Saturday, May 1, 2010

Reba Carvalho sees Star Wars for the very first time!

As planned, I had my staples removed, all 30 of them, Tuesday.  I'm happy to report it did not hurt a bit.  I also had a bladder study which didn't go as well.  I continue on with my catheter, Dr. Duggan says I just need a little more healing time.  Hopefully this Tuesday Mr. Foley and I will finally part ways.  Oh and for those of you unfamiliar, Foley was the inventor of the catheter, hence me calling it Mr. Foley... a couple of you did not understand ;)

Thursday I saw both Dr. Xavier (my oncologist) and Dr. Duggan (my surgeon).  Dr. Xavier was ecstatic over my pathology and said, "you are going to be amongst the women in the 30% CURE rate group for your disease.  I am going to be a survivor!  Those words evoke such emotion and such thankfulness...  I have so much life to live and I am so grateful I get to live it.  I am going to watch Brenna and her family grow and experience life and that means the whole world to me.

The ever ambitious Dr. X wanted to start my chemo right away but Dr. Duggan believes I need more healing time (I do too).  Her words were like music to my ears, "We have time this go round".  I'm guessing I will start my next chemo in 3 weeks?  It's still unclear whether it will be inpatient or out.  Both doctors agreed my incision is healing very nicely and Dr. Duggan is pleased there has been no infection.

This healing process is proving to take a little longer than my first surgery.  I am still very sore and I move slowly.  The gas pain is slowly subsiding.  Every day life gets a little bit easier  :)

A big shout out to Brenna, Tate, Louisa, Rondi and Carl for getting me to all my doctor's appts this week and shuttling me around for errands.  A special thanks to Rondi for dinner last night and for bringing over Star Wars... Yep, I finally saw Star Wars!  Can you even believe it?  Only took me 30+ years.

I hope you are all having a really nice weekend.  May the Force be with you!


Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Ok, so I've been home for 2 days but unfortunately the gas pain and the catheter came home with me  :(  I've been feeling pretty crappy so I've been laying really low. 

I never did end up eating in the hospital.  My orders didn't get updated so they never upgraded my diet.  Plus this stay was a crazy one!  Perhaps it was a full moon while I was in?  I had an unpleasant roomate that made life very challenging for about 24 hours but thankfully they moved me to a saner room.  However the person they switched me with was having a rough time with confusion and had yanked her IV out.  There was also a man who would just yell and scream pretty much non-stop until about noon each day...  I tell ya, the hospital is no place to rest.

So I'm home dealing with this unrelenting gas pain and having my catherer, or Mr. Foley as I call it, follow me everywhere I go...  good times, not!  I'm slowly beginning to eat again which is nice  :)  Tomorrow I will go into Dr. Duggan's office to have my staples removed and to see if I can have Mr. Foley detached.  Cross your fingers for me!  As cool as it is to be able to pee standing up, I'm looking forward to feeling normal again.

It's hard to believe my first surgery was only 2 months ago today...  4 hospital stays, which included chemo, nuetropenic fever and another surgery, and I'm still kicking!  Jay thinks I may have a little shell shock from so much in so little time and he's probably right ;)  When I start feeling down I try to focus on how far I've come and the fact that I winning!!! 

Which, by the way, I meant to mention, all the cancer is out of my body with the exception of microscopic cells which my future chemo will take care of!  The pathology came back noting that all biopsies came back "no evidence of tumor".  Yahoooooooooooooooooooo!  Oh, and as far as me being a Zebra... well no longer!  I finally have an official diagnosis...  Grade 2 endometrial endometrioid carcinoma.  However, Dr. Duggan said because it traveled to my colon (the original surgery) she classified it as a Stage 4.

I feel fortunate to have such a clean pathology and I am thrilled I will have many more years added to this life of mine thanks to getting in there and getting things done.  Yeah it's been a lot but I'm alive!  I will be forever thankful to my doctors, my family, my friends and all the other cancer patients and people in general in this world that give me hope, love, support and motivation.

While my fight isn't over just yet, I do feel as though I've reached the summit.  May God continue to grant me the strength to see this thing through.

With love, Reba