Well I guess I should lead with the big news. My cancer is gone!!!!! I received a call from my oncologist and her nurse yesterday saying that my pathology report was back and that there was "No Evidence of Disease" anywhere in any of my removed tissue. :) This means I'm cancer free!!!!! Apparently all the chemo worked beautifully and my cancer was gone before the time of surgery. It was the best news ever and really lifted my spirits :) Now I can just focus on recovery knowing that I have nothing to be scared of, this isn't spreading and I'm not going anywhere!!!
Surgery was on Monday April 7th. I went in to Baylor Uptown at about 11:30 AM ready to go. My family was there to greet me which was awesome. I checked in and sat down with them as I waited for my name to be called to go in. I decided I should go to the bathroom first and when I went I saw a sign on the door that said "females- check with office staff before going to the restroom- may need a urine sample." So I went to the front desk and asked them if I could go to the restroom. They said that I did in fact need a sample and to go back to the prep area and use the restroom there. So I did. Then they took me to the patient room and told me to undress and put on my gown. I asked if I could go back out to the waiting room to see my family first since all I told them was that I was going to the restroom and then disappeared. They said no, and that they would come back to see me. I felt like I was hijacked!!! I didn't even have my purse! LOL. But they were right, not long after I went into the room Kelly came back to sit with me and then not long after that the rest of the crew came back. My mom, LA (stepdad), Uncle Bill, Aunt Lisa, Chad, Laurie, Dad and Barbara (stepmom), Pammie, and of course Kelly were all there with me as we waited in the prep room. We said a prayer and had some laughs and my anxiety level was good. I was glad they could all be there with me to wait to be taken into surgery. We had to wait for my surgeon to finish her prior surgery and then when she was getting close to being finished the anesthesiologist would come back and get me started on the drugs. The first thing that they did in the waiting room was to put my IV in through my hand. It kind of hurt! It's still sore but that's the least of my worries now. :)After a while the Anesthesiologist and nurse came back and told my family that this was it, I was going back to surgery. On the way to the surgery room the anesthesiologist asked me a couple questions, and that's all I remember. I must have passed out during his line of questioning. The surgery then began around 1:30 and lasted about 4 hours. Dr. Knox took two hours and Dr. Potter (the plastic surgeon) took two hours. Each of them came out to update my family on the progress throughout the day and I am very appreciative of that. I do sort of remember waking up in recovery and Kelly was standing right there by me. He said the first things I said were "can I have some chap-stick and can you itch my right arm" Ha!! I've always loved chap stick. I was in recovery for about an hour and then was moved into my room at the hospital. I had some flowers already waiting for me in the room which was awesome. I had a few visitors that evening but mostly it was just Kelly with me by my side all night long. I can't even begin to explain how awesome he has been through this. I already knew he was an amazing person but I've just been so pleasantly surprised at how he's handled all of this and at what a good caretaker he is. It sucks that his fiancé had to lose all of her hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and now her boobs. Not to mention my demeanor hasn't been quite the same as it was when we fell in love. It's such a scary thing to go through, but he hasn't wavered or distanced himself for a second and I love him so much more for that. I truly can't wait to marry him!!! I made a promise to him that "I'll be cuter than I ever have been for the rest of my life after this!" Of course he says he doesn't care, but I do. :) He is just so awesome and I'm so thankful for him. The night of the surgery he sat right by my side and fed me jello and ice chips, and gave me lots of chap stick. :) I woke him up throughout the night when I needed things and he was always right there by my side.
The next day, I ate a breakfast of eggs and bacon, and saw a nurse just about every hour. Both surgeons came to check on me, looked at the incisions and said that everything was looking good. I had one little incident on Wednesday where I got nauseous and poor kelly couldn't find a trash can or anything for me. I had to have the nurse change all my clothes. :)
I was told that I could go home whenever I was ready. I decided to stay through lunch time and then we left the hospital around 1:00. I have nothing but great things to say about all of my nurses and my experience at Baylor Uptown. They were so kind and thoughtful and caring and did a great job. They also kept my family very much in the loop and I know they really appreciated that.
Since I've been home, things started out a little rough. I spent all of Tuesday and Wednesday in bed, and couldn't keep any food down. I started to run a fever on Wednesday night. I was taking hydrocodine every four hours for the pain. It kept the pain away, but I guess it was making me sick. We called Dr. Knox's nurse yesterday to let her know what all was going on. She got mad at us! She said I should be up and doing things and not laying around. I needed to be doing my arm exercises and breathing exercises more and walking around the house, even going for walks outside or going out to run errands. That seemed a little extreme, but I've since been much more mobile and I've been feeling better. My fever was gone this morning and of course getting that amazing news yesterday helped my spirits and gave me strength. Now the cancer is gone and I just need my hair to get growing!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited to be done with the two hardest/biggest steps, chemo and surgery. I get to go to get my drains taken out on Monday morning at Dr Potter's office, which will be amazing. They are gross and I feel like I'm pregnant with all this extra baggage on my tummy. Kelly's gone back to work and it's a very busy week for the Stars. I've had some fun visitors and my mom has been right by my side since I came home! She is a great nurse. :) Thanks to you all for your love and support, for sending flowers, and for the donations to my web page to help my pay for all of this stuff. It has been such a stress relief to know I don't have to come up with the thousands of dollars that it takes to beat cancer. But I'm so glad to say that I've done it, I BEAT CANCER.... the rest of my life starts now!!