Sorry for being MIA

In my last post, I wrote about my rough day. I thought that would be it but I realize that was wishful thinking. On Tuesday, my nerve blockers wore off completely and I didn’t have a whole lot of pain medicine readily available since they took my morphine pump. All in all – Tuesday was just a big painful day.

Wednesday I woke up and I thought it was going to be a great day. I woke up early, watched some Netflix, walked around a little bit, was about to take a shower but then all the sudden… BOOM. I became very weak, light headed, dizzy, went from cold to hot and cold to hot back to cold. Turned out I had a fever that was 101.6.

When my parents got there they took amazing care of me. I don’t know where I’d be without them. As the day progressed, my fever got higher. My doctors we worried and so the ordered a ton of tests like blood, urine, x-ray, and a CT scan. Everything came back normal except the did find a little bit of fluid on my lungs (which explains why I’m having shortness of breath).

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This morning (around 3AM), they made me start on some breathing treatments. I don’t like those. Today has been a great day though. I woke up pretty early and felt awesome. No fever, no nothing. I got up and my mom and I cleaned my room, ordered room service, and took a nice walk. When we got back, I had a few bites of my grits and then felt full so I put it away. About 15 minutes later, I had my first episode of dumping.

For those who don’t know what dumping is, it is something that happens when food or fluids move too quickly through your digestive track. Dumping is most often caused my foods that really don’t agree with you (i.e. sugar or high fiber foods). Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, weakness, rapid heart rate, abdominal craping, or even diarrhea.

The cramping is intense. But  I got some medicine and even though you basically just have to wait it out – it was survivable. Now I’m back to my old self! The rest of today should be a great day. I’ll be here a few more days so if you want to come by, just let me know!

Thanks for your prayers!!!

Chesney

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Jan 18, 2016

Today has been rough.

 

Everytime I think I’m doing well, I end up taking a step back. Please don’t think I’m throwing a pity party, asking for attention, or asking for encouragement to be thrown at me every which way. I will gladly accept all prayers, encouragement and love that you all send my way.

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Last night I slept really well. So well, in fact, that I did not wake up once to restart my pain medicine. When I woke up around 4AM, I all the sudden couldn’t breath and was begging my nurse to get me something (I’m in tears at this point). He gave me a medicine called toradol…it helped for the time being.

All day i had pretty consistent pain. They took my morphine away and make me walk a lot and work on something recovery related that i probably should have been able to do yesterday.My nurses got on to me quite a bit.

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Oh! I ate a solid today… mashed potatoes… normally I’d go crazy for mashed potatoes but they really didn’t sit well or taste good. Back to chicken broth! Yay!  It is actually very tasty so don’t feel too bad for me. Anyways, thats about it for today!

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Love to all!

 

The itch is real

Today started out pretty rough. my stomach hurt, I was nauseous, my head hurt, and I was getting hangry. My night nurse, Susan (bless her soul), is awesome though and has done everything in her power to make me comfortable. I went to sleep for a couple of hours and woke up again at 6, decided that was still too early and slept in until around 8.

Last night and today I have been incredibly itchy. My best guess is that the morphine is causing me to itch. I told my nurse and she helped give me a sponge bath and that helped a lot. After my bath, I took a long walk. They say the faster you can move around, the faster your recovery will be so last night and this morning I walked for about 20 minutes and then this afternoon my dad and I walked about a half-mile.

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This chicken broth was AMAZING

From what I can tell – it really is true. The more you help yourself, the faster you’ll heal. So – for those of you who have to have a total gastrectomy in the future, start running, walking, jogging, get on the elliptical because I have no doubt that since I have a pretty strong heart, it’s helping me feel better and want to be better. Some more advice: take advantage of the fact that you can drink water. That goes for everyone. I had about 3oz of apple juice and I was filled up. Water is gross now, which is sad.

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Right after my late walk! Resting for a minute

Love to all! Thanks for reading and keeping up!

 

Day 3: Blanket!

Brooke finished my blanket. It turned out better than I could have ever asked. Last night, Jim brought it up to the hospital and we face-timed Brooke. 12443792_10153864882188522_1483518093_oThat surprise was really great and I was so excited. It’s funny how the little things in life make such a big difference.

