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.

19 comments:

Lydia said...

My goodness!! I am glad to hear you are recovering well :o)

I think you should just name it "Schwanoma"! It sounds like it could be a southern gal's name :o)

Musicmom-Amy said...

Tuesday night was the first time I had even heard about this. SO glad that you are okay. Do the docs know how this type of tumor happens? Well, you LISTEN and do everything you are told to do for your recovery. You reall ywill be back up and going sonner than you think. Don't overdo yourself. You're amazing!

Yes, Schwannie should be a wonderful name for your new "friend".

BIG HUGS!!!

Jennifer said...

Holy Mackerel!
I'm really glad that you are healing well.

I personally think that you should name her "Tooma"!

Tanya said...

Let's be honest, Jenny...I think you are aiming at the wrong target here. "Post"?? No! Maybe you should try to get in Guiness for having the largest Schwanoma ever. She's enormous!! How much did that sucker weigh? My vote is still out on a name. I will ponder and return.
I have to say that I'm amazed that three people commented before me. I check your blog faithfully, (although I should have stopped ages ago...same, same, same, same) and I thought for sure I'd be the first. I'm impressed. But at the end of the day, I'm just glad you're posting again. Well, and feeling better. I'm not totally heartless...but it sounds like Maya thinks YOU are. :) j/k

JenM. said...

L: I think there might actually be someone in Maya's class with that name...

A: There are cells in our nervous systems called "Schwan Cells" that help relay messages between nerves. A Schwanoma happens when Schwan cells go completely crazy. So, she grew from nerves on my lung. Really, really rare that they get very big.

J: I have officially entered "Tooma" in my poll.

T: They say faith can move mountains and that you can accomplish anything through the power of prayer... apparently I don't have enough faith and did not pray hard enough because I was really faithing and praying that she would weigh at least 30 pounds (which would put me right at my goal weight.) Sadly, throughout this ordeal, I have only lost about five pounds. (All of which have been gained back because of all of the fatty, yet oh so delicious meals that have been brought in by my soutnern friends.)
Don't get your hopes up about more posts anytime soon. We still have an ancient computer that is SLOOOOOOW and will turn off at random times. Ryan actually tinkered with it last night to get it faster with little success. I will just wait until you move here and go to your house and use your computer daily. (We really are excited about you guys moving here and not just for your superior technology, either!)

Tanya said...

Ryan fixing a computer? Laughable!! It's as laughable as when my grandma would call Ryan a doctor. (I guess rug doctor applies!) She had a little crush on him but had obviously idealized a few things. She once told me if she was 40 years younger she'd give me a run for my money. Ryan informed me that since she was in her 90's at the time, even at 50, he wouldn't be interested. :) Call Jason next time!
We are also looking forward to moving there. It will be great to be back together as a family. And, it will be fun to hang out with you guys. The trailer we rent is going to be kickin' so you will want to come over for more than our technology!!! Trailer and a big screen ...we're SO Southern!! But, once you use my Mac, I think you will want to cross over to the good side!! We're out to convert.

Courtney said...

Did I just hear the word Mac? Ugh!

:)

I think you should name it "little poser", because it looks like a wanna-be organ of some type. Are they sure that sucker didn't FUNCTION in some way? :)

Glad you're back!

Card Family said...

Ma Ma Ma my Schwanoma...catchy : ) I'm so glad to hear that you are recovering well : ) ((((Hugs)))))

Jenni said...

No offense... but that picture is nasty! I have to hurry and skip over the picture to read the blog to minimize the queaziness. So it being a tumor - is it benign I hope? Fascinating - during my quick view. Can you take it off your blog now?

Jason said...

It has your eyes... and jones nose...

JenM. said...

As the hospital bills are costing more than that of any of the births of our children, we are considering it a fourth child. Thanks for the compliment Jason, I think I will name it after my favorite youngest bro (which would, of course, necessitate a gender change.)

JenM. said...

By the way Jason, who's "Jones"? Typing can be a tricky, tricky thing.

Kay said...

So Maya now has a little sister then? Yikes! I think Shania Schwanoma would be a cool name for your little alien! Glad you are okay. Take care of yourself.

Lewis Family said...

Sadi says Carla should be her name. Carla Schwanoma. lol yea and exactly how is that suppost to be pronouced.
I am so glad you are up and out and at least feeling a little better. You look great,and we all love ya. Hugs.

Musicmom-Amy said...

Have you gone MIA girlie??!!! Hope all is well.

Musicmom-Amy said...

Let's get you back to peeking in on your blog. You've been tagged!!! Go to my blog to get the details. We NEED your sense of humor. :O)

Tyler said...

You have got to be the worse blogger in the history of blogging.

Jenete said...

Wow Jen that is quite the picture I knew it was big but goodness! I am guessing by now you are feeling pretty good and you just have an incision to remind you of the whole ordeal. I liked Maya's comments:)

Alana said...

I am so glad you are doing so much better. (sheesh a whole year has passed and I'm just now commenting?) Do you have another blog? I'd love to snoop on your family. Your comments on my blog have been really fun to read.