Friday, February 18, 2011

Home Sweet Home...

Hello to my Army of Prayer Warriors!!

Well I'm home.  We got home yesterday afternoon.  I was extremely happy to get home because I missed the kiddos.  I have to tell you my hospital stay was just like staying in a hotel.  The nurses and their assistants were so sweet and caring!!!

So my surgery went well.  I have 4 small incisions in my abdomen.  Dr. Lu said she didn't see anything unusual and that she will receive the pathology report sometime next week.

We had to be at MD Anderson at 5:15 Wednesday morning.  We arrived on "Moni time" at 5:30 am, we got checked in and a whole herd of us headed to the pre-operative "holding" area.  There I was asked some questions by several nurses and assistants.  Chaplain Chan came and prayed with Jim and I for the surgery and all those involved in my care.

The doctors that were in the operating room with Dr. Lu were Dr. Stone and Dr. Webb.  And oh yes Dr. Arunkumar, the Anesthesiologist.  All amazing women!!

It was really cool - I was actually still wide awake on the way down to the operating room.  I bumped into Gordon, my Plastic Surgeon's PA.  The other cool thing, since I was still awake, I got to see the operating room.  I usually am halfway asleep by the time we hit the operating room.  There were the 4 doctors, a nurse or 2 and a few assistants in there.  I actually crawled onto the operating table myself.  The table was covered with this royal blue "egg crate" type material.   The doctors were strapping something onto my legs and the Anesthesiologist was telling me she was going to strap my arm down...and that's all I remember.

I woke up with a sweet nurse named Annalee taking care of me.  I was on oxygen and feeling no pain, yet.  The surgery started between 7 and 7:30 and I remember asking what time it was when I woke up - they said 8:59.  I think Jim was able to come and see me around 10, by that time Dr. Lu had already gone out into the waiting room to let him know that the surgery went well.  (It must be so nerve racking to have to wait through your spouse's surgery.)

I did start feeling some pain and was given some pain meds directly into my IV a couple of times.  We waited in the post-op area (which was also the pre-op area for me) for a room to become available on the Gynecology floor.

Because of all the IV fluids I was being given, I could wait no longer.  It was time for me to get up and use the restroom.  Of course a nurse had to go with me and hold my arm since I had just been under general anesthesia.  The nurse was so proud of me!!  It was just across the hall from my bed.

At one o'clock I was taken to my room.  And let me tell you, it was a nice room!  I met another sweet nurse, Jincy.  A young woman with a big heart for her patients.

Jincy called me a super star patient.  When she found out I had already used the restroom downstairs in the post-op area, she was so impressed!!!  She kept calling me "Super Star".

I had 3 nurses in all while I was in my room.  Jincy, Eva and Mary.  And the nursing assistants were Dora, Romika and Rachel.  All these women love what they do for a living, you could just tell.

my first meal after my surgery
Jim stayed with me for most of the day - he did go run an errand at one point and get himself some dinner.  While he was gone Dr. Webb came in to see me.  I also ordered dinner.  You should see the menu.  I ate crab stuffed shrimp in a lobster cream sauce with grilled veggies, mashed sweet potatoes and NY cheesecake.  I hadn't eaten in over 24 hours at that point.  It was so yummy!!!

The kids were being well cared for by their Aunt and a great friend of ours but it was time for Jim to go home, get them and get to bed.  And another great friend took care of our dogs.  Feeding them and even giving our diabetic dog his insulin injection.

Jakob, Kelli and Joey's wonderful teachers and counselors had been keeping track of my Caringbridge journal and had told them when I was out of surgery and that the surgery went well.  The caring people that are in our lives are evident in all aspects of our life.  Thank you to those teachers and counselors (you know who you are - you are very special to us).

Jim did a great job getting Jakob, Kelli and Joey up for school and to school the next morning.

Meanwhile, at the hospital - I slept well.  One of the nurses or assistants would come in about every 4 hours to check my vitals or give me pain meds.  They were being as quiet as they could be, trying to not wake me up.  Dr. Webb came in to check on me at 5:30 in the morning.  I went back to sleep for about an hour then I was hungry again.  This time I ordered an omelet with veggies and cheese, breakfast potatoes, fresh berries and coffee.  Before my food came, Dr. Webb, Dr. Stone, a couple of interns and a Pharmacist and Pharmacist Assistant came in to visit with me, they checked out my incisions, asked about my pain and we went over the pain medication and instructions for when I get home.

Time for my meal.  I'm telling you this is no ordinary hospital.  It is a very special place!!

Dr. Lu came by later in the morning and again gave me the at home instructions and asked if I had any questions.

I also had a couple of discharge nurses come in - they said no cleaning, cooking, stairs or laundry for 2-3 weeks.  I seriously thought they were joking.  They weren't - they made me promise that I would rest.  So once again our family must rely on the generosity of our dear friends.

Jim's lunch
my lunch
Jim came back after taking the kids to school.  We sat and talked for a while.  I got dressed.  Jim went down to the pharmacy to pick up the medication.  Then we decided to eat lunch while we were waiting for me to be released.  I ordered shrimp again, grilled this time and Jim ordered an Asian stir-fry. I don't know why I was so hungry while in the hospital.

I was discharged and taken down to the front entrance while Jim went to get the car.  Thank goodness we don't live far from MD Anderson - it took us about 45 minutes to get home.

I couldn't wait to see the kids when they got home from school.  I know it had only been about a day and a half but it seemed longer.

We had a yummy dinner brought to us by another wonderful friend.

I was able to shower this morning and removed my bandages from my incisions.  Everything looks great.

I went for a walk around the block today.  A very slow walk.  It was such a beautiful day.  The sun was shining and it was probably about 75 degrees.

I am thankful for this surgery.  By having my fallopian tubes and ovaries removed my risk of developing ovarian cancer is reduced by 90%.  Due to the BRCA-1 genetic mutation I had an extremely high chance of developing ovarian cancer.  MD Anderson is a cancer research hospital, I signed a consent to donate my ovaries for research.  The medical advances that are made in cancer treatment is incredible due this miraculous place.  Jincy, the one nurse I had, told me that she has seen many miracles by working there.

I know I am one of those miracles.  I want to thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  I know Jesus is The Great Physician and that brings me Peace and Joy.  I pray the same for you!!!

Thank you from the top of my heart!!!

Love and Blessings from the Top of my Heart,


P.S.  No menopause symptoms yet!!!!  Keep those prayers coming! :)

waiting to go home with my honey

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you were really taken care of well. That sounds like a great hospital. The food certainly looks awesome!

    I am so happy that you are doing well and are in such great hands. Please tell your family hi from everyone here in Colorado.

    The pic of you and Jim is awesome!

    Have a great weekend and rest easy!