A quick update from the hospital bed post surgery. All went well and am actually feeling ok emotionally at this point. I think it’s because I’m relieved that the cancer has been cut out of me. Pre op I honestly thought I’d be an emotional mess post op so I’ve surprised myself. I’ve shed a few tears but much less than I thought I would at this stage.
Going into surgery I was also surprisingly calm. I had to wait for an hour after leaving my room in the pre op area and I just breathed and rested my eyelids in between visits from the surgeon, anesthetist and nurses. I even ended up walking to the operating room and jumping up on the operating table myself as all the orderlies were busy. The anesthetist told me before surgery that because I’m allergic to egg whites he couldn’t use the normal anesthetic because it contains egg white proteins so he would have to keep me asleep with gas. He said this would probably make me more nauseous afterwards. He also had trouble finding a vein for the drip to sedate me. They kept collapsing as I was dehydrated and the needle must have been scaring them away. That part was painful and reaffirmed my decision to have a portacath during chemo treatment instead of trying to find veins in my right arm all the time. The portacath will be inserted under the collarbone and stay there for the duration of treatment. This will happen under general anesthetic. My left arm can never be used for taking blood or blood pressure eve again. I also have to be careful with it in the sun and watching for infections. Having no lymph nodes under the left arm may cause life long issues and I’ll have to be very careful with it not just now but always.
Back to the op. 3rd time lucky with the drip on the inside of the elbow which is the worst spot for it really as I can’t bend my arm. Soon after he got that in I was out to it. In la la land with my good friend Cheree who was having a hernia op yesterday. We thought of each other as we went to sleep. I remember waking in recovery and being given morphine for the pain. That’s some strong stuff! Wow. I also remember being wheeled back to my room and being given anti nausea medicine a couple of times. I felt pretty horrible from all the gas. Bloody egg white allergy!
I dozed off and on all afternoon having mini conversations with mum and Derek when required with eyes shut. Evening arrives and I thought I might like to try my dinner. I looked at the soup and thought that apple juice might be safer. Lucky because the nausea was still hanging about and did so for most of the evening until a nurse made my drink some frothy medicine really quick which also came back up. That seemed to do the trick though and I felt much better afterwards. I even managed to keep some fruit down. I slept pretty well waking up at 5am starving. Some toast and water and I was back to feeling almost human again. I’ve continued to eat and drink really well all day and they’ve taken my drip out (but have left the canular in just in case they need to pop the drip back on).
I saw my surgeon this morning and she also spoke to mum and Derek yesterday after surgery. She felt very confident that she got clear margins from what she removed. She also took the three levels of the lymph nodes. Unfortunately she couldn’t locate the internal mammary node but this area is going to be radiated anyway. She only put one drain in which will continue draining fluid from the area. It’s pretty uncomfortable and a little painful at times so I’ll look forward to having this out in 7-10 days if not sooner. The whole area is swollen and numb in places. I have looked at my chest and felt a bit numb myself like I didn’t know what I should be feeling. I’m sure the tears will come with time. At the moment I just want to focus on feeling better physically. I’ll have to deal with the emotional side at a later date.
Rosie and Polly also came to visit today. I was so happy to see them but sad at the same time that I couldn’t give them great big squeezes. Here’s a pic of the three of us:
I’ll leave it there as my dinner has arrived and my appetite has returned to normal. Tomorrow is another day and I’m sure I’ll feel even better than I did today. Thanks again for all the words of support and encouragement. It’s all helping at this extremely difficult time.