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Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Scoop

I feel as if I don't even know where to start this post since things have been happening at a rapid pace over the last several weeks. And I'll apologize in advance, because it's not alot of fun information, but I'm documenting more for my sake than yours.

So after several weeks of not only being ill from chemo but having a crazy swollen IP (stomach) port as well as a crazy knot down near my belly button - both of which were incredibly painful - they admitted me to the hospital Monday morning (July 4). One of the few perks of being a cancer patient is that your doctor can simply place a phone call to the hospital and from the time we walked in the door until we were in our room was barely 10 minutes. They immediately did a CT scan and put me on two IV antibiotics. The CT tech ran the dye through my port, which is apparently a big no-no. This detail is important later on.

Wednesday, the doctor who did my colon surgery stopped by and decided the port had to come out because it was clearly causing some type of infection. The surgery was quick and pretty easy, and honestly not that painful.  Because it was an infection, he left both wounds open. I have one large 1.5 inch hole (height, width, and depth) from the port and a smaller hole near my belly button. Dr. W added two more IV antibiotics.

Remember how I said that surprisingly enough it wasn't that painful? It quickly became apparent that they were not going to stay pain-free after Dr. H came and unpacked and repacked them Thursday afternoon. Honestly, it was probably the worst thing that has happened to me in the last 4 months. I went on to have a complete and total sobfest meltdown the next time the wound had to be dressed. Did I mention this has to happen twice a day, and it will take a good month for them to heal? Maybe I'm being a baby, but I hate this more than anything else so far. And poor Brian is the one who has to take care of it at home.

Friday morning they let me go home. I woke up feeling really drained and was starting to have some stomach issues, but went home anyway. I felt worse and worse as the day progressed and by nighttime was having extreme issues. I was up the entire night without any sleep at all. I called the doctor and she gave me the option of waiting a few more hours before coming back to the hospital and I took her up on it. By Saturday afternoon it was clear that I was very dehydrated and a fever had developed so back to the hospital we went. 

When I arrived, Dr. W informed me that the lab results had just come back as positive for MRSA from my stomach. This is a big deal for several reasons. Number 1 I have cancer and cannot tolerate a long drawn-out infection. Number 2 if it is not treated correctly and quickly enough (remember that I had this issue almost a solid 2 weeks before they actually removed the infection?) the infection can go to your blood stream and that is a very, very bad thing. Not only did I have the MRSA infection, but the 4 antibiotics they gave me last week caused an infection in my bowels.

The good news is that after being horrifically sick for the past 24 hours, about 11:00 last night, I suddenly felt almost 100% better. I know that was a direct result of all of your prayers, and I desperately needed to feel better. I have never been so discouraged or miserable in my entire life. I am still feeling better this morning and I actually get to eat and drink, something I haven't done in 24 hours per doctor's orders.

I am going to be here at the hospital for quite a while. They're treating the MRSA with strong IV antibiotics and the bowel infection with oral antibiotics. I'm in isolation which means I can't leave the room and anyone coming into the room has to wear gown and gloves and shouldn't touch me.

My final health concern is that my remaining port is not working. After the CT tech used the dye in it, the port hasn't been functioning consistently and when I checked into the hospital yesterday, it wasn't working at all. This is important because I cannot get chemo without a port, but they cannot remove and replace the port while I have the MRSA infection. At this point, I don't see how I'll be able to have my next scheduled chemo on July 21. I have stage 3c ovarian cancer, people. I can't be missing chemo treatments!

Which brings me to those treatment changes I referenced last week. Because my IP port has been removed, I can no longer have the most effective treatment. They're changing my regimen, and the doctor assures me that the new regimen is almost as effective. And it's good, of course, that I was able to get 3 full cycles of the original chemo. The best news about the new chemo is that it is not nearly as tough on my body. I only go once every 21 days (instead of 3 times) and the side effects are less severe. Now my doctors have just got to get me well enough to have that treatment!

