Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I've Been Blessed, I've Been Loved, He's Been Glorified

October the 9th arrived before I knew it. October 10th was even closer.

I think I was dreading this day more than the surgery itself.

I started out my day as normal at school with my co-workers and my morning kiddos. I raced around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to make sure all of my I's were dotted and T's crossed for the long term sub. 3 1/2 hours flew by and it was time for me to come home and begin preparing for my surgery the next day.

As I was preparing to leave I walked through the hall between our wing and the front office and the thought crossed my mind, "What if things go wrong? What if I never walk these halls as an employee again?" I was crushed instantly with emotion. Thank goodness for my sweet friend Yvette's interception and her voice of truth amidst a mess of emotions. Her gentle reminder of God's promises was exactly what I needed in that moment. I was ready to move forward although I was still feeling very consumed with anxiety and fear.

You see, I have a deep desire to have control over most area's of my life. This time I didn't have that option. I had a plan for my family, FBC and for my classroom but that was about it. I shared my anxiety and fears with Dr. W at my pre-op appointment and he told me that ultimately he would have a very detailed plan (that he shared with me) and that it would be discussed with the entire surgical team.  In my heart I knew all along that the plan was all in the hands of God. Why couldn't I grasp that?

I began taking the colon prep at 1:00 and the first round of antibiotics at 5:00. Thankfully my afternoon was accompanied by my dear friend Lynn and her son who came to help me with the little man and our ABA Therapist who was here to work with Clark. Breezy and my Papa arrived at 5:30 from Denver and by 6:00 I was so sick to my stomach that I couldn't even stand straight. I went to bed at 6:45 and slept until 10:45 when Breezy woke me up long enough to take my 2nd round of antibiotics. At 3:00 a.m. I woke up from a dead sleep and began dry heaving. I had not eaten anything solid in 48 hours and in the last 12 hours I had done the colon prep so my stomach had only antibiotics left. I spent the next 2 1/2 hours on the floor of the bathroom begging God to just let it pass so that I could take a hot shower and make it to the hospital by 6. My stomach finally settled and we made it to Evans just before 6:00. As pulled into the parking lot it hit me again and then I felt good as new. That was rough. 

I arrived at General Surgery at 6:15 and they took me right back into the pre-op area. I was ready to go by 6:45. Our Pastor was with me while Wes took care of getting the little man to his WONDERFUL sitter. Dr. W came in and shared with us that he was very nervous about the operation. He had gone to bed early and was ready for what he thought to be a 9 to 13 hour surgery. He said he prayed that God would give him slow and steady hands. Pastor T assured him that he and his team were being covered by a multitude of prayer warriors. He was ready! Dr. E came and finally Dr. B around 7:15. I was in the OR by 7:20 and surgery had began.

At 11:40 a.m. Dr. W walked into the waiting room where Wes had been waiting to let him know that he was done. Wes was shocked. It had not been 9 hours. Dr. W proceeded to let him know that what he found once he was inside was a miracle. 5 masses instead of 3 and my ovary had been removed and surgery had gone much better than anticipated.

* My left ovary and it's mass had been removed successfully but not before finding another mass on the tube. My ovary and tube had adhered to one another. Thank goodness the plan was to remove it anyways.
* The mass on the top of my bladder presented itself well and removal was simple. There was also another similar mass on the left side that was removed as well.I did have to have temporary stints inserted into my bladder but they were removed before I left the hospital.
* The mass on my rectum gave Dr. W quiet the surprise. I shared with you all last week that the mass had secured itself to my rectum and a small portion of my bowel. It was also sitting right on top of very large blood vessels and nerves that control rectum and bowel functions.Well...when Dr. W finally made his way to the mass it had shifted and was no longer sitting on the side of my rectum but on the top between my cervix and rectum. Still attached in the same locations but no longer sitting on the blood vessels or nerves. Dr. W. was able to remove the mass easier than anticipated and my bowels and rectum received no damage at all. My colon did have a few lesions that will heal in time but nothing of too much concern. My intestines made surgery a little more difficult because they were swollen and inflamed...which tends to be normal for me.

In all, surgery was remarkable and all of the biopsies returned benign. The masses were indeed Endometrioma's caused by Endometriosis (that I never knew I had). I am reminded of just how blessed I am to have my 2 boys that's for sure.

