Fran, You are truly in my thoughts and prayer as you enter your journey. I will be thinking about you on your day and await jounals from your family....I know you will do great and just know that you are supposed to be here and god isnt finished with you yet...I have a whole new out look on life and its all for the better...You will do great and hope you have a speedy recovery like I have....Hugging You!...Good luck and talk to you when you wake up!
Michelle ( oklahoma )
I'm praying for you today as you fly to Cleveland for your surgery. Where will your family be staying while you are in the hospital? Randy has made our flight arrangements and hotel arrangements so we are set. I have been doing more reading in the journals and found out that you too are on coumadin/warfarin. I'm a bit nervous about going off of it for the cath and surgery. They have told me to take my last warfarin on Friday, April 10 and then will have the cath April 13th (Tuesday). Will your cath be next Tuesday, the 16th...just thinking how they have my tests scheduled with a Thursday surgery date as well.
Dr. Gullinov has a wonderful reputation and I will be praying the Great Physician will be using him as His instrument of repairing your heart!
Blessings, Carla (PBG)
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." John 14:27
Good luck as you begin your journey to Ohio for surgery. I know you will be in safe hands...and will have all our prayers to help in a speedy recovery. Capt Bill will make your adventure a memorable one. Can not wait to hear about it.
Good luck and God speed,
Hi Fran, I know I wrote in your journal already today, but I am sure that I hit a wrong button or just closed out and did not get it to you. (I have been hitting a lot of wrong buttons tonight and painfully having to do them over and I can never re-create my first thought). I apoloigze as in fact, yours was the first one I wrote in tonight and I don't see it.
Bottom line is I am so thinking about you and your surgery next week. Richard just came in and wants you to know he is thinking about you too. As I told Capt. Bill, our son's birthday is on the 16th and a good friend of ours is on the 18th so guess who we will be thinking aabout then!!
We wish the very best for you and know that you know all about how this works and have a good idea of what to expect, etc., but it is different when it is you.
You are thought about highly by us as you have been so supportive to Richard and I feel like I know you. Now it is your turn and I hope I/we can return the kind gesture and be there for you spiritually and as a journal friend. For you it is going to just go exceptionally well and you and Capt. Bill will be recouping together "walking the halls" and being a comfort and strength to each other and giving all of us readers something to look forward to!
Take care and God Bless.
Richard's wife, Susan
Hey Fran! You and Cap'n Bill are in my prayers as you prepare for your surgeries. You are in very good hands (especially God's) and you will come thru with flying colors! Good luck & God bless!
Dear Fran and Peter
Try and get a good rest tonight in preparation for your early flight tomorrow. Enjoy meeting Lori and Capt'n Bill. I'm sure you'll all have lots to talk about. Good thoughts. Safe flight. We'll chat next week before your surgery. Praying for your quick and safe return. Cheryl, Ontario
Fran - you have been such a tower of strength and support these recent weeks. Just remember that God is your banner (Jehovah Nisi) and he will go before you! You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the coming week and especially on Thursday. Love, Georgie
Fran, we wanted to send you a message before you left home to let you know that all of us will be thinking of you. I know you are well prepared, and that will help you a lot going into surgery. I will be awaiting your journal entries next week. Safe travels and take good care.
We will be thinking and praying for you. You will do well, because of your positive attitude, your faith and a wonderful support group.
Ted received very good news from the oncoligist on Tuesday. White count is normal and has been since last July. Will see Dr. again before we leave for Italy in September. Jean saw sinus surgeon today and will be pursuing alternative treatment for the nagging cough. If it's not one thing it's another.
Having dinner with Tom and Allison McWillams tonight, also Diane Hebert and Dick. Allison is doing well.
Again, you will do well and we look forward to hearing the positive news as things progress.
Dropping by again to say hi, got your bags packed, remember everything, warm clothes for the north, got Peter packed, got your new blanket, got your e-mail addresses and phone numbers of friends and family.
