Posts tagged ‘surgery’

Surgery recovery

Now it hasn’t been all that bad… I’ve had lots to keep me busy.











March 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment

Back Behind the Wheel

My hands gripped the steering wheel tightly, fingers fitting right back into the comfortable grooves.

Although it was the fourth time I’d experienced a “no driving allowed” season, finally getting behind the wheel once again never grew old. A rush of freedom and empowerment swept over me. The options of paved paths to follow felt too numerous to count.


I started the car and the engine hummed. I slowly pulled out and headed down the road on my four-mile journey toward the video store for the important task of returning a rental. My trip was short. The scar running the length of my abdomen, still covered by steri strips, couldn’t take more than a few minutes in the driver’s seat.

Although the initial independence felt great, I couldn’t stop the thoughts creeping in about the previous two weeks. Emotions came and went as the cars driving next to me. I felt stunned that surgery had become a way of life. Sad at the loss of future life. Thankful for the removal of cancer threats. Grateful the surgery went so well. Expectant to return to “normal” soon. Lured by feelings of victimization. Tempted to shut down and lose the faith.

I arrived at my destination, dropped off the movie and headed back to the car. It was amazing how wiped out I was just by the small trek to the store. Or maybe it wasn’t the trek at all but the reflections behind the wheel. God always had a way of getting my attention and making me think while driving.

With just a few yards to go, I stopped at the last stoplight before home only to see a woman and a teenage boy standing at the corner to my right. The boy was tightly holding a walking stick which he tapped all around the corner while the woman stood behind him and talked firmly. He was blind and she was helping him navigate his way through downtown. And then it hit me.

I worship a God who once made a boy just like that see. However, the boy to my right would probably never experience that same miracle of sight told in the Bible. Not to mention the freedom and independence I had just regained of driving a car. However, he wasn’t letting the disappointment of a “miracle life” stop him. He had chosen to learn to walk around the city despite his circumstances, despite the fact he may never “see.”

As the light turned green I drove away and couldn’t get the image of the blind boy and his walking stick out of my mind. I realized I too needed to press on despite my less-than-ideal circumstances and flood of emotions. Sure, life had thrown me curve balls. Sure, things were hard. However, to experience the life God intended for me, I needed to follow the boy’s example and pick up my head, hold firm to my guide and trust that the small voice behind me will carry me through.

March 13, 2012 at 6:22 am 3 comments

Throwing Up in Mesh Trashcans

…doesn’t really work all that well.

Thought I’d give the blog a quick update on my progress. Or should I say our roller coaster ride.

It’s pretty much the same story with each surgery I’ve had over the years – at least anytime my abdomen is opened up and then put back together again.

On Friday…

I came home! I felt pretty good, considering the whole surgery-a-few-days-ago thing.

Over the weekend…

I was off and on. Saturday I battled nausea and the “blahs,” Sunday I was feeling better again. Monday was good too, that is until last night.

Last night….

Ugh, roadblock again. As a semicolon, constipation isn’t something I’ve ever dealt with. I often have the complete opposite problem. So when the docs prescribed Vicodin for me, and I knew about its constipating effects, I still wasn’t concerned. After all, I usually can’t stop going. I welcomed the “break.”

That was until I began to notice nausea off and on all weekend, which I soon attributed to the fact I “couldn’t go.” So yesterday morning I took myself off the Vicodin and started up with the laxatives to try to get myself all flushed out. You know, since I know more than the docs and all. (and was humbled today when I saw how very wrong I was.)

Well, it didn’t go so well. I assumed the plumbing would just automatically start working once I opted-out of the pill. Wrong there. Then I thought taking several laxatives and stool softeners would immediately get it going. Wrong again – it actually created so much gas and pain that at one point I seriously thought I was going to explode. Actually I welcomed that thought. But, nonetheless that didn’t work. So I opted to chug some apple and prune juice last night.

And then threw it all up in a mesh trashcan around 1:30am this morning.

Note – will never do that again.

So, after a long night and trip to the doctor today, hopefully we’ve got a plan going again to try to get me on a better path. Because of the pain and puking from last night, I was pretty weak this morning – like can’t keep my eyes open weak. I’ve slept most of today and managed to keep down Gatorade and crackers today, so things are looking up. I’ve finally decided to follow doctors’ advice when it comes to medications and try to trust them – and do what they say. It’s hard when I feel like a “veteran” patient – I know what’s worked and not worked in the past, yet then again I’ve never had all my girlie parts out before, so I guess I better trust them on this one.

And I think I’ve managed to skip the “round two” hospital trip that I was guaranteed tomorrow if I threw up again today.

Praying tonight goes well.

There’s a quick update on the surgery recovery. Please keep praying that I get back up to speed in no time. I keep thinking that I’ll turn the corner any day now.

March 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm 5 comments

Home Sweet Home

Ahh it’s very very nice to type this with my feet reclined in my red chair-and-a-half recliner.

Thanks to all for the prayers an well wishes this week. They were definitely heard and felt! And thanks to Mike for guest blogging for me to keep you all up-to-date with the surgery. Luckily all went well and we had good news to report!

Many things to be thankful for after this week:

  • Surgery went very well, no complications
  • Little to no issues with scar tissue and adhesions!
  • NO NODES even needed taken (in the cancer world, this is VERY GOOD.)
  • My incision is healing very well
  • Pain is under control thanks to fantastic prescription meds

So all is well. I’m not sure if this was in general an easier surgery, or if I’ve become used to having surgery, or a little bit of both. But, I’m very thankful to be typing this from home right now and praying that a few weeks of downtime go by quickly!

