Friday morning shortly after I wrote, my mom and I got in the car to head to the hospital. (5:30 am) We were some of the very first people to check in. It was a bit strange having been to this hospital just six months ago for my mastectomy. The routine is the same. The pre-op routine is the same, they ask my height, get my weight, check my vitals, and place the iv. However this time my plastic surgeon came in, so he could mark me. I stood up without my robe on, while he took his blue pen and drew around my breasts.
He had already made the decision to go through my already existing scars across my chest in an effort to minimize their size. It was no surprize that he would be drawing there. Many of you may ask, is that not strange to have him drawing across my chest. To be honest it is not strange at all when you do not have feeling there. The only reason I knew that he was drawing on my chest was because I was cognitively processing it, not because I felt it.
As soon as I was all set, the nurse brought my mom and Ric (my dads best friend and Colorado Dad) back to see me and we waited. We soon learned that Dr. Williams wanted to make sure my white cell counts were still up (even though they spiked high the day before) before moving forward. We all knew that the only reason my counts were high (18) were as a result of the shot, not because my bone marrow was keeping up on its own. Unfortunately after my CBC was taken my number dropped back down to 12. (18 the day before) so we had to get approval from my oncologist to go ahead with surgery.
So the waiting began. Ric, my mom and I attempted to talk about anything else but what it would be mean if I had to postpone. Time slowly crept by. About a half hour later (8:00 am) we were given approval to move forward and they rolled me back to the ER room.
I am not sure I will ever forget being rolled back. The wave goodbye. (maybe hollywood dramatizes these scenes a bit too much for us sometimes). But for me it was a moment of final sigh.This could really be it.
I was ready, not really nervous but most of all just ready.
My surgery was a few hours long. I woke up in the recovery room and felt as though someone was sitting on my chest. I took my time resting here until they moved me to a final room where visitors could come back. The main goal in this room was that I had to go to the bathroom, keep some fluid down and they would let me go home. I was discharged around 1:00 pm.
As soon as I got home I fell back asleep while my mom went to the grocery store to gather food and things for me to have. I was pretty out of it the rest of the day and do not remember much.
My pain has been kept at a minimum which has been such a blessing. I am able to sleep through the entire night as well thank goodness. (maybe it is all the medicine). I am sleeping upright in my bed (unable to be on my sides). In regards to my healing it is hard to tell. I am wearing what may be one of my least favorite body suit (bras). Below is a picture of one similar. It clips across the front like a corset, has velcro over the shoulders and is to hold everything in tight. Keyword TIGHT. It is not very comfortable at all.
*** Every night I take this silly thing off to give my shoulders a rest, while my mom rubs my back. As well underneath my armpits (where I do not have feeling) I have found it digging into my skin ( I had no idea since I could not feel it).
I am taking this entire week off from work to rest and heal. I am not able to drive so long as I am on medicine.
I wish I could say this is the end but unfortunately once you join the Club (Cancer Club) it never really ends. Just yesterday, I had to go back into the hospital to receive another shot. I will be receiving these to keep my counts up, as my body heals and my scars heal. I am heading back to the hospital around 11:30 am this morning. To have my counts again checked. My mom is here with me and leaving Wednesday.
I am laying low as best I can. I am a terrible patient laying low but I know the more I move around the less likely my scars will heal. So bed rest is a must.
I have started my daily cocktail of drugs to aid in the healing: Bone Complex (aid my bone marrow exhausted from chemo), Vitamin B12, Biotin(Hair growth), Nail/Hair Gummies (Self explanatory), Valium (pressure on my chest), and antibiotic (Infection). Rogaine (Hair growth on my head). I have also made a few roller bottles with essential oils, immunity blend, a morphine bomb and a lavender/onguard mist to help with sleep. Soon I am going to start a set of multi vitamins from Doterra (essential oil company) to help repair the cells and will let you know how this goes.
As for my heart… it is difficult to articulate. Difficult to explain. The cloud I have been living under is still all around me. Seven months in some ways is one giant blur. I spent last evening reading through every card I have received over the past seven months and barely shed a tear.
For now I am sure this will remain the same for a while and when the numbness wears off I will learn to give myself an enormous amount of grace, because i am certain it may be very difficult time. I am in robot mode again. Healing mode.
Below are some pictures of the last few days. I am sorry I do not have much more to report. Other than I am healing. But maybe more than anything, I am afraid. My doctor sent my scar off for pathology to make sure cancer was still not hanging around and very soon I have to go back to have my tumor markers checked. The never ending journey in some ways just began….
So I admit it. I am afraid.
I must go get ready, or rather have a wash cloth shower. Have a great Monday.
Early morning walk Thursday morning, the day before my surgery…
A picture of my fingers nails and the havoc that chemotherapy had on them.
Pre Surgery Room
Picture Left: Macaroons sent to me from someone special, that I have already eaten all four of them.
Picture Right: Thousands of cards, literally that I have received since October when I was diagnosed.
Mom and I are breakfast yesterday. The eyebrows and eyelashes I had been warned would fall out after chemotherapy. Well folks there you go…. they are nearly gone.
Yes one of those cinnamon rolls is what we shared as our breakfast appetizer. If only Brittany Warren were here to share too.