So long, Ezmerelda! {Cancer Journey Part II)

So long, Ezmerelda! {Cancer Journey Part II)

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Here’s Part I in case you missed it.

As I write this blog post, I’m currently 25 days cancer free! It seems like it went by so fast now that I’m relatively on the other side, though the whole escapade lasted about six months and seemed grueling in the process. I’m grateful that this was a relatively short experience, at this point.

My time in Rochester, MN, was really not so bad. I got to be there mid-late summer and the lush gardens, thick trees and abundance of flowers was delightful! I also was able to meet some pretty amazing people. A former co-worker, back from CHA days, invited me to her church’s women’s ministry kick-off dinner. There I met some wonderful women, Linda and Vi. Vi works at Mayo and Marty and I were able to spend some time with her on a break from all my pre-op appointments.

The day of the surgery I was incredibly nervous. I knew the Lord was with me, for He never abandons those who are His. There was still so many unknowns and I’m a planner.

One thing I’d asked of the Lord, during my last full week of radiation as I wondered the grounds of St Marys Hospital campus, was to have the view of these green lawns from my hospital room.

Look what He gave me! Watching the sun set from my bed the evening after the operation was such a gift! And the sunrise the next morning was lovely!

The amazing thing about medical practices now is that only three hours after Ezmerelda was extracted (a key lime size Myxoid Liposarcoma) from my upper right thigh, OT had me up and walking to the bathroom! Yay for no catheter! 😉

The next morning, my day nurse brought me a wheelchair (I couldn’t quite make this trek yet) and Marty, my parents, and sister ventured down to the chapel. What lovely artistry in the creation of these old cathedrals. I sang part of “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria” from Sound of Music because all I could think of was when she walks down the aisle and the nuns in the background re-sing the song from earlier in the movie. 🙂

I’m so grateful to all the amazing staff at Mayo! As I was laying on the operating table, Dr. Houdek (who is an advocate and specialist in sarcoma understanding) waved to me from the window. He knew I was nervous and has been so amazing in this whole process. He checked on me in recovery and his wonderful resident and fellow operating doctor, Dr. Dancy discharged me. So, so thankful for all the staff! (For all you nurses, my favorite was the night nurse, Ben. He let me sleep two hour intervals which was a big deal!)

I’m so very grateful to have my incredible husband, Marty, by my side every step of the way. Though we were apart two weeks during radiation (home on the weekends) so he could get some work done, we spent every evening talking to stay connected. I couldn’t have done this without this strong man.

I’d hoped to see some photos of Ezmerelda to wish her well, but alas, none were taken. She was sent to pathology and served her purpose of helping to aid research for future entrustees.

Recovery is going well. I was able to ditch the walker in the house a few days after arriving back home, and about nine days after surgery, outside. Lots of discomfort, still occasional pain but overall, I think I’m ahead of the game. I’ll probably walk with a limp for a while but the muscles continue to restore and my left leg continues to gain strength.

The past week I was able to walk about 1.5 miles three days. This seems very slow and tedious for my normal 20 miles a week of running/biking but I have to go slow to go fast.

At this point, I’m now in surveillance mode and will continue to have scans every few months for the next 10 years. There’s still a chance the Sarcoma could return. If this journey has a sequel, I know the Lord will continue to carry me through.

But I will sing of Your strength; I will sing aloud of Your steadfast love in the morning. For You have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.

O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for You, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.

Psalm 59:16-17

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