Saturday, January 9, 2016

The one about the last surgery (It's finally "ovar-y"!)

Okay, when we last chatted I had just finished radiation and I told you that the last step in my cancer treatment plan was to have my ovaries and fallopian tubes taken out. Well, on December 28th, I was able to check that off of the to-do list.

Of course there was a prediction of a terrible snow storm to hit that day. Because why not add a little extra stress. Sure. To do my part in thwarting the snow, I went grocery shopping the night before and had my husband get the snow shovel out and make sure the snow blower was working. (It's the same logic as washing your car to make sure it rains.) Boom. No snow storm.

If you've been following along you already know how much I hate needles and the worst part of surgery for me is getting the IV. I really dislike that portion of the show. But, when we parked in the hospital garage, I unbuckled my seat belt and saw this little graffiti gem:

"It'll Be Okay." Thanks, stranger. Much appreciated. 
I wish I could accurately express just how much this made me feel better. It's true, I believe in things like ghosts, fate, and signs - - and so this really did calm me down and make me believe it would be okay. 

Once again, each nurse I met during this surgery day was awesome. Friendly, smart, efficient, and caring. I am still not sure how I got so lucky, but I'm going to do everything I can to keep putting good vibes out to the world to compensate for my good fortune.

Anyway, they came and got me a little early for surgery because things were moving quicker than expected. So, off I went at about 10:45am. Getting your ovaries and tubes out can be done laparoscopically and takes about 30-45 minutes. I got three tiny little incisions: one in my belly button and two on each side. The one in my belly button seems a bit bigger, and the two others are no bigger than the nail on my pinky finger. 

Tiny little incisions. You can barely see 'em! 

This is an outpatient procedure so I was home and in my own bed by 2pm. Yes, I was a little sore and tender for a day or two, but not bad. The worst part of this whole procedure was the leftover gas in my body afterwards. The doctor inflates you with gas to move some of your other organs out of the way, and some of that gas hangs out in your body for a day or so until you burp it out or your body absorbs it naturally. I had these pains that felt like the stitch you get in your side after running, and a pain in my shoulder when I moved a certain way. It took about two days for that to go away. 

Surgery was done on Monday the 28th and on Thursday the 31st, I went to my cousins house to play cards for New Year's Eve. I took my kiddo shopping that Friday to spend her Christmas money. Went that Saturday to my baby brother's basketball game. Seriously, the recovery time was super short. 

Like I said at the beginning of this post - - this was the last item on my cancer treatment to-do list. No ovaries = no ovarian cancer. One less thing to worry about, right? Right. It feels good. So, if that was the last big thing I needed to do, what's next? Well, I'll have a few remaining sessions with my physical therapist (technically, she's an OTD, OTR/L, and CLT -- occupational therapist and certified lymphedema therapist, in case you were wondering), a follow-up with my oncologist in March, a follow-up with my radiation oncologist in March, and then just regular check ups thereafter. 

Guys, what am I gonna do with all of this reclaimed free time!?! I'll tell you what I'm gonna do - - I'm gonna enjoy it. I'm gonna laugh and smile and gleefully hop back into the driver's seat of my life again. 

Oh, and just as a reminder for you ladies...

It's January. Why don't you make sure you have your mammogram scheduled. Also, go ahead and schedule reminders for you monthly breast self exams while you're at it.