Wish I could reach out and give you a hug today so I'm sending it via cyberspace. Talk later. Good luck. Prayers. Cheryl, Ontario
I haven't written my story yet but hope to post it in the next day or two. I will be going to Cleveland for a re-repair of my mitral valve (Lord willing)...scheduled for April 15th. We will go up April 11th and testing will start April 12th. Even though I'm not officially on the journal board yet, I have been following them with much interest. I find myself telling my family about you, Duane, Capt. Bill and others...just like they should know you all. My prayers will be with you. Just think what a miracle it is that a human heart can be repaired! God is so good! I love this verse: "Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go". (Joshua 1:9)
I will be looking forward to your updates. Carla, PBG, South Florida
Tonight my wife is taking me to see "TUNA DOES VEGAS". More encourging words of humor, to get us though the next few weeks. Between business, trips to the store to make sure I have all the right gear and de-winterizing the boat, I am worn out. I am looking forward to being knocked out for 6-8 hours so I can catch up on some much needed rest! Stay relaxed, prayers are going your way. No coffee Monday morning until after lab work.....I hope they have coffee and crispy creams close by.
Thanks for writing. Glad to hear you are okay with the tests you have yet to experience again. That will help alleviate some anxiety as you already know what to expect or have done them before. I can see where it's time to get a little jittery right now because, if nothing else, you are being forced into considerable downtime. I suppose you could look at it as if it's going to be a remodelling of your inner body to better health. I really don't give any thought whatsoever to my scar as it's fading already. I will eventually get around to buying some Vit E capsules but it doesn't enter my mind when I'm at the store. Must make a list.
I have a treadmill at home so I do use it. Going to rehab though is giving me insight into how to read the numbers and test results and better still, someone in the "know" to bounce my concerns off of. If the nurse thinks I need to see the doctor for anything in particular then she makes an appointment for me. I find rehab is a great self-confidence tool as well as organized exercise program. I started at about 7 weeks post-op so now I find I'm becomming friends with the others that go at the same so it's also becomming a social exercise.
We're seeing the return of some birds scouting out nests for the coming spring, there is no snow and the sun is getting stronger. This has just been the best winter although we could still get a snowfall yet. My son who lives in Ottawa (our capital city), 4 hours north-east has snow.
Have a good day Fran. I am sending you and Peter well wishes for peaceful minds as you get ready for your trip north. Cheers. Cheryl, Ontario
Dear Fran, All your new friends and neighbors down here on Yellow Fin Trail will be thinking about and praying for you. Just take care of that special angel and you will be fine. We will be anxious to get you back here in Bonita Springs. Suzanne and Richaed Kiely
From what I'm hearing it should finally be much warmer for you in Florida so I hope you are soaking up some much deserved sunshine. I'm glad to hear the family is going to try and keep your journal updated although I suspect Bill will be carting along a few toys to keep his busy mind occupied and thought we'd be able to hear both of your updates. You aren't nervous about your angiogram at all, are you? It's pretty much a piece of cake. Not long now my dear. Hang tough. Prayers. Cheryl, Ontario
Yes I am sleeping on a recliner and think it is the best. In the hospital I slept on a recliner next to my bed for a couple of nights..liked it better. Just remember everyone's issues are not the same. I can truly say the breathing tube...I was alert real soon after surgery and wanted it out...it was removed in only 4 1/2 hrs. Once that was over I recovered at warp speed. I mentioned before I had a burning pain in my leg caused by my side breast incision approach to surgery. Those were my two worse issues. I thought the other tubes would have been horrible but I was fine with them. You know when I say fine I mean they were tolerable. I really would say the whole experience was better than I expected. I continue to progress nicely..of course have to build my strength but overall good. I can not believe I had open heart surgery only 6 days ago. They will make you very comfortable and help you in every way at your hospital. Do not imagine anything that happened to others will happen to you...it could but then again a half-full person would say then again they could not.
