Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Surgery Recap, plus 2 monkeys and a ninja

I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 AM as scheduled. After I got all settled with checking in and putting on my hospital attire and such, they had to draw blood, put an IV in me etc. As what often happens, there were problems finding a vein and I had to be poked a few times.

Next, I had to have my blood platelets checked...as they were low earlier that week. (As I always say, I'm not medical, so half my medical information could be wrong. Plus, I feel the brain radiation or tumor has been doing quite the number on my shortterm memory, so that doesn't help my inability to explain things correctly either.) But anyhow, I do believe the blood platelets have something to do with blood clotting. So if they were to cut into my head, it would be important to have the correct number of platelets so I wouldn't bleed all over. One thing that could bring my platelets down would be certain medication...like the Celebrex I had been taking. Although I had stopped taking it as soon as I found out I was having the surgery, I really needed to stop it sooner.

So when I was tested again surgery morning, the platelets were not up to par. Therefore, they were going to have to do a transfusion of platelets. Which ended up being a bigger ordeal because they were giving me platelets for A+ blood, but I am B+ (or maybe I'm B-). Regardless, they had the wrong blood type dripping in my IV. My dear husband had to call several places, including his own clinic to find out if it was okay for me to proceed with the transfusion. It was ridiculous, and I have to say I was very disappointed in this hospital with regards to this, and I began to think that maybe this was a sign that the surgery shouldn't be done. It took awhile for it to be verified that for platelets, it's okay if the blood types aren't the same, as long as I don't have more than a few bags of them. Which would not be a problem if there were no major complications.

After waiting for the transfusion and the retesting, and more poking, it was discovered that my platelets went up some, but not as much as the doctors wanted. By this time, my surgeon had started his other surgery. And I was in A LOT of pain. I couldn't eat or drink anything,...no coffee.....and the pain meds that they were putting in my IV would only work for about 5 or 10 minutes, more or less just giving me a little anxiety relief, not really taking away the pain in my neck, back, arms, head, just lessening it some. But then the pain would quickly come back.

All the while I'm just waiting for test results and such surrounding this blood issue. It was then decided that I would have another transfusion of platelets, which they would start right away as I was being taken back to the operating room. So at around 3:30, a new anesthesiologist came out to tell me that he was taking over, since the other one was now off duty....that's how long it had been. They still had other prep to do, so the testing and such would be done while I was in the OR, sedated and out of pain. Actually, just before they wheeled me out, they administered me some medicine to "help me relax" as they put it, and relax I did. Before I even got to the OR, I was knocked out. Finally!

At this point my mom, who had joined us at the hospital, went home to take Max and Ella trick or treating. (Thanks Katie for taking Cameron). My husband and dad stayed at the hospital until my surgery was over....or something like that.

I don't really remember too much directly after surgery. I was sent to the ICU, but honestly, I didn't need to be there. My nurse Ruth was very surprised at all that I was able to do. Any pain that I had was gone....the morphine worked quite well. And my sweet husband had brought me a Caramel Machiato, so I had my caffeine fix that I so very needed. I was up on and off all night, but that's normal for me these days. And that gave the opportunity to talk to my nurse a little read some scripture to lift my spirits and give me hope for healing.

After some confusion, especially since it is very rare for someone to be discharged from the ICU, I was finally able to come home after lunch.

I was able to go to church today, and but also spent a lot of the day resting. My dad went home this morning back to New Jersey, but my mom is still here. I am so grateful that my dad was able to be here for the surgery, and so thankful for all my mom's continued help.

Now tomorrow, they do the first round of chemotherapy. I'm actually going to a new chemo place, with a new oncologist. That makes me a little nervous, because I liked my old oncologist. But I just couldn't bring myself to go back to the chemo area. I had written on my blog when I first started chemo over a year ago how chaotic the environment was. And I just felt like I needed something more relaxing, especially considering all my anxiety issues. The chemo regiment I'm receiving is basically the same one suggested by my first oncologist, so I just felt like I needed to make this change now...although I do feel bad leaving my other doctor.

The chemo administration is not supposed to take long. They'll just inject it into the little "bubble" that you can't even see under the skin of my head. I am nervous about the process though. Please pray with me that this chemo works. Everyday I seem to get a new symptom of my worsening condition, so we need for this chemo to kick in and do it's job....pronto! God gave the knowledge for these medical advancements so we know they can work!

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers, desserts, meals, cards, well wishes, help with the kids, patience with me, etc. I am so grateful that God had placed you all in my life.

First John 5: 14, 15 (be confident in your prayers)

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

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At 12:29 AM, Blogger cg said...

Cari - I am so glad that the surgery has been and gone and that you are home safely. Now we will wait and trust with you for your healing.


At 2:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad you are over that surgery stuff. I pray this chemo gives you no side effects and stops any more growth of the cancer and you live a long life in better health. God bless your whole family.

At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So thankful that you're home so quickly--another testament to your strength (and God's). We saw your dad last night, and he filled us in on your surgery. It is wonderful that your parents can be there with you through this. I know I still want my mommy whenever I am hurting (and I'm 40!).
Your children are so beautiful!
Continued prayers for complete healing.
The Adairs

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Caro said...

Cari - Those are some trick or treating cuties. Tell the ninja I would he looked very authentic!

I'm glad you're back home and hope all goes well today.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Caro said...

"I thought" not "I would". :-)

At 1:52 PM, Blogger LoveHopeFaith said...

Dear beautiful, awesome, loving Cari- I am praying for you, praying for you, and praying for you. Please know how much you are loved. Brenda

At 6:58 PM, Blogger LH said...

The trickortreaters are very adorable. Cool ninja costume!

I am glad you're in a less chaotic chemo setting. When I went with my friend to her chemo 2 years ago, the first place was just wild. I think I was more in shock than she was. The next place we went had private rooms and she would nap and I would grade papers and watch cnn. So much better!!! Thinking of you kiddo!


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