Let me first start by saying that I am in very high spirits, and I have every right to be. The biopsy came back saying that indeed it was a giant cell tumor and it was benign. In case you were planning to hear about the beginning of my taper for IRONMAN FLORIDA, you might want to catch up with these couple of posts cheerleaders needed, the past 10 days, and I read your blog.
Well, it has now been a good 6 days since my surgery. I promise I have intended to update you on how the surgery went much sooner, but I have been quite exhausted with it all that I have literally fallen asleep many times typing mid-sentence. It’s kinda funny. It applies equally if I am talking or typing or reading. My niece was visiting this weekend and she would literally count down until I would nod off–she thought it was hysterical. And I bet it was. Nothing I can really do until I wean myself off of the meds–which I hope is sooner than later.
So a week ago I was worried about what we were dealing with, how long this would take, and when I would be back on my feet again and honestly today I am just thinking about the next time I can take my meds, go to the bathroom or do a lap around the kitchen with my walker. I am thankful for every moment I have and am trying to treasure them all, even if they are filled with itches and scratches.
Arrived at the hospital a ball of nerves just ready for a long nap. Everybody was so encouraging telling me to keep my chin up and that it would all be okay, but the only thing that was going to make me feel better was waking up in recovery hearing the report from the doctor. Got to spend a while with my parents as the surgery before me ran a couple hours over. We meet several people on the surgery team including the anesthesiologist, an orthopedic resident, and the surgery nurse and also got a visit from the doctor. In some small way it was comforting knowing that the doctor would take as much time as he needed to get the job done. When the time finally came to say goodbye to my parents we all cried a little bit, and then went on our ways. They would find out within an hour if it was was not cancer and the surgery team would be proceeding with the entire operation. From there I remember very little until waking up in the recovery room–and I feel very lucky about that. The nurse that was with me when I first woke up asked me if I was an Ironman–I had kept my Augusta 70.3 bracelet on to remind myself and the surgery team what I had accomplished. I remember reading an IM race report from @heidiruns where she had shown how she planted little reminders for herself along the way on the things she would encounter along her race day and figured this life event would need the same. The nurse’s question made me smile and did exactly what I had set out to do by wearing it.
Again, my parents and I waited for a while in the recovery room as there were no rooms available in the hospital for me. We were visited by the doctor and some other members of the surgery team who said everything went well and as planned. We asked how big it was and many objects were thrown out trying to figure out what was a comparable sized object to the now homeless tumor. Following this interchange, I can say with certainty that the tumor was larger than a walnut but smaller than a softball–there seemed to be some consensus on a pear or baseball but they also said they used 150 cc’s of freeze dried bone to pack the cavity.
Another post surgery treat was the morphine pump that was attached to my IV in the recovery room. The last major surgery I had (13 years ago) also came with a morphine pump and I remember feeling much better because of it.
Finally got to my room, just about the time of the staff shift change. It was quite a confusing time with people coming and going so my parents kissed me goodnight and I asked them to call me when they got home. Once I get all settled in my room, in the hospital bed with lots of pillows and the pump, I took a little look at my new reality and while I could see there was a difficult road ahead I was content.