Jon’s quarterly oncology appointment went well a couple of weeks ago. His CEA level was marginally higher than last time – but nothing of note. His scan was clear.

The oncologist remains very sure that Jon’s CEA level would indicate a recurrence since his body previously reacted (stage I CEA level was 69 – normal is 0-3 – currently 1.5). He described instances of stage 3 with a fairly low level, etc., so I guess there’s a lot of variation.

Needless to say, but I’m cautiously relieved we can sort of rely on this.
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I had the gallbladder surgery. I’m 6 days out and pretty much fine and have been doing all of my normal things (except exercise). Still eating a low-fat diet per instructions, but I’ve very recently started doing things like using whole milk vs. fat free since it turns out I hate cereal when eaten with (what is essentially) water.

The surgeon described my gallbladder as “bad” to Jon, but I have no idea what that really means. I wanted explanations and PICTURES and comparisons. I have a follow-up appointment next week and plan to get the details.

I felt like total shit the day of the surgery – largely because of the gas they used to blow me up. The pre-op nurse (and my step-mother – an RN) warned me that the gas might be the worst part but I didn’t fully believe it until it occurred. I woke up telling the recovery room nurse that my back was hurting (under my shoulder blades) – and didn’t even notice my stomach until it dissipated (around the next morning).

I took the pain pills they gave me the day of the surgery – and just a couple of times the next day (mostly to sleep) – but I felt much better once I got all of that out of my system. I had never had anything stronger than ibuprofen so I was uncomfortable with continually adding a bunch of chemicals to my (already overloaded) body. The point? The surgery wasn’t so bad.

Jon and I have matching belly scars. I have the same 3 small incisions + a slightly larger one just under my belly button.
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The nurse in the room (after I made it out of recovery) specifically asked me if I’m a runner and commented on my (low) BP and heart rate. Before that, she had been talking to Jon about what I should eat and what I should avoid this week and commented that I’ll probably be just fine because I don’t “look like a junk food junkie.” Her general attitude toward me was very positive and almost congratulatory re: my good health/care of my body.

This sort of thing will likely never cease to amaze me.

I was totally out of it on an anesthesia + Demerol + Morphine high, but I remember telling her that I’ve lost 110 pounds and I remember adamantly following up with the fact that I’m NOT a runner, but I EXERCISE. A LOT.

They laughed at me, but seriously: I hate running.

It’s always so weird to me that HEALTH PROFESSIONALS are shocked when I explain (when questioned) that I have never (EVER) used diet pills and that I didn’t have weight loss surgery.

It’s like nobody believes it’s possible to lose weight without that sort of intervention.

The whole encounter didn’t go by without consideration of how differently I might have been treated had I been sitting there at 272+ pounds.

I’d really like to believe that I could be healthy at any size – and that her comments and assumptions about my body + food choices + health were unfair/biased. The thing is? They’re not.

I wasn’t healthy at 272. I WAS a “junk food junkie” who comes from a family where just about everyone over 35 (and some under) are on blood pressure (and cholesterol and blood sugar) pills. I grew up thinking that was normal.

I’ve worked hard to change my course. I know I’m on the right path FOR ME health-wise – NOW.

I get a little scared when it truly hits me how rare it apparently is to have lost so much weight my way + be happily maintaining it.
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The surgeon looked all around after he took out my gallbladder. I think I mentioned before that he’s the surgeon we chose for Jon’s Cancer Eradication – so he didn’t even bat an eye when I commented about paranoia re: every little pain.

I left with pictures of my uterus, ovaries, appendix, colon, etc.

I have cysts on both ovaries – something I wasn’t surprised to learn since I found this out via ultrasound a few months ago – but I’m otherwise reportedly in perfect working order.

Want to see? Here.

This stuff is fascinating to me.
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My mom bought a fitbit for me while she was in town hanging out following my surgery.

I really have no idea what this thing is going to do for me since I haven’t felt like figuring it out + I haven’t been exercising, but I’m excited now that I feel well – especially since I discovered it syncs with myfitnesspal.

I don’t have any badges or any friends. I guess I can be found via email? (Bottom of this page.)

I’ve already lost 4 pounds since I got it and added my info – which I shouldn’t have done since it’s going to totally skew my loss info.

I was curious about the bloating, so I tracked: went in to surgery weighing 161, weighed 168 2 days later, weigh 164 6 days later.
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I’ve been too paranoid to eat anything substantial and largely ate nothing but crackers and sherbet for 4 days – but I’m starting to eat normally again.

Last night:

(roasted asparagus + boiled shrimp + boiled corn)

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This morning:

(Me)

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(Jon)

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It rained yesterday/last night, but was sort of nice out (meaning not 100 degrees) this morning, so we ate on the porch.

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I’m SO looking forward to weather conducive to outside exercise again.

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