Robotic Surgery Miracle
I have had several surgeries in my life, but none have ever involved extracting actual organs. From the CT scan, it appeared as though I was going to be able to qualify for robotic surgery but nothing was set in stone. The worst-case was I would have laparoscopy surgery. Both would involve having very small incisions and a quick recovery. The advantage of robotic surgery is that the surgeon would have access to better tools and a better chance of decreased bleeding.
Getting cleared for surgery
In my situation, the ovarian cancer subtype I had was endometrioid and it presented with a massive amount of blood clots in both lung cavities. When I was cleared for surgery, I had been on a blood thinner for 4 months as well as receiving 3 rounds of heavy-duty chemotherapy.
My surgeon leaned heavily toward the robotic surgery to offset bleeding complications afterward, as I would continue taking a blood thinner until I hit the 1-year mark of being diagnosed.
To prep for surgery, I had to make sure I had help lined up with cooking, cleaning, and lawn maintenance as I would be unable to do these things for up to 8 weeks. The lifting limit was less than 5-10 pounds for that amount of time. I know how I operate, and I knew if I didn't set up help, I would lift things that I wasn't supposed to.
The night before surgery I had strict instructions not to eat or drink anything after midnight EXCEPT for a 6 oz box of cranberry juice that the GYN clinic provided. I was scheduled to arrive at 6 AM to get prepped for the OR and I had to get up at 4 AM to drink the small amount of juice. This was to provide my body with nutrients (so I was told by the medical team).
Because there was no cancer spread outside my reproductive system I didn't have to do a colon prep. I was relieved.
Incredibly quick recovery
21st-century medicine is incredible. I say this because I had a radical hysterectomy that lasted almost 3 hours and when I woke up in my hospital room the nurse was standing over me and said "are you ready to get up and walk?"
I looked at him and said "Can I sit up? Will I ruin anything in my abdomen?" (At this point I wasn't aware that my surgeon was able to do robotic surgery after she looked at everything in my abdominal cavity with a camera while I was asleep).
He said, "You can most definitely sit up. You have 5 very small incisions as your surgeon was able to do the least invasive procedure possible!"
He was clearly excited. So, I got up. Amazingly with no pain and feeling as though nothing really happened to me.
My total hysterectomy surgery went smoothly
Before my hysterectomy, I had 3 knee surgeries in my 20's. Two of them were pretty major. ACL reconstruction's that came with 6 months of painful rehab. Most recently, I had a total retinal detachment in my eye that required me to keep my head down for 2 solid weeks. That's 14 days without looking up unless eating, putting in eye drops, and showering.
This total hysterectomy surgery was an absolute piece of cake. And to me, it was a miracle.
I've never had any organs taken out of my body before and to realize that my entire reproductive system was removed through my vagina - in ONE piece - was astounding to me.
Grateful for my support system
The most difficult transition was reminding myself not to do anything dumb and lifting anything over 5 pounds for 8-12 weeks. That was hard.
However, I had prepped for people to help while I was going to be taking it easy. During the time I had people help me, I updated my journal numerous times at how grateful I was to my friends and family...and most importantly thankful ALL of the cancer was removed with ease!
Have you taken our Advanced Ovarian Cancer In America Survey yet?