April 11, 2013

Thank you, Father!

Johnathon, my groom and I
As I mentioned in my last post, I was blessed to receive a hospital visit from one of my good friends, Johnathon Goff, who's currently a seminarian in New Orleans. He'll be a priest in 2 years and I'm so proud of him, he even was an altar server for our wedding.

Johnathon was in town visiting family and came to see me the day after my surgery and again the day I was being discharged. On the second visit he had Father Dennis Carver with him. They prayed with me and Fr. Carver gave me the Anointing of the Sick and my mother and I both received Communion. It was a very special moment and I felt so blessed to have visited with them that morning.

Father Carver
Have I mentioned yet the little cocktails I was being given while there? I get extremely nauseated from a lot of the pain medications so they kept me rotated between Lortabs and Morphine + Phenergan so I wouldn't get sick. I. Was. Loopy. 

So fast forward to Easter Sunday, I'd been out of the hospital 3 days. Kevin and I overslept through our normal Mass at St. Alphonsus, so I quickly remembered that we could catch the 10 am at St. Michael's in Biloxi. The church was so packed we had to sit in the window sill! 

As we're sitting through Mass, it hits me... "I think that's the priest that prayed with me in the hospital... I think..." So I whisper my discovery to Mr. K. He shushes me and I keep thinking. By the time Mass is over, I've convinced myself that it's definitely the same priest and I want to thank him again for praying with me and I wanted to introduce him to my husband. 

I hobble my stiff-necked-self through the crowd to get a good shot at shaking his hand before he's overwhelmed. I shake his hand and gush, "Father, thank you so much for praying with me in the hospital on Thursday! You have no idea how much that meant to me! Let me introduce you to my husband, this is Kevin." Not saying his name, the priest abruptly asks, "What hospital were you in?"

Thinking this guy must be crazy I say, "Uhh. Ocean Springs. I was the girl you visited with Johnathon, I'd just had surgery for Thyroid Cancer. This was on Thursday."

He thinks and then looks at me blankly and says he's got a terrible memory these days, so he may have, but he doesn't remember me. He told me he was glad I was up and and Mass either way and to have a Happy Easter. 

Father Greg Barras
Uh. Seriously? I was thinking... Does a priest do THAT much Anointing of the Sick that he wouldn't remember me from just a few days ago? 

A little embarrassed and upset, we hurry out of the church, grabbing a bulletin at the door. 

Telling Kev I couldn't believe Fr. Carver didn't remember me, I pick up the bulletin to read it and guess what I find out...

That wasn't Father Carver. That was Father Barras. Definitely not the same guy who prayed with me at the Hospital. Oh boy, you can just imagine that my husband had a good time retelling that story at our family lunch after church. I just feel a little guilty that I had Fr. Barras thinking he's losing his mind! HA! I included the best two pics I could find of each, you think they look alike, don't you?!

I also got confused last weekend and tried to argue with my family that it was a Catfish that killed The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, not a sting ray. Oops.

Have any of you ever done or said anything goofy after surgery?

April 10, 2013

Two-weeks Post-Op

My Grammy Blanchard's rosary.
So here's the long-procrastinated post-op report. I went back to work on Monday and today was a big day for two reasons:
1) It's been 2 weeks since the throat-slitting happened
2) 1 year ago tonight, I was admitted to the hospital and was being told my left leg had almost 100% blockage of blood clots below the knee. Read more here.

This sister needs a break and a half, y'all. But back to the present issue.

While I'm usually never at a loss for words, there are few to describe how I've felt the past few weeks.











To say I've been on a roller coaster would be to put it mildly. My emotions go crazy and I don't know if that's partially the ole' thyroid getting to me or just mental issues. I've been so surprised by the people who've shown up and shown out during this time; in contrast, I've been curious at others who remain absent but I try not to dwell on that. 

