Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just not much to say...But I'm STILL here!

I am still in the hospital, and hope to be able to go home soon.  I will be going home with IV antibiotics and a wound vac and will require home health to come out quite a bit to change the dressings, etc. 

I am struggling with this surgery and hospitalization.  For the others, I knew I was doing it for a great cause...fighing cancer.  I was inspired by the wonderful life that I still want to lead and by my great desire to raise my children.  Every pain I felt and hard thing I encountered was just a hurdle in the way of my goal. 

I guess this one is technically another hurdle, I am just struggling with it because I am no longer fighting cancer.  I am here because of a Dr.'s mistake...and something about that makes this hospitalization much harder.  I was admitted a week ago...and each day has been painful for several different reasons.

I wish I could suspend my blog and allow no readers until things are going better.(because I hate being/feeling so negative)  I can't wait to be able to share stories of cherished time spent with my kids or of me feeling better and enjoying my new lease on life.  Thanks for bearing with me.  This too shall pass...

The woun

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My motto lately

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on!!!"   ~Thomas Jefferson
(I am trying SO hard to hold on...)

You won't believe where I am!

The Hospital!  I was admitted last Friday after a series of tests and my 10th ct scan for the month.  Here's the scoop. Saturday marked two weeks of me being home from the hospital in Spokane.  Usually in that time I should have been able to start healing and gaining strength.  The opposite had been happening with me.  I got the flu that first week which was torture  (imagine vomiting over 50 times with hundreds of fresh stiches in your stomach!!)   It HURT...but also brough on a fever and increased pain.  The fever continued over a week and the pain got to a point to where I was unable to get out of  my bed except when necessary.  Out of desperation, I went to the ER and got a full battery of tests run and another ct.  It revealed that I had a large abcess below my incision from the last surgery.  I had been on antiobiotics but they aren't able to penetrate the abcess, so the infection was making me very sick. 

I was sent to a radiologist in the hosital who was supposed to insert a catether drain into the abcess  under the guidance of another live ct.  Well...HE MISSED and sent the catheter straight into my bowel.  So...I ended up being admitted into the hospital and had to have emergency surgery to fix my newly perforated bowel. 

Well, now I have had 7 surgeries since Jan of this chemo and everything else.  Needless to say, the surgeon wasn't able to stich me up because my skin, muscles, and tissues were so compromised from all of the other trauma and wouldn't hold.  So, right now I have an open wound in the center of my stomach (my core...that gets used constantly!!!).  They put a "wound vac" on it which is a pretty amazing technology that keeps my wound tissues fresh and slowly suctions them closed in hopes that they will heal closed.   It looks disgusting and requires a ton of home health care once I get released. I will have to wear it for at least a few weeks and will have to have the dressings changed every other day at my house.  They have told me that it is very painful and I am dreading it.  The first time for me will be tomorrow.  The Dr. also had to repair my bowel where the drain was "accidentally" inserted...and it was also pretty compromised.  I am in a high risk catagory for more complications, so please continue to keep me in your prayers. 

I can't believe I am writing this...  Actually, let me take that back.  I can't belive I am living this.  I pray that I can heal from this and that life will start to return to normal.  I don't know if I even remember what normal for my family is anymore...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Small steps forward...stumble back...breathe, repeat

Saturday marked me being home a week from the hospital.  It has definitely been a slower recovery than my other surgeries.  So much trauma to my body this year has disabled my system from bouncing back as qiuckly as we would usually expect.  I am counting my blessings everyday.  When I have more energy to sit in this hard chair and type, I will share them with you.  Once I get through these "bumps", my life should start to return slowly to our more "normal" family life.  I can't even tell you how excited I am for some of those most basic things.  I get tears in my eyes just thinking of them.

