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


  1. Sheila, you are incredibly brave and strong to have endured so much. I pray that you have a fast recovery and that you can finally put this cancer behind you. Keep the faith! God is faithful and he will pull you through!

  2. I so look forward to your blog to hear how you're doing. And to hear your humor (loved the catheter story!). Even amid something so terrible, you are still a blessing to others. I can't wait to read your blog soon and contain nothing but great stories about Spanx and important things like that! :) Wishing you well and praying for your recovery!

  3. Don't feel bad about being scared of getting a catheter. My biggest, worst fear of child labor - an enema. Seriously. At 5:00am when we were driving to the hospital THAT is what I was worried about.


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