Coffee in one Hand; Confidence in the Other: You, Me, Us as Women ~ Post Surgery Update!

Sorry for the silence friends.

It has honestly been an interesting & physically difficult week.

But I have managed to keep the Coffee in one hand.

For those of you that recall, I mentioned that I was having surgery last week & lets just say I did not anticipate the outcome to be what it has been.

But that is life right?!??!

They found a while ago a cyst (benign) on my left ovary. Now being non cancerous they were not overly worried about it, except that it kept creeping up in size over the last couple of years.

It wasn't the size that induced the talk of surgery. It was in all reality what it was taking from my everyday life. The cyst (which I named Ollie the Ovarian Cyst) was infringing on my quality of life.

Although, I do not think that I truly even felt it; Ollie (the cyst) was totally taking life away from me that I was unaware of.

I was used to going to the Washroom a lot & really I thought it was just me & my little old lady bladder.

Apparently it was not.

I was also unable to use any type of tampon as the pain was fierce.

Again I just figured it was the way the cyst sat in my abdomen.

There was also the lack of intimate moments between me & my spouse (there was more than Ollie as a reason, but that is another post), again the pain or uncomfort was too much for me to handle.

So after another ultrasound in March, & a few talks with the OB-GYN we decided that even though it had not grown in size since the last exam, they wanted to remove Ollie.

Being that we currently live in a Covid world the surgery was booked for last Monday. Normally I would possibly have to wait a few weeks, but this was months. I was okay with this, as it really had no physical outwards affect on my life. Or so I thought!

About a month prior to the surgery I got a call from the Doctor & she asked if I was alright to take my fallopian tubes also.

This was because of 2 factors:

  1. Because I have had some medical issues in my 20's that put me in a higher percentage bracket to get Ovarian Cancer.

  2. Because of the size of Ollie (cyst) this also increased my chance of getting cancer.

So after chatting it over with the fam, I decided that they could indeed have my tubes too. I am not having any more kids as my youngest is now 16, & if that ever changed, adoption surrogacy or other options are available. I knew that being that the C word was in the conversation I could easily give up more children as a prevention.

For those of you that do not know me personally, I am very much a person that doesn't like to take medication if I do not have to. I am also the type that likes my body the way it was built. So for me to decide to allow them to take my tubes, was a big deal for me. I am all about doing what I have to do to live the best possible life. I realize that there are things I do that inhibit this, but for the most part, I am 'If it isn't necessary, let's not do this.'

So with surgery looming, I made sure I had done what I needed to complete. School shopping, food, needs of the kids, even shaved my legs (thank goodness I did, cause I can't now).

Because of the Covid world, no one was allowed to come with me to my surgery.

Just me, myself & I.

The hubs drove me over & we were there a smidge early. As we sat in the 15 min parking I noticed things that I normally would have disregarded.

The guy scraping the rust off an outdoor railing.

'What is that guy thinking? How is he just doing this over & over? The sound is almost like steel wool on an oven top. Over & over he does this.'

I just listened & watched.

When I entered the hospital it was the basic, Covid questions with Hand Sanitizer everywhere.

All masked up I hit the admitting area, & this wonderful Bitty called me into her room. I ended up doing the same thing with her as I did with the gentleman outside.

'Does she like her job? She isn't smiling much. When she talks she seems like something is bothering her. Can she tell that I am a little nervous? '

As she was doing up my admitting forms, she ended up telling me that she was in a little car accident this am & it had all thrown her day off. I told her that I was in no rush & listened to her recount of her morning. She helped me calm my nerves a bit, as I hope I did the same for her.

Off I went to Day Surgery & they did not have a bed for me yet, so in the waiting area I sat. But being I was still in my place of noticing things that go unseen for me on most days, I heard the clerk at the front desks conversation & it made me think (& this is word for word what I wrote that day).

'She (the clerk) said my last name like I was a thing, not a person. It was like I had no identity at all. I realize that this is a hospital & they see many people a day, but I can hear you, & I know that I am more than just a thing. Try making it like we are all people with fears & concerns walking in here today.'

I guess at that moment I needed to be me & not a number or another patient. I needed her to acknowledge me. Which she didn't.

