Thursday, December 31, 2009
Instead, 2009 was the worst year of my life.
I am not going to do a big 2009 recap post because it can basically be summed up like this: anxiety, sadness, and then a sudden and unexpected hysterectomy.
So, from there, it can only get better, right?
Come on 2010, I am counting on you.
Posted by Three Cats and a Baby at 3:30 PM
At 1:30 in the morning I was all of a sudden convinced letting them take my uterus was my worst decision ever. That I should have thought about it longer. That I should have tried alternatives. The logical part of my brain was telling me I should just go back to sleep and that I would feel better about it in the morning. I finally gave in to the logic, and I did feel better about it in the morning.
I am sure there are many more of those moments to come. The physical part of the recovery has been dominating everything so far. I have a feeling I am going to be dealing with the emotional pain far longer than the physical pain I am feeling now.
Monday, December 28, 2009
I am not even sure why.
I guess hormones could be an issue? Or maybe it's just having so much time to think about everything that has happened.
It could be that it's now been 17 months that we have been waiting.
17 months of waiting for the adoption. Almost 7 years of waiting for a baby.
I am in pain, which doesn't help anything. The pain has been pretty consistent because even though I am getting better, I am also taking less pain medicine and getting up more.
Adam went back to work today. I have been on my own for the first time. I have really missed him.
My throat is killing me. It's actually my throat, mouth, and tongue. I hope I never need a breathing tube again for the rest of my life. I think it had tiny knives attached to it.
Basically, I am miserable.
I felt like I should post something because I have not written since I first got home from the hospital. Now you see why. There is nothing going on here but pajamas, pillows, pain meds, sleeping, crying, and family visiting.
I'm going to be leaving the house tomorrow. Carefully. Very carefully. My parents are having a dinner at their house because my brother and sister in law are leaving on Wednesday to go back to Oregon. So, that will be interesting. It may be good to get out of the house. Maybe wearing pants (even if they are sweatpants) will make me feel human again.
Posted by Three Cats and a Baby at 5:42 PM
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I am in too much pain to write a lot, but I did want to say I am home and everything is okay.
I was not able to get any sleep in the hospital. I was in a lot of pain and really uncomfortable being hooked up to so many things. IV in my hand, oxygen in my nose, catheter in, and plastic things wrapped around my legs squeezing them so I didn't get blood clots. Plus the nurse coming in to check blood pressure, temperature, etc. I am a really light sleeper and it all made it impossible for me to rest.
I am able to sleep more at home, but there are things I do miss about the hospital: the bed, the catheter, and the nurse bringing my pain meds on a regular schedule. I have found it's hard to keep track of pain meds when you are tired and in a lot of pain. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning in incredible pain and unable to get out of bed at all. I took some pain meds and by 5:30 I was able to get myself to the living room to sleep more in the recliner. Thanks to Kim's suggestion, I have come to realize the recliner is the closest thing in the house to a hospital bed and it's a lot easier to get out of if you need to use the bathroom.
Adam has been amazing. Helping me in and out of the recliner or bed whenever I need. Getting me anything I want. Setting the laptop up on a pillow in front of me so I can write this. He has even started keeping a chart of when I take the medications so he can keep track. And in between he has been making Christmas cookies all day!
My Mom brought me lunch and watched TV in bed with me for a while.
I am in the worst pain of my life, but I have a lot to be thankful for. I could not prepare myself for how bad the pain would feel, but I told myself if I lived through the surgery and was able to be home for Christmas, then I would be thankful. No matter how bad it was.
You would not believe the amount of support I have gotten from twitter. They really got me through this. Lots of advice from people who have had hysterectomies. And a gift basket from an amazing group of twitter friends. I will be writing a whole post about that later, including photos of the present they sent me.
My brother and sister in law are in town from all the way across the country. After my surgery my sister in law braided my hair for me, rubbed my leg after a charlie horse, and even wrote me a list of things I needed to do before leaving the hospital.
My sister and brother in law are driving home from Boston right now as I type this.
We are going to all be together tomorrow. I am going to be drugged up and wearing my pajamas in the recliner, but we are going to be together. And we can all enjoy a good laugh as we open presents and find the post-it notes I wrote.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I am putting post-it notes on presents before wrapping them in case I won't be around when they get opened.
