Retrospective – The Surgery

I thought this would be a good time to reflect on my recovery and to remind myself how far I have come in a relatively short period of time. These are posts from my CaringBridge site. I set it up prior to my surgery to help me communicate with my friends/family. Hope this is of some help to those of you who are just beginning this journey.

The Count Down…

Finally, after a week of frustrating back and forth with the hospital, I have a firm date for my surgery. Friday will be my last day at work. I will leave work at 4:30 to make my 6:30 flight to Houston. My parents will pick me up in Houston when my plane lands at 8:10. The next day I have to go to the hospital to start the pre-op screening process. There will be x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, blood work, a meeting with a plastic surgeon, a meeting with the anesthesiologist, and a meeting with my neurosurgeon. It is overwhelming! At least I can say they are not leaving anything to chance – and I am grateful for that!

My husband will not be able to be there until the 12th, but he will be there the day of my surgery, and he will fly back home the following morning because he has to play some Christmas gigs.

So I have two more days to get everything ready… I need to get busy!

Pre-op…

Here at MDAnderson sitting on an observation deck, enjoying the view. Had to be here at 7 am, so I am exhausted. We have taken care of most of the pre-op appointments. I had a CT scan on Saturday, and today I had X-rays, blood work, a consult with my anesthesiologist, my reconstructive surgeon, and my neurosurgeon.

After dinner, we will end the day with two hours of MRIs that start at 8. That means we probably won’t be in bed until 11. Hoping to sleep in tomorrow – and tie up some lose ends.

Tomorrow…

Just wanted to thank everyone again for your words of encouragement both here, on FB, and in text messages. Tomorrow I will not be able to add updates, so I have given my mom access to the site. I am hoping she will be able to post a couple of times to let you know how the surgery is progressing. The surgeon told me it will probably take 6 to 8 hours. It is going to be a long day.

I have told some of you this, but want to share with all of you. I am really happy with both my neurosurgeon and my reconstructive surgeon. They are both experts in their fields. They don’t leave anything up to chance. I am in good hands tomorrow.

Keep those positive vibes coming! 🙂

First Surgery Update (by mom)

We checked into hospital at 6:00,  and the surgery started at 8:00/next update should be at 10:00.

2nd Surgery Update (by mom)

From 8:00 until 9:30 team was positioning her for procedure, doing ct scan and putting her to sleep/actual surgery started at around 9:30-next update at 12.

3rd Surgical Update (by mom)

They are doing CT scan to insure they removed all of the tumor/If surgeon is satisfied, he will turn things over to reconstructive surgeon/ if not they will start all over again/ She is tolerating procedures well.

5th Surgical Update (by mom)

She is out of surgery.  Dr. says he is pleased with outcome so far. She is awake and we are waiting to go back and visit(probably in 1 to 2 hrs).

I’m here…

Sorry I have been M.I.A. for a bit. I have been too focused on the surgery and my recovery. Last week, preparations for my absence took up all of time, and to be honest, this week I have not been up to writing. Even today it is a struggle.

So… to get you up to speed:

Friday (December 8th) was my last day of work.

Saturday (December 9th) I had to report the MD Anderson to take care of  pre-op blood work.

Monday (December 11) I had more blood work and consults with my neurosurgeon, my reconstructive surgeon, and an anesthesiologist. It was a very long day. We left the house at about 4:45, and we returned at around 11:30.

Tuesday (December 12) I got a day off to finishing prepping for the surgery.

Wednesday (December 13), I had my surgery. The actual surgery lasted about seven hours. I don’t really remember much about that day. I do remember being happy post-op because I could move my legs and wiggle my toes.

Thursday (December 14) I woke up with a lot of nausea. They attempted occupational therapy in the morning, but I was too sick. I did a little bit of physical therapy in the afternoon. I look pretty rough.

Friday (December 15) They gave me medication to prevent nausea. The occupational therapist didn’t come, so I just worked with the physical therapist. We walked around the nurses station twice – yippee. Of course, I can only do this with the help of a walker.

Saturday and Sunday (December 16 and 17) The PT/OTs were off, so I had to make myself mindful of exercises that I can do to promote healing. I was doing okay, but then they decided to start backing off on the pain meds. That means I am now in more pain than before. Hoping this phase of the recovery goes by fast!

** Still out of it due to the meds, so I apologize in advance if this post doesn’t make sense.

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