Updated: May 5
January 31, 2022, will be a date forever branded in my mind. I was working without thinking of anything wrong, not skipping a beat getting my work done when I was told my X-ray came back abnormal. At first, I was in disbelief, and then as the words were coming out of the doctor's mouth, I zoned out after that. Everything happened so fast.
Two weeks later, I had a CT scan, which was fun… it’s not easy putting IVs in me. My veins don’t like it when you advance a small object into them 🤣and I was poked 4times trying to get this IV in with no lidocaine. My results came back... I was then referred to an oncologist and, at this point, completely freaked out. So far, all that was said to me was this mass showing was abnormal, and we need more tests. I can remember sitting in the waiting room and looking around at everyone thinking to myself, God, how did I get here, and what is going to happen next? I was scheduled for a P.E.T. scan to get a complete picture of what we were dealing with. In March, it was decided that a cardiac surgeon would go in and do a biopsy. My consult with the surgeon was hard to hear, and I zoned out again when I heard him say we have to collapse your lung to reach the mass. Thank goodness my husband was by my side because I don’t remember anything else he said during that visit.
Two weeks later, I was in the hospital—the night before, I sat on the bathroom floor and cried. I thought I was hiding well because I hate crying or breaking down in front of anyone. My husband heard me and sat on the floor and held me as I cried. This was the craziest situation I had ever gone through, and at this moment, I was scared to death.
Once I got off the bathroom floor, I decided I would have to be optimistic about all of this but, most importantly, surrender to God! I only remember the IV being placed this time with lidocaine 🙌and then my epidural after that; it was lights out. When I was first woken up, the nurse said she would call my husband. Now I woke up with my new mindset, so keep that in mind; ok… I told her to tell him my boob job went great 👍.. lol The nurse laughed and said really…. I told her yes, it would help lighten the mood and be a good laugh! When my husband heard her say that, he started laughing he said. This was the beginning of my RESET!
My parents and my husband’s parents helped with our kids keeping things as normal as possible. My dad spent his days with me watching TV, and my mom and I had girls' night knitting while watching chick flicks. I was never left alone❤️
On day 2 in the hospital, my other lung collapsed, and at bedside my surgeon quickly numbed me and placed another chest tube. That was the most uncomfortable situation being awake and having a tube pushed into your chest! Later that day, my left lung was acting up. My diagnosis was chylothorax, and I was put on a liquid diet / nonfat food. Since the hospital didn’t have a menu for someone like me, my husband researched and spoke to the hospital dietitian about what I could eat. My husband then went to the grocery store and created my meals so I would not be stuck with jello and chicken broth. This man of mine, ya’ll .. he is the best! He was not only taking care of our kids at this point but getting them from the bus, making me dinner every night, and bringing it up to the hospital for me.
If you’re wondering what chylothorax is, here is the definition per Wikipedia.
A chylothorax is an abnormal accumulation of chyle, a type of lipid-rich lymph, in the space surrounding the lung. The lymphatics of the digestive system returns typically lipids absorbed from the small bowel via the thoracic duct, which ascends behind the esophagus to drain into the left brachiocephalic vein. If normal thoracic duct drainage is disrupted, either due to obstruction or rupture, chyle can leak and accumulate within the negative-pressure pleural space. In people on a regular diet, this fluid collection can sometimes be identified by its turbid, milky white appearance since chyle contains emulsified triglycerides.
So my awesome husband came up with these delicious dishes.
I was discharged from the hospital 10days after my surgery but could not stop my diet or remove the chest tube on my left side. I was sad to leave because while I was there, my nurses and techs had become some good friends. However, I was happy to come home because I missed my kids.
Today I am tube free and back to my regular diet but working on my pain management. The mass which laid next to my heart was removed entirely. The lab results came back that it was a benign thymoma.
A thymoma is a tumor originating from the epithelial cells of the thymus that is considered a rare malignancy. Thymomas are frequently associated with neuromuscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis; thymoma is found in 20% of patients with myasthenia gravis. Once diagnosed, thymomas may be removed surgically.
Before that X-ray, I would have never known about this mass. I had no symptoms and was considered healthy at my yearly physical in November.
Physically I am healing, but I’m not sure if anyone ever mentions how mentally you have to heal as well. I look back with gratitude and the blessings family and friends that gathered and the number of prayers that were said in my name. Simply saying Thank You is not enough for the kindness and love I received and my family! I am continuing to improve, but in a way I never imagined. God has set a path for me, and it’s hard to put into words, but his doing has pushed the RESET Button!