I know it's morbid, dramatic, and awful.
This is what happens when your surgeon does not reassure you at all that you will even survive the surgery. He made it clear things happen in major surgery and he can't promise me something won't happen to me.
So, I am writing post-it notes. I have things to say about some of the presents I am giving.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
He did not know anything about me going into our appointment. He asked why I was there and if I knew my treatment options. I said I already had surgery scheduled for the 21st. He seemed surprised by that. How did he not know that going into the appointment?
It was around this time that he apparently grew bored of me because he began looking through his phone.
I asked him if I actually had treatment options. It was my understanding my options were hysterectomy or the cancer progresses. He asked a couple questions and then tells me that there probably aren't really any other options than having the hysterectomy. Shouldn't he have known about my history going into this? I only told him a tiny bit of my history. It's very complicated and I know it was all sent to him. I feel like he shouldn't be making treatment choices based on a couple questions he asked me that don't tell the full story.
I was expecting him to talk me through the decision of whether to have my ovaries taken out too, but he just said he recommends it and there is up to a 25% chance the cancer could come back if they are left in, but it's up to me. He said this all while flipping through things on his phone. I asked about menopause and he said I won't notice it because I will be on hormone replacements. Adam asked if there were side effects to that and he said none that I would notice. None that I would notice? Plus, I thought taking estrogen put you at risk for breast cancer? Then he mentions something about going through menopause twenty years before I'm supposed to has risks like heart problems and stroke later on in life. I couldn't tell whether he was saying if I took the hormones that wouldn't happen. But, it sure did give me more to worry about. I feel like he gave me some random pieces of information rather than really talk me through the decision. He told me to let him know the day of surgery what I decide. Really?
He said he is not sure yet how he will be doing the surgery. He will try to do it the least invasive way possible and then only completely cut me open if he needs to. Which is good because if he can do it the less invasive way, the recovery time would be less. But, because he doesn't know which way he will end up doing it, he wouldn't give me any information about my recovery time or restrictions. I was so frustrated. He acted like it was annoying that we even asked.
He also refused to reassure me in any way that I will survive this surgery. He made a point to tell me people have complications from surgery all the time and he had no way of knowing if I would be one of those people. He pretty much made it seem like- well, you could die, you could live, let's just wait and see what happens.
It was my understanding from my OB/GYN that it's stage one and that after the surgery I would be cancer free. He said, "No, we don't really know what stage you are until we go in." He even said, "Since you have had problems for a long time, then things could be worse." Wow, thanks.
Not one ounce of anything reassuring or comforting. It was a ten minute appointment and he seriously played with his phone the entire time.
As he was leaving the room, I was desperate for anything to hang some hope on and I asked him if he has done this a lot. Hoping he would tell me how often he does it and how most people come out of it fine. He said, "No, I just read how to do it on the internet today." Then he walked out. I looked at Adam and said, "What the hell was that?" Adam said, "I think there might be hidden cameras and we were punked." We stood there waiting for Ashton to come running in laughing and saying it was all a joke.
I cried through the appointment. (Not that he noticed since he didn't look at me.) I continued crying the entire way to the hospital. It shouldn't have been a surprise that they had a lot of trouble getting blood from me. They asked me if I could be dehydrated. Well, I have not had anything to eat or drink all day and I have been crying for an hour straight.
The bright side of my time at the hospital was that they had a nurse go over everything about my hospital stay with me and I was able to talk to her about my surgeon and the awful appointment. She said he is not known for being a nice guy or being good with people, but that he is really good at what he does. She said people come from hours away to have him. (Although she was very disturbed about the things I told her and she said she wants to mention it to someone at the hospital.)
When I spoke with my OB/GYN nurse on the phone, she said the same thing about him. That's he is not good with people, but good at surgery.
That's when I realized, my surgeon is Dr. House.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
But instead, I got the call today that after my oncology appointment tomorrow, I need to go to the hospital for blood work and a chest xray. Apparently that's normal pre-op stuff before major surgery.
This is really happening.
I get bad anxiety about normal doctor appointments, so tomorrow has me very scared.
