Yesterday was surgery number two and it went well, but was pretty rough getting to it. I couldn’t eat after midnight the night before and didn’t have surgery until 1pm, so I was a starvin’ Marvin by show time.
I had to go in at 10:50am to get injected with stuff to light up my sentinel nodes so they could remove those during the surgery and test for cancer. (Stuff=I don’t remember what it was and don’t really care). Basically these are the nodes that the fluid from the tumor is going directly to first, so that’s why they get tested. If there’s no cancer presence there it is doubtful that there would be in any other lymph nodes that are further down the chain. There can be anywhere between one and several, I had two removed. One of them was the one that was biopsied and came back clean so it’s really hopeful that it will come back negative. This would help me avoid radiation. I had to keep massaging the injection spot which is on the bottom of my boob so that it would circulate, the nurse was worried about me feeling self conscious in public, but I am so past giving a fuck.
A nice thing we got to do yesterday was bring all of the unused IVF medication back to the doctors so they can give those to people who can’t afford them. They got us all of the medication that we used donated due to our circumstances so we saved thousands of dollars. It’s nice to be able to pay some of that forward. Even the saline solution they can use to give demonstrations (boy are those fun let me tell you).
We then went over to the outpatient surgery and I got in early. I then spent the next 45 minutes with them trying to find a workable vein for an IV. The hard way. Took three different people and at least 6 attempts. It was not the way to prep for a surgery. I also had a lot of water works going on once I got into the surgery bed because this was it. No going back after this and it never seemed more real than when I was in at that bed. There’s also the added joy of strangers seeing me cry. I did a lot of staring at the wall and counting in my head, my not so patented don’ts/stop crying technique. Poor A. was there through all of this, I can’t imagine it was much fun seeing your wife be a mess and also watch people sticking her with needles repeatedly. Plus then he and my Mom had to sit in the waiting room for an hour and a half waiting for me. I didn’t have Mom come back because I thought it would be too much for me and her to see me like that.
Two of my war wounds from the sticks that didn’t work. Please note that I really don’t think this was anyone attempting to get a line in’s fault. I have had IVs and blood drawn about 7 times the week before so my veins were just not in good shape.
The team was really nice and very confident inducing (other than the IV portion), I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I really like my surgeon. I don’t think I could get through this without her helping me feel more confident and calm ahead of times and after. The team even signed a get well card and gave it to me after the surgery with my discharge paperwork.
Then I woke up (see above). A. thought I was joking about taking a photo, but what the hell, why not. I was pretty out of it, but got on my feet earlier than they thought I would (which should surprise no one). The surgery went really well like I said, my surgeon said I have lovely insides. I left with all the stitching done inside the skin so nothing too scary to see, just some steri strips on my abdomen and under my left arm pit. We got some indian food on the ride home which is mostly a blur for me, so I finally got to eat when we got home. I took it easy because the anesthesia can cause nausea, but I did have some apple pie and ice cream before I went to bed 🙂
The great thing was that the anesthesia lasting affects held off most of the pain and I didn’t feel sore until I woke up at 5am this morning (note to self, keep meds by the bed). I went back to Dartmouth today to meet with my surgeon before the big surgery to ask questions. I also got to see what drains look like (I’ll have these in after surgery), really sexy stuff guys. I got some special soap to use the night before and morning of. I’ll probably have a really early surgery (be halfway through before the west coast is even up) because it will be about 6 hours. I find out Friday what time it will be fore sure. Send my parents and A. texts/emails because I’m sure that will be a very long 6 hours for them. Then we all need to cross our fingers that I don’t get a roommate for my hospital stay because that will be the incredibly lame cherry to top this all off.
I’m really sore today and should be tomorrow as well per my surgeon, but hopefully after this I can start feeling better for a few days before the big surgery on Monday and then it’s a shit show.
On a closing note, the lovely art work below is from my friend Rena and this post was brought to you in part by the fine people that make Vicodin. Cheers.