Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My First Hospital Stay...

...told in mainly picture form. Sorry, I am exhausted!

Wearing my stylish hospital gear
before heading into surgery.
Mom captured the moment...
and my absolute joy.

I woke up in the recovery room around 8 PM with extreme nausea.
Luckily for you, there are no pictures.
 I was able to see my family for about ten minutes...Long enough to start crying!
I remember looking at Mom, "I'm going to cry."
And sure enough, I did.

They kept me on oxygen
until about 10:00 PM and finally took me to my room thirty minutes later.
I remember trying to watch Grey's Anatomy with my nurse Pam
but I could not stay awake.
I made out pretty well the night of surgery. I had an amazing, young nurse Audrey
who took special care of me.

Day Two:

I had good drugs in my system...
Without the drugs,
I was close to miserable.

I did have pretty presents to help make my room more comfy...

from The Sharpley's!

"Hope you are back in heels soon!"
Thanks, Brie!

Ashley claims it is only appropriate
to send me flowers in a margarita glass...
Too bad there was no tequila!

From my baby sister...perfect.

From a special sorority sister...
Curious George is totally my secret man.
Look at that face!

*I received other special gifts from another sorority sister, a teddy bear
that kept me company from my Dad & Step Mom, scarves and chocolate
from my special fellow melanoma warrior, and I arrived
home to numerous cards from you all.
THANK YOU. I wish I could post pictures of everything.

Back to the medical stuff...

Here is the left arm incision after my full lymph node dissection.

The two drains coming from my left arm...
Most painful part of the first few days!

Neck drain and incision.
I have not seen the actual incision yet...
It has to remained covered for another week.

The lovely case my drains went into..I had two and they clunk together
as I walked.
I am telling ya...I was a pretty picture!

My breathing toy...Supposed to blow into it ten times every hour.
It has been quite difficult for me.

I was in the hospital for 4 nights.
My discharge process began at 6:15 Monday morning;
however, I did not actually leave until 10:00.
The last night in the hospital was the worst.
I was extremely ill. Luckily Audrey was working again
and she, once again, took special care of me.

Release from "jail"

My aide Rachel said, "My friend is leaving today! Now I don't want to see you back here."
I told Rachel I hope to see her again...but not at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Now I am back in Virginia, tucked into bed, sore as sore can be...
Like the last time I had surgery, I have developed an allergic reaction.

Notice my incision, my two bullet holes from the drains, and my rash.

Maybe you will stop going to the tanning bed now?

The end of my hospital visit brought me amazing, unexpected news...


Now...I need to go rest. The horrible New Jersey roads took a lot out of me today.
I feel beat!

XO, friends.

The healing begins now.


Tina Sullivan said...

Congrats Survivor!! You are an amazing woman Chelsea. This post was so personal and I know it will move someone to making a change in their life.

I wanted you to know that my scars under my arms are barely noticeable now. I used mederma once the incisions began to heal and I think that helped. Also, just a thought - for your rash, do you think you are allergic to laytex? I too got rashes after one of my procedures and we found out it was due to the laytex bandages.

Hang in there and keep taking those pain killers!

Chelsea said...

You know, I really am starting to think that it is an allergic reaction to that! When I read your comment to Mom, she remembered when I had braces, I had a reaction to the latex rubber bands they used! My neck is still covered with a tape and I am having no trouble with maybe that's exactly what it is!

I am hoping this medicine continues to heal the rash. I am tired of it itching NON stop! ;-)