I think about you everyday as you approach your surgery. You seem like such a kind person with a warm smile. I know it seems crazy...how would I know but I go by my gut alot. You also seem positive which when I told my doctors I was very positive, they said time and time again this seems to have a difference on results. I can say this now, we have the greatest healthcare and are in the best hands, so since we can not control our condition, we must give the control to our surgeon and doctors who are tireless in their efforts to repair and cure our conditions. You will be posting real soon and sharing your story,...you will be fine.
Just wanted to say I was thinking of you today. You leave on the 12th, don't you? Very soon you too will be writing post-op journals and I look forward to that for you. You are in my prayers as you get yourself ready for next week's big day. Prayers. Cheryl, Ontario
My cuz in GA had knee replacement surgery last year which usually leaves a pretty ugly scar. She swears by Burt's Bees ResQ ointment. Said her regular doctor had a hard time finding the scar so the stuff must be pretty good. Walgreen's carries it here in Boise. Comes in a flat green can, kind of like shoepolish.
Hi Fran, thanks for the journal entry into Richard's. Our trip into Boston as you likely read if you could get through the equivalent of the 3" thick novel (sorry about that). The trip was good and all and all prognoses seems to be good.
Brunswick is maybe like an hour and a half from us. We are about 45 minutes south of Portland and then comes Freeport(which is where L.L. Bean is that we frequent) and Brunswick is right after that. So not too far at all. Any time you plan to go visit them - let us know - you are welcome, very welcome to stop by, spend the night even! OR we would be happy to meet you some place like Portland when you visit your friends - just an offer with no pressure only sincerity!
You mentioned the mederma (believe it or not Richard was concerned about his scar - although with all his construction, past scars have been a badge of courage, he was initially concerned about this one (guess he didn't like the references to Frankie - ouch)! He tried the mederma,it is a clear gel. You are supposed to use it 3-4 times a day. For him, he did not like it - he said it made him itch and it seemed to make the incision a little red. But don't go by that as I believe it possible the itching may have been a sign of it working and maybe even seeming red was just it working away, not sure. Nevertheless that was his experience. He did wait until they told him he could use it too but maybe it was still too soon.
Richard's wife, Susan
Thanks for your kind and comforting thoughts about the loss of my dear Lucy. So sorry to hear that you've had your own share of heartaches over losing beloved pets in the past few years. I lost Lucy's sister and littermate to kidney failure a little over a year ago and that was also really difficult.
I was sure that Lucy was going live to be a 20 yr. old cat, she had always been so robust and healthy until pretty recently. But that was not to be, and time will help ease the heartache of the loss.
How are you feeling as your big day approaches? It's good that you're very proactive about being as informed as possible before your surgery. Believe me, one can never be too prepared mentally, emotionally or physically for open heart surgery.
I have not used anything on my incision except for an aloe vera body wash and that has worked very well for me so far. But I'm getting to the point where I'd like to do something to ease the final stages of healing and help the scar along. In the past I've used Vitamin E to enhance healing and lessen scarring (had a bad burn on my leg once)and it worked beautifully. I'm definitely a believer in Vitamin E.
Thanks again, Fran, for your comforting message. You're very much in my thoughts as the 18th approaches!
Well its down to the wire (thats a funny pun, I sell wire for a living). I'll put your name in the prayer hat this week. My wife is praying that I will behave and not give Dr. Gillinov a hard time, She found the green body paint I was going to paint my chest with. As for the scar.. Im using sun tan lotion SPF 12 sitting on a beach anywhere. Thats will be my specal place!
Fran, I haven't seen anyone mention it on this site, but there is a product called ScarGuard that is fabulous. It is painted on like a nail polish, and the bottles I've seen are small. So I don't know how practical it would be to use on a large wound. But the stuff really works and is recommended by plastic surgeons. The wound must be healed at least two weeks before beginning use. I am planning to try it on the various incision wounds I have.
If this product is not available at your local drug stores you can order it online. www.scarguard.com
I wish you could be at my church on Sunday too, but I'm glad you'll be at yours and that your priest will have a special prayer and blessing for you. I was anoninted and prayed over 3 times before my surgery. Guess I needed all 3!!
