The surgery went well and I was home the next day. I just never expected to be so tired! Between the surgery, the medication, and the heat wave we’ve gone through, I have just been taking it very, very easy. Get up, read the paper, take a nap, watch a little tv, and then go to bed. My birthday and the 4th of July pretty much passed unnoticed, although a lovely birthday cake was presented to me and friends dropped by with well wishes.
The day of surgery started early, with needing to be at the hospital at 6 am. There was a bit of a snafu with them bringing me into the back and then parking me in a cubicle for an hour and a half. My poor husband was frantic with not knowing what was going on, and wanted to spend the pre-surgery time with me. They finally came in to put in a line at 7:30, but we sent away the first person after not she managed not to get the IV in despite poking me 3 or 4 times. They finally got a line in just as the nuclear medicine person came in to inject my breast in two places with the radioactive material to mark the sentinal nodes. This was not very pleasant, although the technician was the wonderful woman who had done my bone scan. My surgeon told me that they use both the radioactive material and the blue dye to determine the sentinal nodes.
Dr S came in shortly thereafter and after one look at my arm, reviewed his notes and decided to go ahead and put the chemo port in as well during the surgery. He finally did the initial marking of my breast and I was wheeled into the OR at 9:17 am. I was put under just very quickly.
The next thing I know it was after 3 pm and I was in the recovery room. Frankly, my throat hurt more than anything (from the breathing tube). My husband came in and told me the the surgery had gone well. I think that I was told that they first found 3 small lymph nodes near to the tumour and that maybe there was some cancer there, but when they went to the next 3 regular size nodes, there was no sign of any cancer, so they didn’t have to go to a full lymph node extraction. Because the port added time to the procedure, Dr. S sent word out to my husband at 12:15 (when he expected that I’d be done) to let him know that things were going fine but it would take longer because of the port insertion.
I was brought up to my room, and had some friends come to visit. My husband brought our youngest son to see me, and the surgeon stopped by as well. I didn’t sleep much in the hospital, and went down at 5 am (hey, I was awake!) to have an xray to make sure that the port placement was good. I was home that afternoon.
Then, just a lot of sleep and rest. It was unusually hot for the past week, which was pretty uncomfortable. I’ve been getting my hair washed in the sink and taking sponge baths. Tomorrow I go in to have the incision checked and hopefully get the drainage tube taken out. It hasn’t been tremendously painful, but I was pretty sore and the pain meds didn’t really help all that much, just make me sleepy. There seems to be some swelling but about what I would expect after surgery. The port site is still quite tender. I did go to an Introduction to Chemotherapy class yesterday afternoon, but didn’t really learn anything very new.
I managed to get up to visit my dad one day, and my mom came down to see me twice when she had someone to stay with him. The heat has been bothering my dad as well, and there was a bit of concern about his breathing and oxygen levels today. He was doing very well when I visited him on Sunday, so I hope that this will resolve.
Thanks for all the post-surgery well wishes. I am still here despite being so quiet, and am working hard on healing and getting ready for phase 2 – chemo. I meet with my oncologist next Tuesday, and then hopefully get started with that soon after.