All aboard the freak-out trainPosted: August 24, 2011 Filed under: breast cancer, Surgery | Tags: anxiety before surgery, DIEP, fat transfer breast reconstruction, liposuction, moms of young kids with breast cancer, psychological effects of breast cancer, the Big Dig 15 Comments
I’ve been slowly but surely freaking out about this surgery. I was all ready for it this time last week, but it was not to be. Having to wait a week because of pokey construction at the surgical center didn’t make me happy; I don’t like to wait in general, and on something this big and this important, even less. If there’s more than one person in line ahead of me at the grocery store, I consider that a long wait, so imagine what waiting a week has been like.
The wait is over and the day is here. I’m ready.
I prepared in numerous ways, including waking up multiple times each night; making myself half crazy with worry; imagining every possible way the dreaded infection could sneak back into my life; going overboard on stocking the house with groceries; meeting myself coming and going with laundry and errands; and cooking meals that my children won’t eat.
I also did the one things I really should not have done, and that I also did the night before The Big Dig, aka reconstruction: I watched the surgery on youtube.
No wonder I can’t sleep at night.
Why do I do this to myself? I know full good and well that watching that stuff is going to creep me out. Picturing my beloved doc doing those things while I’m sawing logs really creeps me out. I trust him with my life but hate to think of what he’ll be doing to me this morning. I’m gonna be one sore chica.
I scrubbed myself with Hibiclens this morning, to kill off any friendly or hostile bacteria living on my skin. You know your life has changed — and not for the better — when you have a bottle of the Hib in your shower (insert sad face here).
Here’s the game plan: I’ll show up at the surgery center at 8 a.m. without having had my daily cup of coffee or one bite of food since bedtime (I’m not very pleasant when I’m hungry; I’ll be the first to say it. And BTW, packing my kids’ lunches without being able to have one bite of food myself is cruel. There’s not much in their lunches I would eat anyway, but still). I’ll put on the hospital gown and shower cap, and possibly the compression hose. I’ll get marked up by my doc, which involves standing naked in a small room while he peers at and examines up-close the fattiest parts of my body; he’ll use a Sharpie to annotate the choice cuts that he’ll be removing, and I’ll try to slink into the OR with my dignity intact. I’ll endure the inevitable digging by the anesthesiologist and/or nurse anesthetist in a fruitless attempt to find a vein that doesn’t roll over and play dead; this usually involves multiple pokes and results in a giant bruise. I’ll watch the clock and wonder how much longer until they give me the shot that makes none of this hardship matter as I drift off into a heavy-limbed, blissful sleep. I’ll endure who-knows-what kind of horror show as my doc and his team manipulate and position my sleeping carcass to extract maximum fattiness. Some he will keep, and some he will throw away. The fattiness he keeps will be spun in a centrifuge to extract all the liquid. Then the liquid-free, pure fattiness will be injected into my sunken chest. I’ll wake up in the recovery room several hours later, trying not to barf and thinking how good it will feel to get home and leave the hospital stink behind. I’ll hope that I get home before my kids’ school day ends, and will hopefully, fingers crossed, please, please, please be one step closer to reaching the finish line and being done with the aftermath of breast cancer.
Yea! I’m so happy the day is here! Best wishes, Nancy! I, too, watched a surgery I had the night before on youtube! Not the best idea! I can’t wait to hear an update from you or Trevor, or anyone!
Lord have mercy, Woman. I would need sedation just to go without coffee. You are brave.
Big deal! I have to go to work today and, . . . and, um . . . that’s about it.
Ok, maybe you do have it tougher than I. Let me know when you can start drinking again and I’ll bring the bubbly. And didn’t Cat Stevens write a song called “freak-out train”?
Start drinking again??? You mean you gotta quit? NEVER!!!
Praying for success!!
Hugs to you!!
sending good thoughts your way, why not just have some champagne before you go, that and an Ativan oughta do the trick.
celebrate who you are and who you are becoming, for you are indeed a beautiful light that does make a difference in the world…
This is Trevor, we just saw Dr S. And he was pleased. I’m sure there will be further updates.
Nancy is home and resting and dealing with standard post surgery pain and nausea. But she has eaten some yogurt, a banana and is now trying to nap. I’m sure she will have plenty to say about her new depths of indignity with Dr. S, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she doesn’t post for a day or two.
I am thrilled to hear Nancy is home and napping. Ah, the sweet power of sleep. Nancy, you are a survivor and will continue to win your battles. Trevor, thanks for the updates!
So glad that Nancy is home and feeling well enough to eat. I’ve been thinking of you today, and hope that you are happily medicated and that your white blood cells are busy keeping infection away. Take care, my friend!
[…] All aboard the freak-out train | The Pink Underbelly I'll put on the hospital gown and shower cap, and possibly the compression hose. I'll get marked up by Dr S, which involves standing naked in a small room while he peers at and examines up-close the fattiest parts of my body; […]
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You had your surgery and I missed my chance to carry a tennis ball in my pocket! So busy and hectic in August here, I had not been keeping up with blogs.
I hope you are back home and comfy in your own bed with the peace of having the whole procedure behind you. Make yourself rest, even more than you think you need to!!!
Glad it’s done and you’re back at home. It’s such a long haul isn’t it? I understand. Sending good wishes your way. Keep resting!
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