Thursday, September 29, 2011

Update...and a couple pics...

Hello all! I am recovering nicely from my surgery. Yesterday was a VERY lazy day. I think I left the couch only a couple times. I was still pretty woozy from the happy drugs and really just didn't feel like doing a thing. It was great. My wound is still pretty sore too. I ended up taking a Vicodin last night, but it made my tummy feel not so good, so I think I'm just going to bear with the pain as it is bearable. I really just don't like how those pain pills make me feel, but it sure made me sleep good! Ha!

Today the wooziness has subsided...thank goodness. I finally feel like a human again. I decided yesterday afternoon that it probably wasn't in my best interest to work today so I took the day off. My wound is just in a weird spot and since my job is pretty physical I didn't think it was a good idea. I don't want to push it. Plus, it's still pretty sore! I hope to be back to work tomorrow but I will see how I feel as the day progresses. If not tomorrow, I'll be back for sure Monday!

Here are some pictures of my surgery...enjoy!








Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DE-PORT-ED

Hello all! I have officially been deported...well not literally, but physically! I am now missing a piece of me that has been with me for 19 months, plus a day. I can't believe I almost hit my exit surgery to the month date exactly! That's right, my port was put in February 26th, 2010 and I got it removed today, September 27th, 2011. Weird how those things work! So, there may have been some people freaking out today seeing my picture posts on Facebook with me in scrubs...like what?? You OK? Well, I have to blame it on the new layout on Facebook or...maybe they just aren't up to date on my info, but regardless they care, like everyone else that is reading this and I THANK YOU for that!! I closed another chapter in my life tonight.

This one is emotional although it hasn't hit me. It really marks THE END for that dreaded word Cancer. The last "piece" of cancer has left my body...for good. It will NEVER come back. I remember that surgery 19 months ago and it was very very similar. Of course no one wants to have surgery, no one wants to be admitted to the hospital and really no one wants to have what I had done, but from everything I have been through, today was really a happy day!! Even the nurses said "congrats". Dr. Schuster shook my hand twice and was so proud of me. It's awesome. And the fact that I'm in NO PAIN right now is awesome....but that is a different story...

So we started today like we did last port surgery....Mom and Dad came to get me (although last time it was at the crack of dawn). Today I didn't have to be there till 10:30am. That means I couldn't eat after midnight (no problem) but I also couldn't drink any WATER after 6am. I love WATER! That was tough this AM, but I did it. I didn't have anything to eat or drink until about 2::30pm! Whew! My pre-op nurse was Kathy...sweet as can be. She was touched by my story, my pre-op anesthesiologist was Heidi ( an omen) and she was nice, but I really don't remember her later...my anesthesiologist was Clive (thank GOD for this man) and of course my Surgeon was Dr. Schuster!!! I was also bunked up in Room 7 before I was wheeled back and given my happy gas...lucky 7...I like it!! All I remember was getting back in the surgery room and it being FREEZING...to the point where I was shaking. They were also having a disagreement over what arm to put something in...no idea...but they figured that out and off I was...to la la land...don't remember a thing after that! I remember Sharon, my recovery nurse asking me if I was ok...I said, oh ya...wait, it's over?! It felt like it was 5 minutes!! Ha! Then, as I was "coming to" I heard someone come in and say, I gave her port to her Dad...that was Dr. Schuster!! I of course, oh great, thanks so much...thanks for everything and he said, "you're welcome, everything went fine." Just a few minutes later (maybe 20) Ma was back in the waiting room for me, helped me dress, IV out, and off I was in my wheelchair outta there! (of course I had to stop to pee!)

Quick stop at Taco Bell (man I was starved, then nap, then wine, food and good people with me ) and here I am now!! I'm still in no pain...maybe a 2 out of 10...it's gotta be the wine. How can you have surgery...have a wound and not feel pain?! It boggles my mind but for now I'm not complaining. It COULD be the wine. It COULD be that I'm tough. it COULD be a gift from GOD like, you've been through enough, I'll leave you pain free. Who knows...but for now, I am loving every second!!!

Cancer is but a memory now, it really is. I may have a character scar....a tough man scar...but who cares...it is who I am and I wouldn't change it for the world!!

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me, been there for me, etc. etc. It means the world. Literally my fight is over with, but I continue to fight everyday to rid myself of this disease FOREVER. Amen! Love you all and goodnight....

Love, Portless Erin

PS. I'll post pics tomorrow...I need better light.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Surgery Scheduled!

Hello all! Hope your Labor Day was fun filled. I actually labored on Labor Day. Boo...but duty calls. I am now on a Monday-Friday work schedule at work now and I'm ecstatic about it. I took a leap of faith and "gave up" my Saturday bartending shift. There are various reasons, but the biggest being I have been yearning for 2 days off in a row for quite sometime so I was presented with an opportunity that would make this possible and I jumped on it! So, yesterday started my "real" work week. Who would have thought it would be possible to be a M-F'er in a bar?! Ha! I just can't wait till 5 o'clock Friday...ahhh...a weekend...ahhh....2 days off in a row....I'm giddy.

So my surgery got scheduled for port removal. It's in 3 weeks today. Tuesday, September 27th at 12:30pm. The same man who put it in will take it out. Dr. Schuster. He asked in my consultation if I was squeamish. I said, well what you do you mean? He said, well I can take it out here in the office but it hurts or we could go to surgery. I about lost my lunch just thinking about it. Are you kidding?? I know I am tough, but really, I don't think I'm that tough. The port is inches from my eyes...I can see everything. I opted for the happy gas...smart decision I feel on my part!! Ha! So, think good thoughts for the 27th as the last piece of "cancer" will exit my body!!!

Did you know that September is Childhood Cancer Month? We all know cancer isn't fair, but it's really not fair in these poor kids who are stricken with it. I have become close to the Morton family and their son Jack just beat Neuroblastoma. They are very active in raising awareness in Childhood Cancer because it is more common than you think. Here are a few stats (taken from Jack's website: thejackmortonfoundation.org

Childhood Cancer Stats

13,500 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States
1 in 5 children diagnosed with cancer will die.

Everyday, 46 school children will be diagnosed with cancer.

One in 300 boys will develop cancer before the age of 20.

One in 333 girls will develop cancer before the age of 20.

The incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up to 29% in the past 20 years.

Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among US children ages 1-14.

In 2009, only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget was used for pediatric funding.

Young cancer patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed.

The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8.

In 20 years the FDA has initially approved only one drug for any childhood cancer. Half of all chemotherapies used for children’s cancers are 25 years old.

Physical and neurocognitive disabilities resulting from treatment may prevent childhood cancer survivors from fully participating in school, social acitivities and eventually work.

Cancer kills more children than AIDs, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies combined.

Source: PAC2 & CureSearch


Scary, sad and yet very, very real.

So just remember to count your blessings, be thankful for what you have and please don't relish in the petty stuff. Someone out there is suffering and fighting for their life.

Happy September. I'll update again soon!!

Love you all--Erin