Me and My Family

Me and My Family

30 July, 2010

Surgery April 26, 2010

So, the day has arrived! I went to the hospital Sunday actually so I would be there and rested Monday morning. I had John there and my mom came to town to be with us and help John at home while I would spend the next week in the hospital!
Before that though, let me back up...Saturday I had to PREP again with that dreaded magnesium citrate! Need I say more? I didn't think so. Thank you for reading between the lines on that one.
So off I went Sunday. I had visitors that night and began having bad chest pains. I fear I must have appeared and behaved like I didn't want company, but my chest was hurting and making me feel sick to my stomach. So, the minute the company left I rang for the nurse. She came promptly to my room and I told her about my pain. I told her it had been hurting for almost two hours. They called my Doc and he order an EKG.
So I got hooked up to all sorts of little square tape things and wires. More about the tape another time.
The results were fine so they offered me some anti-anxiety meeds. I think I took them, but don't trust my overloaded memory to say for sure. All I know for sure and for certain at this time is That I loathe magnesium citrate. Did I mention I hate it?
So Monday comes and I get prepped for surgery.
I went to surgery.
I returned to my room after surgery.
There were already flowers in my room!
I was so out of it. It turns out I don't react well to morphine, and after the first three days my vein gave up and the nurses had to switch my IV to the other arm. That day I remember well because they took the first IV out and I was without ANY meds for over an hour. Then they removed my catheter and wanted me to pee. Hahaha. That meant getting out of bed! Oh boy I did it (got out of bed) but only after they brought the commode close to the bed. No luck eliminating which meant reinserting a new catheter. Not as bad as one might think. But I might be weird that way because I also don't think mammograms are that bad either.
So I worked my way back to bed to try and get comfortable. Having to hold a folded blanket against my sore and limp stomach the whole time. All I could think about was how all my hard abdominal work over the course of the winter was GONE!!!
And to top it off my Doctor wouldn't take any of excess stomach fat with him in surgery. So disappointed about that.
Well all good things come to an end I guess...but only temporarily. My plan was to get back to working out as soon as I was able.
My stay in the hospital went well actually, I received SO many flowers and plants, and other goodies while there. Also I had wonderful company, and let me not forget the beautiful quilt my friend Audrey made for me. I will enclose a picture soon as I haven't got access to it now.
So I will write more about the hospital soon. Taking a break for now.

29 July, 2010

APril 2010 continued: Prep and diagnosis

I returned from Vegas and spent the following Sunday prepping for my colonoscopy.By prepping I mean not eating food, and ingesting this Magnesium citrate! M.C. is extremely un-ingestible.

"Pleasing Lemony Flavor" is what they put on the label. Who is "they" anyway? They must not have to drink that stuff, or they are masochists! I had to drink 10 oz at noon and then the other 10 oz six hours later. It upsets the stomach big time after the first dose, and after 5 oz of the second dose I couldn't keep it in (either end). My body had had enough. IT was done.

Monday morning I went in for the colonoscopy. That went well, though the Doctor stated that he couldn't even get the scope all the way through as I was very obstructed. He told my husband he thought it could be Chrones Disease, but we would wait for results to say for sure. I went home and spent the next few days in ignorant bliss, researching Chrones Disease...beginning to think I didn't really want it to be that. I am not sure now what I wanted it to be, but Chrones didn't sound too fun.
Thursday morning came and I had an appointment with a different doctor for a different issue.
While John, Damon and I were waiting, Dr. Norkus came and asked us back to his office. We got there and he looked so serious. He stated that what they found was NOT Chrones disease. Then the dreaded sentence, "What they found was Colon Cancer".
He talked slow and steady, and continued for a moment in his calming voice. His demeanour was pure compassion. He then asked if we wanted the nurse to take Damon out of the room.
" Yes" we said.
He then continued to explain some things to us and gave us a few moments alone. My John broke down. He cried and cried. I wanted to cry and scream, but no...that would not be appropriate when my husband so apparently needed my strength (so I shared what I wasn't sure I had) at that moment.