Tomorrow I will be finding out what kind of hysterectomy I will need, which can make a big difference in recovery time. I will also find out whether I can keep my ovaries, how long I will have to be in the hospital after surgery, and what this all means for me long term.
There will probably be a lot of serious faces and uncomfortable situations. And answers to questions that I don't want to know the answers to.
I have not gone to sleep before midnight a single night since this all started. And I get up everyday between 5-6. I am sick. I am exhausted. I am scared.
I was hoping to sleep this afternoon for a couple hours, but right as I fell asleep, the phone rang and it was the oncology nurse. I have been thinking and worrying ever since then. Now it's time to go get the kids off the bus.
I called the police and gave all the information about where I was, what kind of car it was, their license plate number, etc. They asked me to stay there and keep an eye out for the police so I can show them where the car is. I agreed to do it. Especially since the door was open and I didn't want someone to come and steal things from the car. And I didn't want to close the door in case there was evidence. (Yes, in my head, I was in the middle of a CSI case.)
So, I stood outside in freezing rain while the police took forever to come. When the officer came, he said he would take care of it. That's it? I was supposed to just leave and never know what happened? He began looking inside the car through the windows with his flashlight as I drove away.
(By the way, I didn't expect them to throw a parade in my honor or give me a key to the city, but a thank you for standing in the freezing rain for a half hour would have be nice. )
Now I admit I watch too many crime drama TV shows and that I was imagining it was a woman and as she got out of the car, someone came up from behind her and kidnapped her. Of course it is much more likely the car was broken into and they left it open. But, why only that car? The parking lot was packed full of cars. Why not mine? Mine was unlocked because I was only running into a small shop for a couple minutes. Which brought up another question, how did this all happen within the time I was in the shop? So many questions that I keep wondering about...
One thing I do know is that I had a small cold that was almost completely gone yesterday and today I am much worse. I was up blowing my nose all night and my ears have been hurting ever since standing out there. So, I hope it wasn't all for some person that somehow forgot to close their own car door!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Or I could write about how our adoption agency called and another birth mother did not choose us.
Or maybe about how my hysterectomy surgery is two weeks from today.
Instead, I get a chance to write about something that puts a smile on my face. My blog friends. :)
I received the Superior Scribbler Award from Becca and Roxanne. Please go check their blogs out.
Becca was the very first person to ever comment on my blog. That meant so much to me. I started this blog as a way to work out my feelings about our adoption wait. I figured I would just be writing for myself and nobody would ever see it. Then Becca left a comment and gave me support and she has continued to support me. She is a fellow liberal and animal lover and I enjoying reading her blog and tweets everyday.
Roxanne is dealing with a lot. She is in physical pain everyday because of endometriosis and lupus. Then has the emotional pain of trying to conceive for three years added to it. I admire her for her ability to deal with all of that, continue towards her goal, and do it while being the sweet, loving, supportive person she is. Everybody knows they can count on her for kind words when they are having a bad day.
Thank you to both of you for this award!
Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List.
Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
Here are my 5 bloggers.....
Sarah from Creepy Groovy
She says her blog is a work in progress, but she is an excellent writer and I love reading about whatever random topic she comes up with. I have known her since she was 6 yrs old and I used to baby-sit for her. Now that we are adults, I love that I can call her my friend.
Kate from Busted Plumbing
Kate is a new friend, but I love her already. She makes me laugh out loud everyday and she has been a major source of support. If you have not read her blog, you are really missing out. It's excellent. Smart, funny, and well written.
Libby from Libby Logic
Libby is one of my favorite people to follow on twitter. I get her updates sent to my phone and they often make me laugh out loud in public places. Her blog posts are sarcastic, smart, and very funny. She is a domestic adoption success story and seeing pictures of her beautiful baby girl gives me hope.
Liz from Inventing My Life
Liz commented on my very first blog post and has been commenting consistently ever since. She even mentioned me on her blog and I am very grateful for that. Liz is adopting from Ethiopia and has a travel date for later this month. Go to her blog to read her interesting and exciting story! She is also really good at recommending other blogs to read. I am never disappointed when I follow one of her links.
Bon from I Can't Haz Bebe
I do not know her, but I have been reading her blog. She recently had a failed adoption match and I admire her for writing about her experience. It is honest, raw, and heartbreaking.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
A week ago right now I was anxious about getting my pathology results from the doctor because I knew she would be calling the next day.
