Friday, April 29, 2011

Birthday Wishes

Hello ladies and gentlemen, as you all have guessed, I survived my total thyroidectomy.  It wasn't easy nor pretty (seriously, my scar looks like a lady's body part on my neck).  The first night after my surgery was pretty awful.  First, it took them about four to five hours just to find me a room, and I ended up being the last person out of recovery.  As they were wheeling me to my floor, I saw my sweetie when the nurse pushed me around the corner.  The moment I saw him - bammmm.  I threw up all over myself.  It was like a freaking horror movie.

Loving boyfriend appears on screen.

Heroine pukes on herself.

And scene.

The anesthesia and I ended up duking it out that night, and I lost.  I couldn't stop getting sick and couldn't hold anything in my stomach.  The second trip to the little girls' room I made that night - it ended with me passing out and waking up to eight or so medical professionals surrounding me.  The nurse's aid was helping me to the sink.  I could feel myself getting weak and everything was getting quieter.  She asked if she needed to go get a chair for me.  I said yes and please get it quickly. 

When I woke up, I was wondering why they were waking me up from such a lovely dream.  I was surrounded by so many unfamiliar faces, telling me, "DON'T CLOSE YOUR EYES, LARA."  It was very nonsensical to me.  I was so sleepy - of course I wanted to close my eyes.  The nurse's aid told me that when I passed out and I was falling to the chair, I hit my head on the back of the wall.  I was also told later that my blood pressure was very low and I was hypocalcemic.  They kept injecting me with anti-nausea meds (one of which caused a nasty allergic reaction on my arm, ugh), and waking me up every hour to check my vitals.  They came close to moving me to a monitor floor, but ended up just putting me in a wait and see mode.

My surgeon told me around 8 that morning that my night O terror won me another night in the hospital.  Fantastic.  My roommate was an 80 something woman with dementia who kept yelling at the nurses.  At first I thought she was a little cray-cray.  After being woken up numerous times that night and the next, I understood why she kept yelling at them.  "Why won't you let me sleep?" she kept asking the first night.  The next night, I kept asking, "Why won't you let me sleep?"  Hope you're doing well, Gertrude.

I got released from the pokey around 10 in the morning on the second day, also known as my birthday.  My calcium levels are still low but my surgeon thinks I can manage it myself.  I was told if my extremeties start to go numb, I have to go to the emergency room and get on an IV of calcium.  So far, so good.

I don't know if it's the drugs or the fact that the fuzz on my head is really noticeable now... but I was in a fantastic mood yesterday for my birthday.  When my sweetie and I got home last night, I popped some painkillers and watched television.  He gave my birthday gift: the newest Harry Potter on DVD/Blueray.  Sweet!  Just what I wanted.  We ate the mini-cake my stepmom bought me for my birthday.  It was exactly the kind of birthday I wanted to have.

Every birthday from here on out is going to be special to me, but definitely not cause for celebration or partytiems.  I'm done with that - seriously.  This is going to sound completely sentimental of me and even borderline cliche.... Every birthday I have after my cancer diagnosis is a giant FU to cancer.  I was 30 years old when I was diagnosed, and now I'm 31.  Every year I get older, the more I can say, "I'm a X amount of year breast cancer survivor."  I think that's pretty darn cool. 

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes and the general get well sentiments.  I really appreciate it.  I promise you and more importantly, I promise myself that this is the year I'm going to get stronger.  30 sucked and I have a feeling that 31 is going to be the year I get better. 


  1. <3

    You rock.
    We love you lots, enjoy some relaxing 'vee or a good book and feel great soon.

    You are unstoppable dear. :)

  2. Sending lots of birthday love. You are a fighter.