My stay at the hospital was an adventure.I'll share a story or 2 just to humor you.

* After I got to my room I told Wes I felt like I was wet from the waist down. He kept assuring me that I was not and that it was probably the meds. This went on for almost 2 hours. FINALLY I was awake enough to look under the covers myself. I WAS WET. My catheter had been punctured some how and the stints that had been placed had disconnected from the catheter and were also leaking. My bed was soaked. SOOOO not even 3 hours after surgery I was up, catheter removed and out of the bed sitting in the chair. Hey, atleast I got to put on one of my own gowns instead of that ugly hospital thing.

*The next day at shift change I told the nurse that I was having some problems with my eyes. They hurt horribly but not a dry like hurt. For several hours I thought I was seeing double. I kept telling Wes I was and he just laughed it off. I tried reading for several hours off and on with no luck. Looking at the t.v. proved to be just as difficult. When the nutritionist came in around 11 she had 2 sets of facial features and I knew for sure something wasn't right. I called the nurse. He came in and I told him I was seeing double. A short while later he came back and asked if I needed to see the Chaplain. WHAT? My response was "What the heck is the chaplain going to do formy double vision?" I was furious. This guys thought I was nuts. I asked for another nurse. Shortly after Dr. W came in and said he thought I was hallucinating. NO, I was sure that I was seeing double. He said he understood but if I was "Seeing the Devil" that was something different than double vision. I was dumbfounded and quickly corrected him. He had been told  by the little Philippino nurse that I was "Seeing the Devil". We all had a good laugh, especially Stacey and Yvette!

Recovery has been slow but I feel like I am making good progress each day. My Papa is still here for a few more days thankfully and Breezy has been off of work. We've had dinner brought by each night and it has been delish! We have had a ton of FB messages, calls and visits and we appreciate them all.

I leave you with this and I hope you are as blessed as I am today! Take a look-see!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Since Everyone Has Asked

It has been way to long since I last sat down to write. July 2012 seems like forever ago. I got caught up in Breezy's deployment, raising 2 boys, working 2 job and just living life until our Breezy made it back home safely. 

I came here about a month ago and just couldn't seem to make sense of my words. I am going to try again tonight.  I have something on my heart and on my mind that I need to share for my own good.

In May I went in to see my OBGYN because I was continuing to have pain in my lower abdomen as I have been for MANY months.While I was there we discussed many possibilities. It could be IBS. It could be cyst on my ovaries. It could be an unhealthy cervix. It could be a blockage or tear in my intestines. It could have been many things.Dr. B ordered labs, said she would call with the report and said she would see me again after our family returned from vacation in June.

*Let me go back to November of 2011 when this all started. I began having pressure and pain in my lower abdomen that was like having a baby...but from the wrong end. I told the Drs. this over and over again. I visited the ER for 4 months in a row and each time the problem seemed to be my left ovary. It always has a cyst or 2. Finally in January 2012 after a follow up visit with my PCM he ordered a colonoscopy for February. My PCM received the report a few days after and called to let me know that everything looked pretty good. I did have a tiny blockage in my intestines, but not enough that it would be causing so much pain and pressure. Here I am, thinking I'm nuts.

These "flare ups" have continued since then. They make me MISERABLE.

In June while our family was on vacation in Alabama the pain struck again and it struck hard. I was miserable for 2 days before I decided I needed to see the Dr. for pain meds since I had not brought any with me. Again, I wasn't sure if I had a bladder infection, an inflamed ovary or if my intestines were tied up in a knot. All I could tell the Dr. was that I felt like I was having contractions from the wrong end and that my insides were like a train wreck. Pain level at a 10. The Dr. ordered more labs (like always) and a CatScan. As alwayys my left ovary wasn't looking so good but according to him everything else looked normal. UGHHHH! Feeling like a nut...again.

We arrived home from vacation at the end of June and I had already scheduled a follow up with the OBGYN. I had touched base with her while on vacation because of the labs that she had requested. She knew then something else had to be done. I went in to the appointment, nothing new, but a lower abdominal CatScan with contrast was ordered. This made number 3. Because of the new insurance policy and referral system at our hospital on the Fort it was the beginning of August before they could get me in.

