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Hopefully that will suffice until Steve or I get a chance to update this blog. Thanks again for all your prayers and good wishes — I've been feeling enveloped in love all week.
Edited to add the updates I posted in the comments section
Woo-hoo ... this hospital has a computer in the floor lounge! (Unfortunately, it just blocked me from posting a new post on my blog. I'll see if I can post it here.) It feels so great to connect to the real world ... and to see all your wonderful good wishes. Thanks a lot, everyone!
So here's what's up. Some random thoughts, as it were ...
Today I was up walking for the first time, and they took my catheter out and started allowing me to eat liquids, which means my meals consist of a flavor of broth, a flavor of Jello, hot tea, and a flavor of juice. It's nice to be able to eat again. IV fluids just don't do the trick ...
Yesterday, they moved me from ICU, where I spent two nights, to a general floor. I am in a room with a roommate, who is, thankfully, very nice and doesn't bug me when I want to be alone. We've chatted a bit and found out some things we have in common, including that we used the same fertility clinic (11 years apart) when we were trying to conceive our firstborns. (She and her husband have just the one daughter.)
Getting out of bed is getting easier, but there's still a lot of pain. It's a lot like getting used to moving again after a c-section, but so, so much more intense and longer to heal. My scar is over a foot long (at least it seems that way from the few glimpses I've allowed myself to take), and it extends from my mid-left side over to the right edge of my right side. It is healing really well, though. I get a lot of approving comments on it from the nurses.
I am on my fourth IV, and they draw blood at least twice a day, so my arms are all bruised up. I have a lot of vein issues, let's just say, so this is a source of some discomfort. A volunteer came around today giving hand massages, and that was nice. We watched Oprah together. (Season opener; David Letterman and Lisa Marie Presley were on.)
The surgery itself: I guess it lasted nearly seven hours, and it was very complicated. The tumor had formed many, many tiny little blood vessels, which it was using to attach itself to my vena cava, my aorta, even part of my spine, to leach blood -- basically, it was feeding off me, which is the grossest, most monstrous thing I can imagine. That's why I lost so much blood during the surgery and later had to have a blood transfusion. Dr. T. says he got it all out, and one of the other doctors told me it was one of the toughest surgeries he had done. I just hope and pray that it IS all out and that it doesn't come back. Or that if it does, I don't have to undergo this big of a surgery because the recovery has been really, really tough so far, if I'm honest. Today has been a turning point, as now I feel a lot more mobile.
The low point was yesterday morning. I was in so much pain and felt so isolated and alone. I was still in ICU, and no one was giving me a good answer about when I was going to get moved to a regular unit. (Daniel isn't allowed to visit in ICU, you see). First they were telling me Saturday night. Then, Sunday morning, they were saying later in the day. Then, later Sunday, a new nurse started her shift, and when I asked her when she thought I might be moving, she said very matter-of-factly, no compassion in her voice, "Honey, it's doubtful you'll be going today. They're really busy up there." So I got all ticked off (and started crying) and told her I felt like people were giving me a runaround, and she had the charge nurse check on things, and I was upstairs by 3 p.m. And Steve and Daniel have been to visit together yesterday and today, and it does me so good to see them! Daniel is taking everything so well. He seems to be in a good mood at home, and he's happy to see me here, not scared or wierded out. Just a lot of little smiles. Aaahhh...
It feels like there's going to be a lot of recovery ahead of me -- it still hurts to roll over, walk, or get out of bed, but at least I can do it with less help now. Next hurdle: emptying the bowels. Considering how much it hurts to laugh, cough or otherwise tighten up any of my abdominal muscles (which were all cut during the surgery), I hope they don't force the laxatives or suppositories on me too soon. :)
Oh, it feels so good to be able to sit here at this computer and look out the river at the sun going down over the Mississippi River, the outline of the Minneapolis skyline glowing at sunset. Things are looking up!
ME AGAIN! It's Tuesday, and it feels as if a world of changes has happened since last night when I last wrote:
I am completely unattached to my IV! I took a shower today! I am walking and getting out of bed completely on my own! I am eating solid foods!
Regina and Cathy, your balloon and package of magazines arrived this morning. I look forward to reading some real trash ;-) (though I've just begun Jonathan Strange, and it's good, too -- thanks, Regina).
Terry, a weekend meal is always welcome. Liz, thanks for your visit yesterday. All of you who have sent cards, gift certificates, meals, etc., we appreciate them very much. (Steve did tell me we have a bunch of cookies in the house!) Anyone who wants to visit is most welcome -- just give a call first to make sure I'll be decent. I'll probably be going home in a couple of days.