Thursday, December 17, 2015

There, it's done!

There, it's done.

I had the mastectomy. I had the salpingo-oophrectomy.  I'm out of the hospital and on the mend.

I keep saying, surgery is my jam. I handle surgery, no issues. I just do. I've had zero pain meds. I know! But it's just a little sore, not a big deal. Not like chemo, not like so many things. It all went like clockwork and now all I have to do is recover. I did all of this because of my bad genes, but there was nothing that said "cancer." So, this went easily.

I took my medication the night before. I was worried about it, but my doctor told me to keep a positive attitude: guess what? She was right. It was a little crampy, the misoprostol. Not a biggie.
An IV Pole with a bag hanging.
Oh, my IV pole is my friend.

I went into the hospital with the wonderful hubby, who himself is still recovering from his surgery. They prepped me, gave me happy drugs and wheeled me away. Actually, I don't remember getting wheeled away. I was on drugs.

I woke up five hours later. I was told one of the doctors was delayed, so it took longer, not that I noticed. From there, I slept and wrestled with the IV so I could get to the bathroom. That was a pain, but it went fine too. I managed all by myself all night. I ate a liquid diet. I slept and posted on Facebook and slept some more.

I have three stitches in my belly, including my belly button, and a big bandage across my chest. I have a drain I get to tend. All of this is fine. I'm relieved to have the weight off my chest.  I now have a boy chest.

I have a long list of pathology findings coming:

  • My breast tissued will be examined
  • My ovaries and tubes, the same
  • There were samples taken during the hysteroscopy (they used a scope to examine my uterus)
  • There was a little glioma on my colon

So, I will have interesting findings coming. More cancer concern, but not a scare. Not yet. Let's just relax and recover for a few days. I do have pain meds, if I need it, but...I'm good for now.

Thank God.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

No One Pays Attention

How long have I been telling you I'm heading for surgery? Two months? Three? Why is everyone surprised then?

Everyone I've mentioned this to this week, even people I know I told personally, not just through this blog, seem to have forgotten. Apparently, they don't read this, and they must be tired of hearing me talk about myself. (Lord, I am!)

Amazon woman "S03 06 01 020 image 2552" by William Henry Goodyear - Brooklyn Museum. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -
A single-breasted Amazon woman -- not going to be her anymore!
As a refresher: next week, I'll have that second mastectomy, along with a "salpingo oophrectomy", tubes and ovaries, both coming out. (You gotta love Greek -- Oo is the Greek word for "egg" and an oophor is an egg bearer. Salpingo means tubes or trumpets, but I'm sure they meant tubes this time. The "ectomy" part literally means to cut out.)  If you also remember, I will have my uterus looked at, because it's showing signs of a toxic reaction to my Tamoxifen regimen. I would not be surprised if I wake up without it as well, but that's not what the doctor is saying.

Yep, more fun over the holidays with stitches and drains and wound care. I'm ten days out from the anniversary of my first chemo, and I'm heading to the hospital again.  At least the food is really, really good there.

To add to it, my company separated officially from it's former parent, so our insurance changed just about a week ago. I've had to scramble to make sure that I'm covered, that the deductibles and out-of-pocket costs (over $5k) will still apply -- they nearly didn't.

I had to hit the ground running on this, because my dear hubby needed surgery, too, this time for his shoulder. He'd had a rotator cuff repair three years ago, and the recovery was long and difficult for him. Fortunately, this time it went more smoothly. He's going to recover quickly.

Fortunately, because our HR was on it, things went well with the insurance,. Thanks, HR Leader Lori. You saved much in the way of drama for me. I am most grateful.  Fighting hospital bills while recovering should be considered unconstitutional...cruel and unusual punishment!

I took a lot of encouragement from hubby's surgery going smoothly; maybe mine will as well. Maybe I'll recover very quickly, too and I'll find that certain issues, like that cyst that caused and infection, are gone.

One thing right out of the gate: I'll be balanced again! Right now I look like an Amazon warrior, who cut off her left breast to use a bow and arrow more effectively. (You may have heard me joke about being Wonder Woman, an Amazon, because my car is invisible to other drivers -- well, I even look the part now!)

I've had another challenge as well: my blood pressure is just spiking. High. I have no idea why; I've been losing weight, I walk a great deal, I have a decent diet, just a bit high in sugar, but not what's going on? And remember those heart palps? There's a correlation as well. And I have to grapple this now: they won't perform that surgery if I don't get it down. It doesn't rain...

So, you ask, am I upset about losing body parts again?  Yes and no. I will miss things a bit, but my looks are shot anyway. My once lovely shape (I had a great figure before all of this) is pretty misshapen now, so I'm concentrating on just keeping healthy. I *welcome* the possibility of losing that still troublesome cyst on my ovary.  So, I might be a bit sad that this has to be, but, really, it was ready to go anyway.

Docs, I'm ready. Make the drugs good.

How's your health adventure going? Feel free to comment here, or Facebook or