Thanks again!


March 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm 1 comment

Hi Ho Hi Ho, Off to Surgery I Go

Well, the big day is almost here once again.

Nope, not getting married. Nope, not expecting another kiddo to arrive.

I’m headed to surgery once again.

Why This Surgery?

Last October when I met with my OBGYN/oncologist, we reviewed my charts and updates over the past several years. As we talked, I explained to her that genetic testing has shown that I more than likely have a variant of Lynch Syndrome. After my second diagnosis with colon cancer at 25, we requested gene testing once again only to realize that many of my genes behave in a way that’s very similar to others with the disease. I don’t have the “traditional form” of Lynch according to tests and my family history (I’m still the only one with young colon cancer diagnosis.) But, between complicated stuff about MLH1 and PMS2 genes – it’s likely that I have some form of Lynch. Thus, the young cases of colon cancer.

Thanks to the testing I know that in the future, my risk for other cancers, namely ovarian and uterine, are also very high… almost likely. So, my doctor didn’t mess around when she realized I had Lynch Syndrome. She knew we’d chosen adoption as our path to kids. So with that, she gave the hard recommendation that I go ahead and have  a total hysterectomy. Even though I’m not even 30 yet. She didn’t push it on me right away, but said to look at my calendar and see if there was a “good” time to have this surgery done. And after several months of thinking about it and weighing the options, I decided to go ahead and do it.

Under The Knife Once Again

So, on this coming Tuesday I head under once again. I’m dragging my feet into this, but I know it’s something I need to do. The opportunity to stop cancer in its tracks and before it starts is why I’m doing this. Even if it does mean opening up my infamous long abdominal scar once again and putting me on a 6-8 week recovery plan. But, when I look at Mae, I know there’s really no other choice. I want to do all I can to stay around as long as I possibly can. So, off to surgery I go.

Unexpected Emotions

This has thrown quite a curve ball for me, since many unexpected (and honestly, many unwelcome) emotions have risen up. Maybe it’s because of counseling a few years ago, but suddenly I’m feeling the emotions that come with surgery and cancer threats. Or then again, this is the first time I’ve gone through anything like this as a mom – so that’s probably playing a part too.

Many thoughts, fears, realities, plans and “what ifs” have run through my mind this time…..

How do I line up childcare for Mae and arrangements for my small business?
Other surgeries haven’t been “easy” in the past – how long will I be out with this one?
How much extra can I work so that we can easily get that high deductible paid off?
How long will I really be recovering in the hospital?
By them “opening me up again,” will she find anything unexpected … like last time?
Will I have blood clots or problems with anesthesia this time?
How long will it take for my stomach to heal once again?
Will my past surgeries cause complications?
After surgery, what does menopause look like for me?
Will I be a sweat ball or hormonal wreck?
What are my risks of taking or not taking hormones?

And then again I too often camp on, “Why do I have to go through this in the first place?!?”

Coming to Terms

Typically, I’d tie up this post and show that there’s some peace and resolve that’s been found amidst life’s challenges. But today, I leave it at … I’m working on it. However, I knew a post was needed to get this off my chest. And, after looking through applications for other young colon cancer survivors for the 2013 Colondar this year – I know I’m not alone. Many others are being told they too have Lynch Syndrome. Many others will also face these hard decisions sooner than later.

Just pray for me Tuesday as surgery comes. Pray for a fast recovery. Pray this surgery STAYS preventative, and nothing else is found. And pray I’ll be back on my feet … and picking up my kid … in no time.

I’ll post when I’m back!

February 26, 2012 at 9:34 am 9 comments

5 Random Things for Tonight

Wow, I blog nearly every day for a month and then nothing for two weeks. Sorry gang. And because it’s late and I’ve been at war with my intestines all night (I think they almost won… almost) – this is short and sweet. But for those who crave some Semicolon updates – here you go:

1. I did a Jillian Michaels workout DVD last week and couldn’t walk for about 2 days. So, I’ve not yet tried again. But I really need to get in shape again. Maybe I will in May.

2. Why May you ask? Well because my next surgery is planned and will be coming up here shortly. I’ll blog more about it later – I’m still going through the “processing… AKA crying in my car … phase.” For those out where who pray – it’s on Feb. 28th. I’d appreciate all that I can get right now. No worries though – it’s preventative because of Lynch Syndrome. No, cancer’s not back.

3. I let my daughter and my niece play with pinto beans today (not from a can- gross.) And I’m secretly hoping wondering if I’m going to see a little bean in her diaper tomorrow. Gross, I know, probably worse than if I would have let her play with canned pinto beans. But at least I’m honest.

4. I’ve had the busiest month or two lately and work’s been crazy. However, I still managed to read all 3 books of the Hunger Games trilogy. I cannot wait for the movies to come out. And I am on Team Gale.

5. I am now a member of the iPhone community and I cannot … absolutely cannot … stand Words with Friends. I DO NOT get it. Isn’t Scrabble long enough as-is? Why drag it out for days upon days? Hasn’t anyone ever played with a cheater as a kid? Why open yourself up to that nonsense? Just get the game over with for pete’s sake.

At least there’s still Angry Birds…

(I warned you that was random…)

– danielle out.

Got Beans? Well, I guess we'll see tomorrow... (Gross again I know. Sorry - it's a poop blog.)

February 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm Leave a comment

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,128 other followers

Danielle on Twitter

We're a hit!

  • 71,478 hits

%d bloggers like this: