Thursday, December 1, 2011

Feeling much better!

At last... an upbeat-sounding post. Betcha thought I was never going to write one again, but you were wro-o-o-n-n-g...

Feeling so, so SO much better. And what a relief. I don't think I ever copped to the fact of just HOW much weight I had (thankfully, only temporarily) gained. But is was 14 pounds, readers! A lotta fluid to pack onto my 5'3" frame. I went into this at 111 pounds and emerged at 125. So you can see just why NOTHING fit me. And this extra weight was from my lower rib cage level into my mid-thighs. Not pretty. I had to quickly pick up some medium-sized sweats, 2 pairs, just to get me through. And even then, they were extremely uncomfortable, because they have tie-string tops, and if they are not cinched up a wee bit, you might be exposing your underlovelies to the general public. And my poor gut was so, SO sore, that even having clothing touching it, was not a pleasant experience.

And that giving up on the painkillers? Not such a good idea. The pain was so bad that it made me nauseous, which brought its own set of unpleasant side effects, like NO appetite. And I knew that I needed to eat, in order to help my body heal. So I went back on the painkillers, sparingly, even slicing some of 'em in half. And that was an improvement, as my appetite returned. Unfortunately, so did that ol' evil side effect, so I resorted to some over-the-counter stuff to relieve that. Ugh. Those things are in and of themselves, evil personified. Caused awful cramps and made me afraid to be too far away from a restroom.

Before I forget, I would like to give credit to a wonderful nurse, J, at the Hermantown clinic, where I have my INR tests performed. (That's a test to ensure that the blood-clotting factor is at an acceptable range, for one who has an artificial heart valve.) She was the one who suggested that the PAIN might be causing my awful nausea, and I do believe she hit the nail on the head. She told me this on Nov. 21st (Monday), and she also gave me the GREAT news on that day, that my INR tests showed that I could discontinue the lovenox shots in my gut, my poor, puffy, super-sensitive gut. A wonderful day, that Monday was!

My abdomen was ultra-sensitive to touch, and I think this might be attributed to some internal healing trying to occur. The skin's surface felt like it would, if I had had a severe burn - like raw, exposed nerve endings. I guess, with everything that was removed plus all the rest that was biopsied and moved, there must be a lot that needs healing. I am happy to report that the feeling is closer to normal, and that says a LOT for me.

Now I still have some awful, awful purple bruising along my right side and heavily down that same thigh. And the left thigh was never quite that purple, although it did have some gravitational bruising down the back of that thigh. Plus the cocyx area (tailbone area) has a large purple bruise which did not show until days and days after surgery. All of this bruising is, no doubt, caused by the blood "thinners" that I have to take. And even though I had to reduce that drug before the surgery, it was still necessary to have some of that in my system, so that I did not have a stroke nor throw a blood clot to my heart or lungs. Modern medicine - ain't it grand?

So I am upright, taking nourishment and going forward. Still have NOT heard any results on the post-operative lab tests, and I guess they will let me know what those say this coming Monday, when I go for my post-surgical follow-up. I can only hope and pray that these results say that everything is okay. But one day at a time, as they say.

A special thanks to my high school friend, P, who gifted me with some EXCELLENT chocolates while I was still in hospital. When my appetite returned, I finally felt like tasting them. They are WONDERFUL, especially the spicy ones!! Love, LOVE, LOVE them! Thanks a bunch.


Kim said...

Hey there!! I was just coming to post a "how ya doing" comment. I'm so glad to hear you are feeling so much better! Thanks for updating.

IN LAWS said...

Thinking and praying for you Jess, we are in Chicago....sons just had their surgery far so good....spent 17 hours today at hospital so we are exhausted. keep in touch with me, I will be here quite some time. Hugs, Anne

jessica said...

@Kim -- thanks for continuing to read my posts. I am on Facebook, but since I have a female cousin who is battling a MUCH worse form of cancer than I am, I chose to not publicly post my gripes and whinings on FB. She has a husband and 3 kids, also, and her siblings have stood behind her and helped and supported whenever possible.

@Anne (IN LAWS) - all my best and my prayers to y'all in Chicago. Now the only way to go for all, is UP! Thinking positive thoughts...