So there's the scoop. And bless you if you managed to read it all. :) I am so glad to be feeling better, but mostly grateful for the peace and calm I am currently feeling; something that has been missing for the past several days.

Psalm 16
1 Keep me safe, O God,
for I have come to you for refuge.
2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Master!
All the good things I have are from you.”
3 The godly people in the land
are my true heroes!
I take pleasure in them!
4 Those who chase after other gods will be filled with sorrow.
I will not take part in their sacrifices
or even speak the names of their gods.
5 LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
You guard all that is mine.
6 The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
What a wonderful inheritance!
7 I will bless the LORD who guides me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I know the LORD is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
9 No wonder my heart is filled with joy,
and my mouth shouts his praises!


31 comments:

Kimberly Geswein said...

Oh Melissa!!! Thank you for typing all of this out for us. I am praying for you to have the strength to ride out these difficult and dark days. My heart is with you!! Love you!

Leah said...

Hey Melissa, just ran across you on FB and can not imagine how I've missed you this long! :) I live very near to you, here in TN. I saw your blog, I'll be praying for you and your family lady. We just adopted my son Aiden from South Korea in March. Bless you and prayers all the way! :)

Amy said...

Oh Melissa! I'm just so so sorry that all of this has happened. I've been praying constantly and just wish there was more I could do. Thank you for taking the time to give us the lowdown because it helps me know how to pray more specifically. I'm so glad that you are feeling much better today and pray that it continues!

southernbelle886 said...

Melissa: Sending prayers your way. Your courage is inspiring. So thankful for God's hand on your life. Praying for quick healing, peace and clarity in upcoming days.

Elizabeth Frick said...

You are on my brain and in my heart all the time, my friend. I just cannot even imagine what you are going through, but you are a FIGHTER! And you are strong. And SO many people love you and are wishing all the best for you. I know you'll gain your strength back more and more each day. You are truly an inspiration to so many.

Mayme said...

Glad that you are feeling better today.

MRSA....what a PAIN. I am so sorry that you are having all these added complications.

I suspect there is a CT tech that may be in a bit of trouble!

I know that your mom is headed back, but if you guys want to leave the kids with me tomorrow I am open and would love it. Emma would especially love it

Hang in there dear. I love you so much and I know that you are feeling the prayers of so many.

Joanne frfom holt BB said...

Melissa,
I'm so incredibly sorry for all that you're going through. I was sick with MRSA of the sinuses and it's so incredibly painful; I can't even imagine the discomfort you're feeling. I hope and pray that the antibiotics kick in quickly and you'll have healthy tissue growing back just as quick and feeling much better. I'm continuing to pray for you to kick this cancer's butt too!!

BIG hugs,
Joanne from the Holt bb

MandaKay said...

Oh Melissa, I am so sorry you are going thru this. :( Praying for quick healing and VERY effective new plan of action with the chemo! What a beautiful verse.

Laura and John said...

So here is my current prayer. My prayer is that your body will heal enough in the next week or so for you to receive chemo. That means....go away MRSA. :) I know I have offered before, but I can come and keep the kids anytime! I am not far at all. We can play in Nashville for family to visit once you aren't in isolation???? I will gladly do whatever! Just a thought. Praying, and praying hard!

The Princess and the Tot said...

Sweet friend, I simply have no words. May the Holy Spirit intervene where I can't. Love and hugs to you and your family.

thewonderfulhappens said...

Prayed for you this morning while at church while we were singing the song "The Great I Am". Do you know it? Here's the part where I really thought of you:
"The mountains shake before Him
The demons run and flee
At the mention of the name
King of Majesty
There is no power in hell
Or any who can stand
Before the power and the presence of the Great I am"
Of course it sounds even better to music :)

Jeanne said...

Melissa, I just wanted to let you know that I'm continuing to pray for you, and my husband and kids are praying too. I know you have prayers being sent your way from all over the country. I hope when things are tough, you can feel those prayers lifting you up.

