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Hi, just an update Hi, just an update

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Unread 03-24-2004, 10:48 AM
Hi, just an update

Dear Sisters,

Just a little update on me. Today is my 1st time at trying to write again, I’m sorry I have not written, I have been feeling so tried and quite weak and just kinda out of it in general. I think it’s all the meds and my infection problems and such. I will try to email this today but right now am typing this from bed, much more comfy as I still can not sit comfortably in a chair for longer than a few minutes. So I will save this to a file on the computer and then try to copy and paste and send later to you when I can go to the room where the computer connection is. For some reason I have trouble with my copy and paste function (I’m doing this in Word) and may have to give as an attachment on disk to Adrie to forward to you.

As always, thanks so much for all of your emails and support. They really brighten my days and bring a smile to my face.
As for me, well, the hospital is still holding me hostage! I think I’m just one of those people that for some reason ‘when it rains it pours’. I have now been in the hospital almost 6 weeks and have no idea when they will release me. I’m starting to get a bit bored with this and am sooooo ready to go home. Most times I feel ok, just rather tired. No pain for the most part (I’m so grateful for morphine and other pain killers!) Everyday, I try to walk at least 2 to 3 times. I walk a bit slow but it’s not too bad. But everyday, it’s getting more challenging to find a new area that I have not been to. The hospital has 13 floors and each day I explore as much as possible of 3 or 4 floors. Sometimes they have brochures in departments so that I can read about what different kinds of illnesses. Dialysis, heart problems, the history of radiation treatment, etc. I’m learning a lot. He-he

The bad news at the moment now is that I have been having what they called an ‘infection’. I have been leaking from my surgical pelvic area for nearly 2 weeks. I asked the nurses and doctors here about my catheter, they have not changed it since my first surgery 6 weeks ago and also there is blood in my catheter. So yesterday, the doctor of the Gyn. ward finally agreed to have it checked out. It seems that stoma surgeons (who are my primary surgeons at the moment) think it’s normal to have this sort of fluid coming out, but the nurses and ward doctor don’t agree. Thankfully, someone took action and I had a sonar/echo this morning that showed my left kidney was dilated compared to the other one. I had a feeling about that as when I lay on my left side I have more problems. At this point they are trying to schedule a CT scan to see where there might be a breakage or something wrong.

As for my stoma, so far it’s doing quite well. The stoma doctors seem to think that it’s doing better, but of course its too early to tell so it’s still a wait and see thing.
And now, for the good a bit more good news. The Gyn surgery for my cancer seems to have all gone quite well and I am healing quite well. The gyn doctor says he thinks they got just about all of the cancer and what was left, just little blips on the pathology report, he feels will go away on their own. Hooray! So for now, I have to get all of this other stuff resolved and then after some rest at home I can look into doing my reconstruction of my canal and all that.

I think the only real regret I have in all of this, other than the complications, which are part of my regret is that I wish I would have had all this work done in America. But of course there was not anyway that I could get treatment there as I did not have U.S. insurance and of course do not have the money for it. I did look into it and was told I would have to referred to county type of hospitals. Sadly in the past, when I lived in Texas, I had bad experiences with the welfare system, I can only hope that has changed. If only I could have gone to MD Anderson or something like that. I really feel that I would be doing better now. Oh well, I can only dream and wish I could have.

I wish all the best for my dear, dear sisters, as we all travel our journeys through this. It’s always interesting to me, how much I learn about what is most important in life. I really find myself enjoying the simplest and smallest things the most. A blue sky, a bird, a hug, a touch, love… I remember someone on the board posting an article by Erma Bombeck about the important things in life. Thank you for positing that. Also I still feel and believe totally with all my heart that the more we help others, the happier we will be. As for me, when I get out of here (fingers crossed) I really want to look into doing more volunteer work. I did that a lot before coming here to Holland and I really loved it. Of course I want to always do something with cancer awareness, especially in Gyn cancers as well. Such an important issue.

By the way ladies, a tip, something that I have started to do is to keep a simple journal/diary/agenda. I have been doing that, just on a pad of paper, it helps me vent, to keep up with events, changes in meds and symtoms (helps to see what works versus what does not) etc. You don’t have to write every day, I don’t even do that, but just try. I have found it really helpful.
Well, as I can see, this has turned into a ‘book’, so I shall close for now. I love you all.

