Ovarian Cancer Surgery Kicked My Butt; But I Survived!

I was warned that it would take one year for me to recover from that abdominal surgery. I did not believe my doctor as I was incredibly healthy and in great shape. I walked 5 miles, five days a week; in the mountains. I was active, ate healthy and exercised; it couldn't possibly take that long to recover from one little surgery.

Well, I was completely fooled and in denial. I had never been so sick before in my entire life. It wasn’t the surgery per se but the complications afterwards that almost got me. “They”, whoever “they” are, often say that it isn’t the disease that kills you, but the cure. This was definitely one of those situations. And yes, it DID take me an entire year to recover from that little episode!  I was appalled at how quickly my body failed me. It almost shut completely down. Every ounce of muscle that I once had, just disappeared.  Breathing was now an effort; walking even more so.

Me and Peg; before surgery!
I could hardly recognize myself after I got out of the hospital. I wasn’t allowed to return home, as I lived two hours away in the mountains.  The Pegster to the rescue! My dear friend Peggy literally allowed me, my son and our dog to move into her condo for that month. God bless her for putting up with the likes of the three of us! I was like an emaciated zombie, my son was in oblivion and my HUGE lab just wasn’t used to golf course living. Despite all of that, she graciously housed and nourished us along our way. My poor mother visited every day and brought me “things”. It was so hard to see how worried and sad that she was for me. It breaks my heart that I am now sick again; it is so hard for her.

My goals were small; eating and walking. For the first time in my life, food was not only unappealing, it was also nauseating. One of my greatest fears was that I would never be able to enjoying eating again. What, no “lunch’? Walking from the bedroom to the bathroom was a chore. After the first week, I forced myself to walk across the street. It took me fifteen minutes. I had no strength and no focus. I simply existed, allowing my body to heal, trying not to become depressed.

Once I got the OK to go home, my daughter came with me so I that I would not be alone. Just going home helped my mental state tremendously. I began to feel like someday I would be well again. I lived in an upside down house, where my living room was on the top floor and my bedroom one floor below. I would make one trip down the stairs at night and one trip up again in the morning. It was excruciating. My little grandson would ask to see my belly, he called it my “Franken Belly” and God bless him, he would kiss my big owie; now that is love! I could barely stand to even look at it!

Eventually my mind and appetite returned. I began to knit and made tons of baby blankets, sweaters and scarves. It was the only activity that I could do. It was pathetic! After several months, I was able to start taking short walks outside, and before I knew it, 6 months had past. I was beginning to look and feel a bit like my old self. I could see the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

“They”, the powers of be, say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I am here to say that it DID take me a full year to recover from that condition, it was long and it was hard, but I suppose in some strange way it prepared me for my current battle; my battle with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Lucky me, for lessons learned. Now if I could only figure out whom in the world that I have pissed off!


  1. You didn't piss anyone off! God knew (and knows) you can handle it, and write about it - helping others that are facing diversity! There ARE angels on earth, dancing ones Michele, I know one! Look in the mirror! <3
    Always, Julia xoxoxo

  2. Right now the only person looking back at me is an old lady with very little hair!

  3. Hi Michele
    Really nice post you are sharing with us and really helpful for those who are survive with Ovarian Cancer Surgery.

    God bless you
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