Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday - a look back

It's 2am Friday morning.  I woke up due to my regular night-sweat, not the pain in my chest.  There is pain there now that I'm awake.  Not excruciating but pain none the less.  I've been getting morphine by iv when i need it.  Percoset starting later in the morning. 

Thursday started off pretty shaky.  At home as I showered, i begun to realize the levity of the day and it upset me.  All the things like losing my natural breasts to dying on the operating room table crossed my mind. I could where no make-up or jewelry so getting dressed was pretty quick. I packed my bag and headed downstairs.

I sat the family down because there was a few things I wanted to say.  I discussed my wishes if something happened during the operation and gave my rings to Sarah and Alex for safe keeping.  I've never had surgery before and wanted to be prepared and to prepare them too.  I wiped away my tears and hugged them each so tight I wanted to pass my love through it for them to keep forever.

Bob and I headed to see Dr. Sepulveda for markings for surgery.  He used multiple colored markers and measuring tapes and drew all over my boobs and around the chest.  Afterward he signed his work!  As we left, we ran into Larry who hugged me and made me feel very secure as he offered to help me in any way.

Alex and Sarah were already at Vassar when we got there and up walked Donna to finish my morning crew.  Lois checked me in and she was the lucky one to start an iv in my skinny veins.  It took a little while, but she found one that was suitable in my hand.

When all this was finished we headed over to Nuclear Medicine so I could be detected with an isotope.  The doctor would use this and an injected blue dye to detect the sentinel lymph node to biopsy.  A little lidocaine and I didnt' feel a thing. 

Last stop was the pre-op holding area where lots of people came in to introduce themselves to me including my Anesthesologist.  When all the doctors had come to see me, i was ready to go in as soon as the room was set up.  I said goodbye to Barbara (who snuck in), Sarah and Bob and they wheeled me into the operating room.  I don't remember much after I got in there besides moving to table, settling my arms and finally breathing oxygen.... done.

Next thing I knew, I was back in the holding area with doctors around me and telling me it went well.  It was 5 o'clock and I was very drowsy... as I am now... this is how I would be all night - doze off and have a few minutes of clarity.  It was 7p when I got up to the room and waiting for me was Bob, Alex, Sarah, Donna, Bob and Deb.  Laura and Halley came in for a few hours in the afternoon and as I was trying to stay awake, Babara and Allen came in too.

The good news is that the biopsy of the lymph node showed 8 abnormal cells but not cancer cells.  The neo-adjavent attack with chemo worked!  It stopped the growth and kept it away from the lymph system thus insuring it didn't make its way to my other organs! With the removal of my breasts and that news, I am cancer free!! Great news...

Now I'm dozing and waking to nurses taking vitals.  Also, I had a roommate!  Sarah stayed with me here and slept in the chair that opened to a bed.  I think it made both of us feel good.  The staff has been great with just enough attention with being overbearing. 

I'll get the catheter out soon so I can move around on my own and eat breakfast.  If all goes well, I'll be home early afternoon!

1 comment:

DOI said...

Mary, this post brought tears to my eyes -- the part about talking to your children before you left for the hospital. Sarah sleeping next to you in the hospital in that recliner reminded me that my son David had done the same for me, which made me feel so secure.