6:00: Got up, brushed my teeth and took my Femara with my allotted one mouthful of water. Got Ethan up, made him breakfast, got him on the bus, and notified the bus driver that he needs to get off the bus with his cousin, Marissa, since my parents and I will both be busy this afternoon. (Dad has an appointment with the ENT.)
7:00: I went back to bed. Since I couldn’t eat breakfast, I figured it was best to sleep through the morning!
9:00: Up again, showered and dressed. Off to Geisinger-CMC for the final step in my treatment… removal of my portacath! Woo hoo!
10:15: in the car, as we need to arrive by 10:30 for my 12:30 surgery. Luckily, it got moved up a half an hour. I know it’s not much, but I’m not used to going this long without eating! The sooner, the better. I knew taking a later appointment was going to be tough, but I did not want to push the date back. I want this thing out! Part of it is the fact that having this little box in my chest is annoying and unattractive. But largely, it’s symbolic for the end of my cancer treatments. I know there are still follow ups and additional tests ahead, but it’s really freeing to know it’s not needed at this point in time. (Having had cancer twice, I think it would be delusional of me to think I’m done forever. I will hope and pray, but the fear will always be embedded deep within me.)
10:45: checked in, bracelet on, and waiting to get called for surgical prep.
11:00: I’m now in the back, dressed in my paper gown. Yes, paper, and plastic. Like a cheap tablecloth. The gown has all these pockets and slots for wires and tubes, I’m guessing.
11:30: still waiting. Hot and sweaty in this silly gown and annoyed at having to wait so long just for the nurse. Why do they make you come so early to sit and wait?? Grrrr.
11:40: finally a nurse. I have a slew of bracelets now: white identification, pink limb alert (due to prior lymph node removal, my right arm is to be avoided for BP, IVs, etc.), red allergy, and yellow fall risk (apparently anyone going into surgery gets the latter). I did get to visit with the nurse I had when this all began back in August. She gave me a hug and we chatted a bit. She even remembered that I’m in the same bay today that I was in when I had my mastectomy! Ah, memories!
12:00: The nurse and David are talking politics and college stuff. I think she forgot I’m here. Can we just move this along? I really don’t like that she’s clicking away on the computer without focusing!
12:15: My least favorite part: the IV. It actually wasn’t too bad this time, I will admit. Whew. Glad that’s over. I did take a final picture of my port before it goes away. The picture isn’t too clear, but you can see the scar and a bit of the lump under the skin. What didn’t come out clearly is the two dots that showed where the needles were inserted for chemo. I hope those scars go away.
12:30: My ride is here. Off to pre-op.
3:00: I’m on my way home already. After meeting with the nurses, my very handsome surgeon, and the anesthesiologist, they took me into surgery around 12:45 or so. I was back in recovery by 1:30. The nurses monitored my vitals, and the one nurse was nice enough to change me into a cloth gown. That paper/plastic gown was really making me sweat! And they kept covering me with more blankets! Too hot! I had some cranberry juice, got disconnected and dressed, and was on my way.
It is so great not to feel that big lump. It’s so nice and flat now! The surgeon said he “cut the old scar out” so he could make a fresh thin scar. The old incision had stretched out a bit because of the actual device. So that was nice to know. I thought I would end up with two scars. (I’ll post a picture of the new scar when I’m allowed to un-bandage… in 4 days.) I had asked the surgeon how they disconnect the device, which was connected to 3 veins, and he say he just yanks it out! I’m not sure if he was kidding or not, but he seemed serious. I did ask about bleeding then, and he said nothing to worry about. Weird.
I am glad I decided to take tomorrow off. I’m a tiny bit sore and because of the anesthesia, I can’t drive (or sign legal papers or make any major decisions!).
So much has happened in the past 10 months and I just can’t believe that I am officially DONE!! Now it’s time to eat! :)