Sweet little drain hole.
The facts:
The day after surgery I was still sporting my drain and enjoying my morphine-induced trips to La-La-Land as my surgeon (who I really do have a crush on) explains that the surgery went as planned. They removed FIVE compartments of lymph nodes. I believe the stats ended up that 3 of the 11 nodes were cancerous. Be gone, cancer, be gone. After spending 2 days in the hospital, I went home on Holy Thursday after receiving the Anointing of the Sick from a local priest. In a later post, I've got a good story to go with that one. For now, enjoy this little nugget:
This might be TMI for some, but oh well, one funny moment was definitely when I had to pee for the first time following the surgery. And of course my nurse and nurse tech needed to be all in the know about this so when they asked how it went, I said it was very painful. At which point they said nonchalantly, "Oh, yeah, that's probably from where they had the catheter in, that's typical.
Excuse me? EXCUSE ME?
Ain't nobody said nothin' 'bout no catheters!? Seriously. I wince at the thought of those things the way a guy sympathizes with another guy being hit in his manhood (I have the same reaction upon reading the word episiotomy, as well, yikes). Okay, okay, healthcare friends, I know you're thinking I'm an idiot, that catheters are pretty common when you have surgery, I get that. But no one mentioned it to me before that moment. So I know I had this look of surprise on my face. I was thankful though (that at least my peeps in surgery spared my dignity by waiting 'til I was passed out to violate me). If anything, I know the look on my doped-up face gave my nurses a smile for the evening. :)

I am so fortunate to have my mother live only 7 miles from me and that she is willing to dote on me when my husband has to be at work and I need some TLC. She cleaned up around my house, cooked for me, ran errands for me and was all around amazing to me during my recuperation time. We spent most of my 2 weeks off together as she had Spring Break last week.

I go see Dr. Frieze (Endocrinologist) on Friday where I plan to tell him that I'm ready to rock and roll on some radiation and stick a fork in this cancer bidness.

I do have some retro-posting to do about some funny stories and sweet gifts I've gotten, look for those soon.
Post-op photos via Aunt Deb

1-week post-op, bandage removal, fresh meat!
2-weeks post-op, still some swelling

April 2, 2013

Vegetable Garden Project

So I realize I owe y'all a surgery update. And it's coming. But I am going to wait until after my 1-week
appointment with my surgeon today to tell you how the surgery went and unveil my new 'necklace' of sorts. But I'm here. I'm alive. And seemingly okay. Thank you all for your sweet sweet prayers and thoughts.

To round out this beautiful Mississippi Easter weekend, Mr. K and I took advantage of his day off and transplanted our seeds to the raised beds my PawPaw used for years and years. I decided to share the pics here since my followers here are probably more interested in these kinds of activities than the mass Facebook populous.

If you know my husband then you know one of the things I love about him the most is that he does everything with his whole self: mind, body, and soul. Seriously, any guys looking to buy engagement rings, don't bother researching online, Kevin's practically a certified diamond-ologist and schooled the salespeople at most of the mall jewelry stores on the properties and values of a diamond. If you really want to nerd out on that subject, ask to see his spreadsheet. Yes, I know, I'm talking dirty to him now. He had a spreadsheet of the different properties of diamond shopping and made what he considered to be the most educated decision when he bought mine (I agree). And just ASK him about his homebrewing. I won't even begin to describe the passion he has for that science. Anyway - he's done the same with our little garden project. He's researched for hours, developed timetables and spreadsheets on the maturation dates and productivity estimations for each different seed. I can only imagine what he'll be like when the time comes for a Baby K (don't worry y'all, it's still a ways off).

How does our garden grow?

We began with the seeds in rows (that are documented on the spreadsheet) on the cornhole board I made him last Christmas (that our sweet pup Louie had a snack from a while back if you remember). They were put on this platform so we could easily carry them inside when temperatures got below 
freezing a few times in the last month or so. 
Louie's failed attempt to ruin our seeds.
He then marked out in the soil (that we turned over a few weeks ago) where each of the different types of plants would go. My PawPaw had the greenest thumb you ever saw so all it took was an hour or so of  shoveling to revive the rich soil hiding beneath the overgrown weeds that had taken root in the 2 years since he died.

Planted and watered (and guarded by Louie).

Now we will watch our garden grow! I'll update you as we go! 
We're looking forward to sunflowers, sweet peppers, hot peppers, jalapenos, cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, Brussels sprouts, cilantro and parsley.
Modern day American Gothic painting. :)
And as a bonus, you know it's hard for me to post without including pics of my sweet pup Louie. To save you from clicking through picture after picture, I compiled today's shots into this sweet little collage. :)

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