Right now, this quilt is hanging in my bedroom for me to see and touch every day.
|As tradition would have it,|
grandma Marj always baked
our Christmas pies.
|All the girls in the early '80s.|
|The entire extended family photo.|
But I didn't want to leave the guys out. I wanted to create a new tradition, and so we have someone take a family picture with the husbands behind their wives. And if we are blessed to have my grandfathers side of the family join us at the Newport Beach Annual Boat Parade party at my grandparents condo, I am able to get a picture of the whole family together (that has only happened once so far, see photo above left).
It was good to have a fun Christmas because it would be a very short time and I would be going through surgery again for cancer on my right leg and pelvis. So, as New Year's passed by, our family made several trips to the hospital for final testing and pre-op procedures. The closer we came to surgery day, the more real it became to me that this was happening.
Friday morning, January 15, 2010 was finally here. We took my dad's Jeep to the hospital. Mom had offered me a sweatshirt to wear in the car on the way up as it was a chilly morning. I declined as I was warm in the house getting ready. Once we were in the car and had switched freeways, my body was shivering out of control. This was not a normal response for me.
We arrived at the hospital and dad dropped mom and I off at the door to the check-in area, while he parked the car. I was still shaking uncontrollably. Dad joined us before I was called back to check-in with insurance verification and final signatures. I was still shaking uncontrollably. My name was called with a group of people and we were taken to the pre-op rooms. I was still shaking uncontrollably.
I changed my clothes to the hospital gown, hair covering and booties they require for surgery, answered all the questions with the nurses and finished all the current vital signs. I was still shaking uncontrollably. Finally, the anesthesiologist came in to talk about my sedation. I was still shaking uncontrollably. He realized I was going to need a sedative now because I was shaking uncontrollably. After several minutes from taking the sedative, the shaking finally stopped and I was almost ready to be taken in for surgery. Once out, I would have no idea what was going on until I had been awakened again in recovery. Hopefully, I would not be shaking uncontrollably (LOL).
Well, considering the size of the tumor it was not a surprise at all the doctors had to do. The remaining portion of my right pelvic bone and part of the left bottom portion had to be removed. My bladder had surgical mesh from my previous surgery attached to it, and when they tried to remove it, it nicked my bladder so they had to bring in a urologist to fix it. The tumor went down my right thigh slightly and had wrapped around either an artery or a main blood vessel. If they had cut it out at that point, it would have cut off the blood supply to my leg and I would have lost my leg (which was why we had the first surgery to save the leg). After all of this in surgery, my body had so much less flesh, that I had what looked like a sink hole from my lower stomach to my thigh. Even with swelling, it looked concave (and part of it still does).
So, recovery was a little rough this time around. I didn't have the brace like I did in the first surgery, which I was very grateful for. However, without the majority of my pelvis, it was very hard to walk. As you might be able to imagine, there is virtually no stability for the right side of my body as my core structure has been removed because of this cancer. Life would be much different now than it had been for the past 17 months. Again, I would need to rely on the Lord for my strength, both physically and spiritually.
Next..."Going Home is Not All It's Cracked Up To Be."
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:1-3