Thursday, April 27, 2006

Random thought

I am making The Best Meat Loaf Ever for supper tonight. I just felt a little spit of energy and managed to complete the task of mixing it all together and putting it in the oven. I did have a little craving for it that motivated the energy. DH has been so good at cooking supper and lunch since I have been operated upon. I thought a little break would be good for him. We have eaten take out enough in the last week too though. This may be the be the beginning of me getting back into my role as housewife/supermom.

My little angel comes home in 2 days! Yay! I can't wait to see him and be exhausted by him again. I miss his little hugs and kisses and even the way his genius eyes roll when I annoy him.

Wish I was creative enough to think of a title

Anyway, I saw the endocrinologist yesterday. Another 2 grand out the window. I guess the only thing I got out of this appointment was the knowledge that I will have to do the radioactive iodine within 4 weeks of giving birth. And he put me back on the synthroid so hopefully I will start having some energy again.

Went to the ENT and she took my stitches out and gave me a gross picture of my thyroid that was taken during surgery. When she said it was 8cm, I really didnt think that sounded too big, but it looked like a good 6 inches of bright red steak...coming out of a slit in my throat. Graphic arent I?

Also saw the OB today and got my glucose test done. Now to wait for those results. I doubt anything else will go wrong, but I could be mistaken. My midwife is confident that she and the lactose consultant on their staff can help me thru my radioactive time and I will be able to breastfeed the new baby. Sure pumping and dumping for 2 weeks is not discouraging to anyone right? I dont want to go into my breastfeeding rant right now. I want to do it, so I am going to try and if I get pushed away in favor of a bottle, then so be it. It wont be my choice, it will be the baby's.

A little bit of Thankful Thursday for you: I am thankful that I got a nap today after my appointments. I needed some down time. I am also thankful the stitches are out and my incision doesnt itch so bad.

DH and I went to the local video store and opened an account. Just so we could rent some PS2 games cause we were bored. So I have been playing some Harry Potter just to get away from watching TV shows that upset me or bore me. I watched Dateline's Internet Pedophile Predators last night and was yelling at the idiots on TV. I have 3 little sisters and two of them are on the internet chatting a lot. They are 14 and 16 and I have warned them both of the dangers of too much information and how disgusting it is to have dirty conversations on the internet. Not only do you not know who you are talking to, but you dont need to hear half the crap that those dirtbags come up with. I tell them that if they ever chat with some dude who says he is 16 or whatever and that he is cute and wants to do stuff with them, just keep in mind that he could really be one of their friend's dirty grandpa or uncle. I proceed to paint a picture of the dirtiest, ugliest old guy imaginable and get them a nice mental image so that they remember it every time they open a chat window. I am told they only chat with their friends from school but I guess you never know.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New pics

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Still alive...TMI

Well surgery went well apparantly. The good news is that the baby stayed perfect during the whole thing. He kept his heart rate steady despite the anesthesia in our bodies and he kept the nurses entertained by kicking me thru the surgery too.

I went in Wednesday morning bright and early at 6am. I had been called on Tuesday by the Ear Nose and Throat office because they thought my blood clotting levels were abnormal and they wanted me to come in and get rechecked. Well I was still in Kansas so that was a no go. I told them I would come in early and they could check them again before surgery, so thats what we did. I got in, put on a hideous gown and the terrible matching booties. Then they put me in a bed, took some blood and hooked up my IV. They did give me nice warm blankets to cover up with, but they didnt help me relax much.

A couple of OB nurses came and hooked me up to a monitor and listening to my baby's heartbeat up until I got into the OR was comforting. My mom and my wonderful hubby (more about his wonderfulness later) were around all day. They both waited in the waiting room and came in to see me before they wheeled me into the OR. DH made jokes about hot doctors and mom entertained/annoyed the nurses with little bits about her labor with me. Seems like we told every employee of the hospital that I was having my thyroid removed due to surgery and that I was pregnant AND that I have another baby at home. Then I told most of them that I was having a second boy and then Aidan is 3 and I will name this one Aric. If they wanted to know my bra size and how I wipe my butt, they probably would have found out.

Anyway, I was finally ready for surgery at 10 til 8. They had been giving me antibiotics thru my IV and waiting on blood results from 6am til then. I was put on a crazy skinny bed and then my arms tucked in to the blanket. I was introduced to several doctors and nurses and lord knows why cause I didnt remember any of them after. Someone made me take deep breaths of air thru this mask thing. I told her that the smell of the plastic was making me nauseaus and she said that would go away in a minute and to just take a few more deep breaths. I remember trying to keep my eyes open and looking at everyone standing there, and then I was out.

Almost 3 hours later I wake up and I am being taken to a room. I couldnt see much cause I didnt have my glasses on, but I heard DH and mom asking what room I was going to. So I get in this little room and finally wake up. I dont remember much about that first day. It comes and goes. I know they gave me shots of demerol in my thighs for pain and I really hated that. I didnt understand why they couldnt just give me something in my IV. I guess they just wanted to see if they could put me into any more pain.
I had a big bandage all around my neck and mom said there was a shit-ton of blood in my hair. DH looked really worried and I wasnt talking much or moving. I managed to shake my head yes or no and thats about it. I gave a thumbs up to DH to assure him that I was alive. They came in and kept taking blood and monitoring my vitals and the baby. I drifted in and out and mom made sure that they were on time with my pain shots. I was able to get out of bed and pee whenever I wanted to. It was like every 2 hours and it smelled weird. Apparantly they gave me a cathater and a tube down my throat and I didnt know about either one. Fine and dandy with me. I wizzed into a hat and they seemed pleased with my output.

I got a roommate who had had knee replacement surgery. If there wasnt a nurse coming in the room to bug me, there was one coming in to bug her and it bugged me. She snored too so I had terrible sleep those two nights. I threw up twice due to the pain and medications. It seemed crazy to me cause I had absolutely nothing in my stomache to puke, but nonetheless, stuff came up.
Thursday morning one of my OBs came in and said he was happy to hear that everything went well so far and that he didnt have to see my baby yet. Then my ENT came in and cleaned my incision and removed the drain she put in. She said that she removed my whole thyroid gland. They tested it and it was papillary with follilicular carcinoma. Basically that means I have both kinds of well-differentiated cancers of the thyroid and both are the "best kinds to have" if you have to have a cancer in your thyroid cause they are easiest to treat. There were no other signs of cancer being spread to my lymph nodes or throat or further.
Then she said she was concerned because my hemoglobin was low and so was my calcium level. So I had to stay in the hospital to get those under control. I was also kept on antibiotics to prevent infection. They put in a 2nd IV to run calcium thru and on top of that they made me drink little potassium and calcium drinks that are more disgusting than you would think a vitamin drink would be. I had my choice of mixing with apple or cranberry juice and cranberry seemed to taste slightly better, but I just chugged it down to get it over with. I took all my pills and drinks and tried my best to eat as much as I could the whole day. All that calcium they were giving me made me have to pee every hour. I am betting that this baby never has a broken bone in his life because of all the vitamins I had those 2 days.

They let me go home on Friday after the last blood test showed that my hemoglobin was good and that my calcium hadnt gone down any. It was at 7.1 and the last test showed 7.2 so they let me go. As soon as they said I was okay to go, I went. They said no hurry and it was right after lunch and as soon as I was done eating I called for my wheel chair and mom and DH had me all packed and we were out of there. I went home and crashed in silence with no annoying nurses. My mom cleaned a little and then she left on Saturday morning. I am on calcium supplements and more antibiotics. The calcium supplements are needed because the parathyroid glands somehow are involved with the body's ability to process calcium. I had always thought we mainly need calcium for strong teeth and bones, but apparently a shortage of calcium can lead to seizures and numbness, in the span of a single day. I also take my prenatal vitamin and a colace and tylenol 3. I think I take over 20 pills a day and I will be glad when that is over.

I have just been dragging around since I got home. DH is a saint. He keeps my icepack full and brings me my meds when its time and always makes sure I have enough to drink and eat at all times. He is off work all week to take care of me. Aidan will be back this weekend from his grandmas. He called me tonight and was crying saying he wanted mommy. Such a heartbreak to know that he misses me, but I will see him in a few days and I reassured him of that.

Sometime after the baby is born, I'll be given radio-tagged iodine. Any thyroid cells that are left in my body -- including thyroid cancer cells that were spread elsewhere -- will light up under a scan. If any do -- and they almost always do in the first scan after an operation -- they'll give me a dose of slightly more radioactive iodine. The thyroid cells will suck up this iodine and blow themselves to kingdom come. (Thyroid cells absorb iodine, an ability passed on to cancerous thyroid cells, and an ability that makes thyroids uniquely treatable for cancer.) After about a day or two, I'll pass this iodine out of my system and out into the sewers, and everyone will be happy.

I am not real happy about the radioactive iodine thing. I talk with the endocrinologist today and see what he says about it. I want to be able to breastfeed as much as I can so I am going to see how soon this NEEDS to be done. And since I wont be able to be around my babies or my husband until I am less radioactive, I want to be able to have bonded and done the newborn stuff before he has to be away from me. Breastfeeding is the most important though. Well besides my health, but you know.

