One Week Later… I’m Home!
Well, at the time of writing it’s been a little over a week, but I was released from the hospital 7 days after my 7 hour surgery. My Urological Surgeon took some pictures during the surgery at my request… but he hasn’t emailed them to me yet. I’ll post them when I get them.
I got home 7 days after the surgery in Seattle, which was pretty quick considering my body is still angry about the chemotherapy. We rode the train home so I could lay down in a sleeper car, which was awesome. I don’t know if i could have sat up for 8 hours (or the 5 that driving would have taken).
The Worst Part of In the Hospital Recovery
My pain level after the surgery was intense, but overall it was manageable thanks to drugs. I had an epidural and a “magic button” to control the pain. What I couldn’t control however was the pain related to my NG tube. If you’ve ever had one you know how awful they are, I’m just thankful I was a sleep when they put it in. An NG tube goes through the nose, past the throat, and into the stomach to remove acid and bile while my intenstines slowly “woke up” from the trama of surgery and anesthesia. It doesn’t really sound that bad, but man alive did it make my throat sore. I wasn’t allowed to drink water or eat ice chips, so I was at the mercy of a small green sponge on the end of a stick to sooth my throat. They gave me some medicated throat spray, but it wasn’t able to even take the edge off of the pain. I had to be able to pass gas before they would remove the tube, and I was soooooo relieved when that time came (get it… muahahaha).
Having the tube removed wasn’t a fun process, but at least it was quick. It felt like someone was pulling something out of my stomach through my nose… oh wait, that’s exactly what they did. 😀 It took several days for the pain to go away when swallowing. What amplified the awfulness of the NG tube was that it aggravated my throat which made me hack and cough phlegm, which REALLY hurt my abdomen.
What the Rest of My Recovery Looks Like
I spend most of my day in bed, with increasing amounts of time sitting up. I’m able to shower, and take a short walk each day. Hopefully within 2 weeks I’ll be up and moving like normal, but I’ve got a 3 month limit on lifting anything over 10 pounds. I’m also currently on a 20g of fat PER DAY diet. I’d say it’s the worst part of my at-home recovery, except that my wife and mom have been working incredibly hard to make delicious food. But man, I just want to eat fried bacon wrapped cheese cubes. Mmmmmm. Soon enough though. I’m on such a restricted diet so that fat doesn’t leak into my abdominal cavity from the sites where the lymph nodes where removed. I’ve got about a week left on it.
I’ll post about the actual results of the surgery, my pathology of the lymph nodes, and what the rest of my cancer journey will look like soon.