It was a very emotional day from that moment on. Dr. Norkus wanted to have a CT scan ASAP that day, so that was scheduled. It involved drinking more nasty stuff....though not quite as nasty as the M.C.
After the CT scan we were informed there were nodules in my lungs. I was scheduled for surgery the following Monday to resection my colon.
Just four days to prepare to be gone from home for 7 days. I had a lot to do, AND, deal with the news, inform family and friends, comfort my family, and ask the Lord to comfort me. I had better get on it!

21 July, 2010

April 2010

April came: and with it more pain. I think I already mentioned this in my last post.
I guess I should be looking back before posting and making sure I don't sound too repetitive. Hmmmph. Well, As I mentioned early in starting this blog I did go on vacation in April also. With one of my best friends, Anna. I was in the ER the morning before I was to leave for Anchorage to meet up with Anna. I was actually thinking in the back of my mind they could do an emergancy colonoscopy! HAHA LOL very funny now that I look back on that thought.
They don't do those without several days prep. Oh....prep....that is such a touchy subject with me still. Magnesium Citrate..........."pleasing lemony flavor" is what the label says.
What a crock!!! A crock full of who knows what. That is some of ThE MosT FALSE advertising I have ever come across. Seriously! Ask anyone I have discussed this with. Amy, Jake, John, My Mom, my Dad, Kaili............ask them all. Well one will probably do.
Even now I am sure you are getting the picture.
I didn't
Like this stuff!!!!!!!
Understatement of the year.
Anyway, Vegas, yes Vegas. I went and had fun, sat in the sun, actually ate some food. Took a road trip to Kingman Arizona to visit Anna's grandparents. Sweet sweet people.
Returned to Kodiak on a Wednesday or Thursday and spent the weekend prepping for the colonoscopy on Monday the 19th of April. Prep update to follow soon.

15 July, 2010


It does a body good!

It's good for ones soul!
So are nice walks on the beach!

So is exercise. Let me continue my story now, return to the pictures anytime to have a good look at what matters most~~FaMiLy.

January 2010. We had family pictures taken by my sweet friend Amy. It was so much fun. Amy was great. January was a good month. Kaili was home for the holidays, Amy took our pictures, Amy worked out with me almost every morning of the week. Amy inspired me to train for a triathlon. Since me bout with stomach pain in November, Amy and I had been working hard.

In January even though Kaili was home, I continued my workouts. Kaili came a few times. Then the day came when Kaili had to return to school. Sad day.....

February came; Amy and I continued training, and were both dropping pounds. We participated in a "biggest loser" competition together to help spur us on more.

March came: more of the same. Early morning workouts, though we kicked up the swimming a few notches. While Amy was cruising along with the front crawl, I was trying to perfect my back crawl. Things were going great. I was looking better, feeling so fit, and I was fitting into pants that had been in my drawer for years. Awh, I felt good.

April came: Sometime in early April, on a Thursday, my abdominal pain returned. With a vengeance. It was bad. I was planning a walk around the base with Damon at lunchtime while John was headed to the gym for his noon workout. He called me and said the gym was closed so he was going to join Damon and me. We waited, and in a few minutes we were walking. Inside of 3 minutes I was doubled over in pain. I waited for it to pass and walked on. It returned and I put an end to the walk. I ended up in ER that day...I don't even remember what the Docs did that day. I returned home and in two days was feeling better. I felt good Sunday through Wednesday only to wake up the following Thursday morning in more pain than ever.