Huggles and love,

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Unread 03-24-2004, 11:03 AM
Hi, just an update

Hi Maria,

I am so happy to read your post. You have been in the hospital such a long time, but hopefully evertything will be taken care of before you are discharged and you will never have to go back.
That is the most wonderful news that they got all the cancer! You and Adrie will have much time to enjoy the birds, blue sky and all those things we took for granted before. I can really relate to how much more beautiful life has become. When I first came home from the hospital it was so wonderful to wake up in my own bed and I was thankful just to be able to pee on my own!
Keep getting better, stronger and happier every day Maria.
Unread 03-24-2004, 11:19 AM
Hi, just an update


Thanks so much for your message! So good to see you on the message board again!

Life after cancer definitely is different from life before, and I always say that my life is more normal and sane now, than it was pre-cancer, because a lot more got operated on than my body--God really worked on my spirit and my attitudes.

Hopefully you and Adrie will be able to look at the beautiful tulips together this spring! What a great season to be recuperating in!

All the best.
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Unread 03-24-2004, 02:07 PM
Hi, just an update

Hi Maria,

It was wonderful hearing from you and glad to hear that things are on the mend and looking up.

Maybe the hospital could give you a job as a support person while you are there. Hospital stays can get very boring, as you know, and maybe this could benefit you and others.

When my mom was in the hospital for a mastectomy, 28 years ago, she all the love and support of her family. However, the lady down the hall did not. They used to have my mom go and talk this woman everyday. Just to chat, vent, discuss, and compare notes. You never know, it could develop into a whole new career!!!!

Glad you are feeling better.
Unread 03-24-2004, 03:00 PM
Hi, just an update

It was so great to read your post! I think and pray for you daily. I am glad you were able to write us, and I do hope you get to go home soon. I can't imagine that the hospital is a very fun place to be!! I wish I could visit you there. All I can think of when I think of you in Holland is tons of tulips in bloom. Perhaps that is not even the case! Here in PA the daffodils are blooming and so are the crocus! The next few days will be quite warm - in the 60's.
You wrote that your regret was that you didn't have your surgery here - in the US - but it does sound as if you are getting good care. And these are the doctors who will do follow up care with you? So it may be better that this surgery is done close to your home.
My dogs are howling with hunger - so I had best go feed them. All my love and prayers to you and Adrei. (I hope I spelled that right!)
Unread 03-24-2004, 03:03 PM
Hi, just an update

Thanks for the note. I am so glad you are healing. Please continue to do well. We are all behind you.
Ruth S
Unread 03-24-2004, 04:16 PM
Hi, just an update

Dear Maria,
I am so happy that things are improving there for you! What are they going to do about the infection? You are funny, exploring all of the floors and reading up on all of the literature you find!! You will be like a walking medical dictionary before long!! I don't blame you, I would be doing the same thing. I know you must be bored, but hopefully this will soon be a memory, and you will be going home soon! I think that was a great idea that Rosalie had about volunteering at the hospital. If the language issue would not be a barrier. You take care and continue to heal. Speaking of Texas, it is so muggy here today, it is 69 degrees now outside, and looks like rain. What is it like there? Take care and we are praying for you!!

Unread 03-24-2004, 05:12 PM
Maria! I was thrilled to see your post!

I wish the rougher times would stop and that you could just amazingly gain strength to get back home. You're on my prayer list and I'll get you in the church book again. And as for the news they got the cancer out--HOORAY! The word is out: you are NOT the place to be if you're a cancer cell...and now may it stay away forever!
Unread 03-24-2004, 06:06 PM
Hi, just an update

Hi Maria,

It is so lovely to hear from you! Six weeks is a long time to be in the hospital. I really hope that you will soon be well enough to go home. I wish I could come visit you and go for a walk with you! That would be so cool. But I have to settle for writing you here at Hyster Sisters. I still think of you everyday. I know you will be fine. I am very glad that the Doc's said they got the cancer. You have an amazing spirit!

Take Care,
Unread 03-24-2004, 06:27 PM
Hi, just an update

So, time flies when you're having fun, eh, Maria?!

So pleased to read your note this evening. You sound wonderful -- like you're trying to make the best of a bad situation. And your situation seems to be improving, which is the most important thing.

Spring is finally coming here to NY! Daffodils are definitely up but not yet in bloom. It's just a matter of days, I hope.

After a long winter, I always get a charge out of spring... what was old is new again. May this be a wonderful new beginning for you, Maria. Be well and recuperate quickly. It's so great to hear from you.

God bless,

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