Sunday, June 24, 2012

Surgery, all done

Surgery is done, yay! I'll write as much as I can but I don't have a lot of stamina yet and (as usual) there's a lot I want to say about it.

First, anyone who says, "this was a piece of cake surgery" is out of their minds. Either that or they have some pretty awful kinds of surgery going on to compare this to. My throat is swollen and stiff, it hurts (between dosages of ibuprofen) to turn my neck, and swallowing is still a learning experience. It feels like my epiglottis doesn't close all the way so whenever I exert myself I make this weird sound because there's nothing there to close that air off from coming back out of my mouth. Hard to explain.

It is entertaining however. I'm in great spirits and I feel like this almost couldn't have gone more smoothly. I had the surgery on Friday at 7:30-12pm and I still have no voice, for the most part. It did start to come back a bit last night but this morning I sound.. well, I don't sound. LOL

If I drink too fast I choke and coughing hurts like a motherf-, mainly because it strains the sore muscles in my neck. My throat inside definitely feels better every day and I am getting stronger, it's seems slow. By other people's accounts about being back at work and whatnot I thought I'd feel a lot better than this. Well you people are just big fat liars! ;) Randy leaves Tuesday and I am glad I have people who can come and stay with me overnight if I need it.

So, surgery, you want the details, right?

Well the bullet points are basically that I wasn't nervous, I remember everything until they knocked me out in the OR. I really had the nicest, warmest people taking care of me, including a nurse from Uganda AND a Filipino nurse named Nel (which was meaningful to me as my great grandmother's name is Nellie and she is also Filipino). Everyone (especially when I was getting ready for surgery) explained everything they were going to do before they did it, which impressed me.

 I did get pretty severely dehydrated the first day but we fixed it. The other not so great thing was the sleeping accommodation for Randy was horrible and while I'm used to sleeping on those things for births, it never occurred to me how much they suck until I saw my man trying to get some sleep in one. I had good pain control and still do with ibuprofen which is great because I can't poop from all the stupid narcotics I had, so that's a work in progress. (Hah!) Maybe this coffee will help. ;)

I was shocked when they discharged me because I felt so, so weak but as we made our way home I realized I was more ready than I thought I was. We hobbled into our favorite Pho place for some good Medicine and it definitely fortified me for a while. We got home and Niall was here, Dryden came shortly after, and then we were able to get a quick nap before Eidie got home. She thinks my voice is funny and every time it sort of tunes back in she says, "You got your boice back!" (Yes, boice! lol)

I'm tiring easy, my neck is very swollen and weird looking. The surgeon didn't use stitches, she used glue so it should heal up nicely.

The mass in my neck, at ultrasound, was 1.3cm. When they took it out it was even smaller so she only took out lymph nodes near the mass, rather than on both sides. Yay! I got to keep my lymph nodes, I'm truly glad about that. She even snapped a couple of photos of the thyroid with the mass in it, as well as the nodes, if anyone wants to see them, send me a note and I'll reply with the photos. They're not blood, just meat on a tray, basically. ME-MEAT.

So speaking of which, I was trying to sleep last night and I was just very troubled by the idea that part of my body is now missing, and feeling some anxiety. It hit me that this is a trauma to my body and that while it went SUPER well, it's still a trauma too - not a weepy 'why me' kind of trauma but just an adjustment that needs its own time, too. I'm okay with that. The anxious thoughts are just processing, I know it, but they don't feel good when they're happening. Laying in the dark in the middle of the night wondering if I'm getting an infection, or maybe my neck isn't healing, or my heart is going to stop (all my anxious thoughts now out there for the world to see) sucks. But it passes, and I know it will. My heart will stop when it's darn good and ready to, anxiety isn't going to make it happen sooner or later than that!

I'm looking forward to having food delivered, that alone will make things much easier here I think. Randy is taking the bulk of the load while I'm at about oh, 60% capacity at my best. I do hope I feel better before he leaves too so he doesn't have to worry while he's away- I want him to go and enjoy himself and know that we are over the hump of this cancer situation.

My sweet husband, he wakes up in the night when I so much as move and he says, "Are you okay? Need anything?" before he falls right back into an exhausted sleep. I know this has been a lot for him and he's still got good spirits, smiling and hanging in there. He's my rock and I'd be lost without him - I can't imagine going through all of this with a partner who is less supportive, it would be so much harder.

I had cancer. 

Now we wait for the pathology. If the cancer was in my lymph nodes I'll have to do radiation which concerns me more and more as I approach it. I need to do more research I think. It's a risk of getting other people sick, literally risking giving people cancer, if I'm around them and radioactive enough- so it's a serious thing to consider. I don't feel like I need a full body scan. I guess I just need to know more about the pathology before I decide anything really.

Time to rest. Hope you got this far.


  1. Heal well Kristina. Be kind to yourself and allow the healing. Hugs.

  2. You are doing this so well.

    I'd LOVE to see the pics!!