Cancer Schmancer…

You won't keep me down
Breast Cancer Ribbon


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Yesterday was one of the longest and hardest days of my life.  G and I arrived at the hospital at 7am and l was released at 7pm.  12 hours, but I only remember 9 hours of it.

When we got there I was admitted almost immediately.  I was brought into the daycare unit (no, there were no toys or games sadly enough) and asked to take off my clothes, which were replaced with a beautiful evening gown aka hospital gown and overcoat.  G wanted me to steal it cause he thought it was incredibly sexy which I suppose means that I must go shopping for lingerie when this is all done.  That, or he likes the doctor/patient roll play games.  Anyways, I am getting sidetracked.  After changing, I was asked to make myself comfortable in the worlds most uncomfortable hospital bed, but they gave me heated blankets, which was a very thoughtful touch.  Around 8am I was wheeled (cause apparently patients walking around was forbidden) to get an ultrasound.  I thought the ultrasound was going to be easy and comfortable.  I thought wrong.  A very, very tall female doctor (they had to raise my bed up to full height and it was still not tall enough) numbed my breast, after marking out the tumor with a giant X, and inserted a long wire into it.  The freezing hurt a bit, but I could still feel the wire.  She apologized and said that sometimes that happens and froze me again.  This time was better, and I could only feel some pushing and pulling.  G asked me if I could keep the wire as a souvenir so he could make it into a ring, I was too embarrassed to ask for it, well that and too grossed out.  Can you imagine?  Someone saying what a beautiful ring you have, and me telling him or her it was homemade, and literally was close to my heart.   Grody.


With wire in tow, I was then brought to the x-ray station, where I had to do a mammogram.  Yes with the wire inside.  The technician was very kind, but we couldn’t get the right images so she had to retry a few times.  Good thing my breast was partly numb and that they didn’t squeeze it as much.  After this torture, I was brought to nuclear medicine.  I met with another technician who explained what was going to happen.  She was so nice!  G went down for coffee, and during that time I was brought into the radiative imaging room.  She asked me if I had wanted him to be there with me for the injection (of radioactive dye so that they could mark out my sentinel lymph nodes) and I said yes please.  She was so nice to wait on him for the procedure.   When he arrived back, she started the procedure, explaining everything as we went along.  The computers in the room looked like they were 20 years old, she admitted they were but they were no longer in use.  The imaging camera was from the 70’s (truly!) and she reassured us that it was only the case and that the guts were all replaced years ago with newer technology.  She told us that she likes the older ones better because they don’t break down as much and are made to last.  Just like old cars. G wanted to play on them but was told not to.  Good thing he had his iPad or we may have been kicked out!

After numbing my breast (a third time) she inserted some radioactive dye.  She told me that this might be very uncomfortable because they have to put in a lot.  It wasn’t at all as I hardly felt it.  I was then taken to the hallway to wait 30 minutes for the dye to travel to the nodes.  Usually they make you massage your breasts but with the wire in we had to just wait for it to do its job.  While we were waiting we watched “The IT Crowd” on the iPad through Netflicks.  It is such a funny show and kept my mind occupied.  I was than brought back to check if it had worked and it hadn’t so was asked to wait again.  No biggie J more TV for us!  45 minutes later I was brought in again but this time my nodes lit up like stars.  What an amazing image!  I asked if I can get a print out, and she told me it would be in my file.  It would make an amazing piece of artwork!  She used a homemade radioactive marker to trace the lymph nodes for the purpose of the biopsy (depth and area was needed) and she sent the file on its way.


The porter than took us back to the daycare unit.  I really felt like I should tip these guys, as they were so amazing at driving and so friendly.  Fortunately, or G would say unfortunately, we didn’t run over anyone or hit any walls.  I am not so good at work with the wheelchairs so I can’t even imagine how hard these are to maneuver. We arrived back around noon and the nurses asked if I needed anything.  I asked for Champagne but was turned down.  How rude ;) I wasn’t even allowed water or anything else.  G jumped up on the bed and we watched more TV together and just relaxed.  I am so lucky he was with me.  He has been SO amazing through all this.  I am so very blessed!


