After the November 1st procedure that I mentioned in my last blog, things continued to go downhill, and fast. The procedure did not fix the problem, and was basically a waste of time. After that, I had a horrible few days of vomiting and was not eating a thing. My liver and kidneys began to fail. At one point, probably the worst moment of this entire process, I feared that I would not make it through the night. I actually went to sleep at my parents because I figured, well at least I won't die alone. It was a very scary and surreal time. And I am so blessed to be passed that. That next morning, my parents and I realized that something drastic needed to happen and quick. That day I went and had a PIC line placed in a vein in my arm, and I began TPN. TPN stands for Total Parenteral Nutrition. I have a backpack that contains 2000 calories and vitamins that are being pumped into my system 24/7. This was literally my lifesaver. I began feeling better instantly. My colored returned. My energy level increased immediately. I put on 12 pounds in the first week. I was feeling so much better. And since then, I have decreased my TPN to wearing it every other night or so. I am going out to dinner. I am spending time with my family. I have resumed my Monday night "Girl's Night" with my favorite ladies. And I am finally feeling the joy and relief of being cancer free.
The past three-plus months of my life have been unreal. I cannot put into words the amount of stress, fear and anxiety that I have felt while recovering from this life-saving surgery. I often find myself asking God, why? Why did my recovery have to be this challenging? Why did the cancer return in the first place? And why did it have to happen after Dan died? And if we are going there, why did Dan die? What was the purpose of all of this? I realize that I am never going to have answers to these questions. But what I do realize is how much I have changed from this recovery process, and the past three years of my life. I have learned the true meaning of patience and faith. I have learned to let others help me, and that coming across as weak and helpless is not the end of the world. I have learned that true friends stick by your side through the worst times; even when things get scary. I have learned that family will do absolutely everything and anything for the ones that they love. I have learned that even when it doesn't seem like it, God is with us through everything; even when He is silent. I have learned a new level of strength and perseverance. I am a changed woman. I truly believe that God has big plans for my life. And I believe that I needed to experience all that I have experienced in order to achieve these plans.
I have lost a lot in this life. I have lost my beautiful best friend and Husband. I have lost the ability to have children naturally. I have lost my hair. I have lost my femininity. And I have lost, what feels like, the past three months of my life. But what I have gained is so much more: an incredible guardian angel, faith like a child, a clean bill of health, and most importantly, a new outlook on this life that I am blessed to have the opportunity to live.
And it must be said, I have the very BEST support system that any person can ask for! A huge THANK YOU to those who have supported me, in one way or another! Each and every visit, phone call, text message, Facebook post, and blog post have made this recovery process so much easier! Again, thank you! Now on to the next phase of my life. I have never been more excited to start a new year. I truly do believe that 2013 is going to be my year! Perhaps a new career? Perhaps a new relationship? Traveling? Whatever it brings, I can't wait to experience it healthy and cancer free!