Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm alive and well! :-)

I am feeling much better today - every day I feel better. Saturday I walked around the block twice! It was really exciting. Yesterday we walked more. At first I could hardly even walk down the hallway on my own. Anesthesia is some freaky stuff. I think most of it is out of my system, but I can still feel it coming out when I move around a lot, it's like poison coming out of my muscles and pores. That stuff really does a number on you. I didn't throw up, though. They gave me the anti-nausea stuff.

I'm not in much pain any more, really... discomfort. The stiffness and soreness in my neck and shoulders has been worse than the incision. And swallowing. Everyone said swallowing would be difficult and painful because of the breathing tube. That probably had something to do with it, but I think it's mostly because of the surgery itself. My swallower still doeesn't quite work properly. It took a few days before I could eat solid foods, and I'm still eating mostly squishy stuff!! I'm just taking Tylenol for the pain during the day though. I couldn't stand taking the percocet... it is too narcotic, it just makes me so out of it. And queasy and woozy. I just take it at night. Hopefully I won't even want that anymore soon. Like maybe tonight.

I told my mom I wanted to go to the gym yesterday and pedal on the recumbant bike! :-) She vetoed that idea. Sunday I was super tired by about 4, but I felt pretty good all day yesterday, considering. The other thing is my voice gets really tired easily and I can't talk for very long or loudly. Darn!

Wednesday was ... unspeakably difficult. But everyone going in to the OR was SO nice and good to me. Thursday was not such a hot time either. It is really scary being so fragile and helpless. I couldn't even sit up on my own. And there's all the things about surgery no one tells you that you start to discover once you come out of the stupor a bit... like I had puncture wounds on my chin and jaw and the back of my head and across my chest from where they STAPLED the sterile dressing on me during the surgery. You can see some of the punctures in this picture. The incision looks pretty good - clean, no bruising. That yellow gunk is betadyne. I have no idea why they didn't clean it off before I came out of surgery. I have been scrubbing on it with alcohol and it still doesn't want to come off. And glue too - all around my hair line and chest and chin. And bits of tape and bandaids all over my arms from having blood drawn and the IV and the monitors. !!

Anyway, I could go on, now that I'm starting to write about it, I could probably write a book. I'm sure I will have more to say about it later. I go back to the surgeon on Thursday and she said if the bandages haven't fallen off by then, she will take them off, and I will also find out the results of my pathology report. The surgeon said she didn't see any obvious evidence the cancer had spread beyond the thyroid - they took a couple of lymph nodes that looked swollen to test. They could just be swollen for some reason other than the cancer. We will see on Thursday!

This is me in the hospital, taken with a cell phone so it's pretty blurry... my mom is on the left.

All the emails and phone calls and cards and flowers from friends and family have been a real source of strength and positive energy for me. I'm learning how important it is to keep up a positive attitude - it's so easy to get overwhelmed! Mom and Dad and Adam have been especially amazing through this and I can't imagine what I would do without them. They have been spoiling me endlessly. If it wasn't for the icky-ness and soreness and that whole cancer business, I'd be doing pretty well right now...! Back rubs, ice cream in the middle of the night, and someone to cook for me! :-) This is me with Adam. He has been unbelievably sweet to me through this whole week!

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