Recovery Begins…Day #1

Where to begin…

Jill Naked

That may be too far back…although she really hasn’t changed all that much.  I think she lives on Fairview because there is a swing set across the street.  We used to find her like this often.

Jill has a rough night…they were trying to get the pain under control.  She had some bad muscle spasms in her abdomen which they said is not uncommon.  They upped her dosage and gave her some additional muscle relaxers which seemed to help.  She still didn’t sleep over 5-10 minutes at a time.  There was a very annoying alarm that went off every few minutes because of the arterial line they had in for surgery.  That was removed this morning so hoping tonight is better.

She stood up for about 3 minutes early this morning during the nurses shift change.  Obviously she got a little dizzy but did great.  They got her up and into a chair a few minutes ago and will get her up this afternoon to make her start walking the halls.  They want her as active as possible so pneumonia doesn’t skulk in.

Jill’s friend and inspiration Teri Griege was actually just down the hall  from her last night after having ablation surgery on 3 tumors on her liver.  She stopped in this morning for a visit.  We fully expected to see Teri jogging the halls this morning with her IV stand following behind her!  She’s amazingly tough.

Jill and Teri

The doctors did their rounds early between 5:30 am and 7 am.  Dr. Hawkins said the tumors he removed showed signs of necrosis… which is great!  That indicates the chemo is working on killing the tumors.  He said she will have more scans in 6 weeks, then mostly likely go onto another round of chemo.  He will do a portal embolism during the next round of chemo to start killing the right side of her liver and growing the left side which is now free of tumors.  After the next chemo round she will have another break and then the surgery to remove the entire right lobe.  He’s a very aggressive no nonsense doctor which is exactly what Jill needs.  Unfortunately he is heading to NY this weekend because his father is also have a cancer scare.   Hoping all is ok there.

Thanks for all the texts, Facebook posts, and cards.  Keep the prayers and good vibes flowing her way!

Surgery You Complete Me…Oops…Surgery Completed!

Yaaaay!!!! Surgery went great today! imageimage

Jill heeded our pre-surgery advice to not to go towards the light!


She had the trifecta of surgeries…and while she didn’t win any money she did get rave reviews from her 3 surgeons.  It was a very formal affair so luckily Jill bought us these lovely tuxedo shirts!


Dr. Hawkins did the liver resection and ablation part first.  He only focussed on the left lobe.  The goal is to clean the left lobe of tumors.  He cut out 4 and did ablation on the 3 that he couldn’t remove.  The plan is to do a portal embolism to grow the left lobe in a future surgery and eventually remove the right side. Picture left and right field here…right side sucks!

The second portion of the surgery was the colon resection to remove the primary tumor.  Dr. Wise took out a section of her sigmoid colon and reattached it.  He said it went great and it was a little less invasive than he thought it would be because there was a little extra space to reconnect it.  He also removed all of the lymph nodes from that area.  There should be no long term issues with this because of the placement in the colon.

The final part was a full hysterectomy as a preventative measure.  There were some polyps the OBGYN surgeon Dr. Haegemen was worried about.  With the family history they believed this was necessary.  Jill of course asked for her uterus to take home in a glass jar to parade around with as a conversation piece…shockingly this is not allowed!  Anyway, Dr. Haegeman was kind enough to take photos…you can all expect these photos to be used in Jill’s Christmas cards this year!  Thanks Dr!

There was a high risk for bleeding with the first two surgeries.  Both doctors said she didn’t lose any blood which was great news!

In true dramatic Jill fashion…there’s always a backstory.   Usually one that starts with a face that looks like this….


So, the one fortunate side effect of chemo was that she hasn’t had periods.  About an hour before surgery she managed to squeeze one last one in! The nursing staff were all very impressed…as was Panther Dan! We got rather “tickeled” with the granny panties and giant pad they gave her.  It had wings and looked like it had been used in at least one commercial flying  Becky Queen of Carpets over the Arch!  You remember Becky…


Anyway, she’s in a step down ICU now and she’s in a lot of pain.  They had to up her pain meds around midnight and give her. muscle relaxers because she was having bad spasms.  It’s going to be a long few days but she’s hanging tough.  They want her sleeping as much as possible so we’re asking to hold off on visits for now.

On a funny ending note, her saline bag spontaneously popped open at 1 am and started spraying everything in sight…mostly me but on her arm too.  The nurse said she has never seen that happen before…I’m thanking Jeff Carriere for that one!

Keep sending prayers and good vibes her way.