That was not easy. That surgery. Not easy at all.
First we went to nuclear medicine where this guy put 4 injections of radioactive stuff into my nipple. Yes you read that right. 4. Injections. Radioactive.
It actually was not as bad as it sounds.
The preliminary sucked. The tech told me it would hurt and I could hold his hand but not my husband’s hand.
The guy wouldn’t tell me on a scale of 1-10 how bad it would hurt because he “didn’t want to scare me”.
Whatever, the shots barely registered. I’d give it a 1. Nothing.
Then they took some pictures. More images of my boobs whoopie!
Then we went to the hospital and waited. It wasn’t so bad. The Husband and I both played Candy Crush Saga. I’m stuck on level 51 or something. Who cares.
The nurses came in and talked to me. The surgeon came in and talked to me. The anesthesiologist came and talked to me. She told me they would have me walk down to the O.R. and then I would get on the table and they would hook up the i.v.’s.
And then I told her that I had some PTSD from my younger son’s emergency c-section years earlier…the one where he almost died. I started to cry and shake and said I thought I would be too scared to walk into the O.R room. She and my husband promptly agreed with me and they brought me a gurney. I laid down there and she worked her magic. My husband wiped tears away until they gave me some calming medicine and then I was ok. They wheeled me to the O.R. They moved me to the table. I kept my eyes closed. I felt something pinch in my hand, they put a mask on my face and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery.
“Are my lymph nodes clear?” I asked before my eyes were opened.
And someone said, “I’m sorry, they’re not clear.”
And I was bummed but too out of it to cry.
Someone in the distance remarked that I was beautiful. Or maybe I imagined that.
I was wide awake when I got back to my room and feeling no pain. I grilled my husband on what the doctors told him and unfortunately, it seemed they didn’t tell him much.
I buzzed my nurse who seemed surprised when I asked her to call my surgeon.
Words can not describe how fired up, red hot, pissed off I was.
She called me back.
They took a lot of lymph nodes. A lot of them. They were going to need to be biopsied, fat would be melted, nodes counted. At least the first three were positive for cancer. Probably more.
I got off the phone with her. My husband and I cried. We called our parents.
I can’t really remember what happened after that. The adrenaline wore off and things started to hurt.
Eventually the pain from the surgery set in but it took awhile. Plus I had an i.v. morphine drip that first night. I highly recommend.
I went home Friday afternoon. I’ve been recuperating ever since. It’s not so bad but it’s not great either.
I took a shower. i looked down. I didn’t really flinch. It’s not so bad. I look like an alien but I don’t really mind. Cancer’s gone.
But the pathology came back and let me tell you, there are a heck of a lot of cancerous lymph nodes and a few clear ones. She cleaned me out but the pathology report is freakin’ scary.
Because now we are talking Stage 3 and aggressive treatment and full body scans and bone scans and yes, when I think about it, it scares the shit out of me.
So I try not to think about it too much or for too long because I’ve still got to beat this thing.
I don’t care if I spend the next year feeling like roadkill (and believe me, I fully plan to), I have got to beat this.
Have you met my husband? Have you seen my children? Have you seen the way we all look at each other? Do you know what I would do for them? I can not lose my boys. I can’t. We need each other. That’s all there is.
Plus there’s the dog. The stupid dog. “If that dog outlives me, I am going to be so pissed.” I said to my husband for the hundredth time as we left for the hospital on Thursday.
There is no way that dog is outliving me.*
*In case you are worried, we have no plans to kill the dog.