When I came out of surgery on Wednesday everybody around me was saying ‘surgery went great’ and my thoughts were ‘for who?’ because the doctor and I might have been in same room but we didn’t seem to have a shared experience:) I will now distinguish between 2 very different questions regarding friends’ surgeries 1. How did surgery go? And 2. How are you feeling? The first question is the doctor’s perspective. The second is the patient’s. Indeed, surgery went well in that they did all they expected (removing tumors in breast and lymph nodes and removing port) and there weren’t any complications. And I’m super thankful for that. We will have more information from pathology by early next week. Dr. Lamont said that the lymph nodes definitely confirmed what they knew beforehand by how they felt once he was in there and it was great that they are now out.
Now to question 2. As I said, there’s a difference between doctor’s report and patient’s report. So my report is that Wednesday was a little rough. I woke up from anesthesia wondering who put the knife in my side and why wouldn’t they take it out?! This was my first experience with general anesthesia and as most of you know it’s just plain weird to go to sleep at 12:12 and wake up with an unfamiliar nurse standing over you in a different place at 2:35. Oh, yeah, and did I mention there was a knife in my side?!
It took a couple hours of lingering in post op for them to get the pain under control before we could leave. And, then, when I tried to leave there was another surprise. Now I was throwing up which is generally unpleasant to say the least. We had some repeats of that fun episode again at home but finally realized that getting up was the problem so I was happy to stay down and in bed for the rest of the evening and night. Over the last 5 months I’ve accumulated a fair amount of meds so it was easy to find anti-nausea medicine to help as well.
I didn’t realize I’d have a drain for the lymph nodes and pain medicine administered through a pump. It’s all attached to the ace bandage that has my chest so compressed that it’s questionable at this point if I had a mastectomy or lumpectomy. And, with tubes coming out of my clothes and hand-grenade-sized pumps under my pajamas, when we finally got home, Scott said, ‘babe, you look like a terrorist.’ Thankfully, after getting the pain and nausea under control on Wednesday night, this terrorist who hadn’t eaten all day wanted a grilled cheese and malt from Burger House … And I think I turned the corner thanks to Burger House:)
Lincoln has had a wonderful time with his aunts and siblings-for-the-day and came home with huge smiles from Aunt B’s and Aunt Mandy’s. Unfortunately, he seems less pleased with me and clearly knows something is wrong and is frustrated I can’t hold him. We tried a new approach this morning of letting him see the ‘hand grenades’ under my pajamas but after he tried to put his mouth on all of it we decided there’s just not an effective way to communicate to a 14 month old that his mom has had surgery, can’t use her right arm, can’t hold him, and can’t let him crawl on her without wincing in pain. Scott’s been a total trooper with Linc and me. I’m real thankful. In the sweetness of our wedding day when he committed to love me ‘in sickness and in health,’ I’m quite sure he didn’t picture an unshowered bald wife who needs her drains emptied and the contents measured and recorded for the doctor. He holds his breath (though there’s no odor) and says his trying not to associate any of the unpleasantness with me. Good luck with that, babe! But I cannot complain about his nursing skills. He’s been great! And my mom and friends have been around to bring meals or check on me though I admit that being home alone resting is quite a welcome treat compared to chasing a 14 month old.
All in all, with the help of friends, family, and hydrocodone, I continue to feel better by the day and even think I might get crazy and try to bathe and change pajamas at some point today. But, then again, I may not. I can’t lift my arm much past my shoulder so thinking a bath and change of clothes could take more time and energy than I’m willing to commit. One of these days I’m sure I’ll bathe again.
Again, I thank you for the sweet texts, emails, comments, cards, flowers and concern. Friendship is a great gift.
And speaking of friends, my friend Lezley who also had surgery on Wednesday is recovering slowly but surely too. Lots of pain and nausea for her too but thankfully she slept better last night. I rejoice with her and her family that her lymph nodes were clear and, as she said this morning, we can both rejoice that the known cancer has been removed from our bodies!
With continued love and thanks, that’s all for now.