Today I had one of my pleural catheters removed.
Last November, I had two pleural catheters put in when they installed my chemo port. They did this because I had so much fluid around my lungs it was hard to breathe. For a long time, we had to drain every day. Then, as I went through chemo, the fluid lessened, and we went to draining every other day, then every three days. Sometime last spring, the fluid around my right lung reduced to the point that I've only been draining that side once a week. A few weeks ago, it became obvious that we just weren't getting anything measurable out of that side. So - today the surgeon removed it.
Last November, when I got out of the hospital, I had 3 tubes in my body (I also had an abdominal drain that was removed several months ago). I was weak and could barely walk. I couldn't sleep without being on an incline. Hell - until we got a hospital bed installed at home, I slept in my recliner. I was on IV nutrition twice. And at times, I wondered if I would ever get back to normal.
Well - normal isn't what it used to be. But I'm down to one tube. I have hopes that someday I won't have any tubes. That's what awesome in my world today.
It's been crazy busy at work lately, and this probably wasn't the best time to have to take a day off. But I wanted that tube out so badly, even though I knew it would make my job a little bit more crazy tomorrow. I have another oncology visit on Thursday, and that doesn't help matters. But it is so worth working a couple more 11 hour days to be a step closer to tubeless.
I attended a cancer support group this month, and I found that to be really helpful. I'm not sure why hearing the stories of a bunch of stage III and IV survivors helped me so much, but it did. I even met another ovarian cancer survivor - one that has many years of remission. If anyone out there is wondering if they should go to one of those meetings - do. It's worth it. The next meeting is on my son's birthday, so I'll miss that one, but I'm looking forward to the one after that.
Next month is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. A week or so ago, one of my staff was sweet enough to nominate me to win a cake from a professional bakery on Facebook, and we won! I've requested an awareness cake. September 5th is my son's birthday, the 6th is National Wear Teal Day, so we're going to have a little teal event at work with that cake. If there's anything left, then I guess J gets a teal cake for his birthday. (Oh I kid. I'll get him his own cake, or big cookie or whatever he wants. He's turning 18. 18!!)
On the 13th, Hicksville's football team will be wearing teal athletic tape, and I will be sitting at the booster club table, handing out symptom cards and selling bracelets to raise awareness. A sweet Hicksville lady has designed a teal tshirt that we're going to sell so folks can wear them to the game, and raise a little more money for ovarian cancer research. On the 14th, I'm hosting a "Teal Fest" at my house to raise a little more. No idea exactly what we're going to do that evening, but there will be wine and good food, and good company. Well - I hope good company!
I probably won't raise thousands of dollars. I may not even raise hundreds. I'm starting small with this fundraising thing. It's a brand new thing to me. But I feel like I have to. Like I'm almost being called to. It's like I figure maybe this is why I got cancer - maybe this is why I survived when so many don't. I could be just fooling myself, but I've always thought if I can make any kind of difference from what I went through, it'll be worth it. One way or another.
In other news, Fricasse and the rest of the chickens have finally stopped sitting on their eggs. Eventually we'll get the two different breeds we have separated. Wilbur, the wild hog we attempted to raise to adulthood, gave in to the heat. We are so not hog breeders. Lactation and her pregnancy seems to be progressing well, but we noticed this evening that she's developed a pretty bad limp. We're not sure what happened to her and we're hoping that it's not too serious.
The garden is doing very well - we're starting to get some tomatoes, eating green beans during the week, and I actually canned some black-eyed peas last weekend. Good Lord willing, we should have home grown cantaloupe to eat before too much longer, and I've got my eye on this year's entry into the biggest watermelon competition at the fair. Last year I got third. I'm aiming for first this year! I also made grape jelly a few weeks ago that was turned out *gorgeous* - so I'm going to enter that in the fair too. Winning the bell pepper division last year turned me into a fair ribbon junkie.
All in all - just another fine day in the boonies.