Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Prayers were answered

Disclaimer: I am still taking narcotics.

On Tuesday morning R and I traveled into town so I could have a bilateral mastectomy, port a cath placement for chemo, and axial lymph node dissection. I also had a sore throat and runny nose. After consulting with the anesthesiologist, he explained he would be more concerned with a lower respiratory infection than an upper one. Then we waited and waited, because the surgeon was running behind. The anesthesiologist asked if I wanted something to take the edge off, I honestly told him I did not need anything, I was calm.

They said we could watch tv, but we are not big tv watchers so R and I read supportive emails on his I-Pod touch. Of course we told anyone who would listen about our three precious children waiting at home with their grandma. Some of the nurses remembered me from when I was in there earlier this month.

The surgery took about 2 and half hour. I found out what cures an upper respiratory infection, general anesthesia. After the surgery I did not have sinus pain or a runny nose anymore. As I was waking up the nurse asked if I wanted my glasses on, I said not yet. R said it was because I was not ready to face reality. I heard the nurses talking before they went and got R, they said to get the husband that looks the right age (we were the youngest ones there). I felt alright when I woke up more which was good because I wanted to get home to my kids and my own bed that night. I asked the nurse if it would be okay to hug my kids and baby tonight, and she said it was. This nurse stayed past her shift to make sure we had one on one care.

Disclaimer - a icky part - skip this paragraph if you get grossed out easily.
The nurse showed R how to take care of the Jackson Pratt drains. I have three tubes sticking out of my body, one for each side and the lymph nodes. These tubes drain blood and body fluids to collection bulbs. Every four hours we push the fluid down to the bulbs, then empty the bulbs into a special cup. We record how much fluid is collected in each area, then flush it away. The first time the nurse showed R how to do this he got kind of woozy and had to sit down. The petite nurse was glad my 6 foot husband did not try to tough it out and then faint. After awhile he was able to see how to do the rest. Then he has continued helping me do this process every four hours, except for once when he took a walk and my mom helped. My neighbor hooked up me with a great free camisole that has an inside pocket for the tubes and bulbs. I did throw up at the hospital a few times and at home a few times. R took care of it both times at home. He's the greatest!

The nurse showed us how to take care of the dressing and tubes and how often to take the painkillers. After general anesthesia I always do two things, get really cold and cry out for my children. R asked the nurses and I did not cry out this time. I was cold so they brought my favorite thing when that happens, a warm blanket to wrap around my head. They wrapped me up in warm blankets and waited until my color came back. From the time I woke up until we left every time they checked my vitals I was great, 100% on oxygen and so on. I was a little shaky when I walked, but that was perfectly normal considering what I had been through. I was doing so well they said I could go home and see my kids before they went to bed, and to just take the warm blankets with me. My mom had prepped the kids that I would look sick. When we got home they were excited to talk about the surgery day boxes. Then we did light hugs and kisses and Baby just smiled. It was a wonderful ending to a difficult day.

As we drove home we talked about how supported we felt and grateful for the prayers offered on our behalf. It is very humbling. My aunt let me know that the family fast was on my grandma's birthday (I will trust her and not try to proofread that information). We believe in eternal family relationships and know that care and comfort can come from many places. Our family was well taken care of on such a hard day. We are glad to have taken that first major step in cancer treatment. A bad part about having done this before is the dread of doing it again. The flip side is remembering the encircling of love we felt last time, and feeling the love, if possible, more now.

We appreciate all the love and support we have received. It really is making the burden lighter to carry.

1 comment:

  1. So happy the post-surgery part wasn't as bad as it could have been. I hate coming out of anesthetic too, so I was wondering how that part went. Love you so much, Jeni. I blogged about you on Tues. (