Slowly getting there

It’s been a week since the surgery that happened at 5pm last Monday. I am feeling a lot better already but there is a long way to go.

I had a c-section twenty years ago so I was prepared for some of this, but it is worse just like my surgeon cautioned me. Mainly because it is taking much longer to heal than the c-section did. A lot more was removed, and the cut was a lot longer. I also have a huge black bruise on my outside so no idea what the inside looks like.

On the plus side…. I can eat again. My stomach is still small so I can’t feast on a giant turkey dinner, but I can have a small plate and even mostly finish it now.

I can get into and out of chairs now without help, but I can’t lay down completely in bed, and I can’t get myself out of bed without help. I’m also hobbling around the house a bit more, and as long as I don’t go too far it’s okay.

You don’t realize how much of what you do every day depends on your stomach muscles. I tried sitting at the pc today and that lasted all of five minutes before I had to get up. I don’t dare put the laptop in my lap either, it would be too much weight for my stomach. I’m pretty much stuck on small things like my phone, switch, or kindle.

Sleeping is… Interesting. It’s hard to sleep if you have to go pee every couple of hours. It’s worse on those who have to help you get out of bed every two hours because your muscles aren’t strong enough to get you up. I don’t sleep a lot anyway (my normal is 4-6 hours before all this). I could deal with it. Gregg, not so much. The poor guy isn’t suited for sleep deprivation.

So I have been sleeping for a few hours in bed, then when I have to get up I switch to a reclining chair beside the bed so that I can sleep a bit more, and if I have to get up again he doesn’t. It’s a good compromise and we both get sleep.

Gregg and his parents (who we are staying with) have made it abundantly clear that they expect me to focus on getting better, and taking care of myself. Not push too hard, and relax when I need to. I am forever grateful for how much all the of them have helped with my recovery. That doesn’t mean I magically feel okay about laying around and doing little. I can’t cook, clean, or help with dishes. I can’t even carry more than a dish or two without hurting myself. I’m still trying, of course, when I can, but in a reasonable limit.

Recovery is boring. But…. I’d rather be here then the alternative.

But now that I’m more awake, and moving a little better, it’s time to see what I can do. Like writing on my phone, or drawing some designs. Anything that gets me back to doing something productive.

Till then, I’m just recovering.

So, a lot is happening this month…

This is not a baby bump. I almost wish it were.

This is a tumor or cyst (we’re not sure which yet) growing in my abdomen. It is 8 inches at the largest point, and is filing my entire abdomen so that I can barely eat, and I get faint when I’m walking around.

I am going into surgery Monday to have the tumor we named Lumpy removed. As scary as the idea of being cut open like this is (since they have to take it out all as one piece so have to make a big hole for it) I am so happy that it is coming out.

The last month and a half has been pretty terrible. It started with my abdomen growing larger even though I was eating less and exercising more. I was getting full faster and faster, and my stomach was getting hard. In the last month I’ve been eating less than 1000 calories a day because even one small egg was enough to fill me up for half the day. Currently I’m only able to eat soft foods like pudding, yogurt, and Avacado. On the positive side I’ve lost weight so once Lumpy is out I’ll be pretty skinny. Well, skinny for me.

The fainting is also tough. The mass is sitting on my arteries and constrict blood flow. If I sit up for too long, or walk around much, I start to feel like I’m going to fall over. Gregg has been good about being near me so that if I start to fall he can give me a hand, and making it so if I’m having trouble that day I can just lay down and he can get things for me. I hate being sick, but he has made this so much easier.

But the worst part until this week has been the medical. When you have a giant thing growing inside you there is no option except to remove it. But while we were in Texas we were on cash only for medical needs. We had insurance, but it’s for Washington since that is where our residents is still. Every test has a price tag, and you had to pay up front. And they don’t want to bankrupt you either so they only suggest things you absolutely should get. So after a couple of visits we realized this wasn’t something simple that would need a little medicine. This was worse. There was a mass on my ovaries and I needed to see a specialist. Asap.

So we packed up and drove from Houston to Seattle in three days. Or I should say Gregg drive. I slept most of the way since I was getting worse.

I made an appointment with a gynecologist before we left, but they didn’t have an appointment available for a week. So we got to Seattle, checked into a hotel, and waited.

The first appointment went fast. The Dr had already looked at my chart, and read that I had a 22 cm mass and realized we had to get moving on this fast. She did another ultrasound to check the size… And it is now 30cm. Lumpy is growing, and fast.

So she gave me a box test to see if it is cancer or not (since it could still be a really big cyst) and sent me across the street to get a CT scan while calling a surgeon to get me in a list ASAP! Dr Keys has been amazing!

I talked to the surgeon yesterday. He is also pretty awesome, and very confident that we can get this taken care of. But he also saw the urgency and got me scheduled for this Monday. Just a couple days away.

I’ve had some prep to do, like a covid test since I can’t have surgery if I test positive. I will go in Monday around 11am and be poked and stick with needles before finally getting into the surgery. They will take out the lump, and my ovaries since they are both affected, and send it to test before closing me up. If it is the malignant kind of cancer they will take out a few other things, like lymph nodes, before sewing me up. If it’s benign they will just sew me up.

So, in short I’ll lose 20-30 lbs, and my ability to have periods (yay! I hate those things). And I’ll have to heal for a bit since my stomach will be cut open. Last time it took a week or two before I could walk normally again.

I hope it’s benign because then once I’m healed up I can go back to life as normal. If it isn’t…. Well I’ll still have some treatment to do.

I won’t be able to give an update for a few days. I’ll be in the hospital for at least two days, maybe more. And they won’t let anyone in except Gregg while I’m there, which makes me sad. I’d like to see my kids too. But there’s always video chat.

Corona has made everything a little tougher. Appointments aren’t as available as they once were, and if I had Corona I couldn’t get the life saving surgery I needed. Plus you can’t have visitors, or even a family member at your appointment to talk about your diagnosis. He has to do me off at the door, and I have to waddle in. Thank goodness I can still walk, though I think the nurses were really worried about me falling down at the hospital today. She kept offering me a wheelchair.

One and a half more days….