I want to say thank you to all my caring friends out there who posted and/or e-mailed to give me some words of encouragement over the weekend. Saturday was rough. It actually took me by surprise, how emotional I was all day. The tears wouldn't stop coming, and that's just not me! I took the rest of the weekend to re-charge. I gave myself a few pep-talks. Like my friend, Ashley, (and cardiac rehab therapist) said "Tomorrow is a new day." I'm feeling better. I just have to get it into my head that this body of mine is different than the one I had two months ago. For one, it's CANCER-FREE! And two, it's healing. My lung capacity probably will never be what it was, which I'm still trying to wrap my head around... but at least I'm alive. It will get better. It's easy to forget how far I've come when I keep comparing myself to, well, myself. This morning I went back and read the posts I wrote in the hospital and right after surgery. My first mile on the treadmill post-surgery, 5 weeks ago, was 18:39. Today I went one mile in 12:40 and then my second mile in 11:48. With my set-back last week I decided today to have no expectations, just do what I felt I could do. I ran 4 minutes straight at 5.5, and then the last minute at 6.0. I was on the treadmill a total of 30 minutes (including warm up and cool down), and sweat dripped down my forehead. Euphoria. Today was a good day.
I have had a few people ask to see all my surgery pics since Jake only posted 4 or 5 of them while I was still in the ICU. So, for all you medical junkies (like me), these pics are for you. Enjoy! (Click the link below to read more. I don't want to make everyone see these pics if they don't want to.)
The picture my surgeon, Dr. Reid, took minutes before I headed into the operating room. I was ready to get the show on the road!
Getting my epidural.
I don't remember this picture being taken, so I assume the pill I was given 20 minutes before to make me a little loopy was working.
The epidural is in place, and I'm talking to the nurse (who I remembered had an accent. Can't tell you where she was from though.) She thought I was crazy for wanting surgery pics. Glad Dr. Reid was all for it!
Getting me onto my back so I can be put out and intubated.
The surgery is underway.
Me in a horribly uncomfortable position. I'm on my side and my right arm is draped across my body above my head. (No wonder my right shoulder hurt for a day or two after surgery!)
First glimpse into my chest cavity. We were told the purple tissue is the casing around my heart.
Stapling sections of my remaining lung that had been cut.
Not sure what tool this is, but it looks cool.
My lung being cut out.
Showing the bronchial airway where the tumor is.
70% of my right lung in my doctor's hands. The middle lobe looks darker and I wonder if it was because for a few months it was collapsed from the tumor and the lack of air caused the color (just an idea, medical people, correct me if I'm wrong.)
The tumor is down that hole.
My cavity after the lobes were taken.
Another shot with the flash on. I love this picture. You can see the bone, fat, tendons. Amazing!
What was left of my right lung after surgery, my upper lobe deflated.
4 layers of stitches. This is the last layer. (My skin isn't that wrinkly and weird looking. It's just a protective 'skin' put on for the surgery.)
Stitching the last layer.
Two chest tubes to drain the chest fluid from the surgery. The bigger one was taken out 8 days later and the smaller one was taken out the day I left the hospital.
Me in the ICU with my Grammy. (Jake says I looked dead.)
And me a few hours out of the ICU... not dead.