Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The worst is over...

What a tumultuous ride! PHEW! Back on calmer seas ...

It is good to be HOME.

Surgery June 27: Bathed in prayer ... all went well.
Recovery in Hospital June 27- July 3: So imagine being hit by a tractor trailer and surviving ... at least that's what it felt like to me!

I spent most of the week in bed. By day two I was walking to the bathroom and back, with a walker and supervised. Day three I walked down the hall with a walker, supervised. Day four FATIGUE & nausea hit me big time. Whilst the medical care is world class, hospital is not a good place to sleep. Day five I felt better again and anticipated going home the next day for K-man's Birthday. Day six ... more fatigue and nausea at which I voluntarily opted to stay another day. With a little prep before I went into hospital, Matt capably took care of making K-man's 12th Birthday a wonderful celebration at home, and he brought them to the hospital in the afternoon so I could watch K-man's delight at opening his gifts. And he was DELIGHTED! As was I.

I had a number of pastoral visits throughout the week, offering warm smiles and welcome words of hope, encouragement, and prayer. I work for a church conference - representing 900+ churches in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Word gets around (authorized!) when you are on conference staff, and I received cards and messages from countless church prayer groups, pastors, and church members, many of whom I don't know, that I was being lifted in prayer. I feel it folks. I could not endure this journey without my faith, without my Savior.

My surgeon informed me that my tumor had a "full pathological response" to the chemo & radiation a couple months ago, meaning they found no living cancer cells in what he removed. Praise God for this precise answer to many prayers! However, because I am young, the surgeon and my oncologist would still like me to undergo the follow up chemo protocol, to further reduce any recurrence (in case young cancer cells may be active elsewhere.) Praise God! I know, it's not what I was expecting, and I am certainly not looking forward to it at all, but God is in control, and everyone has my best interests at heart. The chemo treatments will start up in about a month.

Sunday July 3: After waking and feeling stronger, and being checked on by almost every staff member/medical team in the hospital, they discharged me at last to go home.

From the chest up I feel pretty fine, but after a week mostly sent in bed my leg muscles are reduced to jelly. And the FATIGUE. Oh my! It takes EVERYTHING in me to walk up or down our stairs (with Matt to lean/hold on) especially these first couple days. My mid section is a little tender as you might imagine, with two runs of staples, an ostomy (go ahead, research that on Google!), and an abdominal drain.

Praise God, and with the help of common over-the-counter pain meds, I have enjoyed restful sleep the past couple nights. The first night was definitely a little rougher. Each day I wake feeling stronger and better, and I try to meander the downstairs as much as I can through the day to work on endurance and strength. Matt took the week off work this week to care for me, and his care has been second to none. ♥ A visiting nurse stops by every couple of days to check my vitals. So far, so good.

So now I learn about living with an ostomy. I have to get used to a very low-fiber diet, at least to start, and drink lots of extra fluids. Canned/well cooked fruit and veg (no skins/seeds), white bread, broiled lean meats, white rice, white pasta, lean fish, dairy products, Gatorade & vegetable juice. Extra salt is encouraged. Pringles come in handy there! I have already been inspired by a young (20's) woman on YouTube who has produced a number of informational/helpful videos on living with an ostomy. What a way to make lemonade!!

Well, it's taken me all day to compose this blog. It's not comfortable to sit any length of time in one position, and I've had visitors, and other tasks to attend to throughout the day. Now for some family movie time.

Calmer seas.

Thanks for your love, prayers and encouragement.

In Christ's strength,

Sandii :) xxxxxxxxxxx