Second surgery

The problem with time is, that over the span of a few days the mind’s focus is on something else and not being able to take notes, things become a bit blurry.

I missed a couple of key points with the first surgery. Of course, important news was, that there is no new cancer growth.

The other strange thing happened was, one night, when I was in extreme discomfort and pain, I’d rung the bell. It took 25 min to get answered. I fleetingly thought, I was glad I’m not having a heart attack. I asked the nurse’s aid to tell nurse I need pain meds. She trotted off. I was holding my expanding belly, moaning, crying in pain. Nurse came after many more minutes passed, only to tell me she had to call Dr. H. Came back and said, I was not getting any meds because : Dr. H. had said, since I’d taken morphine prior to surgery, the pain imprinted on my brain and this was NOT a real pain I felt. I looked at her in disbelief and said, it didn’t even make sense.

She left the room. I was doubled over at this point just crying helplessly and wondered whether I was in TWILIGHT ZONE!

I rang the bell again and again nurse’s aid came after a while. I said :’ I need pain medication right now!  After no one came, by now it’s 2:30 A.M and I had no pain meds in nearly 6 hours, I rang the bell again. This time I said:’ This is a hospital and I am in distress. I am hurting very much. If I do not get any pain meds, I will call my son, my daughter, the administrator.’ Finally, I was given Dilaudid.

(In retrospect, this was the time my abdomen was filling with bloody fluids.)

Next morning,  Stuart came on durty. He was there when I was in recovery at the first surgery and witnessed how very sick I’d been. I’d requested that the nurse from previous night not attend to me again. I am grateful for his excellent care.

After walking in the hallway and going to bathroom by myself, it was decided that I could go home. That belongs to first part. ———–

Back to Montrose Hospital and being told that I needed Emergency surgery and needed to go back to Grand Junction. This time, by ambulance with flashing lights. The road to Grand Junction is really, really bumpy. Of course, my main worry, in the ambulance was, that I either get sick, or have to use the bathroom.

Nice EMT Rick assured me and talked with me. Made me as comfortable as he could. Gave me a big hug  when they unloaded me and wheeled me to surgery. This time, a woman anesthesiologist. I pleaded to give me something different than her peer had. She said, not to worry.

I woke up, sore, in pain but not sick! What a difference. When I saw my abdomen, it looked like a trussed turkey. I had staples, stitches AND a red, plastic hose woven through. WOW. Dr. H. said, she was not taking any chances.

By now, I had not eaten anything in 5 days. ( I.V. fluids don’t count.)

I’d given anything for a hearty, nice, wholesome, home made chicken-noodle soup. But, nothing but the same awful, unhealthy choices.

Finally, I was allowed to come home a second time. My good Julie came to stay with me.  I still had nausea and pain. I was still dealing with constipation. I was so scared of THAT, that I didn’t take anything stronger than Ibuprofen.

One very early morning, I felt like I couldn’t breath. Could not get my breath nor breath deep. That scared me. Off to doc for H2O saturation test. I had to walk around the office with and without oxygen. Level fell to 86 (should be over 96).

Went to get oxygen and for 2 days, it helped a lot. Next morning, I breathed easier on my own again. Whatever the obstruction was, or swelling due to tubes, was gone. I could not envision my life on oxygen. Can’t travel.

My son Cameron had called and he was going to drive to Colorado to help me. Julie had to go back as her Grand father had passed away while she was here. Cameron arrived Friday evening and Julie left early next morning. I really appreciate that he would interrupt his life, yet again to help me.

On Friday, Julie took me to Grand Junction to have the whole stitchings out. The incision burned like hell. Felt like the scalpel slicing through. THAT had memory! The nurse said to use Orajel. We got some and indeed it helped some. It’s been a few painful days and slow walking. Each night, I pray that when I wake, it’ll be easier and better.

The BEST news of all of that is, that my Oncologist and Gyn/onc/surgeon both have said, I DO NOT NEED CHEMO!! I am doing so well with my lifestyle and cancer is growing sooo slow, that I can MANAGE it without chemo. It took a few days to really sink in. That I had won! The whole, long journey, the ridicule by some medical professionals, the head-wagging from acquaintances and some friends. The loud, sarcastic exclamation from Dr. Giggles:’ YOU CAN’T CURE CANCER WITH FOOD!!’  Well, perhaps not ‘cure’ but certainly we can help ourselves doing the best we can for the Immune system.

I have been told by doctors, that I was in very good shape and how it made all the difference. Once I am recovered, I will then continue this lifestyle.

Now. I want to count my miracles. One: Camino de Santiago. To be able to walk all that way and NOT have any pains (other than normal ones). TWO: Even though the cancer is not gone, it certainly has not moved or grown since I’ve returned, last October. Three: That my body responded to this healthful way and is healing itself. Thank you God.

Yesterday, was the first day that when I woke up, there was NO pain. At all. I layed in bed and cried grateful tears. I get a few more years. I can travel. I can function. I can visit and interact with my friends. I can do normal, every day stuff.

People just do NOT know how precious health is. They moan and complain about silly, un-necessary things.  Forgetting the wealth they posess. Or, stuffing themselves with enough junk food and toxic crap. In time, the body repays this horrible treatment and falls apart.

I am most happy to end this chapter with a heartfelt : CAMINO NOT CHEMO. Hard work and faith.

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1 thought on “Second surgery

  1. Dear Inge,
    I was so happy to read that you were recovering nicely and that your prayers were answered. NO CHEMO! Yey that is such good news! I believe that we always get what we need just not exactly the way we imagine. You showed so much strength, faith and courage through the hard times. Your story was meant to inspire others so they may be lifted up by your journey. I wish you continued speedy recovery and good health. God bless you.

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