I curled up in bed and when a cramp came I ran to the bathroom only to sit and shiver and wish I would vomit. NOTHING happened. The pain would subside and I would crawl back into bed. No food, barely any water, and definitely no going downstairs. I was getting really concerned that something weird and more serious than constipation was going on.
Finally one ER doc ordered x-rays, and an abdominal ultrasound. He also recommended a colonoscopy. So I scheduled the colonoscopy for the 19th of April, a few days after I was to return from a preplanned vacation to Las Vegas with my good Anchorage friend, Anna. Amazingly I felt good the morning I was to leave for Anchorage. Sort of. I was able to be up and about, though I wasn't eating. So I was weak and tired, and had no energy.

But I was EXcitED for our trip to Vegas!!!

I will end this chapter by saying that I know without a doubt~~Heavenly Father blessed me with that week in Vegas. He blessed me with the ability to get out and see things, to taste food, to laugh with Anna, to soak up much need SunShiNe. He blessed me with time to relax, take a road trip (which I love). I was just BLESSED~~~ little did I know what awaited me when I returned. The Challenge of a lifetime.
May God also bless you and yours. Every DAY!

11 July, 2010

A good weekend

This weekend was GREAT! I couldn't have asked for a better way to feel "normal". I spent the weekend with family doing a few of my favorite things.


With People I love

Oh, oops...did I say with PEOPLE I love? Yes yes, lets see....

I'm looking................

Ah yes, here

Sharing laughs


And this weekend the sun shown. While hanging out at PaSaGshak, I almost forgot I was sick. I really did for a little while. I was so absorbed with eating s'mores, roasting hot dogs, and visiting I forgot to worry. That felt good in a way and also not good. I try not to be in denial. I feel sometimes like I have to remind myself multiple times a day what I am fighting for, or what I am fighting against. Or both.
It's conflicting. I really enjoyed being able to forget for a short time.

Sunday was church and of course hymns that make me cry, people that care and show it, and a time to strengthen my faith, testimony, and spirituality. After church we spent more time outside together and I was able to lose myself in the beauty of this place. The warm feeling of the sun on my skin.

Yes, It was a good weekend. This I guess would be some of the healing....spiritual healing, emotional healing. It comes in cycles now, but I'll take what I can get.

GOD bless you all.

10 July, 2010

Let's go back in time a few months.

November 2009: I woke one morning with severe abdominal pains. I was curled up in bed, in so much pain I wanted to cry.

I might have cried.

I tried going to the bathroom, I thought I might even vomit. NOTHING! I crawled back into bed. This continued all day and into the night. I didn't eat a single thing. Finally my husband, John, insisted on taking me to the E.R.
The Doctor took my symptoms, and told me I was probably constipated. He told me I could do a Fleets Enema if I wanted.

Without going into detail as to whether or not I did the Fleets thing, I returned to the E.R. the next day, as my pain continued. This time the Doc ordered an X-ray. After looking at the X-ray, that doctor stated to me that I wasn't constipated and I probably had a some virus. "go home, try to eat, drink plenty of fluids...." she said something to that effect.

At this point I realize I am probably leaving a lot out as it's been a long time, I didn't write it then, and I have been on information overload for almost 3 months now. I will do my best to remember correctly who said what, when they said it, and what they might have meant.

My pain subsided in a few days...and I was able to eat again. Let me say YAY here because in case you don't know me well, I LOVE to eat. I started going to the gym, first with my friend Rebecca, then invited Amy. For a week or two we all three went together. Then it was just Amy and I.

The gym is a whole different day, subject, chapter.

For now I will leave with this, I felt GREAT for the next 4 1/2 months!

09 July, 2010

This is me.
Before April 22, 2010 when I was given the diagnosis of Colon Cancer.

I went on vacation with my girlfriend, Anna. We went to Vegas and enjoyed the sun, some shopping, and each others company. We took a road trip. We saw the light show on Freemont street.

We had fun trying to get a good picture of ourselves. We saw amazing scenery!!!

Little did I know what awaited me at home when I returned. That story is coming. I am just putting this blog together, so give me a few days to gather my thoughts....but remember this,

Live in the moment; Plan for the Future!