Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just Listen.....

One of my Facebook friends said she had been following my posts lately. She said I really was an inspiration for so many of us and that I was amazing in sharing this experience with my friends! She was just curious as to what my symptoms were before I was diagnosed or if I had any symptoms? She hoped I didn't mind her asking...and she thanked me so much for sharing and she's praying for my full recovery every day!

I thought I'd share my answer with everyone.....

Ovarian Cancer is called the silent killer for a reason, the symptoms are minimal. Like my hips and back ached.... just thought I was over working myself or the mattress needed flipping. My period was heavy this time last year, would bleed for a week, stop a week, bleed a week.... it would stabilize, then miss a month, only to stabilize again. I was getting night sweats and the normal signs of menopause. I'm 48 years old, seemed normal to me when my period stopped last May.
I was diagnosed with gall stones this time last year and I think if they would have done a CT scan instead of just the ultrasound, they may have caught it in the early stage. Since I was still receiving unemployment benefits while I was attending college at that point I didn't qualify for the community program (I made $2100 too much). I blamed a lot of what was going on (pain wise) on that. Not realizing it was my right ovary that was really the culprit. The kicker was I lost 40 lbs (I had gotten very heavy there for awhile and attributed that to bad genes, age, and lousy eating habits), but my stomach dimensions didn't change. I figured since I was about 2-3 months away from graduating I would just take care of it after that.
All I can really say (in my own personal case here) is that being in school and not having health insurance was still NO EXCUSE for not having a yearly visit with my OBGYN. Do ***NOT*** take it for granted and if you have no insurance, make the time to register with the county where you live for help. I feel if that I had just spent the money for the office visit I could have caught this sooner. I had a little money but was more concerned with other obligations (like money for gas to get to my clinical sites) than my health.
I never thought for one second that I could possibly have ovarian cancer. It's not something you think about... unless you're a hypochondriac. LOL. But like I said, I can only recant my own reasoning why it got to this point.
A woman I worked with a few years back (that I still have contact with here on Facebook) had went through (is still going trough) breast cancer and she made a blog about it. Her experience was inspirational to me. It was right about that time that I knew I had to see a doctor yet STILL procrastinated long enough to finish school (reiterating here but I never thought I could possibly have ovarian cancer). And I figured if she could be that inspirational to me, maybe I could inspire someone else with writing this all down and sharing my experience. Maybe another woman will not have to go through what I did if they pay attention to their health.
The blog helped me mentally and spiritually to deal with this. Plus it fielded a lot of inquiries from family and friends so I wouldn't have to answer the same questions over and over again. Everyone gets an update on how I am doing and where I am as far as progression and recovery. This type of illness is very personal and serious. Sharing it, and my feelings about it, not only helps me but allows everyone to be closer to me through it.
So I definitely don't mind the inquiry and appreciate all the love, concern, caring, well wishes, and prayers. It all helped me be stronger and know I wasn't alone.

Thursday, October 4th 2012 Update.... The Poopfest has Started!

Well, the goal for the day was to fart. Really, it was. I had to be able to pas gas before I was able to be released from the hospital.

Umm... well, I blew right past farting to full blown diarrhea! But that's good! It's actually the ultimate goal.... the bowels are moving!


I also have no more pain pump *AND* I'm no longer on the IV fluids. So I'm no longer tethered to ANYTHING!!! I'm free I tell ya.... FREE!

They put me on oral Percocet and it makes me a little nauseous but I can handle it. It's taking care of the pain like it's supposed to. I haven't walked this afternoon because, well.... the poopfest had started and I'm not traveling THAT far away from the toilet.

The nurse took out the first IV I had because it was due to come out anyway. I had another one because I needed one above my wrist for a CT. Well, that one had to be removed too because it wasn't holding. So sometime soon she will be coming in here to start another IV. As long as I'm still a patient here on this floor I have to have an IV started even if I'm not hooked up to anything. Certain meds they have can only be given through an IV. I'm okay with it though. I'll want the Ativan later for sleep and I'll need the IV for that med.

But the real news is the poopfest. I'm very happy :) That means I'm getting better and one more step coser to home.

Oooh.... dinner is here!

God Bless!!!

Thursday, October 4th 2012.... Good Morning World!!!

I definitely started my day off better than I did yesterday. I woke up with the urge to urinate but hit my pain pump about 3 times before getting out of bed. I used the bathroom without difficulty and was able to get back into bed without crying. I had my vitals taken and slept for another 2 hours or so.

Spoke to my PA Regina again today and she said the smaller biopsy results that were taken from me (not the mass) came back last night and they were BENIGN! Great news!!! She was talking with Dr. Fiorica last night about it and depending on what the results are from the biopsy of the mass will determine whether I need chemo or not. He seems to think just the mass was borderline cancerous, and depending on how much will determine if I would benefit from some light chemo. Not quite sure of the "why's" here if it's just the mass that's cancerous and it was removed. I'll talk to him next week about it.

My potassium was a bit low and they're giving me this "cocktail" that tastes like shoe polish mixed with honey to supplement me and bring the count up. I have to sip it... not only does it taste a bit like floor wax, it will make me nauseous if I drink it too fast. I want NO repeats of yesterdays nausea-fest.... that was horrible!

I only walked the hallway once last night. Being nauseated all day was a minor setback for me. I should have walked at least 3 times yesterday. However.... I had my liquid breakfast without being sick and already walked today for the entire length of the hallway with the walker and an assistant pushing my IV pole. No issues at all. I decided to not drink the coffee here, it didn't agree with me. I am having some tea for the caffeine cause I'm getting a headache from the lack of it.

I'm relaxing a bit now writing my blog and then I'm going to take a shower. I'll relax again for awhile, have lunch and walk the hallway again this afternoon. I can finally feel some grumbling going on in my intestines! YEA!

My nurse just came in and they're removing my pain pump. Don't know how I feel about this. I'll be getting oral pain meds but it's not like knowing I can press the button and get instantaneous relief. I have a real BIG incision with a lot of staples. And apparently my estimation was wrong. They from about 4 inches below the bottom of my sternum (breastbone) all the way to my pubic ridge. Here's a pic of the staples.
That's a pic from top to bottom (not showing the pubic line). I'm gonna have a crooked belly button. But really, WTF do I care, my bikini days are LONG GONE.

Okay.... I rambled on enough for now. I need to take a shower while the pill is in effect. I'll write an update later.

Love you all and God Bless!!!!