I did get it from the Nurses though, who were wonderful with me. Answering my questions, placing the warmed blankets on me (my favorite part of hospital stays) & making sure I wasn't feeling like just another patient.

Shortly after this, I got my bed, IV, a wonderful new gown (not) & the best part of surgery for me in the past & now is the amount of tape they use to cover all my piercings that I refuse to take out. My ears were literally a whole roll.

It was a long waiting period as my Doctor was behind & as she put it herself, 'It has just been one of those days'. For me it was no concern, I couldn't do anything anyway, so I sat & waited. 2 1/2 hours late to be exact, but it gave me a lot of time to think, review, listen & write.

I mostly wrote my thoughts down in my note page on my phone, but regardless of how I do it, it is my therapy, my best friend, & my comfort zone. This extra time is what I needed to find a peace with this surgery.

Eventually I am wheeled into pre-op & there I sit, listen to the other doctors talk to the other patients & all I think as I listen is that we all (who happen to be women) are sitting here dealing with our worries about going into surgery & these doctors see this everyday, all day. But with the group of us in there, we are a community, even if we have curtains separating us. We are all going to face the same but different experience today.

My team of medical professionals come & chat with me & off I go.

Came out of surgery okay, did the post surgery walk & bathroom break.

I asked the nurse & they did get Ollie out (who was now the size of a small watermelon apparently), my tubes & they did end up having to take my left ovary all because the cyst was not going to let the ovary go.

So I am a one Ovary wonder!

Then I was finally homeward bound.

Now if the above was only true without the difficulties.

I vomited, I was nauseous, I was exhausted & I was in PAIN! That 1st evening home was brutal. I do not do well with pain medication like morphine, & I about 6 hours post op, I become overwhelmingly faint & nauseous. Needless to say at 9:30pm I was yellow whitish tinge.

I thought I would bounce back pretty good, but even after a week & writing this I am experiencing body pains that I did not know could exist.

I have 2 small incisions on the left side of my abdomen, and my belly button has gone through war. I am swollen but all of it is on my left side; aka a lopsided world. It looked like I had a baby out of my left side only.

Right now the incisions are itchy, & I have odd pains, a firm side, & an unexplainable bruise.

I can't lift anything & I am not even sure I can play volleyball in a month. The seat belt hurts, sleeping is an option for only my eyelids as my body isn't sure what to do with resting. Sitting in as chair to long is like torture that I have never felt.

It is definitely a road to recovery.

It possibly was a little stupid too to go camping 3 days after my surgery. But, really I would have sat around home & it was no different camping. I had a pretty great team of spouse & kid that took care of me. The pictures are 4 days post surgery, & well you can see the wonders of our campsite behind.

Did I push myself a little too much camping?

Yeah well maybe.

We drove out with a pillow on my tummy so the seat belt wouldn't rub.

I couldn't handle any of my shirts rubbing on the incisions & my belly button, so I say around with my hand pulling at my top.

I also rotated chairs about 10 times as I couldn't find a sitting position I felt comfortable in.

Oh, & the back. My back has been aching non stop, all cause I cant use my abdomen muscles.

Lastly, I didn't sleep well at all & still needed my pain pills before I went to bed.

But camping was worth it.

Quiet, peaceful, fires & sunlight.

I can say that generally I bounce back well from stuff like this, but this time feels a little different. A little more waiting & patience this go round.

Today a week later, I have a bruise on the one side of my belly & I am still feeling out of sorts.

The Doctor has assured me that it will all be fine in a few more days.

I guess when they say 4-6 weeks of recovery, they weren't lying.

I don't even really know if this post makes sense, I am still reeling in my mind when I sit up too long, but I wanted you all to know that I am okay & there will be more to read coming soon.

I placed this little blog of mine in my You, Me, Us as Women series, because of the wonderful women in my life that have been (even over text) a great sense of support. These ladies are caring, loving, full of listening & advice.

As women we always have to make sure we are all there for our community of women. They say it takes a village to raise a child, & that is true, but maybe it should be more of it takes a village to support all of us ladies, men & children. None of us can do any of this alone.

These amazing people that are part of my road to recovery are the reason I will be able to have my coffee in one hand & my confidence in the other.

Find you gals! Find your village! Find your community!


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