As an update, Friday night I was woke up by extreme pain in my abdomen. (yes..I have posted about this probably over 50 times in the last year).  It was isolated to my right side and hurt more than anything I have experienced OUTSIDE of the hospital...and I have been through a lot, so you must understand that the pain was intense.  It continued through the day Saturday, but I added a fever averaging 103 and vomiting.  That was also excruciating, because I vomited/dry heaved intermittently all of Saturday night and pulled I don't know how many layers of the stiching and repairs they have done in me.  I am worried...and don't even want to think about the damage that may have caused.  I got a blessing...prayed fervently...and debated forever whether to go to the ER or not.  I am getting to the point where I just would give anything to avoid Drs and most especially hospitals.  My girls had passed eachother a small bug where they each had a mild fever for a couple of hours and Addie had puked once...then immediately felt better.  I wondered if it might be that bug...just magnified strongly because of my weakened system.  Saturday morning, the excruciating pain was gone and the fever had broken.  I was relieved....until last night.  I ran a fever again all night.  It was a lower one of 101.7-9ish.  (I might should explain that fever/nausea are signs after huge surgeries of infection!!)  Instead of spending the day at the ER today, I am going to try to see if the cancer center will take my blood and do the pathology at least for initial testing.  It is easier there...and we'll see what happens after that. 

I broke down last night for another reason.  My girls have been pretty amazing and resilient this past year, but I think Aana hit her breaking point.  She just wanted to snuggle with my in my bed like we usually do a bit of everyday while reading together.  I have been too sore and untouchable since I came home, was gone over 2 weeks in the hospital prior, and you know all of the rest.  Last night she finally said, "Than just give me a fever MOM...make me sick...just let me lay here and be with you.  I NEED you..., I miss you...(and you get the drift from here.)  It broke my heart.  I hope she knows how badly I want to be me again.  I tried to comfort her and remind her of the amazing miracles and blessings we've incurred...but she is only 7 and was emotional.  The sobbing from her room broke my heart in half. Retelling it doesn't recapture the pain in her eyes or the intensity of the situation at the time...but it was a rough mom moment for me.

I've had better weeks, but I've most definitely had worse.  I am so determined to fight this fever, to gain strength, and start to live again!  My heart is so grateful that it is in my near future...I have learned a LOT of patience this year...this will pass quickly.  I will let you know the second that it does!  Sorry for the long post, but it is way shorter than the babbling earfulls of who knows what that people kindly listened to when they visited me in the hospital.  Narcotics seem to make me talk EVEN more than normal.  Have a great day everyone!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It is hard to believe...

that there is NO more cancer. 
I just had to write it again.  I am just so grateful!!!!  Our bodies and health are SUCH a gift...and I will never take mine for granted agan. 

Oh...where to start!

1 emergency surgery
8 blood transfusions
16 days in the hospital out of town
over 20 IV's
Countless shots
and more...But I am alive..healing, and there are no signs of cancer in my body!

That last surgery was unexpected and a doozie.  The first couple of days after were better than expected and I felt like it was going to be a smooth recovery...then I tanked.  I am still unsure of all that happened. I am just glad that I made it through and it is over.  I got home on Saturday night and have basically been sleeping since.

(The strangest part, is that I have been awake and functioning, but I am just realizing that I have absolutely NO memory of about two weeks of my life.  I really mean I am sorry if I have been a bit out of it.  I know they have me on a lot of medicines, but this is my 6th surgery this year and I have never had anything like this happen. I don't remember my kids visiting, my birthday, or anything else for about 2 weeks while in the hospital.  It is a surreal feeling..)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Moving Forward

Sorry, I've been bad, but let me give you an update.  Shanda is slowly getting better each day.  Since my last post, she was doing great and then unfortunately took a few steps backwards in her recovery.  It seemed to correlate with the waking up of her bowels, of course we want her bowels to wake up and start functioning, but with that came severe pain and bloody stools, sorry to be graphic.  I hesitate to mention that but it explains why she received four units of blood within the past few days.  They have had to increase her pain meds and epidural to combat the pain, which in turn made her very loopy and sleepy.  Today we learned she has a bladder infection.... so now add IV antibiotics to the regimen of medications, poor girl, she has been through a lot.  The good thing is that she has had a lot of rest and is having bowel movements.  We thought there would be a chance that she would be out of the hospital by now, but we are probably looking at another week.  We are very hopeful and are reminded daily that the results of the surgery were very positive and now she just has to heal and get better.  SHE WILL.

Shanda is awesome and I'm so proud of her.  She is going through the worst HELL, I can't imagine.
I love her so much.