Monday, February 11, 2013

Operation New Boob - Part 2

Typical week bushfires are blazing out of control and we're receiving messages from the fire service to prepare to evacuate and the next there's torrential flooding and cyclonic conditions that wreak havoc along the east coast, cancelling flights and cutting off roads. can't say that we're a dull lot!

My Mum had planned to fly in to Canberra from Queensland the day before my surgery to perform her Super Nana duties but the weather gods had other plans and her flight was cancelled. Logistically it was a little tricky as both our boys had chicken pox and the only girlfriends available to babysit on the day of my surgery were heavily pregnant or had young toddlers who were yet to be immunised. Clearly not an option, we couldn't possibly expose them, so we decided that I would drive myself to the hospital and Hubby would stay home with the kids until my Mum arrived on another flight that afternoon. I was ok with it. It was better for my husband to be busy and occupied with the boys rather than sitting around in a hospital waiting room for hours on end.

I kissed all three of my boys goodbye and drove to the hospital at 8am. I checked in to the surgical admissions lounge, sorted out the admissions forms then wandered over to Nuclear Medicine for my radioactive dye injection. I was a tad anxious about how painful it would be but I took it as a good sign when a rather handsome young doctor called me there's a good distraction to take your mind off a painful procedure if ever I've seen one. Highly recommended girls, I barely felt a thing! After the dye had a chance to work it's way through my lymph nodes they took some films and marked the sentinal nodes in my armpit and I was sent back to surgical admissions. I had a couple of hours to waste before they prepped me for theatre so I wandered the halls of the hospital, read my Martha Stewart Living magazine and all the text messages wishing me luck from family and friends. Before long it was midday and time to get changed into the incredibly glamorous paper knickers, green stripey gown, compression stockings & paper booties. If only I'd had a camera, I totally rocked that look!

I started to feel a little scared just before I was wheeled into theatre at 2pm. My surgeon came and drew what resembled a roadmap on my chest, the anaesthetist came and had a chat and several nurses popped in to confirm and reconfirm my details. I'd had three previous surgeries during my lifetime. One took away my failed 2nd pregnancy and the other two delivered beautiful, healthy little babies into my arms. This time I was losing part of myself, a part I was immensely proud of, a part that had fed my babies for the first 12 months of their lives and given my husband and I great pleasure for the last 12 years. I couldn't help but feel sad at the loss. Thankfully the anaesthetist had a cracking good sense of humour and a wife who had also endured a double mastectomy and survived breast cancer so I was put at ease.

Just like my c-sections, the theatre was filled with people all busy with purpose. The room was incredibly cold and the blanket covering my body was toasty warm. One of the nurses held my hand and then...

...I woke up...nearly six hours later.


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