Monday, March 19, 2018

Sleeping pills

Sleeping pills are great. They help you sleep...simple.  But clearly my Zopiclone isn’t quite doing it’s job as I’m awake and couldn’t stop thinking but to write a blog. I so miss writing but my medications are holding back some of my creative chops. They also are to blame for last blogs run on sentences and spelling errors Hahaha!

I’m more up and down with this recovery than Ricky Martins career. Today I woke up and within an hour found myself hysterically crying over this surgery, over my pain, cancer, life in general. I called for my mother like I would have at age 8 when I skinned my knee on the crosswalk playing jacks. I needed to be kissed better before I could carry on then & now. This time I texted her to hurry over whereas in the 80’s she just heard me from the kitchen table chatting on the phone wired to the wall. “Gotta go Sue, I can hear Carly crying away” she’d no doubt say. Today she walked in my apt, helped wipe my hysteria of tears and said it’ll all be ok. No bandaid today as my wounds different than 1983 but nonetheless she got me back up on my feet ready for the next jump. 

Today I went to the Ostomy Clinic in New West. If you’re reading this, live in Vancouver general area, this is the place to go for all ostimates. Each time I meet with my nurse we evaluate my stoma, my pains, my bag and even me if there’s time left over. I started with a different bag that constantly leaked and now my new Winnie stays on for up to 4 days thus far. This week we’re pushing for 5. I have all the tools and training to change at home should Winnie need refreshing before my Friday visit, but I quite enjoy my visits. Of course I’m new to this ostomy world so now I feel I can’t live without them, but over time I’ll find myself there for supplies and a hello as I’ll be coping with Winnie just fine. 

If you’ve ever been super sick you really see who’s there to help. And if you haven’t ever been really sick take some time to think about who you want and who you think will be there for you. I’m not saying your pal in Mozambique needs to move home, although that would be impressive, I mean more family and close friends. My parents have been so amazing I just need to tell you more. My dad is the AM Man!  He arrives at 8am, either waking me and Simba up, or joining our morning mugshot faces. He makes me breakfast usually a piece of toast followed by a tad of oatmeal. He collects garbage from around the house and scoops Simbas litre box. I can’t lift or bend so he’s stepped up in my place. Pretty sure dad will tell you he gets a kick outta Simba. He’s a 17 year old always hungry cat who’s rail thin. You see his hip bones but please know he’s over fed and just old with hyperthyroidism. He does have hearing loss but his sense of smell & eye sight bang on. He really is a special cat & we’ve loved our 17 years together and looks like more to come. 

I’ve seen some of you lately and still haven’t seen some others. Please know I welcome visits it just has to be planned. I’ve got home care nurses, wound care nurses & Dr appts so always work around those. I’ll tell you no if I’m overwhelmed and I’ll tell you yes if you can help get me overwhelmed lol. I’m going to be recovering a long while so don’t feel you have to flock over. I’d love help in my garden once it’s time to plant, and I’m getting pink flamingos for this years theme. Just been wanting them for some nutty reason, but I’ll do it right. All my plants will clearly need to match that vibe!  I can’t wait to see the outcome, I just love planting season. 

In this blogs opening paragraph I spoke of sleeping pills, and it’s now kickin my eye lids quite heavily. It’s time to rest. Time to recharge. Time to dream of tomorrow. Time to dream of the end of recovery. Time to dream of a beach vacation with my folks & Winnie. At least Winnie doesn’t need her own seat, she’s got me. I’ve got her. 💩 lol 





Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tis me

Hello there my lovely friends, ‘Tis me & I’m  back to writtimg my blogs. A big thank you to Dawn for writing my updates when I was incapable of knowing my name let alone write a blog!  

Where to start, where to finish as this surgery journey has been insanely busy, intense, sad yet joyful. I awoke in recovery after 8.5 hours of surgery with mild recollection of seeing my folks. My room was ready sooner than expected so I was only in recovery for less than a day. Thank goodness for that as my dedicated nurse was awful. I was spoken to with disrespect and hardly helped so getting to my room around 6am was a blessing. I had called mom at 4am to please come so she was with me as I went to the 4th floor, the same floor as I was on in 2015. 

I had incredible pain that had me screaming for help, straight morphine injected in to my direct line to
help me cope but also hallucinating!  My stomach was swollen so much I couldn’t see the footboard nor my feet. Staples started right where your bra would sit all the way to my bikini line. They opened me up centre fold to do my hysterectomy, colostomy and once that was stapled up my lower vaginal plastic surgery. Instead of taking skin from my thigh it came from my stomach since it was so perfectly undamaged and soft. I like to boast about my nice skin for some silly reason lol 

Scans followed as blood clots are very common in lengthy surgeries and I did have some in my lungs. Every morning at 10:30 I inject myself in my thigh to help avoid any blood clot issues. You should see my bruises. Are purple legs in at the moment as well as purple arms?  Bloodwork nurses struggled daily as my veins were tiny so my mid arm is purple.  If so I could rock that runway tossing my hair to the side, my right side with no bruises has my nerve pain leg gets a free pass. Fold me up and it’s like a before & after lol 

I started to move & walk towards the end of my stay but it was no picnic. I had 4 drains coming out of my body so we had to clip them on my gown as I walked the halls with a walker. Once the drains were removed things were much easier and soon the walker wasn’t needed yet kept close by. I was discharged on Monday March 5th so have been home now just over a week. 

