Sept 1 – Surgery Day, afternoon –
My eyes fluttered open to a nurse shoving ice chips in my mouth. I was so out of it. How I had the ability to chew and swallow them was amazing. Things were so out of focus and my eyes were still heavy. He was talking to me but what he said, I couldn’t even tell you. He was speaking to deaf ears. I was in the recovery room. hmmm, surgery must already be over. He continued to give me ice chips. They tasted good, soothing. No one else was in there with us. Where is Clara Sue? Where is my brother? I’m sooo sleepy. I started to slowly comprehend the things that he was telling me. Surgery went well. As I started to come out of it more and fully wake up, I was hit with an enormous amount of pain. It felt like I was catapulted right into a brick wall at full speed.
The pain set in horribly. I hurt sooo bad. I guess the anesthesia wore off. Here come the shakes. When I’m in a lot of pain, my body starts to shake. My chest was wrapped so tightly it felt hard to breathe. They put me in like this tube top with velcro and they had it as tight as it would go. The nurse asked if I would like some pain medicine. Yes!! Of course. He gave me 2 vicodin. It was 3:30. He went out to get Clara Sue, she can sit in here with me now. O-M-GEEEEEE!!! The pain is off the charts. The nurse brings her in. She can tell I’m in a ton of pain, she doesn’t say a word. She sits in the chair next to my bed. My shakes are horrible. I feel like hell. Most of my wires were already disconnected and the massaging leg warmers were off. Just my vitals were being checked regularly. About another hour and maybe I’ll get to go home, as long as I’m feeling okay.
I was able to talk without sounding like I was blabbering. I asked Clara Sue to check on Dominic to make sure he is okay. He is already out of school by now and I’m not home yet. I don’t want him to worry. The surgeon comes in and explains to us that everything went very well. She was pleased. She got EVERYTHING out! She also explained that she was able to pull out my chest port thru one of the incisions, so I didn’t need that 4th surgery. Thank God. I’m gonna look like Edward Scissorhands got a hold of me. My chest will need to stay tightly wrapped (compressed) for the next few days. This will help with any pain and discomfort. She wrote me out a prescription for a pain killer for when I get discharged. Another medication to add to my growing personal pharmacy. I’m ready to leave, I’ve had a long day.
I look at my cell phone, wow, I have a lot of messages. I need to call Dominic so he knows that I’m okay. My brother Jake couldn’t make it, he got stuck in Santa Rosa.
4:08 still in recovery and lots of pain. The ice chips help. I think I’m finally coherent. I’ll get to leave soon as long as I am able to stand on my own. I change back into my clothes. That took me like forever. Being wrapped and bandaged made it a little rough. Right now you can’t see anything, it’s all hidden behind the dressings. That pain hasn’t subsided but I wanna leave already.
5:00 – getting discharged. Going home now. Pain is horrible. 😖 I still feel pretty loopy 😩 I needed help getting into the car. I felt so dizzy. I’m so glad this part is over. Now to rest and recover. I’m starving, I need something to eat. It’s dinnertime and I haven’t even had breakfast. Clara Sue stops to get me a sandwich from arby’s. Now headed home. Oh gosh, here comes the nausea. This always happens to me with anesthisia. I need to throw up. 🤢 My head starts pounding. I feel like shit. We’re almost home. I asked Brittany to come stay with me the rest of the evening just in case I needed some help with anything. So she showed up shortly after we got there. I needed help to get out of the car and to walk inside. I was swaying like a drunk person. As soon as I walked in the door I had to high tail it to the bathroom to blow chunks. 😝 It never fails. My stomach was so upset but I felt so much better once I got all that shit out of my system. What a relief. I just have pain and lots of it. Guess I’ll eat my samich, the pain meds might work better with something in my stomach. Clara Sue left and I just hung around with Brittany, watched a movie and rested. My nephew, Yaz, came to keep Dominic company. By around 8 ‘clock, I felt so much better. All that loopiness went away. I no longer felt nauseas and I was back to my joking self. Later in the night, I felt Brittany didn’t need to stay over, so she left and so did my nephew. I’m sooooo ready for bed. My day has been way too long. Trying to change into jammies was like a marathon but I did it. Trying to get comfortable and get some sleep was even harder. Couldn’t sleep on my right because of surgery, couldn’t sleep on my left side for the same reason, I couldn’t even sleep on my tummy and laying on my back is not comfortable. I couldnt sleep for the life of me. The surgery meds along with my 80’s like velcro tube top that looked like it was sprayed on, made it impossible to sleep. I was wide awake but without pain.
Next morning – I woke up feeling pretty good even though I got no sleep. But has far as how I felt physically, not bad at all. I didn’t have to take any pain meds so I guess I’m handling it like a champ. I’m just a tad bit sore. I decided to finally make my brother some cookies. The ones I was going to make him for his birthday but I never did due to all the physical pain I had been in. So far, all that pain that I had been complaining about for like the past month was gone. I hope it’s gone forever. Honestly, I felt pretty good. Today was a good day.
Sept. 3 – Well, it is safe to say that all of my eyebrows and eyelashes have faithfully departed. It makes my eyes always look red and if I’ve been crying non stop. Like my hair, I can’t wait for it all to grow back. I’ve even missed my nose hairs. My nostrils always feel raw. Oh the joys of being a cancer patient. As for day 2 of surgery – – 1. I actually slept pretty good, I needed that. 2. holy hell, I don’t think I have ever been so sore in my life. I can’t move at all. My boobs feel like I have a set of rocks. The range of motion for my arms is minimal. Today is for sure a yucky day. Out of curiosity I unwrapped myself from my oh so sexy tube top to inspect my girls. Ouch I look like I’ve been beat up and mutilated.
