As expected, I spent two nights in the hospital. During the first 24 hours, my internal refrain was "I will never recover. I will have chronic pain for the rest of my life." But each day brought exponential healing. The nurses encouraged me to walk three times on the day after the surgery. My appetite started to return. I returned home Friday and already feel almost normal. (Although nap time is sacred. I will not skip the afternoon nap.) I have whittled the Percocet dosage down to one a day, and I think I will skip today's dose altogether. My goal is to be able to drink some Beaujolais nouveau at our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow (and btw, I totally recommend timing your surgery so that you aren't expected to help out in the kitchen on a major holiday).
But I want to back up. Because of the "complex cyst," my doctor ordered the blood test CA 125. This gives a count of a biomarker for ovarian cancer. The count considered normal is 35 and under.* My first count, on November 5, was 4,317. When my doctor told me the news, he said I "most likely" had ovarian cancer. But he also made the disclaimer that we wouldn't know until the surgery, which was scheduled nearly 2 weeks later.
Frantic and desperate for support, I posted details here and linked from social media accounts. On Facebook, I invited people to come to a special meeting/caring circle "for strength and support" held at our Quaker Meeting at my request. Some said I shared way more than they would have, but I felt clear in my need to have you all behind me. And it was just what I needed. I know everyone handles serious news/crises differently, but my recent experience shows that people are more than happy to pray for you or hold you in their thoughts. It costs nothing, and they will offer more than you ask. I am so grateful.
On a lighter note, I have to say that hot flashes are kind of nice. I joke with my kids that I'm a reptile (always cold), so it's been kind of fun to have surprise automatic body heat a couple of times a day. I'm also enjoying wearing yoga pants (activewear!) without the compulsion to work out.
I have a lot of thank-you cards to write this Thanksgiving.