Recovery

Today is 12 days out from my surgery date of February 14th.

Wow, what a process!

From headaches to a cranky bladder to oozing from my incision {just today – seems normal enough}.

The first few days were emotional. I would start to cry if I got stuck on any thought too long. After two or three days of that the emotions have balanced out.

My bladder was a little perturbed {to say the least} with being moved around in surgery. My sleeps for that first week at home were not good. Each time I lay down {an effort of it’s own as I’m unable to use my stomach muscles} my bladder would flare up. I started mentally telling it to piss off – I knew it was empty! and if I just gave it a minute or two it would settle. Usually. After 10 days though it has settled down quite a bit. #WIN!!

Then there are the nite sweats. Whew! I’ve always heard about menopausal nite sweats and I’m a little amazed just how drenched I can become in my sleep! The vivid, stressful dreams have subsided. The headaches, I learned in the beginning, were caffeine withdrawal – oops. Fixed that but… they’re back. Different pain. These days I’m waking with a headache that seems to settle itself as the day goes along.

I had hydromorph for two days when I got home but am on Advil and Tylenol now as the pain overall is slowly subsiding. Which is good cause I’m WAY overdue for a glass of wine.

The first days at home I had alarming swelling between my legs that made me feel like perhaps the surgical team had played a joke on me.. It felt and looked like they inflated my labia enough to keep me afloat should there ever be another flood in Calgary. Pretty sure they would have…. 😳 FML.

IMG_1220<<<

That settled down after two days of mild entertainment and was a fun phone call to the hospital… like WTF, people?! Normal response, they say.

Good to know. Thanks. 👍🏽

My belly is slowly reducing in size but still quite swollen and delicate. My badass incision (21cm thank you very much 😎) looks pretty good overall. Some redness along the edges but nothing extending far out. Nervous {scared} about not having staples in to keep it closed.

I have great energy to start the day but it wanes around 1 or 2pm and then I nap. Todays nap was an hour. 😴

It was my first outing today. I had to get some bloodwork done prior to the removal of my staples. My girlfriend picked me up as I’m still not driving and took me to that appointment. Between that and two other short stops I was cooked. Note to self. I was SO happy to be out though and feeling ‘normal’ again!! But was happy to climb into bed.

Normal clothing {okay, lululemon leggings} is not something I can wear yet, I learned today. Too tight maybe…? The seems…? Not sure but looks like my new pajama bottoms bought specifically for this surgery will be my outfit of choice still this week. A bit bummed about that but……. at least I’m mobile! #WIN

Speaking of which, I got outside for two walks over the last two days. 8 minutes each day. Seems to be enough for me for now as my incision starts to throb when it’s had enough stress. And I kinda don’t mind that reminder. I’ll continue with the mindful movement daily. It makes me feel less trapped and getting my body and blood moving is good for me. For anyone. Do it. 😉

The daily blood thinner injections have become easier and I rarely hurt doing them now – thank goodness!! Every day at 11am I inject myself and I get a little sad because I’m sick of needles and pain at this point. BUT it has to be done to keep myself safe and so getting better at it seemed like a helpful goal. 😊

I’m struggling a bit relying on people. It’s not that they aren’t showing up for me, it’s just that I’m so used to being independent and helpful myself. Yes, a break is good but it feels different when you can’t do anything. Blah.

I still struggle to cough properly. A complete cough. I’m supposed to hold a pillow over my incision for that or if I laugh or sneeze. Don’t want to be blowing this bad boy wide open! The thought scares the hell out of me and so I simply don’t laugh or cough as hard as I would normally. But it’s just for a short time, right…?

Stepping out of my normal routine has been challenging but it’s happening. I have so many thoughtful check ins from friends near and far. From my family. That really feels wonderful and is nice for me to sit and focus on.

That being said, my patience is getting the better of me half of the time. I’m trying to stick to my new routines – mostly vitamins, various supplements and water – but already getting bored of that. I signed up for 3 more races yesterday which may or may not have been wise but at the same time it helped me feel like my year with fitness goals is set. I’m curious to see how this new mental challenge {recovery} will help me in sport AND I am open to the idea that my body may not be ready… sort of open to that.. but knowing what I want to do in the months to come helps me settle the hell down now. And I need that.

SOOOOOO… this Wednesday staples will come out and I will have a visit with my doctor. I’m actually quite anxious about it. I don’t want anyone touching my incision so I’ve got a bit of a head game going on about that. Will also be chatting about hormone replacement.

I’m not sure when I’ll get my pathology report but I see my surgeon March 14th and I’m sure by then at the latest. I feel confident the cancer is out and I’m clear but we’ll see soon enough.

In the meantime, I’m sorting out how I can support women going through this surgery and more people in general. I’ve got some ideas….. 🤔

I’m also focusing on things that are pretty or make me feel good – which is why the Feature Image of a big basket of flowers. Thanks, Pinterest!

With that I will leave this post as it is until I check in after staple removal. Also a reminder to the ladies to GO AND GET YOUR PAP SMEAR if it’s due! 📆

Cheers!xxx

3 comments

  1. Yay for your 8 minute walks and starting to get out some. I can’t imagine what you’re going through so I won’t offer any cliché’ platitudes. What I will offer is this: night sweats/hot flashes have to be what it feels like to become Ghost Rider! One day at a time, sometimes one breath at a time. Hugs!

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  2. It won’t let me edit, so I’ll add it here, “my night sweats/hot flashes have to be what it feels like to become Ghost Rider”. <–One of the first thoughts I had when mine started. Made me smile, sometimes giggle. If you haven't seen the movie, I'm sure there's a YouTube video of the infamous Ghost Rider.

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