Recovery has gone exceptionally well so far. The first few weeks were way better than I ever could have imagined and I got back to 90% ridiculously fast. That last 10% has been much more difficult and slow, painstakingly so. Obviously, after such a major surgery, there are some ups and downs.
Throughout the entire process, I have been lucky enough to experience a limited amount of pain. However, I have had a lot of discomfort. Discomfort seems to be the norm over the last month. I’m not sure which is worse. Discomfort leads to frustration…and pretty much everything about this recovery leads to frustration. So, as you can probably imagine, I’ve been pretty frustrated for a significant portion of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier with how the recovery process has gone. I’m just my own worst critic and always think I can do more or heal faster. I also don’t do well with sitting around doing nothing. The beautiful weather outside isn’t helping either.
To recap, within two weeks I was up and moving around fairly normally, sleeping in my own bed, able to get in and out of a chair easily, and could walk without any noticeable issues. The hard part is still doing NOTHING once you get to that point. I miss doing things. I am not supposed to lift anything over fifteen pounds. SO. FRUSTRATING. They cut through my entire abdominal wall and said it would take about six weeks to heal. With any luck, I’ll be able to start working out and lifting and doing things, slowly, in the middle of May. Swinging a golf club is pretty high on the list…
Continuing on, my digestive system is completely rewired now. So, there is a learning curve that comes along with that. It’s been a big struggle trying to get back to having perfect control over everything down there. Don’t worry, there haven’t been any accidents. And, yes, everything works. But, it would be great if I didn’t feel like I always had to stay close to a bathroom. I’ve noticed some improvements over the first week or two as of late. I have some prescription medicine that helps slow down the passage of food through the digestive tract, which seems to make a huge difference.
Unfortunately, the best way for everything to feel good is to go without eating. But, if I go without eating then I will keep losing weight. I’m getting real tired of these chicken and egg dilemmas in my life. Plus, I’m ready to have some muscles back.
I think I failed to mention in the last blog that I will still have 7 rounds of chemo to get through. I’m not completely out of the woods yet. The first of which will start on Monday. I have mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, since they found no cancer inside me, it makes me want to forego the remaining chemo and the damage it will have on my body. On the other hand, I want to absolutely make sure every single cancer cell is eliminated. No reason to come this far only to have a setback because I made a dumb decision.
To be honest, I’ve been a little worried about how these rounds of chemo will go. The first 5 went off without a hitch. I had no fatigue, no nausea, and no side-effects that were really that hard to deal with. There was the issue with cold sensitivity, but given the fact that it is almost May, and the weather is warming up, I don’t see that being an issue this time around. I’m well aware that chemo builds up in your system and each round gets worse than before. Since I made it through five fairly easily last time, I hope it doesn’t get exponentially worse once you’re on six or seven in a row. Nonetheless, It is my hope that I can get through these rounds smoothly and be completely done with this fight by August.
Mentally, I’ve been struggling. I’m not stressed out, overly worried, anxious, upset, sad, or any of those negative mindset things. The issue I have been having is rooted in my weight and my body image, which carries over into my diet. I have had virtually zero willpower when it comes to what I eat since surgery. There is a constant battle in my mind between the fact that I need all the calories that I can get so that I can gain some weight back, and the fact that I still need to eat as healthy as possible to give my body the best chance to heal itself. Yes, I know it’s possible to do both. I’m not saying I haven’t eaten healthy food too. But, since I have been recovering, I have been tired a lot and jumped right back into being crazy busy. Crappy food is easily accessible. There seems to be ice cream and cookies everywhere lately. I’ve indulged…a fair amount. I’ve managed to gain 15 pounds back in the last two weeks, which has made me really happy. Now that I’m not quite as ridiculously skinny, I feel more inclined to get back to my old nutritional habits that, I believe, helped me so much in my fight. Also, I’m hoping that by admitting to you guys how pathetic my choices have been lately that it will somehow make me feel more accountable moving forward. Maybe I just need someone to follow me around with a whip and to smack my hand whenever I pick up something I shouldn’t. But, then again, don’t we all!
I think I can, I think I can…
Ok, so, last but not least, I am SUPER EXCITED for the fundraiser on Saturday. I hope you guys all come out and bring all of your friends. There will be six bands playing, twelve breweries have donated more beer than I think can be drank throughout the day (yes, that’s a challenge), and there will be tons of games for both kids and adults. Plus, there’s a superhero costume contest. Let’s see what ya got!
The people in the MBA program have spent a ton of time and effort into making this an awesome day and I couldn’t be more appreciative for their friendship, support, and dedication. Also, 100% of the money will go towards helping me with medical bills and supplies. So, come hang out on a beautiful April day, play some games, listen to some music, drink as much beer as you can, and help contribute to a great cause! My family and I would very much appreciate it!
Help me have one last Hoorah before starting back to chemo, on Monday, and taking the final steps towards the finish line of this battle.