Well, last night sure took a turn for the worse after I posted. I was a few minutes away from going into the ER after throwing up everything I’d consumed during the day. Luckily I was able to talk to my surgeon (have I mentioned that I love her enough yet?). She felt sure that my issue was the narcotics. They slow down everything in the digestive system and mine was basically shut down. So, I needed to cut out the narcotics if at all possible. Plus, sorry for the TMI but my bowels had not done much in a week so I had a firm discussion with them about getting rid of whatever waste they were holding on to and they finally listened. I’m sure that helped too.
Right now I have a total of 12 different drugs – but I did my best to only use 1 today. A muscle relaxer. I have a slow release pain patch on my back and a Lidocaine patch that I put on my only spot that is really bad – a line just to the left of my sternum. Finally tonight I did break down and take a couple pain pills because I really couldn’t even make it to the bathroom but overall, I felt so much better, if not in more pain, today. Really, the only part of me that really is painful is that line at my sternum which is apparently an incision which has been painful ever since surgery. From what I understand it is a normal spot for pain and it is where they really had to be aggressive to get the cancer out so there is good reason. Otherwise it is pretty extreme pressure and tightness – like a steel plate on my chest. The Lidocaine patch has to be on for 12 hours and off for 12 hours so I try to save it so it’s on overnight. Anyway, I’m finding a good middle ground I think and am finally getting fluids and small amounts of food to stay down so I don’t think I’m going to have to go back in the hospital – hooray!
The drains are uncomfortable and starting to gross me out, but I’m hoping they will come out when I see the doctor on Friday. We have to strip and drain them twice a day and measure the output. Some of them are draining less than 10cc’s in a full 24 hours and all of them are under 20 so I am really hoping they can come out soon.
Something really good happened today – my mother in law brought the kids over to visit. I hadn’t seen Evelyn since the Wednesday before surgery and Fletcher since he came to visit me directly after. They are amazing. I can’t believe that they looked so much bigger to me and they were so sweet. I kept myself very protected with two pillows over my chest, but was still very sore after they left. Fletch was great but Evelyn just has no way to understand and wanted hugs and to lay on me. I was able to maneuver her onto the pillows most of the time but she pressed into me a couple times and wow. It will be another 5 weeks before I can pick her up so hopefully I will at least be able to have her lay on me soon.
I don’t know what I’d do without the family I have. As much as my folks have given up everything to care for me, my mother in law has given up everything to care for the kids. I am so, so lucky to have the people in my life who care for us and take care of us above everything else. I will never be able to repay them.
I am shocked at how fast the days have passed since surgery. It’s already been a week and a half. I realize now that the stories about recovery I had been reading were more on the better or best case scenario side. I really try to prepare for the worst and be happy if I am better than that so it’s unusual for me to be surprised by things being a lot worse. The nurses told us that 1-2 weeks would be considered a pretty quick recovery. Sounded like I should have been prepared for 2-4. It’s hard to make that change in my mind after the fact, but we will figure it out. I do think the chemo made a big difference. I’m nervous to start it back up but I’m sure they won’t do anything I’m not ready for (or at least I hope, right?). One thing at a time I guess. Seems like a big list but I’ll get there.