Life at home hasn’t been easy but we knew it wouldn’t be, but it’s been so nice to be home. Simba has caught on to the fact that I’m not well and is my shadow. I have daily nurse care and when they’re here he’s on the bed right beside me. He walks with me to the bathroom and always nearby when I’m sleeping. My skinny old boy shows me more love each day and with people always in & out helping,  he gets more treats as he knows how to work it. 

I’m walking really well but can’t bend or anything more than walk, lay down and sit as needed. I’ve made my couch in to a recovery heaven with pillows, warm bean bag & cozy blankets. I need no help to get in or out which is pretty amazing. I feel like I could do more but I can’t per orders. It’s so hard to have people doing stuff for you but at the same time it’s kinda nice not to have to fold my laundry!

My stomach is still very swollen, similar to a 4 month pregnancy and I apply BioOil daily to where my staples once were to hopefully avoid serious scarring. But if it does scar I’ll think of something be it tattoo work or just owning it. My story really is a great anatomy lesson so instead of talking babies I’ll talk of how my scar came to be. 

Winnie has been doing good in the fact that my bowels are moving in to her. I have however had some leaks so off to an ostomy clinic tomorrow to assess the bag I have now might not be the correct one. They’ll know and make Winnie whole again.  My daily wound care nurses have been fabulous and I also have a nurse every other day to help with bathing & any round house chores I may have. I’m very blesssed to have such great help from them, my parents and friends. I don’t think thank you cards can express my gratitude. From those of you who saw me in the early days a little cookoo to those of you who sent flowers, visited and helped at home. Y’all are wonderful people. THANK YOU to infinity and beyond!

I stood in front of my bathroom mirror yesterday and looked at it all. Winnie, the scars, the bruises, my hair so deserving of highlites and I smiled. It was not the reaction I thought I’d get but it was real. This is me now and I’m 110% ok with it. Once my stomach swelling goes down I’ll see how it’s really gonna be.    Me. ‘‘Tis me. ❤️



Thursday, March 1, 2018

Update, March 1st

I finally went to see Carly today after being sick last week and working 16 hour days the last few.

I arrived about 9:30am, went into her room to find her sleeping.  I sat down quietly and played for a bit on my phone.  She wasn't sleeping much the first week out of surgery so I thought I shouldn't wake her.  It wasn't long before she noticed I was there.  We chatted, she showed Winnie to me and her scars.  Normally I am a bit squeamish but her strength is contagious and I took a look.  Things looked good. She does have an infection they are keeping an eye on that is on her tummy.  They had to undo some of her stitches to all the infection to get better. 

While I was there a wound care nurse also came in, repacked her infection and checked all of her different locations.  This nurse is making a care plan for when she goes home.  Someone will have to come to the house and check on the progress of her healing.

Today was a hard day for Carly.  There were many tears.  She is so grateful and thankful that she has made it through the worst part.  Today, she was mad, sad and fed up being in pain and in the hospital.  As a fellow cancer survivor, we wrestle with our emotions when we have these bad days.  Not wanting to be ungrateful....  knowing others have not made it this far - it takes a different type of toll on our minds.  I assured her it's ok to have all the feelings.  You can let them go unless you go through them.

The catheter is now out as well as all of the iv's.  She went for a CT scan today, she got up out of bed and walked to the porter in the hallway.  So proud of her!!  She is most likely being released on Saturday, she is in the process of getting things ready for her homecoming.  House is being cleaned tomorrow, she is getting some supplies she will need for home.  Carly is excited about being at home but also anxious about not having nurses around to help. 

Hopefully, the next update will the from her at home <3

Lost in space blog - Saturday, Feb 24th

Hi everyone,

Well, I thought I posted this past Saturday but apparently, I sent it somewhere into the www :)

Here is an update from Miss Carly:

The swelling is coming down quite a bit.  When she was first out of surgery, she couldn't even see the footboard and now she can! Progress!

The drugs that she is taking for the pain has caused Winnie to be constipated and that caused her so much pain.  She cancelled her visitors as it was too much to deal with.  Super Bro came to her rescue Friday night and helped her get out of bed and go for a walk.  The nurses were so busy and luckily her brother lives close.

She is finding it hard to chat with people by phone as she is so loopy from all the drugs and texting is harder as it's hard to keep a straight thought. She is so appreciative of all the love and support that has been sent - it has not gone unnoticed even if she hasn't reached out.

It has been hard not being able to bath, the nurses are doing a good job of keeping me clean :)

Update Dec 5th

Sorry I am a day late! This is from Carly yesterday :) Pic 1 was taken months ago and shows how big my hernia was. It was even bigger at...