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Monday, September 20, 2010

Part 6 Deja Vu Surgery Cancer 101

August 13, 2010 was a beautiful sunny Fall day. It was because of this fact that I ragged my husband's butt most of the way between Houston and Smithers. We were leaving late and it was so important to me to get in a four hour hike straight up ANY mountain before succumbing to more surgery the next day. I couldn't go backwards before going as far forward as I could push myself first. Just a taste of a major hike. WHAT! We have to stop for gas? How will I make it to Dr. E's office by 3 PM?
Long story short. I didn't. I did make it back down to the vehicle from Terrace's butt burning Sleeping Beauty by 3 PM to phone Dr. E's office. I am on my way. No one minded and indeed I think it was Fate because once in his office waiting room, in walks a good friend. She's here to see about a lumpectomy, which ends up being scheduled for the following week. She will need the dye and the wire and her lump was also 9mm. Wasn't she lucky? I had to hold my tongue and wish it to be so for her.I mean that with all of my heart. BUT, what fun to run into her and her husband. Dr. E has a student shadowing him and when I asked if while in surgery he could biopsy the instigating left breast and have that sample analyzed properly, he insisted on an examination. The student got to practise feeling for a lump, which even I had to say he was doing it all wrong. Ha!
The second surgery required no invasive, painful wire or nuclear medicine. A perkier, well rested anesthetist was at my side and before I knew it, the room was spinning barely after transferring me to the surgery table. I don't remember waking up in post-op but I did wake up to my own morphine pump this time, which I used right off the bat.
With the pain under control, I was fed a liquid dinner. Friends showed up with Chai tea, a chocolate sundae, flowers and fresh fruit. Perfect. A sleeping pill put me down for the night even though, yes, more babies.
The tube jutting out of my side is so revolting I almost threw up the first time I have to look at it. It looks like a rubber hand grenade and it collects clots and fluid that leave my insides and travel down a skinny tube to the collecting bulb below. It will end up flushed down the toilet.
I have special surgical band aids on both breasts that stretch the skin tightly together, sealing the incisions firmly before protecting them against any outside bacteria. My right nipple now points severly right and I look oddly disfigured. I wonder where that student was when that band-aid was applied?
Am I starting to finally see some humour in all of this?
Today is Day 6 of Post-op and I still have 10 movies I rented left to watch. The best place in my world is flat out on our couch. The straight back gives me an arm rest so that my operated arm can sit away from my body. The drain hangs down by my side. I try to get up and walk every day, do some chores, but rest in between. I have to do something to wear off the indulgences I imbibe in everyday now.
Thank goodness I thought to get my long hair whacked off last week. I didn't want to cut it but I can now wash it myself using the one arm. My sister sent me a one handed book holder that I am greatly enjoying (as well as a web cam so we can Skype, a book I wanted to read, cards and our family Treasure...a soft cuddly bear named Homer, who sat by our Mother's side as she passed away).
Morale improves daily. Thanks everyone for the constant support.

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