“You Are Stronger Than You Know”

Everyone says to me “You’re the strongest person I know.” The truth is, I don’t feel like I am strong one bit. I feel like my body is slowing down. Maybe I am just psychically and mentally exhausted after all these years, I guess it is catching up to me. The past 8 years is taking a toll on me.

On September 2019, I went for my 3 month checkup at the Cancer Center. The day consisted of so many appointments. The first thing I had to do is get blood work done. Then an hour later, I had a head/neck ultrasound for an hour. After that, a pet scan and a cat scan. Later on in the day at around 4 pm, I got to see my Oncologist to go over the results. Unfortunately, my pet scan detected a tumor on the nerve of my femur. A few weeks later, I had to go back to the cancer center for a CT guided biopsy. 

I was not prepared for this femur biopsy at all. I was awake, instead of being out completely, so that surprised me since they had said I was going to be out for the procedure. I remember both Radiology Doctors, who were going to do the biopsy, just kept smiling at me.  Assuring me I would be fine. I just wanted to run away. The biopsy was incredibly painful and the numbing medication did not do a thing. I kept asking for more numbing medication and the Doctors couldn’t give me anymore. The worst part was when both doctors had to take four extra samples. I thought I was going to die. Yet here they are, still smiling. I was so embarrassed for crying like a child but I was screaming for my life. The Doctors did not give me enough medication. I left completely drained and I couldn’t even move or get into my mobility van. I said to myself I will never get a biopsy like that again unless they put me out. That was uncalled for to traumatize me the way they did. I felt every stab. It was horrific. I finally got the news a week later that the tumor was indeed Soft Tissue Sarcoma, a secondary cancer. 

December 9, 2019 comes around and it’s surgery day. I was NOT prepared for a 8-10 inch scar from my butt to my thigh. I had to use a cleanse wipe up and down of the surgical area the night before in the hotel room, and then had to repeat the process in the morning. Once I got to the hospital, I did another crazy cleanse with the nurses. They wiped me from head to toe. Precautions for infections. Then the nurses gave me antibiotics to prevent infections. 0-3

I remember it took me awhile to wake up as usual. I remember my leg being numb. I stayed in the hospital over night due to my pain medication allergies. A day later, I was home with Nick, Dory, and my Mother. My Mother came down to help. I was so thrilled to see Dory again. I hate leaving her side. I couldn’t move so I was in my wheelchair. I’m lucky I got onto the temporary hospital bed with assistance. The hospital bed that I had to rent was hard as a brick. I was so uncomfortable, I did not get sleep for days. I ended up getting rid of the bed because I was so miserable. 

The pain meds wore off and I took the liquid pain medication the Orthopedic surgeon gave me. I was suppose to take the pain meds every 4 hours, but I kept vomiting.  There was nothing else I could take. I was at a loss for words. It was a very difficult recovery time. Somehow, I got through it with lots and lots of tears and panic attacks. 

The worst part was not being able to celebrate Christmas time. I was so excited for Christmas this year. But, I couldn’t put a tree up. 

A few days go by, my Mother leaves to go back home and my private Nurse came to take care of me for a week.  The nurse was changing my bandage everyday since I couldn’t shower for a week. She would help me wash up, change, help me on the commode, etc. Walking was extremely brutal.  Three days go by, and my incision site gets very hot. I had a fever. I felt off, not my usual self. My leg was so red, I didn’t even know if this was normal. I called my Orthopedic surgeon but I didn’t get a return call. It was after hours, but they have multiple on call staff for emergencies only. A day later, I spiked a very high fever and had to go to my nearest hospital. My leg was on fire. I had to be admitted and transferred by ambulance to the main hospital. I am grateful for my local hospital that took great care of me. My local hospital gave me 4 rounds of antibiotics through IV as well as pain meds around the clock. They were so helpful and I am so grateful for them. The hospital tried to call my Orthopedist 17 times before they admitted me and sent me by ambulance to the main hospital but they had no luck for hours. They were baffled and even apologized on their behalf and said the Orthopedic surgeon department where I go is “A CRAP SHOOT”. Those were the Doctor’s words! I still don’t know how I ended up with Cellulitis. Finally two days later, my Orthopedic surgeon calls me while I’m still in the hospital. She said she wasn’t on call and its very unusual that I ended up with cellulitis. I explained I followed the directions very thoroughly the night before my surgery and the morning of. Then the two Nurses did the cleanse wipe down in the hospital before they took me back. This still makes no sense how I ended up with Cellulitis. My surgeon said this was “very unusual and rare.” There’s nothing she could do! Meanwhile, my local hospital was so afraid to touch me they thought I had to be sent back to the Orthopedic surgeons hospital but I couldn’t because it is hours away and there were NO BEDS!!!! They were not going to take me. My local hospital explained that the surgeon should be taking care of me because she did the surgery. Yet, she didn’t give a crap and it was extremely hurtful. Of course I complained to the actual hospital. Why should another hospital open me up if they didn’t do the surgery? That’s not their responsibility. It’s uncalled for the way I was treated and it is NOT OK!!! I don’t care who she was, Orthopedic surgeon or not. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE to leave me hanging dry!!!

Finally, it was a miracle, I was going home with antibiotics for 15 more days. It took about two months for the Cellulitis to go away. Cellulitis is extremely painful. To be honest, I never heard of Cellulitis until I was diagnosed with this because of the surgery. I am grateful it went away over time. As you can tell this was the worst surgery I have ever been through in my life. The 10 inch scar is still healing. I still have no feeling in my ass or thigh all the way down to my knee cap. I also get a lot of tingling shooting down this leg which really stinks. I hope I do not have nerve damage in my upper leg and ass because this would really suck big time.