Saturday, October 20, 2007

Not for the feint of heart

I decided that my first post, post-surgery should be my latest excuse of why I have not posted for awhile. (I tried to get in the Guiness Book of World Records for the most uses of the word "post" in one sentence but failed. If only I had had the beverage "Postum" during my recent hospital stay, I would've been able to put that in the sentence and I just may have succeeded. Maybe next time.) Anyway, there she is in all of her glorious splendor. My Schwanoma. (I have assigned a gender (girl), and am thinking of a name for my growth. Any suggestions will be duly noted.)

I suppose that I should give a little history for all that have not heard of my sad, sad plight. This is a tale sure to inspire, excite, and even make you shed some tears. On Sunday, September 23, I woke up having chest pains and difficulty breathing. Jon was already at Bishopric meetings, so I called him and he came home and took me to the E.R. (For those of you that want a play by play, not to mention reassurance that we didn't just leave our three sleeping children at home, we dropped them off at a friends on our way to the hospital.) I was mortified to be 30 years old and having chest pains. I figured that either the yummy food that I had been enjoying of late had caught up with me, or that the entire bishopric and our friend watching our kids had just been notified that I was a snively wuss who went to the E.R. at the slightest provocation. Anyway, when we got to the E.R. we got right in. (Something I learned to avoid long waits in the E.R. is always come in, complaining of chest pains. You get right in, at that point you can explain your real reason for going in.) To make a long story (and not even the most exciting part) short, they did a chest x-ray, saw something on it and then did a CAT scan to confirm. Apparently, there was a HUGE growth on my right lung. On Wednesday, I went to a Pulmonologist, who then sent me to a Thoracic surgeon, and I had a Thorocotomy (surgery where they make an incision on the upper back, cut through the muscles and spread the ribs. A surgery that they say is more painful that open heart surgery because of the involvement of so many muscles) on Friday morning. That's right. All in the course of less than a week. When they sent my little cantaloupe-sized friend to pathology, it turns out that it wasn't a cyst like they thought, but a tumor called a "Schwanoma." My doctors have all been amazed that I haven't had problems earlier because of the size of this thing. They say that I have, most likely, had this for a long time and it is not very often that they get this big. Yeay me for not listening to my body earlier! I have been having pain there for the past five or so years. I just figured that the pain was situational from sitting too long or something like that. Had I listened, they would have been able to to do the surgery with a scope instead of a big incision. Much less painful and much easier recovery.

So now I am three weeks out of surgery and am half-way through the 6-8 week recovery where I am not supposed to lift anything (including Ella, fat chance!). I am amazed at how quickly I am healing and know that I am being really blessed. My mom was able to come stay with us for awhile and left on Tuesday and we know that we have had a lot of prayers being said in our behalf. I have been very humbled through this process and have gained an even greater testimony of the power of the Priesthood and the power of prayer. We feel blessed to have such amazing friends and family that love us so much.

A funny little story about the picture. Maya inadvertently saw this picture while I was still in the hospital. She was very concerned (not to mention completely grossed out) and asked if they had "removed Mommy's heart." Then later when she came to visit me in the hospital, she stopped in the doorway before she would come in and asked me if my surgery was contagious. I told her it only happened to naughty little children, so I have been getting some mileage and quite well-behaved kids out've my plight. j/k.