Another Surgery, Another Scar

My right ovary: 1980 to 2017. Rest in peace.

The surgery has come and gone, and now I am walking around with one less cyst and one less ovary. They have been expertly removed from my lady parts, and I am the proud owner of a 5.5-inch incision. 

This incision extends from my belly button and an inch into my… special area. The doctor stapled the incision together, and my metal buddies will be evicted tomorrow. My scars tend to fade after two years so my vertical reminder of January 10 should be nifty.

img_4371

Not pictured: the entire incision because this is not that kind of blog.

For this surgery, I had my first experience with a nerve block. The hospital’s pain team sold me  on this by telling me the block helps minimize the use of opiods and speeds up recovery. 

Sold! 

I vividly remember tripping hardcore on morphine after my mastectomy. I remember that I had a conversation with someone who wasn’t in the room. After that happened, I asked the nurses to please get me off morphine asap.

My wish coming into this surgery was to not recreate that experience. Of course I didn’t want to be in pain but I’d rather not be tripping. It’s not fun. I wanted to find a less mind-altering pain relief than morphine.

Unfortunately for the nerve block to work, I still experienced stabbing pains in each side as they jabbed giant needles into me. I screamed and proceeded to cry. Learned later they didn’t wait long enough to let the meds make me all loopy and not care about the giant side stabbing.

Oh well.

I woke up in recovery and learned I was on a morphine PCA.  At least it wasn’t a drip but it was still the dreaded morphine. I vowed to refrain hitting the green button as long as the pain allowed. Because of the nerve block, I got my wish.

I stayed in the hospital for two days. My lady doctor told me she was impressed at my progress and eager to get out of bed. Thanks to the nerve block and a nurse who understood how much I wanted to get off morphine, I made a handful of trips down the hallway, shuffling with my two IV poles and then with  my consolidated and heavy IV pole.

img_4364

Seriously. It was a heavy pole.

She had no problem sending me home on Thursday. 

It’s been a week since the surgery, and I am doing better than I was led to believe after this surgery. I take Advil during the day and the pain meds at night. I don’t move much, and every time I sneeze, I feel like someone slapped my incision. When I get up from a sitting position, I groan like an old lady and have to take a second to straighten myself out.

My ex was kind enough to watch the dogs for me as I recover, and I am beyond grateful. I do not think I would be in as decent shape as I am now if my 50- and 100-lb dogs were around me. I get them back on Friday. I do miss their company.

I don’t know if I am going to be off the full four weeks and then part time the next two weeks. That all depends on my doctor and how she thinks I am doing. I imagine the insurance company wants me back sooner than she does. 

Part of me agrees with them because time off means my finances take a hit, while the other part of me is screaming, “conquer that ever-growing to read pile you created, you damn fool!”  

I guess I am not used to resting. What a “weird” problem to have. My job and running take up so much of my time that resting is so foreign to me. I always feel compelled to be doing something. I like being challenged.

Until I am told otherwise, I am going to chill out.

img_4387

What is this rest thing of which you speak?

Advertisements

blahhhhh

So, I am scheduled for a surgery on January 10, and I’m not a happy camper. Apparently the ovarian cyst that I had drained in 2011, grew back and literally doubled in size. The cyst cannot be removed laparoscopically and has to be removed surgically. I’m going to be the proud owner of a gnarly scar on my abdomen.

Welp, there goes my swimsuit modeling career.

ef7e1a1c01584dfba1f19576e27819a5

I knew I had this cyst, and I even mentioned that I probably had a cyst to my now-ex a year ago. I could feel it now and then. I could feel pressure in my right side, and sometimes I would have weird cramping feeling in my back. I knew something was there. I put it aside because I didn’t want to interrupt my marathon training but I didn’t think it would grow to this size.

i-immediately-regret-this-decision-anchorman

When I saw my oncologist a couple of months ago, I mentioned it to him, and he ordered a test right away. He didn’t doubt me or question me. He heard me express concern about something I was feeling and sent me off for testing without any hassle at all. I am eternally grateful to have a doctor who trusts me and my intuition about my body. Not everyone has this luxury.

I had a CT scan and then later, a MRI scan.

Boy, the MRI scan was a big pile of poo. The technician, who was prepping me and putting the IV in me, didn’t listen to my warning that my veins were shot to hell from chemo. I warned him that since I didn’t have a port (one of the biggest regrets of my life, no lie), that I have a lot of scarring. The tech inserted the needle and it didn’t take, so what does the asshole do? He left it and tried to dig around.

I fainted in my seat, and I woke up to four or five nurses in my face telling me with great passion that I need to wake up. The one closest to me had smelling salts under my nose, and then she started thumping my clavicle pain, all while shouting, “Wake up, Lara.”

raw

I kept moaning that I was awake to get her to stop thumping me, but I guess I wasn’t coming to as fast and perky as they wanted so the thumping continued. It hurts like the dickens to get your clavicle bone repeatedly thumped, I’ll tell you that. It made me want to punch the nurse if I was physically able to return the favor.

A CT, MRI and ultrasound later, everyone came to the conclusion that this 10-cm interloper on my ovarian cyst had gots to go. It’s not cancer, at least.  All the tests, plus the multiple physical exams I have had, indicate this cyst is benign and not a mass.

I am so freaking tired of my body’s proclivity toward forming cysts. I really really really wish it would stop doing this because I’m tired of feeling like the human pin cushion. I’m covered in scars, and the more scars I receive, the more I want to get tattoos. I have no say in these scars, but I have every bit of say on what I put on my body. I have about three tattoo ideas, and they are going to happen.

There definitely has to be some weird genetic condition that would explain why I keep having these cysts. Hmm, I should probably look into this.

I’ll be out for six weeks, and I’ll basically have to start over as a runner, which is okay. I already ran a marathon, so it’s not like it cannot be done. Hell, I did it. I cannot afford to sign up for a thousand and one races like I have in the past anyway. It’ll keep me grounded and I love a challenge.

I am pretty sure the removal of this cyst and any other casualty body parts will contribute to a better quality of life. I have no doubt. Something this big isn’t supposed to be there, and I hope it means I’m new and definitely improved, even though my lady parts are supa dupa evil. Cancer or not, some things never change.