Today was my Pre-op appointment for my impending surgery Thursday. This is the third round I’ve gone through since last summer. First my mastectomy June 13, 2018, then my reconstruction surgery February 11, 2019 and now for what they are calling my “revision” surgery, July 4, 2019. Revision…yup that’s how the doctor referred to it today. Apparently, slicing my chest open again, removing the silicone implants, inserting new saline implants and hopefully cutting out my hematoma is classified as a revision. In my books, I’d say that was a “do over” but hey, who am I?!?!
I knew the drill for today’s appointment. First I filled in an eight page booklet of questions about my health, past surgeries, medications, etc. You would think in this day and age that all the past forms I filled out would be on a computer somewhere so they could call it up and just ask if anything had changed since I was here 4 months ago. You are expected to know and remember every date for every surgery you’ve ever had. I can barely remember what I ate yesterday let alone the date of my tonsillectomy as a kid. So you guesstimate and do your best. I had to be at the hospital for 8am and wasn’t seen by the nurse until 10:30. I was weighed and measured before heading down the hall to her office. We reviewed all the paperwork and then got down to the fun part…ECG, needles and swabs. The ECG is easy. You lie on a table while a dozen cold sticky patches are applied to various parts of your body. They are then attached to long wires and a machine that monitors your heart. It takes only a few minutes. Then the real fun begins. Eight vials of blood were taken from my arm. I don’t know why so many or what they are testing for, but to be sure, I was at least a pound or two lighter after that. Now for the swabs. The nurse performs a swab of the inside of your nose. It’s kinda gross having someone come at you with a giant Q-tip. She ran it all around the inside of my nostrils and then popped it into a long tube to be sent for a culture. Then she handed me a bag and said, “I’ll let you go do this one.”
It was the bum swab. Yes you read that right. I was sent to the washroom to swab my bum with a giant Q-tip. I’m not going to go into any more detail then that. But you get the picture. Not fun. I dropped off the finished swab at the nurses station and returned to the waiting room to await the anaesthesiologist. Another hour went by til I heard my name. Once in his office, we reviewed yet again, all my paperwork, medications, family history, my surgical history, etc. My surgery is now scheduled for 12:30 on Thursday so I don’t have to be at the hospital until 10am. Very civilized…especially given that I won’t sleep a wink the night before. I was reminded not to eat or drink after midnight, to wear comfy clothes, to leave all personal items at home, to not wear any jewellery or nail polish, and to ensure I had a ride home and someone to stay with me for at least 24 hours. We reviewed the Operating Room sheet that listed my “revision” surgery but did not list the removal of my hematoma. My surgeon has booked three hours in the OR and according to the anaesthetist, he should have time to re-drape and reposition me to cut it out and stitch me up.
“Remind him when you see him before your surgery on Thursday. If you tell him just before, maybe he will do the second procedure for you. I imagine you’d like to get this all done and over with?”
Do I? YES!!!!!!! I can’t wait to get all of this behind me. I now have one day left to organize everything at home and the office. There’s a lot to do but I confess I am getting used to it. I know what foods I can tolerate after surgery. What things I will need on the bed beside me. What clothes to wash and have within easy reach to get dressed. What items I can lift and what items I can’t. How to bathe without getting my chest wet for two weeks. And on and on.
The fourth of July is a celebratory day. I won’t be watching fireworks, but I will be watching the clock and waiting for 12:30 to be “revised” and made whole again.
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.