Thank you for your kind words. You too are one special lady. I think we will meet one day (even before heaven). When we're both well recovered! Bonita Springs isn't that far from Winter Haven! May I give you a call before you leave on Friday?
Thanks for all your concern, care, and prayers. It's your turn now.
Dear Fran - David and I have been thinking of you and praying for your safe travels, good care and speedy recovery. Sounds as though you have had terrific advice from others and since I have not been through something like this, I can't give first-hand cardiac advice.
During the time of your surgery, we will be traveling to Orlando (one at a time) to see Mary, our youngest daughter, play tennis with her college team. That's my rosary time and I'll have you (and Pete) on top my list. Please count on me for a couple of meals delivered to your home upon your return. Others have done that for me and I remember that it made life a bit easier.
We're thinking of you as you await this important next step. Love & God speed! David & Julie Nodland
I am about 63 miles south of NYC in NJ. We have had a tremendous amount of snow this winter. Tomorrow it could hit 50. Nothing like sunny Florida...my husband wants to retire there. You are near Naples?? Been in that area and down to Marco Island. I will find out in the a.m. if I am discharged...will keep you updated.
Badge of honor? Well, maybe somewhat, but I still want to minimize the appearance of my scar. Based on Adam's book and blog postings, I bought Mederma. I have not yet used it, but I am about to start. You're not supposed to use it until there is no more open wound. I had a few subcutaneous sutures surface at the bottom of my incision (nothing to be concerned about), so I have waited to make sure nothing's open. You guys leave a week from today. Peggy and I will be praying for you and eagerly awaiting word.
I'm not proud. I don't mind buying and eating strawberries that were picked for me from sunny, used to be warm, Florida!
Did you grandson ever play with Thomas the Tank Engine? One of our best trips was taking our grandson to Penn. to see Thomas in "person". Great memories of fun with the little ones. You will enjoy him even more when you are feeling more up to it. Cheryl, Ontario
Pray you are keeping the jitters at bay enough that you are resting well. You have to try and keep your strength for when you need it the most. Keep strong. I'm praying for you to maintain your inner strength. Cheryl, Ontario
This is Theresa posting. I had my surgery on March 2 and am already sitting in a chair posting to you. In my case, the breathing tube was my worst issue because I was aware of my surroundings pretty early. I do not think everyone would say that because they are knocked out and unaware. The rest of the recovery was not as bad, seriously I think everyone is different and therefore their issue is. I did not know until the last minute which incision I wanted. My decision was not based on cosmetic reasons but rather on recovery time. I was told the breast incision was more painful initially, but recovery was a little faster. I really was at peace because I trusted in my surgeon and the hospital. Everyone here was wonderful in their support. If you have any questions feel free to inquire. I know you will be ok and I will be praying for you and Captain Bill.
Countdown 8 days till you leave. Before you know it, this will all be behind you. And thanks for all the ecouragement you have been to me and many other journalists. Yep, holding my Daisy was pure joy. I got her to smile and giggle often. Then she feel asleep in grandpa's arms. I could't lift her, but I sure could hold her. Definitely the best part of getting older is being grandparents!
Fran.. you have been so kind with all your posts in our guestbook.. and I wanted to wish you a event free surgery.. and a speedy recovery early.. in case I am too busy to do so next week as I will be caring for Frank.
Thanks for all the support and kind comments you've psoted on my journal. Two days away for me, will try to stay positive and strong. It's my last day at work and is pretty tough, saying "so long" to people I am with 5 days a week. Hope all goes well with your surgery. I'll (or Kim) will let you know how mine goes. Good luck !!!
Hi there !!! I have been keeping up with you...I know i am not the best writer, I have been swamped at work, all over the country, seattle, portland, los angles, austin, ny, boston in the last 3 weeks..I will call you soon to chat..love, lil bro !
Hey Fran! Yes I did eat that broccoli! I was just worried since I didn't eat enough last week while in the hospital to keep an ant alive. I think I was afraid I would shock my body.
I appreciate all your encouragement you've sent my way. Am praying for you as your surgery date approaches.
Kathy the piper