Monday night I got the call that changed everything.
On Tuesday I got a call from the oncologist's office to go over my appointment details. I began working on getting a surgery date around Christmas time so I could recover with taking as little time off from work as possible.
Wednesday I got my surgery date. December 21. It became real.
Thursday and Friday I had to tell all the parents of the children I work with.
I've been sick all weekend. Which came as no surprise to me. That's what happens when you spend the whole week freaking out and not sleeping.
I have my oncologist appointment on Friday. Adam already took off from work and we are leaving as soon as I get the kids on the bus in the morning. I am really scared of everything they are going to tell me. All the details. It's going to be a huge reality check. I have about 100 questions for the oncologist, but they are all questions I don't think I really want to know the answer to. I want so badly to run away and hide, but I obviously know I need to go to this appointment.
I need to start calming down and sleeping. I don't really have much experience in calm. It sounds nice. I have a lifetime of experience in anxiety and worry. I have spent my whole life worrying about everything. Most of the time I was worrying about things that didn't even really matter. Now I have something that really matters to worry about. And I have to try and be calm?
Friday, December 4, 2009
(I would even settle for state...or time zone.)
My sister and her husband live in Boston, MA. My brother and his wife live in Portland, Oregon.
It is obviously very rare for us all to be together, but we always at least have Christmas. That is why I love Christmas so much. We have so much fun together.
All of a sudden tonight it hit me that Christmas will be nothing like years in the past. I am going to miss so much. My one chance to be with my family and I am going to be drugged up and stuck here unable to leave my house.
When the first Nintendo came out, my dad bought it for us for Christmas and we played it the entire Christmas break. Since then, my dad has bought us video games for Christmas many times and we have great memories of staying up all night playing. Last year he bought a Wii. This year I bought a Wii game that is a newer version of a game we used to love to play. Fun idea, right? Well, that was before I knew there was no chance of me going over to my parents' house for late night Wii playing this year. It will have to happen without me.
I am going to miss so much.
I am now worrying that my decision to have surgery right before Christmas was a mistake.
All the realities of this diagnosis have been hitting me in waves all week. Like it was so huge that I can only comprehend it over time in little bits. I hope it ends soon because it's exhausting.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Adam and I are very excited about adopting. There has never been any doubt in our mind that we would fall head over heals in love with our baby. There is no question.
I thought we would adopt, then try again to get pregnant. I have always wanted a big family and was excited at the idea of having a mix of adopted and biological children. Last night's post was just me coming to terms with the fact that I will never be pregnant. And that this major change in my life is permanent.
I have gone through every stage of the grieving process at least ten times. I keep cycling through them. Thank you for the support you have all given me!
Posted by Three Cats and a Baby at 9:32 AM
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I know this is obvious, but the reality of this hit me hard today.
I got my surgery date. December 21. Which is ideal. I only have this date because an awesome oncology nurse pulled some strings for me. I talked to her about my work situation. I explained to her that I needed to give the parents notice so they could find other care for their children and that it would really help them if I could close over Christmas time. More of them have time off and have family that have time off so arrangements could be made. It also helps me because my family will be around to help take care of me after my surgery. So, I was really excited about the date I got.
Then it hit me that I was celebrating my hysterectomy surgery.
It also hit me (and hit me hard) that this is really happening. I can't get out of it. I have no choice. In 19 days they are taking my uterus no matter how I feel about it. No matter what I say. No matter how much it is breaking my heart.
This is permanent. I can never change this once it's done.
I will never be pregnant. Ever. Nothing I do or say in the future will change that. I can't try some new injectable medication that works amazing and is perfect for me. I will never try IVF. I will never in my whole life take a pregnancy test.
My husband is 6' 6" and I am 5' 11" and people have always joked about how tall our children will be. I will never know. My husband will never know. We will never know what that little blend of the two of us would look like. We will never look at our children and see each other. His eyes or my hair.
This is permanent. This will change my life forever. This is a major change from how I always pictured what my life would be.
Everything feels like it's happening so fast and it's all out of my control.
Posted by Three Cats and a Baby at 8:07 PM