This weekend will mark 1 month since my kidney surgery and removal of that nasty tumor, and despite some little hiccups along the way, I think I can now safely say that I've turned a corner and things are starting, slowly, to get back to something resembling "normal".
Yesterday, I got the "all clear" from my doctor to stop those horrible 3x/day injections of heparin, and now I'm just taking pills for the blood thinner (probably for anywhere from 3-6 months). The day before, he also gave me permission to stop wearing those annoying compression socks. So between those two things my legs are finally FREE! I have horrible bruising and swollen "bumps" under the skin on my thighs that are quite painful, but he assures me this is normal and eventually they will go away. At least I no longer feel I'm being tortured on a daily basis, albeit tortured by medical necessity.
I'm having less pain around the scar and in my back, too. I've been using a different pain medicataion and only taking it in the evenings so that it relieves that pain and I can sleep better, since I can still only sleep on my back. I get fatigued quickly if I'm on my feet too long, but yesterday I managed to get out and cross the street to go to the supermarket and pick up a few groceries (not too many as I'm not supposed to do any heavy lifting). Today I may try walking to the boulangerie at the end of our little street to get a sandwich for lunch. I'm exhausted after these little efforts but I can get through it and it feels good to do something normal for myself and without help. I'm also starting to do a few more things around the house - light laundry, making coffee and breakfast in the mornings, tidying up the general clutter. I even ordered a new Dyson vacuum that should arrive next week and I can't wait until it gets here because the floors are super-dusty and our old vacuum, which wasn't working well anyway, somehow became infest with mites (tiny moths). Some of you may recall the infestation we had in our old house years ago in our kitchen, and Georges and I decided to just throw away the old cheap vacuum and invest in a new one. I won't be able to do a super-great job of vacuuming (can't move furniture to clean behind, for instance) but I should be able to do the main floors and that will make the house cleaner and healthier - and I'll feel better about having been able to DO something.
Yesterday, I was able to lie on my right side for a full 30 minutes while watching TV, so it won't be too many more weeks before I can start sleeping on my side again. I still have to take it slow, though. One wrong, innocent move on my part and I can get pain near the scar, so I have to take it easy and remind myself that I still have a long way to go yet. I have a follow-up with my surgeon in the first week in February and then will start working with an oncologist the week afterward to get the biopsy results and talk about these chemo pills I am supposed to be starting. The idea of any kind of chemo makes me a little nervous, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about it; but from all accounts the side effects are drastically less than with other types of treatment. In any event, I can't worry about it until we actually meet with that doctor and get the information; right now my job is to just keep getting stronger, a little more each day.
The main thing is, I feel like I can see the light at the end of this post-surgical tunnel. I always knew the surgery and aftermath would be the hardest part, and it's been longer and slower than I expected, but now things are looking up at last. I feel like for me, the light at the end of my tunnel looks like a disco ball -- because I feel like doing a happy dance to celebrate being able to see the end in sight!
Thanks again for all your messages of support and concern. It's really wonderful to know so many people care. Blessings to all of you!