“Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, “Life is unfair” and “Why me?” That’s the one payoff for being in the center ring.”
Recently, a friend posted this fabulous article in the LA Times. I’ll wait why you go read it.
It has been 7 months since I was diagnosed. Yes, it’s a long time. And yes, I’m glad I’m done chemo. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And then coming in for a tie was my double breast mastectomy. Unless you’ve been in this situation, don’t compare it to any surgery you’ve ever heard of or had. It is not a gallstone or an appendix. This surgery makes childbirth look like a quick game of Candy Land. And I’ve had three babies.
It’s only been two weeks since my bi-lateral mastectomy with auxiliary lymph node dissection on the right side. But before that I had to configure child care for three kids: age 20 months (today!) 5 and 7 for at least two weeks. I haven’t seen my daughter for two weeks and it makes me mad. Mad that this stupid cancer has taken away precious time with my family and that my summer is riddled with guilt that I have to rely on others to hold my babies. So before I get more ragey, I’ll get back to the day of surgery. (Insert Wayne World Memory Montage. – Damn it! YouTube is blocked in our house or I’d have included a link to a scene. Some people in our home have a YouTube problem that we needed to nip in the bud.)
Okay, so here’s the sunshine and puppies part! Joe and I arrived at the Suburban Hospital at 7am to sign in and head up for prep. We headed up to the 5th-floor waiting room and took a seat. Then this tiny little woman (after tripping and I felt bad) sat down and started eating a damn unripened peach. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH! What the hell, lady?! First of all, that sound makes me want to cause physical harm to people. This is totally a thing because not only do I have Breast Cancer but I also suffer from misophonia . I blame my parents. Ask them about the Rice Police. Second, this is a room where people haven’t eaten or had anything to drink since the day before and there you sit all fancy with your loud annoying peach. RUDE! I really thought typing that out would make me feel better. It didn’t. I’m now just as annoyed as I was then. And if you were wondering, I did let her live.
Finally, I get called back and am barraged with a bunch of questions about my health and whether I’m in an abusive relationship or not. Fun times. Then Joe is allowed back to join me. I meet one of my nurses who takes me down to Radiation Lab without Joe so I can get my nuclear medicine injected by four needles into my right breast. FYI: You don’t need the lidocaine shots. If you do, you are a complete idiot because then you’ve endured 8 shots. It’s kind of neat that because it’s a radioactive tracer that “lights up” any areas of cancer inside the breast.” Basically, my breast becomes a human light bright on the operating table. Pretty cool. On the way down in the elevator, the nurses and I got to talking about paint colors and I suggested the one nurse try Balboa Mist for her new home. It looks taupe on the website but it’s really more like warm gray and I LOVE it! The other nurse mentioned she loves Benjamin Moore Paint. As you can tell, it was a thrilling elevator ride.
Also, my nuclear medicine nurse was having lunch that day with her best friend who she hadn’t seen in 35 years since she left India. I hope they had a great time. She seemed pretty excited.
Then it was back to the holding pen for patients while we waited for the doctors to visit. First up the anesthesiologist – he seemed nice enough and in retrospect, he did an excellent job because I only just remember smiling and being lifted onto the operating table and then waking up in the recovery room.
Then came my Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Kulharni. I love her and highly recommend her. She came in and did some lovely, very difficult to remove artwork on my breasts. Even Joe commented that she looked like an artist working on her masterpiece. I think we both flattered by that. Well done, Joe!
Then came Dr. Wright, who I also love, to ensure everything was all set. Each person who came into the room made me describe to them in my own words what type of surgery I was having. In hindsight, I should have been more creative in my description. This must be why I wasn’t allowed coffee.
Then we got the call from the operating room letting us know it was game time. I received a sedative and don’t really even remember rolling through the halls. I remember entering the room, being placed on the operating table and then out I went.
But then I woke up and the drugs were awesome!
After playing the taps for the girls.
Waiting room silliness.
We LOVE surgery day!
Rocking the gown.
Pain meds are really helpful! Thumbs up!
That’s all for now. More soon!
Much love to you all.