The journey never ends
A few months ago I realized I really wasn't feeling the best. I was extremely tired out, not the normal tired. The type of tired that I really had to push myself hard every day, to put in the efforts to shower and do my hair and makeup for the day . I felt nauseous, and there were days I would look at myself and my color just wasn't right. I was also bleeding, a lot and it came to a point that it seemed so constant that I knew there was something wrong. But my parents were coming all the way from Canada and I just did my best to push everything aside. It was more important for me to do my best to create some amazing memories with my folks and my husband.
We got through the wonderful month with my folks, and right back to "normal" life. But something just wasn't right for me. And I just couldn't ignore it anymore. So to the doctors I went. My blood pressure was extremely high and my doc was worried about the amount of blood loss I was experiencing, so we did a few more tests. I was sent for what's called the LLETZ procedure, which is a large loop excision to remove cervical tissue for examination. A thin wire loop heated by an electrical current is used like a scalpel to remove the abnormal tissue from the transformation zone of the cervix. And the results that came back from that....well it was cervical cancer.
So what came next was the very harsh reality that I was totally unprepared for. It meant meeting my team of specialists and my surgeon. Asking what questions I could remember on the spot and staying clear minded enough that I could keep my self in check with what was to come. So that I could prepare myself, my husband, family and friends for a long road, one way or the other. And on top of all that, thinking and staying positive. Firstly and most importantly, for myself, but also for everyone around me that cares and loves me. It wouldn't help myself or anyone else if I was a sad sacks all the time. Plus that goes against every grain in my body.
It all happened very quick. One day I'm making a video about my phone call of the shitty news I have received, and the next I'm in a hotel room trying to prepare myself for my extensive surgery that was going to happen the next day. My husband was doing "his best", which meant that he was extremely quiet and didn't really know what to say or do. So instead he just watched me float around, making sure my bags were properly packed for him to bring me once I was settled in my recovery room. And I was answering loving phone calls and text messages from near and far, showing love, support and well wishes. I knew I had to go to bed and try to get some sort of sleep or even a rest, but my mind was racing with thoughts that seemed too many to compartmentalize. All I knew was that it was going to be a very long day the next day and the recovery process, whatever that may be, will take even longer. So I was trying to prepare my stubborn self for the FACT that I had to slow down and make sure that I was the top priority on the getting well train.
The next morning came, the day of surgery. I felt anxious and couldn't really tell if I was scared on top of that. I was told there were only three of these procedures done in one day, so I wanted to get there early to hopefully be the first one of the day, to hurry up and start recovery. And for once, being early paid off. I was the first surgery of the day, which meant I could get this show on the road. After my paperwork prep I was wheeled off to get physically prepped for surgery. It was then, that with tears in our eyes, my husband and I gave our sweet kisses and said "I'll see you in a bit babe", to one another. I was worried about him, more than myself. I had a sinking suspicion that his inner monster called depression, would bring it's ugly self to the surface. But I had to push that aside for the time being, so I could focus on the millions of repetitive questions that were being asked, and to keep positive.
When I woke from surgery I just remember waking up in my recovery room. And the beginning part of it all was a blur. As time went on, the pain I was experiencing was out of this world. And I felt so sick to my stomach. I was throwing up, A LOT. And I say A LOT, because my nurses told me in comparison to most, it was A LOT. During recovery they want to get you up and mobile as soon as they can... and I wanted to do the same. I kept telling myself, "the sooner you get your ass up and moving, the sooner you can go home to your own space and comfort". So I tried. Hard. But the pain on my right side felt like I was being cut open with a burning hot serrated knife on the inside. I couldn't even stand up straight. And this seemed to continue, so my pain meds were looked at and all in all were changed three times. The second dose of new meds, were given to me through my epidural which I had in my back for three days. And they completely numbed my entire right side from waist down. So when the lovely nurses tried to get me into the shower chair, dropping me buck naked was not the best time of my life! But we had a good chuckle over it through my severe pain! LOL
So the week went on in hospital. The surgical team and nurses that were wonderfully taking care of me were so amazing, as were my physiotherapists. They were all so friendly and I could always make them laugh and put a smile on their faces. I truly could not have asked for better care. And then came discharge day. HALLELUJAH !!! As sore as I was, and as weak as I felt, I put on my brave face and smiles and couldn't wait to go home. It was a little daunting as well. Because I had such amazing care in the hospital and could rely on the fact I knew someone would be right there for me, I knew it wouldn't quite be the same at home. But nonetheless I was ready to go. The head of anesthesiology came in to see me and go over my medications for home recovery, he was very unsure as to whether or not he should let me go home. He proceeded to apologize to me for the amount of unnecessary pain I was in. Stating that, " I had had a really rough go of it and it shouldn't have been that way. That my pain meds weren't handled the way they should have been for my relief". As much as I agreed with him, at that point I was just used to the pain I was in I didn't know any different. And I had it set in my mind that I was ready to go home, so that's exactly what I did.
And the journey continues...
Written by Shannon Parsons July 2018