Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Third Time is A Charm!

Thursday, October 15th is a go for the surgery.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Well, It Didn't Happen

My breast cancer surgery didn't take place yesterday (Thursday 9/24). I prepared myself according to all the instructions - shower 2 days before and morning of with a special anti- bacterial soap, not take my blood thinners including the fish oil capsules (wasn't taking them as a thinner but for cholesterol).  I took the Gabapentin the night before and the morning of (this became my "happy" juice).

We left the house at 5 a.m. to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. I was checked in and shortly shown to my prep room.  Here I once again had to take another anti-bacterial cleansing - brush my teeth, swab my mouth, rinse with special rinse; then, swab the inside of each nostril with an iodine dipped special Q-tip, then swab even further up the nostril up towards the sinus cavity with the iodine dipped Q-tip.
Next came the body wipe down with specific instructions of which anti-bacterial wash cloth to use on what part of the body - #1 was for the neck, chest and abdomen, #2 was for the shoulders and arms, #3 hips and groin, #4 for the legs, feet and toes including between, #5 for the back (that was a toughie), and #6 was for the buttocks.  Then I got into my purple foot lets (how did they know I liked purple?) and my double layered paper gown (in lavender).

Wasn't long before all the questions started coming and I was really in happy/sleepy land by now; but I managed to understand the anthologist and sign her consent form, understood the other consent form, watched the tech insert the IV (she had as much trouble as everyone else does) and start the solution. Then they left me along and zonk, I was a asleep.

In about 30 minutes, the first trip down the hallway to the nuclear room was made. Pedro was pretty good at zipping down the hallways and around the corners. Was fun. Anyway, I had been numbed where the "hot juice" (as I call it) was to be inserted.  Pretty soon, the tech kept saying "No nodes, no nodes".  I had no idea what she meant but was soon to find out.  I was zipped back to my prep room by a professional race car driver!  Then was pushed back down to the radiology room by a tech, whose back was bothering her so we went at nice walking speed.

There I was placed into a chair (I say placed because by this time I had had a Valium and was really feeling no pain and had begun to tell funny stories of my life) and somewhat strapped in. Here I was getting mammograms of the tumor area and at one time was turned over to around a 45ยบ angle. Was that weird feeling.

At this time the surgeon comes in and says "Hold everything, you haven't done the needle insertion yet?" "No" says the doctor." "Good", says the surgeon "because we have a problem."  The problem was that the nuclear (my hot juice) had not gone anywhere, it had just stayed at the insertion sight which was at the tumor sight.  So I immediately sobered up and the surgeon and I discussed what to do. She clearly did not want to go into surgery not knowing which is the sentinel node and really did not want to perform an auxiliary lymph node dissection (which is further under the arm and to some extent around into the back and also up towards the shoulder blade) , because she really feels it isn't necessary. So she cancelled the operation. We discussed various possibilities  and if it can be done again in the next week (which I doubt) we'll go and the other option is to wait until after my brother's visit.

Truthfully, I am not disappointed, disgusted, pissed or any of those similar words. There is a reason and it will be resolved by the next attempt which will be a "go". And, hopefully Medicare will approve the second attempt and the hospital will not make me pay the $400 again, but a reduced rate.

So today, I feel good and pretty free of all the "happy" juice and pretty much taking it easy. Got my morning walk in, doing some extra cleaning in the kitchen, watching the antics of the birds and now going to take my afternoon nap. Am practicing for that quiet time of 1 to 4 p.m. after my radiation therapy starts. Thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.  They kept me safe.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ahhhhhh, the Enjoyment of Sleeping In!

 Ha - Sleep in? Call getting up sometime between 6 and 7 a.m. sleeping in? Well I guess considering it was 5 a.m. when I got up during work days.

What am I doing? Well, a little of this and a little of that. I have projects and am trying real hard not to rush to get them all done at once. 
He really is protecting my "grass".
This little guy in my yard was left by former owner Chuck and Geri and he is so cute. His little sign was weather worn so he has a new sign now and he is getting re-painted. Notice the "grass" he is protecting.

I have been getting my bird feeding stations ready for the winter feeding season.  I have started putting out some seed and of course my feathered friends want MORE, MORE, MORE. The hummingbirds are here but can tell many are passing through on their southward journey. I saw our first southbound flight of geese several weeks ago - three weeks earlier than last year.  The yellow finches showed up a couple of weeks ago and they are so much fun to watch. Jim just loves their constant cheeping. And we have the Gambel Quail. I just love how they move in single file where ever they go. You will just have to visualize all these birds as I never have my camera with me, I just sit out on the bench under the mulberry tree, drinking my morning coffee, and watch all the antics going on.

I have also been trimming my cactus hedge.  They are creeping up over my neighbor's metal roofed sheds, so it's trim time. 
Not into eating cactus, too much work!
Using a hedge trimmer doesn't work too good (it is also messy) so I use my trusted garden rake and pull, pull, pull. Once in a while a saw comes in handy too. How many of my readers get to trim a cactus hedge?

I have met my surgeon who will do my breast cancer surgery on Thurs 9/24. Dr Maria Halsted is a very likable person and ignoring all the big words she used I understood a lot of what she was telling me - especially the word "if".  I feel I am in very capable hands.

My very "astute" brother (he will laugh at that word) will be coming to visit in early October. I can hardly wait as it has been 4 years since I have seen him. This is the main reason why I wanted my surgery a couple of weeks before he gets here.  Then I want to be able to do things when daughter Juno comes to visit over the Thanksgiving holidays and my radiation treatments will be over with by then.

One Sunday, I took some time  and went up to a little town called Hillsboro, located about 35 miles SW of here and up against the foothills of the Black Range Mountains. The community was having home tours and an antique dealers show. I had a great time and visited with lots of neat folks. Had one of the best green chile cheeseburgers and homemade fries at the General Store Cafe on the main street. Here are some slides I took:
Current community center, former high school

Where I had the most delicious green chile cheeseburger - a NM tradition.

First country courthouse for Sierra County, before moving to Truth or Consequences.


Artist gate.

Typical home behind a rock wall to protect from flooding between two creeks.

Typical home built in the late 1800's.

The drive home  was beautiful. Looking eastward toward the various mountain ranges toward the Sacramento Mountains.