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  • Writer's pictureKate

Surgery Prep

Even though my left breast is literally trying to kill me, and I am aware my right breast will likely try to kill me in the future, I am still mourning their loss which will be taking place in a couple of days. I still haven't figured out how to properly say goodbye.

This week has been sort of surreal. I am anxious about surgery, especially because I have never had a major surgery and don't know what to expect. As someone who hates to feel out of control, so much so, that I rarely even drink more than one glass of wine, I am more nervous about my potential loss of independence and wit than I am about the surgery itself! What if I say something really stupid? Or, like on Breaking Bad, I admit to a deep dark secret before being rolled into surgery (not sure what that would be, but you never know)?! I know it sounds silly, but I am legitimately worried about this.

I met with my plastic surgeon again yesterday, because I had two pages of questions I wanted to go over with her. She was great about not rushing us, and answering all of my questions thoroughly. I feel more confident in her as a surgeon, and I feel like I understand what will be happening more clearly. A bit of relief.

Summary of phone calls with my medical team today:

  • First, I found out they cannot use my smart port for the surgery (this is very unfortunate because I HATE IVs and so do my veins). So, today I got permission from my oncologist to have it removed during the surgery Friday. I am happy because it is uncomfortable at times, and requires me to have to go in every month to have it flushed (yuck). I can tell you right now, the taste I get in my mouth from the saline they use to flush it, brings me back to chemo days and makes me want to vomit. I DO NOT want to go back to the cancer center to have it flushed, and I just want it gone at this point if they can't use it anyway. So, I am happy my team agreed!

  • Second, I found out I am scheduled for surgery at 12pm on Friday. I have to be at the breast health center at 8am to have a radioactive seed implanted in my left sentinel lymph node, and have another radioactive dye injected into my breast so the surgeon knows which nodes to remove during surgery. Hopefully not too many.        

I finished up and submitted the final paper in my last grad school class today! Haven't felt the relief just yet, but I guess I have a couple of other things going on 😉

Been cleaning the house, doing laundry, and prepping the house for surgery. Shout out to my mom who has helped me immensely! Feels weird that I am fine right now, but after Friday I won't be able to do much of anything! My surgeon said I will need to use T-rex arms for at least a couple of weeks and no lifting or straining of any kind for several weeks. Should be interesting... Thanks to friends for donating surgery pillows, your time, and a bell so I can order Andy around!

No hair, don't care. Been practicing drawing on my eyebrows because I look freaky without them. I am no expert, but from far away they pass I think.

Health update:

  • My feet and ankles have been very painful lately, sharp pains that buckle my knees sometimes, especially when walking a lot, or standing for long periods. Hoping it has to do with my neuropathy and that it will pass. I have been trying to push through, but often I just have to sit down and take breaks which kind of cramps my style. I am trying to get as much done as possible right now feet!

  • Toes and fingers are still numb- no change really. One of my fingernails appears to be lifting, looks like it may be coming off at some point. Plus side, my neuropathy makes it so I can't really feel it, so that's cool. 

  • Eyelashes and eyebrows have started to sprout. It looks really funny. Tons of little nubs of hair coming out of my eyelids and brows. I'm just excited there is anything there at all! 

  • Hair on my head is getting fuzzier and fuzzier, although I still look bald (Andy says it is definitely growing in the back where I can't really see). Side note- for some reason when I lost my hair in March, I had this notion that it would be very temporary and I would have hair again in no time. Maybe that was just a fantasy I made up to keep me from being completely depressed about it, but now it is going on 5 months of being completely bald and I am getting tired of this shit!!

  • Been riding bike and getting as much exercise in as possible knowing I won't be able to in the coming weeks. When I asked how long before I can get back to yoga, my surgeon said many months. Ah man.   

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