I have to leave the bandages on for a few more days. The stitches will dissolve on their own. The bandage under my armpit is my lymph node incision. Round 2 all over with. Just need to complete the 3rd hurdle (radiation) and I’ll be home free. For now I get to deal with all this soreness and boobs that feel like rocks.
I never did believe in chemo brain until I got my dose of it. It’s horrible. I can’t remember something you just told me 5 minutes ago. Staying focused and even concentrating is getting hard. It seems like my mind is always blank. Especially when I’m asked something quickly. It’s like “huh?” I hope the brain recovers with everything else. I don’t need to be spacey all the time. Well, I guess I get to take it easy for the rest of Sept. I have a follow up with the surgeon on the 11th and that’s all. So, it’s R & R and see if I can slowly get to ‘me’. I haven’t been bothered by my aches and pains, so maybe the surgery had something to do with that. Who knows. I hope they don’t return. Now, I just have to wait 4-6 weeks before I can start radiation and then I can truly say this nightmare is over. Can’t wait. 2 hurdles down, 1 more to go.
Sept 4 –
This pic is 1 month and 1 day post chemotherapy.
If you look closey, you can see my fuzzies growing. It makes my face look chubby, not having any hair. I will try my best to post weekly pics of the growth progress. As you can see my eyelashes are GONE and so are my eyebrows. These ones are drawn in and I hate them. I think they’re lop-sided haha. So glad it’s only temporary. Today my boobs are still swollen and they feel heavy. But each day that goes by is another day closer to feeling better.
Sept 8 – I don’t know what came over me, but I have really been missing my Pops terribly these past few days. 😢 I have cried nonstop for like 3 days straight 😭 It’s like I’ve lost him all over again. I miss him so much. The sadness is overwhelming. I think everything is throwing my emotions for a loop. I can’t stop crying. I just need a hug from you and to hear your voice again. I feel like I’m falling apart. My heart is broken. 💔 He was my best friend and I miss him dearly.
My cousin Irene brought me these and hooked them up for me. She knows that I’ve been feeling down and figured it would cheer me up. It did. It’s so soothing, the way they flicker and dance around. I just sit or lay on my swing and watch them. It’s relaxing. She also hooked me up some outdoor misters that way I can stay cool when I’m out on the swing. They feel wonderful. Ahhhhhh All this eases my sad heart a bit
I hate that I can’t get in the pool. I need to wait for my incisions to heal. The one incision under my armpit gives me the most grief. I don’t have any pain but I really am sore. I miss relaxing in the pool. At least my neice and my son get to enjoy it. It is really hot and my hot flashes are still severe. I wonder when those will go away? They have been so brutal. I thought they would be gone by now. I can’t wait for cooler weather.
Sept 9 – *GASP* my eyebrows are growing back and I think I spot a hint of tiny eyelashes. Yay!!!!!!!! This is so exciting, you don’t even know.
Well my physical aches and pains are back and they are horrible! When will all of this end? I see my primary Dr at the end of the month. Maybe she can tell me what’s going on with me. On a better note, my energy is slowly starting to come back and I don’t feel that fatigue like before. Still, even now, there is good and there is bad. Can’t wait till there is more good than bad.
Sept 11 – I just got the best news EVER!!!!!!!! Got that phone call from my surgeon. All of my margins are free and clear. Thank you Jesus! No more cancer! It IS all gone!!!! 😄😄 Wow what a relief. I just needed to cry, cry tears of joy. She sent in like 12 different tissue samples from my surgery and all came back negative. Oh I can’t explain what I’m feeling right now. I can officially say I’m free and clear but I want to wait until radiation is over and done with. Radiation is just a precaution. YAY!!!!!!!!! I.AM.SOOOOOOOOO.HAPPY!!!!!!!! 😄🤗 I slowly started to let everyone know. Maybe now everything will fall back into place. Maybe I’ll feel better knowing I don’t have that monster in me anymore. Maybe this will be the day that things turn around for me. I sure hope so.
I slacked off last week with a pic but here’s this one. Look at my hair! I actually have a hairline! OMG and look. . . . I have eyebrows and itty bitty lashes. I look gross cuz this is the plain ole me but I can’t tell you how excited I am. Oh the little things you don’t ever think about until you don’t have them. I’m so happy to have eyebrows haha
Sept 19 – A hairline and eyebrows!
Sept 22 – fuller eyebrows and more lashes. I can actually get a bit of mascara on them 🙂 This is just 3 days from the last pic. My hair is growing in grey, gross. I think I need a date with L’oreal soon. Can’t tell yet if my hair will still be curly or if it will come in different. I’ve heard many different stories on the regrowth of hair. Who cares? As long as I have some!!!
This is my new hairbrush. Its cute, isn’t it? Can you believe it’s been 7 months since my diagnosis? Yes 7. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe everything I’ve been through. I have the scars and all the pain but it still just doesn’t seem real. I guess you never know how you’re going to handle things until you’re faced with it. I can do this.
Things were going so well. . . and then we lost our beloved furbaby, Riley.
This broke me. I’ve been trying to stay strong for so long, but this broke me. It shattered my heart. My mental strength turned into pure mush. What’s happening?? I cry ALL THE TIME.
I’m falling apart at the seams. . . slipping away