Yes, I’m making good progress since my big surgery on November 30th. It was slow going for a while but now I feel more and more like myself.

The not-so-fun part involved getting my intestines to consistently move. When you have a trauma to the bowels like my surgery, the intestines can shut down (called an ileus) where the continuous motion of moving things through the pipes can stop. Needless to say, there were several times when this happened. My belly would become very distended and then I would eventually toss my day’s intake of food, no matter how little I ate. So I would have to back up and eat very soft foods again and work my way slowly up to regular food.

One night I was in such pain at 1 a.m. that I begged my husband to drive me the three hours back to MD Anderson so I could have an ER doctor look at me in case they needed to open me up again. I didn’t trust anyone locally to do this since they would take a look inside and probably say, “What train wreck happened in here?” Just a little anxiety showing through. Needless to say, we did not go to Houston and I felt better the next day. Seriously, there is nothing more distressing than not being able to move your bowels for three weeks without medication. Makes one a little panicky. But then suddenly, everything started working consistently on Christmas Day. Whew. TMI, I know.

Progress Coffee - My latest recovery friend

I am consistently sore in my lower pelvic region from all the digging around in there. It’s starting to lessen now but I still have to choose which pants I wear to minimize the discomfort. My incision is healing nicely. Just have a hard ridge of scar tissue underneath it which should eventually soften up.

My energy level is getting back to normal as of Friday when it seemed I made a big leap. I went sailing in the Red Eye Regatta on New Year’s Day and tried to just sit on the boat without pulling any lines! Not easy for me. Had to be satisfied with just coaching my daughter who was in charge of trimming the jib.

This morning I went for a 3-mile walk around Austin’s hike-n-bike trail. Made it without too much difficulty except for soreness but I walked at a nice slow pace. Ironically, this is the same walk where I first noticed the pain in my lower right pelvis which drove me to the doctor back in February. My, what a difference a year makes! I am determined to walk every day in order to build myself up before chemo starts later this month. I will find out my exact future plans when I return to MDA for a CT scan, tests and doctors visits on January 19th and 20th.

Meanwhile, I occasionally have a hard time believing I don’t have cancer (or at least “any visible evidence of disease” is how it is put). It’s a faint anxiety that I have to figure out how to deal with. Just have to focus on the present and rejoice in the moment!

7 thoughts on “Progress

  1. Dear girl, I pray for you every day and am so glad that your are feeling so much better. Our bodies are wonderfully made by God and it is so great when the body works its way back to normalcy. Keep up your good spirits and know you are through about, prayed for, and loves my many, including me. Judi (Laurel’s MOM)

  2. So glad to hear you are doing so well…let me know next time you head to the lake, would love to walk with you…need to get my New Year Resolution in to gear – ha! Hope to see you soon, Kendall

  3. Hello Ivanna! Just wanted to let you know that I think of you each and every day! I enjoy reading the updates from you and Doug..such comedians! I am very happy that you are doing well and with such a positive attitude! It must be hard on the girls too. Who would have thought when when met in SF that this would be the road you were going to go down?! Take it easy and no marathons please! Lots of love to you and your family!

  4. Ivanna
    Sorry to hear about your obstruction but glad that it passed. I have never had one but I know from others how extremely painful they are. I will talk to my friend Caylee from Calgary. After her MOAS she had several obstructions and almost had to have another major operation and was hospitalized a couple of times. There were certain foods that she could eat…what she could eat I do not know but I will see if she can talk to you and possible help you out.She is or about to talk with Val to try to help her out. I have your e-mail …is it okay if I pass it on to Caylee or should I have her come to your blog site?

    Day at a time,
    Sheboygan Mark

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