I'm home! Well, actually, I was released on Monday night but had to come back all day Tuesday for my second day of harvest, but this is the first day where I get to stay at home and do nothing if I so choose. Which I probably will choose seeing as all the travel the last few days has really aggravated my incision and caused my pain to flare up.
So, surgery. Surgeon removed all but the tiniest sliver of the main tumor. The tiny bit left behind was on my inferior vena cava, a major blood vessel which for obvious reasons really can't be cut into. My surgeon also removed some tissue from the liver (everything she "could feel," which is a distressing image) but to her it looked like either dead tumor or even infection (possibly formed from the death of tumor cells). So, overall, pretty successful.
I believe on Facebook I referred to pain control as a struggle. There is this drug, Narcan, that they often give with narcotics to reduce side effects like itching and nausea. I've had it in the past without problems. However, when they administered the drug this time, it counteracted ALL the effects of my narcotics. That would be including the painkilling ones. Cue horrific pain and me making these lovely keening noises on every exhale, probably terrifying everyone else in the recovery room. They took me off the Narcan, but only a few hours later they would try the drug again, thinking that the first incident was a fluke. It wasn't. That time I made them take me off the Narcan and I absolutely refused to take it the rest of the hospital stay. That was not actually the end of my pain control struggles, but I'm tired of talking about it and let's just say it took well into the next evening before I was able to get comfortable.
I spent another few days being sad because no one would let me have water (let alone food) and hitting that PCA button for pain meds like it was my job. Monday I had the first day of stem cell harvest, which was a bizarre and often uncomfortable experience. One of the IVs uses this rather large steel needle and once it's in you can't bend your arm at all. You only have so much slack in the tubing which connects you to the machine, so you're also pretty much confined to bed the entire time. Not so bad on Monday, when I was able to sleep, but Tuesday my fidgety-ness got the best of me and I pulled out the needle slightly. Oops. However, good news is that I collected double the amount of stem cells I needed to, so I won't have to repeat the process!
I was free to go home after Monday's harvest, so I've been at home since, mostly focusing on eating as much food as possible in the next few days. I start chemo again on Monday, and I'll be receiving doxorubicin again, which is a) just a really nasty drug and b) ruins my taste for a solid week. Just crossing my fingers that my tastebuds will be at least somewhat recovered by Easter, but I figure if it's not I'll just grab lots of leftovers and hold myself a little Easter feast a few days later. (See, sometimes I am capable of optimism! It happens!)
That's all for now - maybe another post before Monday, but I just wanted to update everyone since I've been getting asked a lot how I'm doing. Off to lunch! (Really not kidding about the eating as much as possible.)