Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day after Surgery ~ Remembering

At the Gorge
This is my new blog and it's a new day! Sitting here with Sis, chillin' out in my new pink socks.  Christie helped me create this blog and I think it is fantastic.  (have patience with me as I develop it and get it just right).  I wanted to keep my journal separate from my photo albums as it is deserving of having its own space.  Why not?

I'm a little doped up from the percocet, but not nauseous from the Anesthesia. That's a blessing.  Let's see if I can recount yesterday ....

We arrived at Akron General around 10:30am and to our surprise, Pastor Phil and his wife, Myrna, were there waiting for us.  I felt honored and special to have them there to say a prayer over us and get us started on our journey.  I had my bright pink pj bottoms on (they said dress comfortable), no make up, hair pulled back ... what'a sight!   After they left, we settled in and waited to be called.  It didn't take long.  Teri & Jasmine kept each other company as Matt & I left for the ball.  First, getting into my ball gown, brrrr, very thin material.  Oh, how I love the toasted blankets! 

My first trip was to aggravate the cancer by sticking 5 needles into my right breast. This was the nuclear injection that turns your lymph nodes smurf blue (and your pee). It takes a while for it to run its course, so that's why it was done early (surgery scheduled at 3pm).  I really thought it was going to hurt, but it didn't.  The nurse and the doctor were very compassionate and gentle.  My quick-snap ball gown made things easy all day.

They took me back to the pre-surgical room where I met up with Matt again and waited for the next procedure .... a wire in my right breast.  While we waited, Troy (the man nurse as he called himself) came in talking like a new yorker.  I did it right back "yo, how ya doin?" *in my best Rocky voice ever*  How can you get offended by a lady with cancer, right?  Well, as much as we tried to warn Troy about my poor veins, he like many before him was a little over-confident.  Blew my vein.  It was premature anyway, because I had another difficult procedure that an IV would just be in the way.  He said he would come back afterward .....

Now the next stop was at the mammogram lab.  A very friendly nurse explained absolutely everything that she was getting ready to do.  I had my choice of a needle prick to give me a local and then the 2nd needle to insert a thin fish-line-type wire OR just go for the fish-line-type wire without the local.  I said one needle prick was enough.  It wasn't the needle that hurt, it was the compression. OUCH! I hate that.  But I held still as Dr White came into the room, did his thing, and left.  I really didn't get a good look at him from the locked-in position I was in.  I was really sore and tired by this time.  I think the clock said around 1:00.  She placed tape around the wire that was poking out of my breast.  Amazing.  We made the long trip back across the walk-bridge.

This time, Teri and Jasmine came up to visit and my friend Marylee stopped in as well.  It was a very nice surprise.  Marylee prayed with us and made my heart glad.  (I love to pray)

Then Mom & Christie came! A party! I wonder if they were getting upset with all the people, lol.  Anyway, it was good to see everyone and let them know I was doing okay. 

The Anesthesia man came in to look over my veins and such and put in the needle on the underside of my left wrist.  (it's bruised)  Thankfully, he got the vein though.  The coolness of the saline streamed up my arm. 

Everyone left, but Matt, and Dr. Patin came in to talk to us and explain the procedure once again.  If the lymph nodes were not blue, she would not have to do an axillary dissection ... which would mean an overnight stay in the hospital, and more serious treatment.

As they wheeled me away, I was wishing everyone I saw a Merry Christmas.  Have to remember the important stuff.  I also let them know that I was praying for them as well.  Dr. Patin is great. I just love her.

The surgery took about 3 hours.  Shortly after 6:00pm, Dr Partin spoke with Matt and Christie.  Good news! 2 sentinel nodes & 2 additional nodes were removed, no cancer found.  So no axillary dissection needed.  They took a larger amount, but did not require a drain.  Pathology from the cancer will take 1 week.  From there, we will know if chemotherapy will be required.  Radiation will be 5-7 weeks long every day.

After the surgery, I was trying to focus on the clock. 7:00pm
Matt came in after 8:00pm
Once I was able to drink some ginger ale and eat some graham crackers, I slowly got dressed to go home.  Teri was with us .... Jaz went home with Dan.  We got home about 9:30pm


  1. Carol, thank you for sharing your journey with breast cancer. I think you will be able to help so many other women who are going through the same procedure to feel calm and at peace. Have you found any other blogs from people who are going through the same thing?


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