ducky doolittle || seeking joy + wellness while surviving cancer

Tag: hysterectomy

The Truth About Menopause

The Truth About Menopause

If you are new here, I recently survived cancer. In doing so I had to accept going into abrupt surgical menopause. I have had no hormone replacement options available as they stand a high chance of causing more cancer in my body. But you know […]

Timeline of Hysterectomy Healing Process

Timeline of Hysterectomy Healing Process

This is a timeline of my healing process. I’m creating it to remind myself how far I have come and to help other people who experience a robotic, radical hysterectomy to know what they might expect. Doctor’s say it should be six weeks until I am fully […]

I Am Alive

I Am Alive

Quick post as I have limited energy. Forgive my typos, I’ll try to clean them up once I have more wits.

On surgery day I went from being emotionally distressed to terror as they started popping the IV in my arm, to absolute physical trauma. I came to in the recovery room with horrible pain my shoulder. I was begging someone to hold my hand. The nurser told me she was too busy. There were lots of patients, each nurse had two patients to attend to. They stood in front of these mobile laptop desks.

She told me the pain in my shoulder was due to the gas they fill the body cavity with as the robotics unit moves through the body. The gas had risen to my shoulder. This is the should that I had rotator cuff surgery on when I was 17 years old. The pain felt like someone was tearing my limb apart. It was excruciating.

At some point the let my husband in and he held my hand and fed me ice chips for what I think was hours. I was in and out and confused. They moved me to a room that night. It was nice. A private room. My husband went to take his mom back to our home and to get what he needed to stay the night.

The pain in my abdomen started to become apparent. The pain in my shoulder started to decline. In the morning I found my husband cat napping in a chair, I had a catheter, an IV in one hand, and another in my elbow. I had some serious problems with pain management. There was some amazing staff at this hospital, but I had some serious issues with the morning staff. I did everything I had to do to get released as quickly as possible.

The drive home was painful. Every tiny bump in the road hurt. Walking to my door and up the flight of stairs was really hard. But home is the best place to heal.

I think robotic surgery is not less painful at the beginning, but healing seems to come faster. Each day I fell pretty miserable but there are also little wins every day. I started walking with more ease. I can get out of a chair on my own, I have been eating ok. Every day a little more progress. I stopped taking the pain pills (except for Tylenol and Advil) a few days ago. Yesterday I made my own breakfast.

One big problem this is that cannot get comfortable in any position. It’s hard to sleep. And then two nights ago… my shoulder starts with the excruciating pain again. I got up in the morning and the pain subsided. Then again last night at the end of the evening, the shoulder pain again. I woke up at some point and realized my should is dislocating when I lay on my back. It’s dislocating when I use my arms to pick myself up off the couch. It’s threatening to dislocate when I pick up a coffee cup. I am right back to where I was before I had my rotator cuff surgery. Fuck. The gas they used during surgery destroyed my rotator cuff.

So in the wee hours of the morning, I taught my husband how to relocate my shoulder. Tomorrow I’ll seek a specialist to see if we can repair this damage with physical therapy. I must be the first person to go in to have cancer removed from my abdomen and come out with a damaged shoulder. FML

Today I made a blog post. Tomorrow my goal is to get out of pajamas and put on real clothes maybe. (My goals right now are super small.)

Today is Thanksgiving. It’s a good day to make a list of everything I am thankful for. I’ll go work on the long list.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.

Fear & Happiness

Fear & Happiness

This is my last post before surgery. During surgery, they will be able to stage my cancer and tell us if I need more treatment, like radiation or chemo. But finally, on Friday my treatment will begin. My nerves still hum… it’s been like that […]

Waiting For Cancer Treatment / Part 5

Waiting For Cancer Treatment / Part 5

Still managing to keep my head in a good place. I have these passing panicked thoughts about surgery and incisions and losing part of my body to cancer. I am getting pretty good at setting them aside. The mind is a funny thing, you can play honest […]

My Epic Wellness Plan (A Work In Progress)

My Epic Wellness Plan (A Work In Progress)

My goal is to heal and regulate my energy with food and behavior as much as possible. Here’s my working plan. I am sure I’ll adjust it along the way. You are welcome to give recommendations for good books or links, but on this topic, I prefer advice from fellow radical hysterectomy or cancer survivors. Thanks.

  • Breathe
  • Eat for energy
  • Get my vitamins via food rather than supplements
  • Walk for about 25 minutes a day
  • Weight train (learn how)
  • Stretch and do yoga
  • Sunshine 15-30 minutes a day
  • Seek good sleep
  • Create routine and ritual
  • Massage once a month

FOOD

  • eat 3 times a day
  • 2 fruits a day
  • 2 starchy vegetables or grains per day
  • pair carbs with healthy fats
  • 148g protein per day
  • record food to ensure I am balanced

Drinks: water, coconut water, green tea

Greens: kale*, bok choy, collards*, swiss chard, mustard greens, beet greens, spinach, broccoli rabe, escarole, dandelion

Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peppers*, celery*, spinach*, green beans*, carrots, cabbage, peas, corn, onion, tomatoes

Fruit: cantaloupe, raspberries, cherries*, strawberries*, pomegranates, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, peach*, oranges, banana, blueberries*, apples*, watermelon, pear, grapes*, kiwi, dried apricots, dried figs

Healthy Fats: real butter, avocado, yogurt,

Protein: fish, nuts, beef, chicken, eggs

Carbs & Starches: oats, brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley, kasha, lentils, potatoes*, sweet potatoes

Added Nutrition: bone broths, miso soup, flax seeds, chia seeds, soy sauce, ginger, raw cacao

Avoid: sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup, fruit juices, agave, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, alcohol, fizzy drinks

The New Menopause Manifesto

The New Menopause Manifesto

I was never scared of natural menopause. I embraced the idea. I trusted my body would do what it needed to do to care for me. I sought out the nuggets of truth that older women would share with me about the experienced. I dismissed […]

Notes To Myself: How Not to Fuck Up My Body’s Healing Process

Notes To Myself: How Not to Fuck Up My Body’s Healing Process

I am a dumb workaholic who tries to do too much every day, hence this note to my future self. I’ll add to this and refer to this to try to keep myself from being an uncontrollable nut after I have my surgery. Wish me […]