On August 8th I drank 2 bottles of that nasty contrast and then I went in for the CatScan. About 1/2 way thru the nurse came out and asked if the Radiologist could have permission to go back and look at the reports from the previous scans that had been done and my colonoscopy from 2012. Sure, why not. The procedure was completed and I came home.

On Friday, the 9th, my cell phone rang and it was another Dr. from the OBGYN clinic not Dr. B. She had received my CatScan report and had news that should not wait. I was a little taken back that she had called already. The nurse from radiology said it would be 7-10 days. She reported that I had a "periorectal abscess" that would need to be removed. She had already put in the referral to General Surgery. General Surgery called the same afternoon and scheduled my appointment for 2 weeks out with a P.A.

On August 26th I went in to see the P.A. and she stated that because of the location of the "mass" I would need to see a surgeon. She also told me that I had a mass on my left ovary that did not resemble a cyst and a spot on the top of my bladder. Her bedside manner was not the best and I left the appointment with very little information and a bit frustrated. Now, I was going to wait again.

About a week later she called again to let me know that she had spoken with the Chief of Surgery and I would need to see the OBGYN, Urologist and that the Chief of Surgery himself would be taking my case. She asked me to just be patient that they were sorting everything out. I still had very little information at this point. The P.A. and I had several phone conversations over the next 2 weeks and I became more and more frustrated that nothing was moving. I am no good at waiting.

I did finally receive a call from the Urologist and scheduled to see her the very next day. While at my appointment she showed me the images from the catscan. Indeed, there were 3 masses. The mass on my bladder is sitting at the very top and is about the size of a lima bean. My left ovary is enlarged and the mass on it is about the size that the ovary should be. At this time she told me the mass on my rectum was large, but no comparable size. She asked me again to be patient. She was going to contact the Suergon and the OBGYN and get things moving quickly. She did as she promised and 2 days later surgery was scheduled for Oct. 10th. Keep in mind lots of information but still a small understanding of the severity.

I made an appointment for Pre-Op with all 3 Drs. Urology and OBGYN were both simple. Dr. E's and B's parts of the surgery will be a breeze. My left ovary will be removed which makes me feel so much better. Eliminating one of the main causes of my discomfort. FINALLY. *I had a partial hysterectomy in 2010.

About a week later I walked into the appointment with the COS feeling very positive. Anticipating a short and sweet meeting. Dr. W. came in and sat down and asked if I understood what was going on. I thought I did. I was wrong. I asked him to give me a visible comparison of the size of the mass. He held out his hand as if he were holding a ball. The mass on my rectum is now bigger than a tennis ball. Unfortunately it was seen during the colonoscopy in 2012 and when my PCM read the report somehow he missed it. That was 1 year and 8 months ago. It was just under 2 cm's then. Had it been removed at that time it would have been a very quick and simple procedure and I would not be in the place I am in now. The mass has secured itself to my rectum and a small portion of my bowels. It is also sitting right on top of very large blood vessels and nerves that control rectum and bowel functions.

This week, Thursday, I will undergo what could be a 9-10 hour surgery. All 3 Drs. will be involved. Dr. B and Dr. E's procedures will be first and then Dr. W. will do his part. They will begin with laproscopy but Dr. W is anticipating that he will have to open me further to do a hand assist. He told me that his portion of the surgery will require him to be very slow so that no additional damage is done. My incision will be vertical and could be as long as 10 inches. There are many unknowns that are associated with his part.We won't know anything more until he actually gets into my abdomen and starts working. A temporary colostomy is very possible. We will wait and see.

I asked him if he thought that these masses were cancerous and he told me that he would not tell me yes or no. He said that he would know more when he gets them in the bucket. They will go to pathology and we should know more within 4-7 days.

I will be admitted after surgery for 4-5 days and possibly longer if more procedures are required, which is likely.

I am so thankful that Breezy will be taking leave and that my Daddy is coming from AL to be with us until further notice. Clark and Carsen will be in great hands with Daddy, BoBo and our wonderful sitter Tashy.

This is very rambley and scattered and might not make a lot of sense. Its off my chest now thank goodness. I have been very private with what has been going on with most everyone except my family and closest friends. This has been a lot for me to process in the last few weeks and I am a nervous wreck. The wait has been ridiculous and the closer it gets the more I begin to worry.

Your prayers would be appreciated.

Grace for Tomorrow,
Mrs. B.