I only took two of the pain pills the doctor ordered as no need to take pills if I was not in any pain. Wednesday morning I rode 9 kilometers on my stationary bike since it was raining all day. Thursday I took one walk around the park for my usual outdoor exercise. Yesterday I enjoyed two walks one in the morning and one in the afternoon sun. Quick visit yesterday with my dermatologist for my annual check upconfirmed my skin is healing very nicely and she predicts that I will not even show scares. Much to surprise and delight, even if I do work in Fiberarts and as a Seamstress, the doctor did not even use stitches to close my wounds. Simple clear steri strips and some super glue were all that was needed put me back together.
|New Breast Cancer Awareness Statement Necklace made while I am recovering|
If you have read my previous blogs you know I approached this experience as an athlete in training with a very positive attitude. Arriving at Millard Filmore Suburban Hospital at exactly 6:00 am as scheduled was smooth since I had done the preregistration EKG, blood work and was cleared for surgery by my Primary Care Physician. Take off my street clothes, have the IV port placed into my vein and take the first of many blood pressure readings. The first blood pressure was low for me around 106/ 68. The nurse commented that most people came into the hospital with higher than normal blood pressure. Hummm maybe those Quigong exercises are paying off ;~)
Since my time in the operating room was 8:30 by 7:00 I was wheeled down the hall to a small room with a mammogram machine. YIKES more radiation ;~( More mammograms were needed to locate the exact placement of the Titanium marker. This is where things started to change to a negative direction. With my left breast clamped in the mammogram Lo Rad machine a male doctor came into the room, introduced himself then from beneath my left breast he harpooned me with a wire attached to something that looked very much like a plastic sewing spool that hold thread. Like a cowboy he pushed this wire into my breast then pushed it up and pulled it down a few times all without using any Novocaine or topical medications. I am very tolerant of physical pain in fact I had Barry and Kara both natural childbirth and was back home taking care of my home within two days. I tried hard to focus as they took more mammograms but nothing I did could combat my feelings of nausea, dizziness, sweating with a drop in blood pressure and pulse of 48. After smelling salts, cold compress, pushing on my vagal nerve all failed to alleviate the symptoms the good doctor ordered a cart, nurse and an IV drip of saline solution to rehydrate me and get my blood pressure back to normal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasovagal_response
At this point the doctor said to the nurse, " We got an intelligent patient here." " We don't usually have intelligent patients so well versed about her health conditions."
I laughed as I asked, " Oh really, where do the intelligent patients go?"
Soon after drinking in the IV bag I was able to sit up on the cart, blood pressure and pulse were rising and I was ready to repeat the wire procedure on my right breast.
When the doctor said the debate is out over the pain experienced during this procedure I reminded him that since I am the one with a wire sticking our of my breast my vote is YES !!! it does hurt very much. Needless to say he was less of a cowboy and more compassionate when he impaled my right breast. More radiation with the Lo Rad ( don't you just love that name???) machine. A foam cup was taped over each spool sticking out of my breasts and I was wheeled back up the hallway to the bed where the morning had begun. Really wished you have an image of me in this set up but I am sure you get the picture.
Since my Vasovagal response slowed down the procedure of inserting the lead wires to the Titanium Marker Clips my best advice is try not to be dehydrated. Find a focal point and work with the doctors and radiologist technicians to expedite this procedure. Feeling faint held back my surgeon and everyone waiting for me in the operating room. My apologies for making everyone held back on time was greeted with a pleasant, " Not at all, we are here waiting for you to be ready. "
As soon as I met my anesthesiologist I felt more confident.
"You are a lady." I saw with delight as soon as she introduced herself.
One look at her co ordinating violet eye shadow, how it complimented her violet blouse under the hospital scrubs signaled to me we are kinder spirits.
"Tell me about your history of sedation's Carol ? " asked the doctor.
" No history of sedation, I had both babies without any medication." I answered.
" You are a strong woman then." she responded.
" I am of Viking stock." To which she answered, " Don't get me started, I love to talk about history and we have a job to do now."
From that point I don't remember much except a very relaxed ride down the hall to the operating room. Then I remember hearing fast paced music that someone was talking about in the back ground. I remember thinking this is music to get the jog done ;~)
Time from recovery room was a rather quick and eventful hour of drinking water, eating a graham cracker, walking to the bathroom unassisted, review of post surgery wound care then a ride out to the car waiting in front of hospital. DONE ;~)
My initial reaction as soon as I left the hospital was NEVER AGAIN !!! When I look how my wounds are now, how quickly I am on the mend and the fact that there are no stitches I have second thoughts. Although I hope I never have to live time like this past month of tests, biopsies and waiting that have overrun my life since August 3, 2010 if I need to make the choice for my health I would elect to follow this same procedure again.
Now once again, I am in the waiting room for the next two weeks waiting for a final biopsy report that indeed no cancer has been found even in the larger surgical biopsy. I have a feeling of being truely blessed from this experience and will continue to pray and do may part to make life brighter for people who are in their own battle against cancer. I am very well aware the door could have opened either way. I am in this battle against cancer in everyone for the rest of my life.