October 2nd….nine more days until ( and let’s hope ) my fourth surgery will take place. I have been waiting for 15 months to have the hematoma, caused by my mastectomy, to be removed. This has been quite the journey; filled with many ups and downs. It has tested my patience, my resolve, my inner strength, my physical strength and my self confidence.
When this surgery was cancelled a week ago, I felt like I’d been kicked in the stomache. That may sound dramatic and maybe it is, but for someone who so desperately wants to move on from all the pain and anguish that cancer thrusts upon you, having a surgery cancelled is hard news to take. Fortunately, next week this leg of the journey will be over.
The surgery itself is “day surgery” which almost every surgery is nowadays. My double mastectomy was considered day surgery too. If I had not had the complication of an excessive bleed, I would have been sent home the same day too. Trust me, hospitals are not fun. No one wants to “stay” there but given what you have to deal with when you get home, I think it is advisable to keep people in longer. But that’s just my opinion…but it comes from experience.
My fourth surgery, will not be as traumatic as the others. For this surgery, I will not be “put under”. I will be frozen from my armpit to my shoulder blade. An incision approximately six inches will be made to remove the hematoma, fluid and excess skin. I need to remain awake as the surgeon will be manipulating my arm to see how tight to sew things up. He warned me that it will be gruesome. Now, is that “gruesome” by HIS standards…a surgeon…or “gruesome” by my standards…a mere mortal?! Either way I am not looking forward to that part. I don’t mind seeing blood…just not my own!
Two days before surgery I have an appointment with my family doctor. We will need to address my stomache issues before the surgery as presently I can’t take any medication orally as it causes severe abdominal pains and vomiting. I KNOW that I will need pain meds after the surgery, so I am not sure how we are going to manage that. Hopefully she will have a solution for me. Just add that to the list. UGH!
Oh yes, there’s one more small hiccup. My new surgery date, October 2nd , is when I am supposed to have my epidural steroid injections for my back. Do you see a problem?! I have contacted the pain clinic with my dilemma. I need those injections or my back seizes up and I can’t walk… but I can’t not take this new surgery date. The pain clinic has been very accommodating through all this. From getting me extra pillows to lie on after each surgery, to helping me through anxiety attacks waiting to go into the operating room. I have been very lucky to have wonderful doctors and care givers throughout this process. And it IS a process. As much as I want this all to be over, I know that it takes time. I know that each day I am a little bit closer to the end of this journey and I hold onto that. Did I think it would take this long? Certainly not. But I am still here. I am still fighting and I am staying positive and confident that someday this “process” will be a thing of the past.
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.