My surgery was late; I was wheeled into the surgery unit around 2pm instead of 1:30pm.  The porter told G that he can’t come in but can give me 2 kisses, G snuck in 3 and the porter said that any more and he would have to give us a room.  He was sweet and funny and wished me luck.  I waited outside the operating room (my favourite number 11!) and soon met my handsome and young anesthesiologist who discussed the procedure and my medical history.  He told me his supervisor would soon be out to meet me, but he couldn’t remember her name!  A little scary, but I reassured him that everyone has brain farts sometimes.  He blushed, which was kind of cute but weird at the same time.  He told me that the IV would have to be put in my ankle, and all I could think of was ‘shoot I forgot to shave my legs, how embarrassing!”  His supervisor came out to meet me, but then said it will not go into my ankle cause I was only getting one breast done so they could use my left hand (phew).  They wheeled me into the OR room and I met with the nurses, said hi to Dr. MacGyver (my surgeon) and transferred to the OR bed.  The blushing Anesthesiologist looked at my hand and was bewildered about the size of my veins and seemed VERY worried about putting in the IV.  He tried putting one in but missed the vein (double ouch!) and was really nervous.  His supervisor eventually took over (thank God!) and talked to me about what I would be doing if I weren’t having the surgery.  I explained that I just moved out the day before and so most likely would be unpacking.  We talked about our pets and she told me she had a Miniature Schnauzer.  I was thinking how friendly and nice she was, and was so happy that she was trying to make me feel comfortable (but in retrospect she was just putting me to sleep) The last thing I remember saying was “Oh I love Miniature Sch…nau…zerss…..” and I fell asleep.


I woke up around 4pm to a nurse calling my name.  I had an oxygen mask over my face and there were people in beds all around me.  I was attached to a machine that measured my heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level.  I guess my oxygen levels were low because the machine kept beeping and I was encouraged to take deep breaths.  Finally one of the nurses took the mask off, and I was able to breath on my own.  I obsessively watched the machine; I tried to keep my level above 93 but had a hard time at first.  The nurse explained that this was normal because of the meds and the anesthesia.  I was finally brought back to the Daycare unit around 5:30 where my vitals were monitored and I could finally have some water.  I went to the bathroom and noticed not only that my pee was BRIGHT blue but my breast was too.  I was feeling no pain and really relieved and so happy that the tumor was out.  I’m cancer free!  No more using the cancer card, ok well maybe not as I still have more treatment but at least hopefully no more cutting for now!  I asked if I was blue or green and the nurses said surprisingly no.  I knew G would be disappointed because he wanted a before and after picture.  M said she would make it her Facebook profile picture so I was relieved I wasn’t Smurf coloured.

I chatted with the nurses and relaxed until 6:30pm when I was asked if I wanted to change into my clothes and go home (did I ever!)   They wheeled me out, right up to my beautiful Caddie, and G greeted me with the most beautiful flowers: yellow roses and daises. my favourite!  Have I said how lucky I am?  He asked me how I was, if I was sore and such.  I told him I was feeling great, just tired.  We drove a bit and I asked him to pull over quickly, he did and I lost everything that I had drank.  Thank goodness it was only water.  I guess I wasn’t feeling so great after all.  I wasso  glad to get home, to be in my comfortable bed.  Days like this make you grateful for the little things, like pillows and water.


I am so grateful for all my friends and family, G’s family (who I feel so close to now) and just everybody!  I love the phone calls, the texts,  emails, notes and letters.  I love my Aunts for writing to me, C your words are so inspiring, loving and thoughtful.  I love you all so much!  Although I haven’t written back, as I have been so stressed, I just want everyone to know that I think about you all daily, and your support and love has helped me tremendously.  So, thank-you everybody!  You are all in my support circle.   In the books that I’m reading they recommend that you have a power circle and I feel that mine is the most powerful and dynamic of all.  xxx


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