Two days prior to bilateral mastectomy surgery, my son arrived to be here for support, his presence meant the world to me and lifted not only my spirit, but the happiness I felt would surely contribute to a successful surgery and recovery!
We arrived at the hospital, checked in and I was sent to Nuclear medicine where I was injected with a dye which was necessary for the Sentinel Node Biopsy. Apparently, this dye and the imaging afterward would guide the breast surgeon to where the lymph nodes were which she needed to extract and test for cancer, on-site, during the surgery.
Waiting, waiting, waiting, with nothing to eat or drink was the WORST!! I didn’t so much care about the eating part, but I was sure thirsty and coffee smells were so tempting and they permeated everywhere!
Mercy Hospital has a unique system, at least I think so. I was not brought to the room where I would be staying, I was brought to what I would call a “holding area,” where a lot of other patients were waiting to be rolled off to their operations too. I had a dark thought cross my mind while I was in there, I wondered how many of these patients were going to die there, that day. I tried to hide thoughts of my own possible demise and just accept that I have power only of my attitude at that point and my attitude was going to be positive.
While waiting in the holding area, I changed into a surgical gown and waited in the little curtained area with my husband and son. Unsure how much time had passed, the anesthesiologist arrived and took me away. I remember seeing tears in my husband’s eyes and I told him not to cry, that I’ll be ok.
I was knocked out before we arrived wherever I was being wheeled.
FIVE hours later, I woke up in my own little hospital room. I don’t remember how I got there, I don’t remember waking up in a recovery area. I do remember feeling pain, even though I was loaded with pain killers and groggy from the anesthesia.
At some point, I was hungry and ordered food from the kitchen. I did NOT get what I ordered and was not happy about that! I don’t even remember what kind of food they brought to me.
The rest of that day is like a wavy dream behind sheer curtains. I don’t remember the breast surgeon coming in, but, she did, and I can almost remember that I had thanked her for being so wonderful even though I cannot remember her visit. My husband remembers that she told us that my left side would not stop bleeding and she had to cauterize it, I think she also told us that there was no cancer in the lymph nodes nor in the left breast.
The rest of that day and night is a blur, but I was so happy to have survived surgery!!