Thursday, August 25, 2016

You Win Some. You Might Get Lucky Now and Then. You Win Some.

Looking very "natural" and way too smiley before my lumpectomy.

Sooooo. Yesterday was my 2nd week anniversary of being newly cancer free. Yea me! It's been a weird two weeks, but also pretty amazing in a lot of ways.

John and I showed up at the ambulatory surgery place at 8 o'clock and they immediately started doing their thing. I changed into my lovely "evening wear", they put an IV in me and the nurse said, "Normally, we'd do a pregnancy test now, but they said that since you are over 50 your eggs are too old and you don't have to worry about getting pregnant.' She said she was a little offended by people calling our eggs old, but I told her that as long as I didn't ever have to worry about getting pregnant again, I didn't care what anyone called my eggs...

I was set to go down to radiation, so they could do another 5 million mammograms on me while they took a needle and inserted a wire to the location of my tumor. Right before we were supposed to leave, the nurse informed me that my surgery had been moved from 11:40 to 9:30. That was more than fine with me, but John had to text my girls and have them come down as soon as they could make it.

After the wire was in place, they wheeled me back up to my room. I talked to the anesthesiologist and she asked if I got motion sickness, and I said, "Boy, do I ever!" She said she would put a little patch behind my ear that would help me from getting nauseous but not to touch the back side of it and then touch my eye, because it would dilate my pupils. Weird. The nurse anesthetist said she was going to wheel me into the OR. like everyone we dealt with that day, she was so nice and personable and comforting. I was introduced to the staff in the OR and then the Nurse anesthetist told me she was going to give me the "I don't care" juice. One of the nurses told me that she would be next in line for some of that juice and I asked that she please wait until AFTER my surgery. That was the last thing I remember saying. I'm always happy when I go out with a joke...

The nurse woke me up in the recovery room. I had a brand new, funny looking bra on (John calls it my dominatrix bra, but I think it looks more like one of those 1950's bras but with tons of weird straps, kind of like those old maxi-pad belts (if you're too young, ask your great grandmother and you can be glad we live in better times)). She told me that when I first came-to in the OR that I thought I was late for work and worried about it. What the hell is that with me? When I passed out during my biopsy, I did that too. I guess everyone has to have an insecure fixation...

This was one of my favorite hang-out while I recuperated. I think the cats will be sad when I'm not home to gaze upon them all day.

John took me home and Coadster stopped by the store to get some food. I ate some soup and bread and then slept...And slept and slept.

The general anesthesia took at least 24 hours to wear off and then I started on the Dilaudid. With the drugs, I really didn't have much pain, but the drugs made me itchy, dizzy, weak and tired. So, after a few days, I worked on weaning myself off of them. After a week or so, I was completely off of them, but I might have done that too soon, because I still had some bad pain. I took Tylenol for another few days, before I was drug free. I still had some pain, but it was tolerable and I was much happier that my brain was working a little better then.

My doctor told me that walking would help me recover faster, but that I wasn't allowed to do any other real exercise. I tried to walk two days after my surgery. I couldn't even make it a mile before I had to stop and rest. On Saturday, John took me to Terry Trueblood recreation area.  for a change of scenery. It took me over a half an hour to walk one whole mile and even then, I had to rest on a bench for about 10 minutes. Wow. I'm up to 3.5 miles now and I even got on the bike trainer and pedaled very slowly a couple of times. I'm just working on building up. It could take a while.

In my head, I thought I would be able to get so much done during my convalescence, but I was sadly mistaken. I was on drugs and/or in pain for much of it and I was just exhausted in general for pretty much all of it.  I remember apologizing to Stinky when she came over two days after my surgery for being so spacey from the drugs. "Honestly, you aren't much different than you normally are..." Whatever. The one thing I could do, was read. John said he couldn't read when he was recuperating from surgery, because he couldn't focus enough and had to read pages over and over again. I told him, I don't usually have a lot of focus anyway, so I'm used to it. Okay, so maybe Stinky had a point...


This is the only room in our house with air conditioning. I slept here the first few days back from the hospital.




I got the pathology report back last Friday and the doctor called me and told me it was much better than they originally thought it would be. Yippee! I asked her if that meant that I wouldn't need radiation treatments or hormone therapy after all and she said, she wasn't sure. She said she would set up an appointment with the radiology oncologist and she will tell me if I should or not. As far as I know, that hasn't been set-up yet. John and I are hoping that the Tumor Board met and discussed it and decided I wouldn't need it. Of course, that's just a fantasy. We'll find out for sure tomorrow morning when we go to speak to the surgical oncologist at my follow-up appointment.

So, I will probably head back to work on Monday. I have a release form for the doctor to sign tomorrow and hopefully, I'll get to a point over the weekend where I can go through an entire day without napping or resting and I'll head back to work on Monday.

For now, I will appreciate the last few days of freedom from structure or pants wearing or even thinking about what kind of holy hell I must look like.

9 comments:

Jo Anne Martin said...

Great news...I bet you can't wait to be your "normal" self again. As always, keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Wishing you long, flat roads ahead!

Mnmom said...

Surgery recovery is 3 steps forward, 1 step back. Give yourself permission to go home early sometimes, or just sleep. I have SOOOOO been there! Sending so many thoughts for a positive oncologist visit. After a complete mastectomy I had neither chemo nor radiation. Those things do happen!

Anonymous said...

Wait a second. If you are over 50 you can't get pregnant? That doesn't sound right.
Oh, yeah, and that other stuff you wrote.... ;-) Be good to yourself.
NOR

Polly Monear said...

I'm happy you've had good news and I have my fingers crossed that you keep going in a positive direction. Please do be kind and gentle with yourself and take a break (and a nap) when you need one! xoxoxoxoxo

rel said...

So glad your news is positive, and that you're recovering apace.
Being in great shape, you're recuperation will be much quicker.
Fingers crossed, prayers said for your follow-up.

rel said...

So glad your news is positive, and that you're recovering apace.
Being in great shape, you're recuperation will be much quicker.
Fingers crossed, prayers said for your follow-up.

Molly Eness said...

Considering the rest of your person, I wouldn't count on your eggs being too mature to hatch. Good luck with the tumor board. (That's what I'm calling any meeting that I have to sit through from now on--"Oh shoot, I'll have to miss the super=fun thing; I have a tumor board meeting.)Also, I want to race you right now while you take half an hour to walk a mile. I might not beat you, but at least I could keep you in sight. Feel better faster.

A said...

So glad to hear that things are going as well as possible - So glad August is almost over and hope the fall is beautiful there (and i've got my fingers crossed that the tumor board is done with you!)
Take care
A

Tara Coady said...

Thanks, everyone for the kind words. NOR, It's not impossible to get pregnant after the age of 50, but it is not very likely without a lot of medical help and getting shot up with hormones. Molly, That is exactly what I was thinking. I may get old, but I'll never be mature...And neither will my eggs. A., Me too. I was done with the damn tumor board a long time ago.