Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Year

2011 is 28 days old. Time has flown by so quickly, that I did not realize that it has been almost 2 months since I last typed an update.
On Dec 13, I took my Physiology final. I got a B on it and an A in the class. The Pre-req's for Nursing school were officially complete. My application was submitted for the Fall semester 2011 and I just received the letter confirming that my application was accepted. I won't know if I have a spot until the end of March so I am on pins and needles. This semester, I am taking Microbiology which is a Nursing school requirement that I can get out of the way before Nursing school.
On Dec 22, I went downtown for my CT scans and pre-ops. The scan was stable and I was officially referred for surgery to remove the lung nodules I've been dealing with since Summer of 2007.
Christmas flew by and I mean flew. Before I realized what hit me, it was over and I was left with a pile of wrapping paper. The entire holiday season was a blur for me. I did all my Christmas shopping after work and for one week, after leaving the house at 7:00 AM, I did not return until well after 10PM. Nevertheless, I got the shopping, wrapping, grocery shopping, house cleaning, and cooking done. The kids liked what they got though there were no real surprises for them.
Dec 30, was surgery day. After working 3rd shift on Wednesday night, my sister drove me downtown that Thursday morning. I was very flip about the whole thing and was honestly not nervous. After working the graveyard shift, I was too tired to care and almost happily lay down on that gurney almost looking forward to being knocked unconscious. After waiting in the Pre-op waiting room for over an hour, I was finally called into the prep area where I waited some more. The pain team came in prior to surgery to place the epidural in what was probably the most uncomfortable part of the process. Surgery took about three hours and I remember waking up in the recovery room. My surgeon was signing some paperwork and I remember thinking "Ow! this hurts!" Then I passed out again for a couple hours. When I came to, I wasn't in pain anymore. I spent 3 days in the hospital and barely remember any of it. I was getting IV injections of Dilaudid and taking Vicodin for breakthrough pain. I couldn't stay awake for more than 45 minutes at a time and I missed the ball drop on New Years Eve though missing the party this year didn't bother me. I was discharged on New Years Day to my own devices. The surgeon removed 6 cancerous nodules, the largest was 2.5cm. The others were less than a cm.
I haven't had time to reflect on this. I have had cancer for a long time. If I count the time prior to diagnosis, cancer has been in my body for 10 years. I don't think that I will ever feel free of cancer no matter how long my scans are clean. Cancer is a journey that is NEVER really finished as we deal with the after effects of treatment, the financial devastation, the psychological ramifications and the physical changes. I am cautiously optimistic and am looking for ways to make this experience count for good. For now, it is business as usual. Thank you Nonalee, Lynne, Kris, Mary Therese and Dan for all your wonderful support through this whole process. I couldn't have done it without you all.

Unfortunately, 2011 brought some bad news. I was sad to hear about the passing of Daria Maluta. Daria was a breast cancer patient whose blog, "Living with Cancer" brought many cancer patients together. She was strong and faithful and she will be missed.
Please pray for my dear friend Sue G. Sue is all over the cancer blogs leaving such wonderful words of encouragement and now she needs encouragement as she is dealing with brain mets and though the outlook is looking positive, storm the Heavens for her complete recovery!
Prayers for Elsa (Living with a Sarcoma) as well. She has been dealing with chronic pain and stubborn tumors.