Monday, May 7, 2012

one less.

OVER LOAD of photos...(WARNING: some photos are gross)
1 and 2) before surgery. bein silly to keep me from bein crazy.
3 and 4) the strongest man i know, and he just happens to love me like crazy. praying and loving on me before i went under the knife.
5, 6 and 7) in the ICU, learning i almost died. 
8 and 9) still in ICU showing off my battle wounds and my amazing blood drainage sack
10, 11 and 12) in my private room...
13) saying my goodbyes to some seriously amazing nurses.
14) in the ER a few days after surgery because my head was swelling. but they sent me home and said that it was only normal to have that swelling after this type of surgery. wanna know why? cuz they drilled through my skull in 4-6 different places and clamped it tight in order to keep my head still during this crazy dangerous surgery. yea...DRILLED through my skull. 
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im baaaaack! and i am with one less tumor! if your happy and you know it clap your hands!! CLAP CLAP!

days leading up to the surgery my mind and heart were numb. i knew that this was a dangerous surgery, but never did i imagine just how dangerous. a lot of you, facebook friends, local churches, friends and family were praying for me; and i am forever grateful.

so, there is so much to say. i really don't know where to begin.

first off, they got ALL of the tumor.

secondly, there was a "slight" complication.
this tumor (about a square inch) was so complex, not only was it part way in my spinal canal and messing with my spinal cord, but it was hanging out partly in my vertebrae entangling itself within those nerves and vertebral artery as well. when the surgeon tried to get that part (the final part) he nicked my artery. the nick so small, the team of surgeons couldn't find it. and even though the nick was small, i was loosing lots of blood, i lost about 40% of my blood in minutes. but you know what? God must not be done with me yet, because there was a vascular surgeon in the surgery room next door who was called into our room to help out. Dr Awesome found the nick, stitched it up and saved my life. i keep playing around with the ideas in my head of how perfectly detailed that the Lord orchestrated that day for me to still be alive. if the vascular surgeon wasn't next door, if he wasn't working that day, a slightly bigger nick...i could go on forever. its mind boggling to me that i could have died just like that. my poor family was called into a room to learn of what was going on, and to sit and wait. i feel terribly that they had to go through that. they still don't like to talk about it.

coming out of surgery was a hoot. i had to be taken to the cath lab to make sure my artery was fully closed up. since this was during the last hour or so of my anesthesia when i arrived in the ICU i started waking up....with NO PAIN MEDS. nurses still hadn't received orders from the doctor for my they couldn't give me any.

opening my eyes, i think.

'i'm alive! i'm alive i'm alive i'm alive!!!" i automatically want to check out my moving ability's since i was so terrified of becoming partially or fully paralyzed. so, i wiggle my fingers-check. toes-check. YES!! nurse notices i am awake, she also checks my fingers and toes and...she agrees...i can do it.
shortly after, i remember my mom showing up. i tell her i can move my fingers and toes. but, i hurt! i hurt so bad. after the thrill of not being paralyzed sort of drifts away with the anesthesia....this pain is like thunder. all in the back of my neck. HOLY crap bombs!! its all i feel now, i cant ignore this agony. i wanted this torture to stop. was i supposed to be awake yet? why does it feel like my neck is open and surgeons are ripping out my bones? the worst. the worst pain i have ever felt. now when they ask me, "if 10 is the level of the worst pain you've ever felt, what is your pain level at now?" i'm like, "um zero, zilch nothing? negative a billion?"
instead of screaming like i sooo wanted to do, i whispered. and tears slowly fell down my cheeks. i whispered to my mom not to do or say anything stupid to the nurses as we waited for my morphine (cuz obviously she didn't want to see me in pain, and was trying to get the nurses to do something about it). i had to stay in control. i didn't want any of my family to know just how badly i hurt. the quieter i was, the more calm they would be. and therefor the more calm i would be. i'm tellin you. it was nuts. no pain killer immediately after surgery, may as well been attacked by someone on the streets that did some crazy knife work on my neck. would have felt the same.

i was in the ICU till the following day, and then moved to my own private room (praise God) till that friday when i was finally released!! i stayed at family's house in california for about 4 days and then made the trip home to oregon. i have been home for a few weeks now and i feel like i have been on the most extreme roller coaster of my life. i will share the emotional side of it in a different post. but physically, the past few weeks, my incision and some of my body parts that were effected by the surgery have been healing well. however, i am still in more pain than i was before this surgery. my shoulder and arms? oh my shoulder and arms!! especially my right one. the surgeon told me he sacrificed some sensory nerves (no big deal) but he also had to remove the entire nerve that the tumor was on, and unfortunately this was a muscle controlling nerve. now my right shoulder and arm hang about 2 inches lower than my left arm and i feel like they function less than half of what they did before.

still waiting to go back for my follow up appointment. will find out more about how permanent these symptoms will be. so until then i try not to be too distraught.

thank you all for your love your prayers and all of your kind words. you are all a help and give me strength to keep up the fight.


  1. I can't even imagine the strength you have Kelly. You have such an inspirational story. I wish I could help you in some way, but you are right, you aren't finished here and Heavenly Father will keep protecting you until you are. Thank you for sharing such personal moments with all of us.

  2. Rock on! Sounds like you rocked the knife!