also do get an email each time you leave a post...and I am SO grateful for the time you take to send a message or leave a post.  If anyone wants to email me at anytime, my address is: shandalee@gmail.com.

I thank you again for all of your support.  I will post all information as it comes...so come back.  I thank you so much for all of your time, support, prayers, positive thoughts...and know that I CAN beat this!!!

18 comments:

Renee' Dezember said...

You inspire me to be a strong woman...I want to be just like you :D I know you will beat this...and please know we are here for you and praying for you!

Natalie said...

Stay strong, Shanda! I know the Lord is mindful of you and your family. Our thought and prayers are with you.

Holly and Ryan said...

You will continue to be in our prayers. I'm sure others have put you on the prayer roll already, we did last night. You will beat this! I have NO doubt!

reverseoreo said...

this is Annette and we made it home again and it was a good trip. I stil pray and hope the best for you.I will check in again later.

MetroParks said...

Wow...just wow!!! You are amazing, Shanda.

Patt and Duke said...

Stay strong and focused my friend! You will survive this - it is just a slight detour that is all.

I'm here for you...

Love,
Patt, Duke & Gannon

Judaloo said...

You know we are just around the corner, right? Hee hee. We are cheering you on from our house, and keeping you in our prayers!!

MMagic said...

Just know that prayers are being said in your behalf and for the medical staff that is treating you.

Dave said...

The good news is the Dr didn’t removes your blooger finger along with your colon we look forward to when this blog is about the fun times yet again.

JOSEPH and CYNTHIA said...

Love you Shanda! Keep staying strong...you are in my prayers.
-Cynthia (Dunn) Johnson

Tracey said...

Thanks for the update, I"ve been thinking about you and checking back often. I'm glad you're recovering okay and will definitely pray that you don't need that hot chemo, it sounds awful. I admire your courage and know that if anyone can fight this- you can! I've never met someone with a better "What more can I do" attitude, I know it will continue to be a strength to you through out this hard time. Prayers are coming your way from all over the world, literally!

Auna Leigh said...

Thanks for the update! We love you. keep up the faith. and never stop fighting! Love you!

The MadHatters said...

We are praying for you and your family Shanda! I am glad that you are recovering well from the surgery. Lots of positive thoughts are being sent your way!

Ellyn said...

Just wanted to let you know I am thinking about you Shanda and sending positive thoughts and prayers your way :)

Kelly said...

I wasn't going to respond because there isn't much for me to say that you don't already know, but then Dave responded about your "blogger finger" and I had to read it twice because I thought it said BOOGER finger. I'm thinking, yeah...good thing they didn't remove that, how would you pick your nose? Sorry to make you laugh if you are in pain...think of it as conditioning those awesome abdominal muscles that you have developed from your new crazy love of exercise. Hang in there!

Kim said...

I am praying for you and i know you will get through this. Like everyone else has said you are strong and will get through this. If i lived closer to you i would be there in a second to help out.

Diane Aland said...

I will pray that it won't have to go that far and that they will have an alternative! You are SO strong and such an inspiration!

Lexie said...

Not only can you beat this, you will! I am so hopeful from your preliminary results and so glad that you are taking the time to really heal and get better, your body needs all the strength it can get. I'm sure it feels so great to be home with Larry and your beautiful girls. I have to admit that your chemo options seems daunting and downright awful, but I, like you, am holding out hope that it will not be necessary. Even if it is, how great is it that there is an option which could decrease your chances of recurrence and increase your time and enjoyment with that fabulous family of yours. Please keep us posted, know that we love you and are praying for you, keep up the good fight!