MyEbella aka Kim said...

just a quick note to say that after all you have been thru you still posted to your blog! We are all praying for you and your hubby and kids as they get thru this too! I remember todd having a 9 day hospital stay for some unknown caused leg infection too... unexpected, but as he did you will get thru this too! PS... you should be having a sobfest...this is tough for you and you don't have to be strong the whole time! We all love you and continue to pray for you!!!

Shelly said...

Thanks for posting all the details.... will continue to pray, and now have more specifics to be praying for! Bless your heart.... such a difficult road you are walking right now. Praying that EACH day gets better!

Brenda Shearon said...

I know we keep saying this over and over, but we are still praying for you and your entire family. It has to be tough to keep up a "positive" front when you have endured what you have the past few weeks. Praying the medicines work fast and you can stay on your chemo schedule.

Annie B. said...

You poor thing! I really wish there was more we could be doing to help you through this. Prayers will have to do for now, I guess. I wish I could take some of your pain for you. Many prayers going up for you in Minneapolis!

Lillie from the Holt BB said...

Melissa, I wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

KrisJ said...

Well holy crap lady that is a whole lot to put you and your poor body through! I am so so sorry.. seems that a bunch of misfortunate events have led to hopefully a nicer treatment. I am so happy to hear you are at least feeling a bit better, what a relief. We all love you lots and you continue to inspire me with your outlook. Im so glad you have your family and your faith.

Kelly said...

Melissa,
A fellow Holt BB Friend...wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and your family....

Heather said...

Melissa,
My heart is breaking for you. I was in tears as i read this post, and yet your courage and your faith is an inspiration. Praying for you daily.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Love,
Heather (Mom2be from the Holt BB)

Christine said...

Oh Melissa, I simply have no words. Your strength throughout all of this amaze me. (Even if you needed to have a sobfest with the dressing change... I've had those for a lot less.) Hang in there my friend - You CAN BEAT THIS too. Hugs hugs and more hugs!

Jebmo and Gals said...

I will be thinking of you, Melissa. All of your hospital ramblings cracked me up--do you think the MRSA could have come from the used underwear and socks? Just kidding, but I think you have perfect comedic writing. I keep thinking about the tech saying "Don't forget your underwear and socks" and then I imagine you looking down and seeing them and thinking "what the..." You're funny!!!!

Keep up the sarcasm and hilarity whenever you're feeling well enough. This could end up being the book you write someday. But maybe you'll be too busy enjoying being well to waste time on an old book. (:

This is Myra (pavlovspup) from the Holt Bb, being so irreverent. (:

Amanda said...

I'm so sorry to hear of all you are going through. Praying for you and your family every day.

Cindy said...

Many, many thoughts and prayers from a fellow Holt BBer!!!!!

xo Lauren said...

Bless you beautiful girl! You are amazing, keep your chin up and keep on fighting and know we're all here on your side cheering you on through every bit of it! and wishing i could take on some of the pain for you! :( lots of love and smoooooches!!! xoxoxooxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxox

Jill said...

We prayed for you in church tonight. Much love, Jill

Grace said...

yuck, yuck, and YUCK. so sorry that you are going through more pain and that there are more unknowns.
thank you again for sharing all this and for letting us share in this with you. lifting you up!
isaiah 40:28-31

Susanne said...

Praying for you and your sweet family!

Cathy said...

Melissa, I'm praying for you, Brian, Camden and Rory. I'm so sorry you are feeling so bad. Get better soon!

Brenda Lewis said...

Melissa, Not been able to comment with my computer down (I'm on Bob's with free wi-fi at motel). What a great passage! Can't tell you how much we have "hurt" for you over the past couple of weeks. So glad you are better and hope the worst is behind you. We love you, think about you and prayer for you and Brian all the time.

Krista said...

praying for you to be pain free - you are a very strong woman. hugs hugs hugs!