So far – day three hasn’t been all that bad, believe it or not. I woke up pretty much on the hour every hour to give myself a pump of morphine. Then this morning we had a little bit of a scare. My blood pressure was 80/40 and I had a temp of 101.3. I’m feeling much better though because I did some breathing exercises that my nurse told me to do.

Hopefully I’ll be able to walk around today! My doctor said that today is going to be a big day. I’m ready to walk… I’ve hated laying in bed all day but I know it was necessary up until this point. I’ll keep you all posted!

Day Two – Post Op

This is Chesney’s mom, sitting bedside in the recovery room. The first night was rough, pain wise, but all her physical vital signs are good. Her spiritual signs are good, too. When you are in great pain and drugged, there is no filter; what you are inside wells out. What I hear coming out, over and over, is compassion and kindness – for the man in the next bed, the nurses on their feet all night, the emergency ha
ppening across the room, her tired dad driving back and forth.
It just struck me how Christlike this is. When he was in great pain on the cross, his words were of comfort and compassion for those around him. I know what I’m seeing here is a result of the Holy Spirit in her, which is tangible evidence that he is working healing in her physical body, too. Day Two is beginning well.

No Stomach – Day 1

This is Chesney’s dad- she wanted me to post an update for everyone.

ChesRecoverySurgery went well. It was long, though. Six hours instead of the planned four. Nothing unusual, but our doctor did a lot of looking and had the pathology team in the OR looking too. He took out her stomach,  all the lymph nodes around it, and gall bladder.  The good news is that the stomach and lymph nodes gave no visible signs of tumors or cancer. This indicates that any cancer they do find is probably very similar to the biopsy – early Stage 1.

Her gall bladder was a little scarred and inflamed, but it did not look cancerous. This may have been the root cause of other issues she has been having.

Right now she is in a lot of pain. I mean, a lot. She has never experienced this level of pain before and it’s not something you can prepare for. The drugs are working, but the pain comes in waves that at times seem to be unbearable. In her words last night “…morphine is my friend.”

They will have her sitting and possibly standing by the end of the day. Sometime in the next 24 hours they will do a test to ensure there are no leaks in all her new plumbing.  They are telling us to expect 5-7 days in the hospital, it just depends on how well she can become mobile and swallow food and water (small amounts).

Chesney did want me to thank everyone for your prayers -they are deeply appreciated. Our prayers for today are (1) pain management and (2) strength as she begins her recovery and (3) that no lymph nodes will have cancer.  We experienced the power of prayer and God’s grace yesterday as family and friends came to support us and stood by our sides during our vigil in the hospital waiting room.  Please continue to lift Chesney up.

One Week

It is getting more and more real. Today especially.

Yesterday I spoke with the founder of No Stomach for Cancer, Karen Schreiber, for about 45 minutes. It was great talking to someone who’s been through the surgery who knows what to expect. That is probably what I’ve been most nervous about. Just not knowing…

I know it may sound silly, but not knowing what is going to happen is my biggest fear and the cause of most of my anxiety. No one knows everything. But we have to trust in God that he knows everything and what he puts us through will always make us better – even if it seems otherwise in the moment. But still – it is terrifying not knowing what is next. For example – not knowing how long your stay at the hospital will be… how much will it hurt… how long will I be inactive… how long will my recovery take… will I need chemo…?

I desperately don’t want chemo. At first it was for vanity’s sake. But now I realize that was silly of me and the real reason I’m terrified of having chemo is because I don’t want to be looked at and immediately people think, “she has cancer…” or “oh, she’s sick” or the worst of all… “she is limited.”

Know this… I am not limited. I never have been – I never will be.

Cancer will not get the best of me and I refuse to let anyone ever think that I have given up. If I have to have chemo – fine. But it will not change me. I may not feel well some days but I will always choose joy over misery. I will always choose to persevere over defeat and you can bet I will always choose to love my Jesus over doubting his mercy and grace. My faith will be challenged but I’m ready. The devil can shoot me down and throw my family in every which way and he can make life near unbearable for us but I know without a doubt we will stand tall.

So yes – I am scared. But I’m ready. Life will be very different from now on but I know we will be “ok.”

And that, my dear friends, is a quote from Jesus, himself.