Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The first cut is the deepest: part 2

I heard my name being called through a fog of anaesthesia.   The surgery was over and I hadn't died.  

The best bit after coming round was the post surgery tea and toast.  It was honestly the best tea and toast I've ever had in my life.  If I end up on death row, I'm going to ask for that as my last meal.

I was wheeled up to the ward about 7pm and they put me in a side room (ooh, thank goodness, there would be no snoring to keep me awake).  My husband and son were waiting for me.  I was so happy to see them.  I spent the next hour talking gibberish as, bizarrely, I was both groggy from the anaesthetic and on a high from the other drugs.  I was also still peckish so my husband went off to the shop and got biscuits, a croissant and two bars of Galaxy chocolate for me.  Heaven.

All night long

I had a wonderful nurse called Maxine look after me throughout the night.  She popped in every couple of hours to check my vitals.  We chatted about all sorts of things but whenever she came in and she had to wake me up, I kept asking her what the time was.  I can't for the life of me think why I was fixated on the time!  I mean, I wasn't exactly going anywhere was I.  

Breathing legs

I had a couple of special contraptions wrapped around my legs which inflated and deflated throughout the night.  The idea was that they were meant to help circulation and prevent me from getting a blood clot.  

In the depths of the night, I can't help thinking that it sounded like Darth Vader was at the end of my bed.

Morning has broken

At 5am, I woke with a start and couldn't get back to sleep - I was wired to the moon.  I cracked open a bar of Galaxy.  Maxine, bless her, came in and made me a cup of tea, gave me a wash, helped me get into my pyjamas and changed my bed clothes.  I saw the sunrise over the car park.  

The lovely Maxine went off duty at 8am and when I thanked her for looking after me, she replied that it had been an absolute pleasure.  She was a truly fabulous nurse and a real credit to the NHS.  

What a relief

That morning I was visited by the breast care nurse, various doctors and the Registrar who was in theatre with me.  I felt like a specimen in a jar.  To my great relief, the registrar said the CT and bone scans were clear apart from wear and tear in various areas.  You cannot believe how relieved I was when he told me that.  I had been so, so, worried that the cancer had spread and thankfully it hadn't.  Phew.  Things were looking up after all.

Life is a minestrone

You may have guessed by now that I love my food, so I have to tell you about my lunch.  It was delicious: potato and leek soup, roast turkey, peas, corn, turnip (I used to call it 'swede' until I moved to Northern Ireland), mashed potato and then jelly and ice cream for afters.  I felt like a kid again.  

I'm not a fan of Jamie Oliver but if any of the hospital food was inspired by him I'd go and give him a great big kiss.  Well, OK, that's probably a big fat lie.

Homeward bound

I was allowed to go home at lunchtime, accompanied by painkillers and a drain in my side, which the nurse told me how to empty and reconnect.  Eugh. 

Before I left the hospital I was also reminded about the risk of lymphodoema.  'What's THAT?' I hear you ask.  Something to avoid, you hear me say!  Because all the lymph nodes in my armpit had been removed, there was (and still is) a risk that an insect bite, a cut, sunburn, cracked skin, a hangnail and such like could cause my right arm to irretrievably swell up and never drain properly ever again.  

I now protect my right arm with my life and care for it like a newborn baby.

Next time...

I'll blog about being at home - feeling bored, sore and terrified of pulling out my drain - and my surgery results.


You can follow me on twitter: @luvvacurry

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear how you're getting on. I think about you most days and wonder how you are and what they are doing to you today. Keep posting if you can. Take care xx


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