Well I didnt realize I had written a book already. I want to send a shout out to all those who were praying for me and kept me in their thoughts. You are all much appreciated and I really am greatful for your support thru everything.
I have a picture of my incision and my flowers from the hospital...and some family/spring pictures we had taken before the surgery(Like the one above). I will try to get those posted later today after my appointment if I am not too exhausted when I get back.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Going under the knife...

I will be going back to Kansas tonight to spend Easter with my dad and then my mom and I will drive back to Illinois together on Tuesday.

My surgery is bright and early Wednesday morning. I have had all my pretests and got poked by two dumb nurses. I always tell those morons that they have to use a butterfly needle cause I have small veins and they move. But the first nurse couldnt get it on the first stick so she called in "biggest lady I've ever seen!" to try. She used a giant needle and left a huge bruise. She was big so she had to leave her big mark on everything apparantly.

Anyways, the anesthesiologist gave me the rundown on the drugs I would get during surgery. I will have gas to put me under and then they have to put a tube in my throat to help me breathe. Then they will take 2 hours to do the surgery. They are going to take my whole thyroid out. Hopefully there wont be any spread of the cancer and they can get everything.

There is a risk of premature labor. I am only 26 weeks so we need baby to stay in there a while longer.

I am already started on synthroid, a thyroid replacement drug. We'll see how this makes me feel the next few days until the surgery. But I will have to take this pill everyday for the rest of my life. I really hate that fact.

Well anyway, I will post again when I get home from the hospital.

Happy Easter!!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Aidan's birth story

I decided to post this because soon I will have another birth story and I want to see how they compare. It was 3 years ago, but lets see if I can remember all of it. LOL

I was due on the 18th, but nothing happened all day that day. I was living with my mom at the time and we lived out in the country about 30 minutes away from my hospital. Plus it was February and we were expecting snow. I was so uncomfortable and I really wanted to have Aidan out. I walked and ate and then just gave up and went to bed. Around 11 that night, I started getting braxton hicks contractions. They were irregular and I had had pleanty of them in the last few months so I was used to them. I just laid in bed and kept timing them so that if they got to a regular 10 minutes apart, then we would leave for the hospital. I timed them until 2am and they were 15-18 minutes apart and none of them hurt.

Well I fell asleep and woke up fine the next morning. I had an appointment at 8:30 so we left the house early and got McDonalds and then stopped by mom's work office to tell them she was going to be late. We went into the doctors office and he checked me and I was 2 cm dialated and he decided that I could go that day. He stripped my membranes, which is very uncool. I felt like he was testing my tonsils through the wrong end. Then he sent me over to the L&D. When I got all checked in, we called my DH, who was then just my BF. We told him not to hurry cause it was probly going to take a while.

They hooked me up to a belt to watch for contrax and monitor baby's HB. The nurses came in around 11am and said that I should try walking around or whatever I could to get my contractions going stronger and more. So I walked around the floor. There were no babies in the nursery to look at. There was another girl having a baby in the room next to mine. The funny thing is that the night before, I went to my first childbirthing class. I had to work when they had the first round of classes and the second round started on my due date, but the lady teaching the classes was the mom of one of my high school friends and she said I had to come if I hadnt already had the baby. We watched all the videos and saw all the contraptions that could be used. Then we took a tour of the mommy floor. The room they had open to show us was the exact same room I was in for my labor. It was a great room with a fold out couch and recliners and a jaccuzi tub.

Well after my uneventful walk, I decided to take a dip in the ol jaccuzi. I mean how often do you get to have a great bath? I sat in there for about an hour. Then the nurse checked me again and I was at 4 cm. At about 5pm DH was there and had told all of his family so they were all showing up too. The contrax were starting to hurt a little so they hooked me up to an IV and gave me a little pain shot along with some Pitocin. At about 6pm I was only 5cm so the doc came in and broke my water and then the pain really got worse. So mom got me the nice epidural man. She was totally flirting with him and I was in tons of pain, but he got the job done and then I wanted to flirt with him. That was at about 8pm.

So the epidural really helped me relax and I got to 10cm at about 10:30pm. I had my mom on one side and DH on the other side holding up my legs and I pushed for almost an hour. They had to give me an episiotomy cause the doc said it would help him come out. He finally came out at 11:28 pm. They laid him on my stomach for a few minutes while mom and DH decided who was going to cut the cord and finally my mom did it. Then the nurse took him and held him upside down and measured him and wrapped him up.

