Good morning my little Munchkins! Boy what a day I had yesterday....it was pretty interesting....I'm writing this for anyone who might stumble upon this blog and is getting ready to have breast cancer surgery. It's kind of a step by step (on the parts where I was coherent enough to remember) of what you might expect. I know my friends and family will be reading it too and it is my fervent prayer that you don't need to know what to expect....I'll divide it up into 2 or 3 post...so you can take a break :)
To all my breast cancer sisters (and/or brothers) who might be reading this to try to get information on what to expect or to try to get some calm to your mind that is running in all different directions, I hope I can give you that information and I hope my thoughts will bring you some calm.
If, like me, you made it through the Sentenal Node procedure the day before then your day of surgery is pretty much a walk in the park..........well except for...........oh and then there was....OK OK....let me just relay it to you as I remember it....
Those of you who know how much I like to write, are probably already shaking your heads knowing this may get lengthy. For anyone new here....go get a fresh cup of coffee (we'll wait for you) and if you are reading from a laptop or an iPad take it to a room where you can plop yourself in your favorite comfy chair or bean bag
I got to the hospital at 6:00 on the dot....can you guess what I had to do..........yep......... Only one young lady was checking people in and there were 3 or 4 people before us....so just like in the military...hurry up and wait. I was so jealous of this little boy that was there to get his tonsils removed. He had on alligator slippers like this
and every time he'd take a step, the mouth would fly opened. And he was holding onto his Mario Brothers stuff toy with dear life. I am sure those two items made his surgery go a lot easier.....not to mention that last night he probably got ice cream.....oh wait....I did too (just a little)!
So back to the lobby. I got checked in an they sent me up to the surgery department (even though I was suppose to go have a procedure done in radiology/mammogram department before that). I found out the procedure is that the nurses/staff in surgery get you all prepped and then they wheel you down to the radiology department. A tech named Billy came in and took my blood pressure and temp and strapped my left pointer finger (to measure my pulse) and I felt just like ET Phone home........
And now the fun begins....come on don't click me off when I'm just getting started.
So some quick background. As you may or may not remember, I had breast cancer on the left side in 2002 and had part of my surgery done at The Medical Center in Dallas and the remainder of it and my chemo and radiation treatments done at Wilford Hall Medical Center - Lackland AFB - San Antonio, Texas At the time, they supposedly did not have the blue dye to do the Sentenal Node, so they had to do the old fashioned method and took 21 lymph nodes (all clear) hmmmm??? Anyway when you have several lymph nodes removed, it puts you right up at the top of the list for people who are eligible to get Lymphodema (not fun).....you can not have any blood work, IV's or blood pressure in that arm....ever... ever.... ever and when you are flying or doing strenuous work, you are suppose to wear a compression sleeve....so that your arm does not swell up (and is not able to get rid of the fluid)....anyway....left arm, 21 lymph nodes removed...No IVs - No Blood Pressure in that arm for this surgery. And since they would be working on the right side and under the right arm I couldn't have the IV or blood pressure in that arm either. So what does that leave?......... yep you guessed it your legs and feet. This very sweet young nurse named Kayla came in and told me she had spoken to the surgeon and to be on the safe side, they were going to do the IV in my foot....Oh OK...fine by me...
"Have you ever had an IV in your foot?"
"No...not that I can remember"
"Well, you are not going to like me when I am done"
Now you know that's not something you want to hear a nurse say when she has a needle in her hand.
She tied a tourniquet above my ankle and tapped on the top of my foot. Then she had me swing my legs over the side of the bed and sit up. My feet are hanging down and she is squatting in front of me. (I don't remember her saying that the Lydocain used to numb the foot would burn). She said here we go...........................I about passed out and almost kicked her right in the face. I am here to tell you, that burning was 100 times worse than the Sentenal Node burning. As the young people these days say OMG !
But eventually, the burning subsided and by the time she actually stuck the IV in, my foot was numb and I didn't feel a thing. She said it burns so bad because the foot is so boney. Compared to that one procedure, the rest of the day was a breeze (well almost all of it). And she thanked me for getting a pedicure just for her!! I knew that was a good idea. :)
OK....I'm going to go lay down a little while. I'll be back with Part B a little later.