Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thanks for the help and support!

Thanks for your comments and emails of support. It has been a funny old time dealing with this, the surgery was relatively easy to deal with, the head stuff far harder. The spinal surgery I had was pretty brutal so anything else seems pretty easy in comparison although you still need to get through it. I am a little at the end of my tether with medical procedures after having so many over the last couple of years, so when the doctor first rung to say "more surgery" I was less than enthusiastic. But you have no choice and you need to stump up and confront the procedure and get through. Mentally giving yourself a badge and remembering how well you coped with previous procedures helps you when you are confronting a new procedure.

Way back in the beginning I found this inspirational guy and made this post:
An SS Survivor to admire: 
Kirk Souder Read his story, not a treatment plan and prognosis I would like to follow but you have to admire his tenacity and courage.

Comparing notes I've nearly had as many procedures in my treatment plan, just now hoping to also come out with the 20 year positive outcome and attitude.

In answer to questions:
- Ribs were very sore post surgery although progressively gets better, 6 weeks post still tender although not limiting or requiring pain meds. Nurses said the pain from a thoracotomy surgery is up there with knee surgery and immediately post surgery it was pretty uncomfortable and good pain management is a necessity.
- Scar, yes another good one on the back although it healed well and quickly. If you look at pic closely I have a couple of freckles for eyes and it looks a bit like a demented happy face. Nurse referred to it as a shark bite scar.     
- Michelle,  I have no great desire to join the 1 lung camp but its comforting to know that we have a lot of spare lung capacity if the need arises. I follow your blog and its great to see you out and about and living life, its inspiring! Personally I haven't found any difference with breathing.
- Ola Flavi, Elodie, Lynda, Simon, Malcolm, Paul.... thanks for the words of encouragement. 

Pretty much I had recovered from the major surgery 3 weeks post, but if you seeking a guide for how long you need off work for thoracotomy I would suggest 4 weeks.  We had a very restful time at home over recovery, it was a very hot summer downunder and our large property was an oasis where we were able to hide away. I went back to work a couple of weeks ago and thats going well although inevitably it just takes awhile to pick the pace up and participate.  

Officially I am in remission, although high risk and another scan due in March or April. We are hoping that this is gone completely, but a short term goal of getting through 2012 with no further surgery or treatment would be pretty cool.
Ciao fo now

Spoonbills have been feeding in the harbour at the bottom of our garden

"Time heals what reason cannot" - Seneca

I think the Roman philosopher Seneca made a good point when he threw this idea out into the word. When first hearing news of a poor health prognosis the world as you know it is shattered; you are overwhelmed with grief and it is very difficult to come to terms with the information. Your mind goes in a spin thinking of all the possible scenarios and consequences; initially all bad.
Our wellbeing seems tied to the concept of certainty and a romantic ideal of what the future may bring. But time heals... it brings perspective and allows time to process and digest the new information and adjust to your "new normal".
I find information helps and reading article like these helpful ;
Coming to terms with this material helped me face my fears and return to getting on with living life.

No man is an island... often the most useful source of help is your family and close friends around you who are also coming to term with situation and uncertain future. Initially you may not be ready to talk and you will be selective with who you share with; but from experience I encourage that you open up; it is great for you and them.
The world is far from certain for any us and we can't control the future; but we can control our participation and happiness today. Follow the example of this guy: