The End is in Sight – Maybe

By Karen

I need to correct a misstatement in my last post. I called my surgery a “lumpectomy,” but I have learned my doctor calls it an “excisional biopsy.”

ANOTHER biopsy? WTF??!!

Hands down, the worse part was being forbidden to eat or drink past midnight on surgery day (June 29), since the fun didn’t start until 3:30 p.m. I got weak and woozy, but perked up like a houseplant after they hooked me to a saline drip while we killed time pre-op.

(Coincidentally, I got the same stuff I inject into Yul every day for his chronic renal failure.)

I had a pow-wow with the anesthesiologists about keeping me asleep this time, or else. They told me that having a biopsy done in a doctor’s office, as I did with the Mammotome®, means minimal sedation because if something goes wrong, there’s no Plan B. My nurse confided that many women have told her it was the most excruciating thing they’d ever been through.

I felt vindicated that I wasn’t just being a sissy.

The doctor gave me one last scare when she stopped by and mentioned the possibility of finding “little bits of cancer,” but assured me they could be easily dealt with later.

FINALLY, it was time for my happy juice. The lights went out and I woke up when it was time to go home. The doctor said I mentioned the “governor’s mansion” and “tira misu” under sedation.

In a million years, I couldn’t tell you why.

The doctor went in from another angle, so my breast looks like a truck ran over it — twice. I’ve got an ugly-looking incision about 1 ½ inches long near my nipple, held together with clear glue, surrounded by a large, angry red area.

But I haven’t had much pain and only took one of the prescribed painkillers.

Keeping the breast immobile seems key. Last night I slept in a flimsy bra and woke up sore.

Now I wait until next week to hear if this is the end of it — or not.

I’m beginning to wonder how anyone who has gone through this is ever able to say they are “cancer-free.” I feel like I’ll never get a definitive answer so I can consider myself healthy again, that my breast has been so mangled, it will never have another “normal” mammogram, and I’ll always live under the threat of breast cancer.

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3 Responses to The End is in Sight – Maybe

  1. Zappa's mom says:

    All the best,Karen!! I wanted to wish you a Happy 4th-I think you need some fireworks,cocktails and apparently,some tiramisu!

    ZM

  2. adele says:

    Yeah, maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between you and tiramisu. I have a great recipe for a strawberry tiramisu I can send you.

    Our entire household, me, Alice and Dorothy, wish you the best and also recommend some cocktails and diverting movies.

    ZM, Dorothy has moved in with surprisingly little incident — except Alice is staying in the room where the litterbox is and guarding it like a gorgon. Clearly I’m going to need a second box, but I’ve been working on a consulting job and was shocked to see that it’s after 5,and I have a few more cases to review.Fingers crossed for tonight.

  3. catsworking says:

    Adele, they say you should have one litterbox for each cat + 1, but I think you can get away with 2 boxes for your girls.

    I gave up my coat closet when I bought my house to create a 3-stall kitty bathroom because there really was no other place for the boxes. My bathroom is so tiny, I’d have to stand in the litterbox to brush my teeth. When I got Cole, I put a 4th box in the upstairs bathroom because it was part of his “man cave,” which he still visits every day, even though he has fully mastered the rest of the house. Now all the cats use that box occasionally, so it stays. I guess they like a change of scene.

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