Sunday, February 27, 2011

Still Not Home

My mom cheered me up by giving me these gifts
last Thursday. She's so sweet and knows me so well!

So… I may as well go ahead and make the hospital my permanent residence. I’m on a first name basis with the oncology staff and have gotten to know the hospital “routine” more than I had ever wanted to. Its been a week, and I expect to be here for at least another week. blah.

The only thing that makes it bearable is having the constant company of my mom, and knowing that “this too shall pass”. Someday, it will all be a distant memory, and I will have moved on with my life. Its ironic how a week in the hospital feels more like a month. I realize how many things I usually take for granted in my everyday life. For example, how much I miss the comfort of my own bed, having the freedom to drive my car anywhere, sleeping through the night without having someone bother me to take my blood or vitals, but most of all how much I miss my husband and baby!

Trying to make my room look less hospital-like.

I've attempted to make my hospital room feel a little more "cozy" by putting up some pictures, along with the flowers and gifts that people have given me. It isn't much, but waking up to colorful flowers, balloons, and pictures of my two favorite boys really does brighten my mood each day.

I’ve also been making an effort to take walks every day when I feel good enough to. I figure that I need to keep my body as strong as possible, and it’s just healthier than laying around all the time. I haven’t turned the T.V. on at all since I’ve been here.

Hummus and veggies... yum!
The hospital food is a little disappointing, but I’ve managed to find one or two meals that were decent. My favorite was a plate of hummus and fresh veggies, which I was surprised to find on the menu, and even more surprised that it tasted so good! Generally, my appetite has been nonexistent, due to the antibiotics. I think that the doctors are concerned about my weight. Unfortunately, there’s not much that you can do when you try to force food down every day, but the number on the scale keeps dropping. It’s scary and it makes me feel very vulnerable. I’m hoping that once I get home and start feeling better, my eating habits and weight will return to normal. Its weird to think that I've lost 60 lbs in the past five months (pregnancy weight).

Since I’m sure you have been wondering… here’s
a list of updates/reasons of why I am still in the hospital:

*Staph infection
My blood no longer shows any bacteria from the staph infection (yay!) but because my infection was both in the blood AND in the wounds from my port, I am being treated with IV antibiotics for a longer period of time than the norm. My staph infection spread so quickly throughout my body that if we had waited another day to come to the hospital, I probably wouldn’t have survived. I never realized before that staph infections are that serious!

*Open wound
It was not safe for the doctors to stitch up my wound after my port was taken out, because the infection could have been trapped in there. So I have a deep, open wound on my chest that the nurses need to care for. This will probably take a whole month before it completely closes up, so I will have to continue to clean it and change the dressing when I go home (next week, hopefully).

*Blood clots
Along with the group of blood clots that are in my lungs, they also found one in my left arm. These were caused by the aggressive staph infection going throughout my body. Blood clots are serious if left untreated, but the doctors have given me a combination of Lovenox shots (which sting and burn inside my tummy like bee stings) and Coumadin pills to thin the blood. I have to stay in the hospital until my blood levels adjust to the correct amount, which may take five more days to a week. Once everything is adjusted, I should not need the shots in my tummy anymore, and I would just be taking the pills at home. The worst thing about the Coumadin pills is that I’m supposed to limit my intake of green, leafy vegetables each week (i.e. salads: my favorite). =(

I will be having my chemotherapy the day after tomorrow, while I am still in the hospital for all of these other reasons. It is a few days later than my originally scheduled time, but my oncologist feels that it is important to stay on track with my treatment plan. I am nervous about my body still being so weak from the staph infection, but since I will be on antibiotics throughout the whole thing, the doctors are telling me that I will be safe and capable to take on Chemo #3.

This is my newly inserted picc line, which will help save my veins during chemotherapy and blood draws. I’m so glad that my port is gone! It caused so much danger to my body, and I never liked that it required a needle stick to access it. With the picc line, there are absolutely no needles involved!

Sometimes, there are so many “unknowns” that it feels like another tragedy is just around the corner each day. We may be given more than we can handle (I certainly was this past week!) but we will never be given more than God can handle. God knows all about our tomorrows, and He understands the overall purpose of our lives. What we see doesn’t make sense, but we can’t see the full picture. He can, and wants us to trust in Him.

Be not afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. -Isaiah 43:1-2

I’m placing my full trust in God in that he will heal me in accordance to His plan for my life. I know that God is faithful and more powerful than any medicine, infection, or disease. He works through the doctors and nurses who treat me everyday, and I am so thankful for them. I am also thankful that breast cancer research has advanced so quickly in recent years, and that so many options are available to save my life. I will endure absolutely anything in order to be blessed with a long life with Barry and Ryan.

They came and visited me the other day, and we had a great time playing with Ryan in my hospital room. It just goes to show that it’s not where you are, but who you are with that matters. Ryan is happier than ever, and is so aware of everything these days. He is getting to the stage where he shows preference to people he knows over those who are strangers. It feels good that he loves his mommy and daddy and other family members, but I felt terrible when he cried at my oncologist! Ryan is definitely strong-willed, even at this young of age! We are going to have our hands full... I love it! =)

When I woke up today, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my IV pole that rattled loudly was replaced with a quieter one. I also found a fish bowl with a little friend waiting inside for me. I didn’t know where he came from, but I named him “Fishy” and have already started to become attached to him. (I know, I'm not very creative at making up names!)

Thanks to whoever who gave me such a unique gift! Aunt S!

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