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The Surgery

The surgery-

The day of the surgery arrived. We had to be there in the morning. Of course there was no eating or drinking the night prior. I didn’t mind not having any food, but not having my morning coffee, that was almost a deal breaker. We arrived and checked into the surgery area. We weren’t there too long and they came to get me for the needle localization. I had a long wheelchair ride across the hospital to the radiology area. Of course I had to change into a gown. They needed to do a mammogram (yes, another one) so they would know where to put the wire. The wire had to actually go into the cancer so the doctor could locate it for removal. I guess I would rather have another mammogram and the wire put in than have the surgeon digging around in Minnie looking for the bad stuff. They do use a local anesthetic to numb the boob before they do the procedure. I remember being there for a while. They had to locate the cancer (via mammogram-yay), numb the boob, put the wire in and then check to make sure it was properly placed. I got to talking to one of the nurses and I mentioned the 3d mammogram and how far I thought we had come for early detection. She told me she had worked in this department for 20 something years and she remembered how it used to be. Back when she started there weren’t any real tests. Usually either the woman found something in her breast or the doctor found it during a breast exam. They had to do X-rays to see what it was and if a biopsy was needed. She talked about how they would be heading down to surgery and she would be holding up the x-ray they just developed for the doctor to see and the chemicals would be running down her arm. It is amazing the advances we have made in even just the last 20 years. Having breast cancer at any time just plain sucks, but I would much rather be dealing with it now than 20-30 years ago. That’s a whole other discussion. The wire was inserted and was in the correct location. It was kind of weird having the wire sticking out the side of my boob. It was like a wire you use for crafts. I was thinking I should have brought some beads to put on it. Wouldn’t the surgeon have been surprised? They wrapped it in gauze (to keep it from catching things) and brought me back over to surgery. I went to the surgery prep area. My husband was brought back so he could sit with me while I waited. Lots of people were coming and going. There were nurses getting paperwork filled out, going over things, checking blood pressure and other vitals, verifying I am who I am supposed to be, which side the surgery was on, am I allergic to anything, when did I last eat. The surgeon came by to go over things and ask if we had any questions. Next in was the anesthesiologist. He went over things that pertained to the anesthetics and asked if we had any questions. I am not sure how long we were there. Eventually they came to get me. I kissed my husband, told him I loved him and would see him soon. They gave me the sleepy juice on the way down the hall and out I went.

I vaguely remember waking up. I’m not sure if my husband was already there or they got him after I woke up. When I was a little more awake the surgeon stopped by to say everything went well and he was confident they got all the cancer. Unfortunately I did not respond well to the anesthesia and was very nauseous. That made for a difficult recovery. My surgery was in the morning and I didn’t get to leave the hospital until late afternoon. They gave me some ice packs to keep on Minnie for the pain and swelling. I learned from the biopsy that a comfortable bra helps minimize the pain in the breast. I had gone online and ordered a front closing recovery bra. Who’d a known they had such a thing? Boy was I glad I had that. Other than to wash it I don’t think I took it off for the first week or so.

The cancer and lymph nodes were sent out to be tested. It would take a few weeks for the results. I had a follow up with the surgeon in a couple weeks. I was off from work while I recovered from surgery. There were no tests or procedures in the near future so I could focus on healing.

I was glad the surgery was done and the cancer was out of my body (I hoped), but I had to wait for the results to determine if it had spread to my lymph nodes and what my treatment course was going to be.

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