I am home. I am healing.
This journey has been a winding road. And as a warning, this post may also feel like a winding road. Let’s blame it on the pain meds.
I am feeling stronger every day. I can feel the chemo poison leaving my body with every new sunrise. It makes me think of Sheryl Crow. Everyday I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine
Update from Last Week
This week has been a whirlwind. Last Monday afternoon, we received final direction that radiation is a non-starter with an open wound. So, Jamie and I left Florida early Tuesday morning for doctor’s appointments in Atlanta. I must say that I am continually amazed by the excellent care that I am receiving and how quickly the doctors react to my situation.
We saw my plastic surgeon at 1pm on Tuesday and before I knew it, I was scheduled for surgery Wednesday AM. I was originally scheduled to have Northside Radiology remove my port, but my super-talented surgeon said he would do everything in one-shot. “Since you are here for port removal anyway, let’s change that procedure to surgery so I clean out the dead tissue. As a bonus, I will remove the port at the same time”.
That night, we had a nice early dinner at one of my ATL favs, St. Cecilia’s. Jamie was really hoping for Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, until I reminded him who he was married to…Absolutely Not! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Southern girl, I love BBQ, but not for my “last meal” before surgery. Needless to say, our dinner and St. Cecilia was delicious, and Renee was happy (which means, so was Jamie). The agnolotti didn’t disappoint.
Wednesday Surgery Day
This is my third surgery with general anesthesia since July, so you would think I was a pro. I can’t lie, I was nervous, more nervous than before. I think it is only natural for crazy thoughts to pop in your head when you know you are going to be put under with general anesthesia. It didn’t help that the surgery scheduled before me was running behind. I had more time to think. I am thankful for the “happy juice” they give you to quell the anxiety, because my anxiety was alive and well.
The surgery. In a nutshell, the doctor reopened my incision, cleaned out all the necrotic tissue (dead tissue that had hardened), removed the area of skin with the open wound issue, and then closed the wound. He also removed my port, which is a glorious feeling. As the doc said, the surgery was relatively straight forward, and my anxiety unwarranted.
The good news, my surgeon was very pleased with the results of the procedure. Of course, the entire purpose was to close the wound and get me healed for radiation. My healing time is key, and I hope it is quick.
The bad news, we have a dreaded drain! Both Jamie and I totally overlooked that I would have a drain coming out of this surgery. Waaaaaa! Not again! Back to the good news, my home health nurse is totally trained in the stripping, measuring, and emptying of drains four times day. That would be Jamie. I am lucky to have him as my nurse. He has become quite skilled. I first mentioned these pesky drains on 2 posts (July 18th – Seven Days and Counting and August 24th – Perspective), you’re welcome to revisit those posts if you want a refresher! I could dedicate an entire post to drains, but I won’t. You are welcome.
As a precaution, Jamie and I elected to remain in Atlanta Wednesday evening. We wanted to be close to Northside in the event I suffered any complications. Thankfully none arose, so we headed home Thursday. We were anxious to get back home to Mason. As far as pain, my pain level is a little higher than I experienced from my last surgery. My body has healed over time, so I have feeling in places that were numb previously. I was sent home with a great pain management plan, i.e. more percocet.
I will continue to rest and heal over the weekend and into next week. The plan is to be back in Atlanta in the next week or so for a plethora of doctor visits (oncologist, radiation oncologist, and my plastic surgeon). The best outcome is to set a date in late January to begin radiation. Fingers crossed we get this show on the road quickly.
The Whitley Hotel
Why am I talking about a hotel? If you remember from my post on October 8th – The Buzzer Range – Round Three Complete!, I mentioned our failed experiment with a corporate apartment. Jamie and I were planning on renting an apartment during my treatment. Thankfully, we abandoned that plan and went back to hoteling at The Whitley. (It is not lost on me that we are in a position to do that.)
The Whitley. They have been wonderful to the Krankings. As you can imagine, when I walk into the hotel, I may be wearing a wig, I may be hairless wearing only a beanie, I may be in a wig with a beanie, etc. Regardless of how I look, they always welcome me with open arms. Because we have been staying there every other week, the staff is familiar with my situation, they know us. They (and I mean all of the staff, from valet, to the front desk, etc) treat us like family.
To our utter surprise, the Whitley had planned a surprise for us. Unbeknownst to us, they upgraded us to a mega suite. When we walked into our room(s), we were met with a dozen gorgeous pink roses, a bottle of Moet Rose champagne on ice, a bouquet of balloons, and a deliciously beautiful cake to celebrate. To top it off, they had 2 cards for me signed by the staff at the Whitley. They wanted to celebrate my clean scan and end of chemo. It was very touching.
We interrupt this post for a message from our sponsors: THAT is customer service. That is why I choose to spend my personal and business dollars at Marriott hotels. The Whitley is shining example of how to treat customers and earn brand loyalty. As I embark on my next phase of 28 rounds of radiation in Atlanta, I am looking forward to calling The Whitley home.
As the new week begins...
It’s almost been 1 month since my last chemo. I am feeling stronger and better each day. Patience is not my strong suit, but I am patiently waiting on my hair, my eyelashes, and my eyebrows to start growing again. It is a slow process. It is ironic that I continue to look sick on the outside but am feeling better than ever. Soon my outward appearance will match my inward. In the meantime, I have wigs, glorious wigs! And beanies...
I also have returned back to work. I am easing back in as I navigate the radiation phase of my treatment while working. There are no words to express how grateful Jamie and I for for our SAP work family. The support we both have received during this time has been humbling and much appreciated.
This journey has proven to be a winding road, but everyday I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.