Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Getting Ready for Surgery

There are times in life when, no matter how well you have prepared, you still aren’t ready for what lies ahead.  Once I made my decision to have a double mastectomy, my surgeon discussed how things would play out.  I went home researched a little more, just to make sure I hadn’t missed some key piece of information, and prayed really hard. 

At this point I remember things were still a blur to me.
  I was going so quickly between tests and meeting with my doctors, that when it was time to get prepped, I realized nothing had prepared me for the reality of my surgery.  Up to this point I had walked many halls alone to meet my nurses or technicians.  But the afternoon before my surgery I had to have a particular dye injected into my breast tissue that would circulate through my lymph nodes and thus help indicate any cancer present there.  I wasn’t very familiar with this procedure.  I can still remember the sweet little woman waiting for me at the door at the end, of what seemed to be, a very long hallway.  With each step my anxiety grew.  By the time I reached the door, my whole body was trembling, and I tried hard to hold back the tears.

There we were, two people in a large, sterile room, and one huge machine.
  She walked me through the procedure and I put in my earbuds, hoping I had something on my ipod that would settle my nerves. Sadly, it was to no avail.  I turned it off and my mind drifted in and out as I listened to the noise of the machine.  I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I know I felt very alone.  I was probably praying.  As tears began to fill my eyes I felt a warm calm come over me and I heard the voice of my sweet technician talking to me. I have no idea what she said, but I was thankful for her kindness. 
The next morning I arrived very early to the hospital, checked in and waited to be called.  Once I was called back, I was given the latest fashion in surgical attire straight down to special socks – 2 kinds.  My husband and I sat as I met my new nurse.  She was assigned to me and only me.  Then in came my surgeon and her team.  I had never seen my surgeon in scrubs and I must say she looked very young to me (or I was feeling old, not sure which). I think I remember going into the operating room because I slightly remember seeing their faces around me, and I remember the very cold room.  Luckily I don’t recall a thing after that.  I woke up at some point several hours later in tight bandages with several tubes attached to me.  I remember being relieved it was over and somewhat scared of what was underneath all that dressing.

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