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.


  1. Well at least you had a happy morning. Yes there was a reason for this to go the way it did. Just hope medicare does you right for the next try.

    1. Thank you Jo, keeping my fingers crossed that it goes over with Medicare.

  2. Emily, Love your attitude. I also believe that everything happens for a reason and lots of times we will see and understand it a bit later.
    Wishing you lots of positive thoughts.

    1. Thank you Lynne. The curious side of me hopes it learns what happened actually. I many not learn the "why", but as you said "....lots of times we will see and understand it a bit later." I have positive thoughts because all my friends do too.