Thursday, December 8, 2011

Post 19: Update 6 weeks after surgery:

This week has been a tough week. I was just starting to feel a little better. Wanting to get out a little. Mostly Phillip will just drive us around a bit to get me out of the house. Sometimes I can walk around the store for a little while. My ostomy was feeling much better. I was optimistic that things were looking up. Unfortunately, I've had a very rough week. Over the weekend I had plans to go out to dinner with my best friends. This would be the first time out at a restaurant in a long time and I was excited to see my friends. Unfortunately I was extremely dizzy and blacking out and couldn't go. I also was planning on starting back to work this week, and I am extremely upset I haven't been able to do that either. All week, when I would stand up my heart would pound and I couln't see for a few seconds. I was having a hard time eating anything and I really had to force myself to eat or drink. I have been working hard following a special diet to get my output in my ostomy bag to thicken up. Since the primary source of your colon is to absorb water, and now that I no longer have a colon, I have to eat very carefully and choose foods that will not cause liquid or watery stools. No matter what I did, my food was going through me as fast as I ate it and it was turning into pure liquid. I went to the doctor and they did some bloodwork. It all came back within normal ranges, so we think the reason I was blacking out was due to low blood volume. Meaning my body has not been absorbing the water I've been taking in, causing me to get really dehydrated. I was given IV fluids. I still don't know what caused the watery output. I thought I was doing everything right. I guess my body is still adjusting and my small intestine is still learning how to take on it's new role. It is having to learn how to absorb liquid like my colon once did. I went to the doctor Monday and I still don't feel great today, 3 days later.
I am still extremely fatigued and I still feel my heart working really hard to pump the blood through my body. I guess it will just take time. If It does not improve over the weekend I will make an appointment with my surgeon to discuss taking a medication such as Lomotil or Immodium to try and slow things down to give my body the chance it needs to absorb the water I am drinking. It's been a long road. I am finally getting my pain under control, but now this dehydration and fatigue has snuck up on me. To make things even more stressful, I found out my grandfather passed away and I was too sick to travel to his funeral. I was devistated. I have experienced some depression this week because I am too tired to do ANYTHING. I want so badly to play with my daughter and go shopping with Phillip for Christmas presents. I want to enjoy my life again and see my friends. Feeling like this has kept me in bed for most of the week. It has been really tough and I have had a lot of "how did I get here & what has happened to me?" moments. Lots of feeling sorry for myself. I am trying hard to change my state of mind and keep positive. But it is hard when you want so badly to get back out there and be normal again, but my body has other plans. I keep telling myself It could be worse and I am so lucky to be doing as well as I am. I am trying very hard to stay positive and see the good days ahead.

I also had a visit with my oncologist last week. They had good news and bad news. The good news is they are 80% sure I am cured and think they got it all with surgery. The bad news is the tumor was gigger than they thought. It was staged at T2, but after biopsiies it is actually categorized as a T3 tumor. There was nothing found in my lymph nodes thank God. But the oncologist explained it like this: The tumor is like a well established plant in a pot. It has started putting out strong roots, but hasn't broken through the pot yet. Good to hear it did not break through the colon wall yet. However, when you have a T3 tumor and you have stage two cancer, they like to suggest the option of chemotherapy. This is totally up to us. It may only increase my cure rate to 83-85% so we are not sure if it is beneficial enough to go through with 6 months of chemo. We are doing some Genomic testing on the tumor cells to learn more about the specific makeup of my cancer cells to see if it has a high or low chance of re-occurance. If it has a high re-occurance rate this will give us a decision about the chemo. We are still waiting for the test result and should be hearing back in a few days. I am really scared and have not been sleeping well. We just pray that the test will bring us good news and I can skip the chemo and keep healing. If I don't have to do chemo, I will have my second reconstruction surgery in about 2-3 months. If I do have to do chemo, I will have to wait until the middle of next year for my next surgery. We will keep you updated on what we hear and if my health improves within the next few days. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this. You're in my thoughts and prayers, Meredith. My entire family is praying also.