There was a student doctor in with my doctor and she stitched me up. She was doing the stitches and the doc and nurses were watching and she says, "How's that?" and the doc said, "It looks beautiful." And I was like, "Yeah frickin fabuolus crotch isn't it? Can I have my baby now?" and everyone laughed at me and then finally gave me my baby back. He weighed 7lbs and 9oz and was 20.5inches long. The doc said that my son was, "hung like an italian stallion." That is something I needed to know about my just born son. Then my doc asked if I wanted him circumsized and I said yes and he said he would be back to check on me tomorrow, and he left.

I know I will definitely get another epidural this time. I dont know if there was anything that I hated about the delivery. I think having a really great student doc do my stitches was a good thing cause she really was great at it. I could tell she really wanted to be a good doctor. I think maybe this time I will just have DH and my sister in the room with me cause DH really didnt like being pushed around by my mom. She basically made herself first in line for everything and he felt like a third wheel. He is definitely going to be more ready for everything this time.

Case of the Monday's

I think out of 100%, I only like being pregnant about 20%. After the morning sickness and the overall fatigue and moodiness, I think the only good thing is feeling the baby and the excitement. The waiting and the stress of worry and picking a name, does not make things easier.

I was sick last night and I am not sure if its any better yet. I totally lost all the supper I ate. I made good spaghetti last night too and it all frickin came back up. I dont think it was a morning sickness thing either. I did throw up a pop tart the other morning, but aside from that I haven't had morning sickness for over a month. You would think that I would be over that phase since I am 6 months pregnant.

I wish something tasted good, or sounded good. I think ice cream is about all I really ever want.

I have 3 days of appointments starting tomorrow. A physical, a meeting with an endocrinologist and pre surgery tests. As usual, I am not fond of getting stuck with needles and I do not look forward to hours of waiting rooms.

This weekend we are going back to Kansas for Easter. We always have lots of family to see when we go back. I wish they all would just come to us, but that never happens. Then I am going to drive back with my mom Tuesday night so she can be here while I have the surgery. If I dont drive back with her, I am sure she will come anyway, but she just doesnt want to get lost. And its not like I have anything to do those two days anyway. If I were home, I would just lay on the couch all day and drive my self crazy with trying to clean everything.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Surgery planned

I went to the Ear Nose and Throat doc today. She did a vocal cord test which was as bad as getting a pap smear. They numb the back of your throat and clear out your nose and then stick the camera tube thru your nose and into your throat and make you talk while they watch and take pictures. My eyes were watering and my nose was runny and I looked like a big bawl baby. It was uncomfortable and annoying. But the good news is that my thyroid and the nodules are not constricting on my vocal cords or esophagus.

Well then she said that she had talked to my OB and its okay to go ahead with the surgery. They have a certain general anesthesia in mind to use for me. So we scheduled surgery for the 19th. After they cut me open they will either take just the left side, but probably the whole thyroid. Then I will have to take a pill to compensate for the thyroid hormone for the rest of my life. After I deliver the baby I will have a radioactive iodine test to see if there are any pieces of thyroid left producing hormones in there. Then I will have to get blood tests and x-rays every 6 months for the first five years to make sure there is no cancer left.

The next couple weeks are going to be so busy for me with all these sucky appointments.I have to go back to the ENT on the 11th for a history and physical. Then the Endocrinologists on the 12th to get my blood test results and another thyroid sonogram. He wants to make sure that my thyroid is definitely overactive so he knows what dose of thyroid hormone pills to give me after the surgery. The fact that it is overactive is another reason to get it out ASAP cause it is causing me to not gain as much weight as I should for the pregnancy. I am almost 7 months preg and they all think I look like 4 or 5 months. Then more blood tests and a chest x-ray at the hospital on the 13th.
Then we are going back to KS for the weekend for Easter dinners. Then surgery on the 19th.

So many sucky dr offices. I just hate taking Aidan in those places. DH gets off work and watches him most of the time so that I dont have to take him IN the appointment with me, but he really likes the waiting rooms, and the waiting rooms make me freak cause I dont want him catching something cause I really dont want any of us sick right now.

My mom plans on coming up and staying with us during the surgery cause I will have to be in the hospital for 2 days and then on bedrest for 2 weeks after. She is going to take Aidan back to KS with her when she leaves since I have to be on bedrest. They better do the surgery early in the morning cause I wont be able to eat before the surgery. They DO know that I am 25 weeks pregnant. I dont even know if I will be able to eat much after the surgery either though, depending on how much my throat hurts.

Ok enough blabbering. Now you all know the 411 on my situation. I never thought I would be 6 months pregnant and having surgery for cancer.