Lumpectomy, Here I Come

By Karen

At least, I think it’s called a lumpectomy when they remove a chunk of breast. In my case, a chunk of benign cells behaving badly.

Getting surgery scheduled ASAP was like, oh, pulling a breast out of a mammography vise. I only managed to get my slot in the OR after some kind staff member at Virginia Breast Center heard the jerking around their surgery scheduler gave me — which included the priceless line, “The system’s down and we always leave at 2 on Fridays” — and took it upon herself to get me on the books as soon as the “system” was back up so I wouldn’t have to spend the weekend in suspense and probably delay the procedure another week.

So this morning I went over to St. Francis for PAT. That’s hospital-speak for pre-admission testing: blood pressure (sky-high), temperature (normal), EKG (beating), blood work (red).

Nobody had mentioned to me heretofore that last week I should have stopped taking my vitamin D, calcium supplements, and fish oil, so whatever they were doing that will be bad for me now is done. And since my surgery is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., even if I eat dinner at 9 pm. on surgery eve, I’ll be approaching 18 hours without food or water when they roll me in, so knocking me out won’t take much effort.

I also learned I’m not having any of that minimally-invasive, less painful, faster recovery, new age voodoo stuff you see in ads.

All that gentleness is for wusses who can’t withstand a stereotactic biopsy with only a dab of local anesthesia. Not me.

My doctor is cutting into my breast with a good old-fashioned scalpel and slicing that hunk of troublesome tissue right out of there.

And if I’m not 100% unconscious when she lays into me this time, readers, you will hear my screams, no matter where you happen to be.


8 Responses to Lumpectomy, Here I Come

  1. marilyn says:

    hello karen,
    am sending all manner of positive thoughts your way. you will soon have this chapter in your life come to an end. eat hearty until midnight before surgery.

  2. adele says:

    Yes, by all means, indulge yourself up until midnight the day before surgery. You’ll have a sore few days, with hopefully good drugs, and by next week, hopefully all this will be behind you.

    Since I’m prepping for that delayed colonoscopy today, and the procedure is tomorrow, I’ve boarded Dorothy (the new kitty) until Wednesday. She had a urinary tract infection, and her shots can’t be completed until Wednesday, so she’ll be coming home the day you have your cells gone wild removed. I’ll try to get a picture to send you.

    Alice and I send our best.

  3. catsworking says:

    I’m usually in bed long before midnight, but I might make an exception Tuesday night. After all, I can catch up on my sleep in the OR.

    Adele, so sorry about poor Dorothy, but they are probably making her comfortable. Can’t wait to see a picture!

    PS: My father is going to the hospital with me, my sister is lined up to come over after I get home, and my mother is making a list of all the women she knows who ever died of breast cancer so she can cheer me up with stories (just kidding!), so the family is fully engaged.

  4. adele says:

    I don’t know about the calcium and vitamin D, but the fish oil (omega 3’s) have an anti-inflammatory effect and may slightly increase bleeding. As long as you’re off it now, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

    About an hour ago I finished pounding down 1/2 gallon of Gatorade, mixed w/ nasty but effective stuff. I felt like that guy on Man Vs. Food with Alice cheering me on. I just drank it as fast as I could to get it over with, and I think the worst may be over.Looking forward to the versed and demerol tomorrow.

    A couple of my friends have had fairly deep biopsies,and they were glad to have pain pills, but started to feel better (sore, but better) in a couple of days. I hope yours goes the same way. Don’t deny yourself the pain pills!

  5. catsworking says:

    Adele, good luck with that colonoscopy. May it be clean as a whistle!

    I just stopped taking my fish oil last night because nobody said not to before yesterday. They did ask about the vitamin D yesterday (which my GP prescribed in February) and told me to stop it. And the pre-op instructions said something about discontinuing multivitamins, so I stopped the calcium, just in case.

    When I removed the cotton ball last from the spot where they took blood yesterday morning, it was still bleeding a little, which really surprised me. I usually clot really fast. That could explain why I have such a whopping big bruise on my boob now from the biopsy.

    I’ve been very lucky with pain in my life, and the few times I’ve been prescribed pain pills, I’ve taken maybe one and ended up tossing the rest years later after they’d expired. But this may be what finally introduces me to the joys of pharmaceutically-induced fuzziness.

  6. MorganLF says:

    I am sure this will be a breeze, you will be unconscious. The hardest part is the not eating. Being the consumate midnight raider, I have had to cancel more than one surgery for partaking in some cold left over lasagna after midnight on the night before…..I remember the doc in scrubs at 6 AM and my protests but it was only a small piece, and his look of disgust as he sent me home.

    Speedy recovery, and be warned percoset has an odd effect on some people, sure it kills the pain but it makes me stay up till 4 AM cleaning the bathroom with a toothbrush!

  7. Zappa's mom says:

    OK Cats working for tablets is effed up


  8. catsworking says:

    Oh, great. That would be WordPress and, unfortunately, I have no control over it.

    Many weeks ago, Cats Working stopped working in Firefox, too. I can log in, then all I get is a white screen. I contacted Firefox, and they said it’s WordPress. WordPress was basically, “DUH!” and offered a few useless suggestions that did nothing to fix it, so now I use Internet Explorer.

    Sorry to hear about the tablet incompatibility on top of that. I hope WordPress gets its act together.

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