Friday, January 28, 2011

European vacation

I had my pre admission at the hospital today. I was scheduled to go in at 11 am. I arrived early, and promptly got asked to wait. At 11:40 am I was able to go in and meet with the lady from pre admissions. She may have had too much coffee. This is just an observation.

We went over a whole lot of info, from all the medications I may or may not be taking before surgery to post operation expectations. She talked a mile a minute and I tried to keep up with everything she was saying. I would be doing blood work today, a chest xray and a pregnancy test.

I assured her I wasn't pregnant, and there was no way I could be. Brad can't have any more kids, I told her. She smiled. "Well, you never know dear". Umm, yeah I do. But evidently I wasn't persuasive enough. I still had to pee on a stick. Guess what? I'm not pregnant. What a relief.

It was all going fairly well until she told me that since I'll be doing a lymph node dissection in a week (which is the part of the surgery where they take your lymph nodes out) I was no longer allowed to shave my right armpit.

I thought I misheard her, but she repeated her odd request. Why in the world can I not shave? Because the right armpit is where the lymph node dissection takes place and they don't want to take the chance of me cutting myself by accident and causing an infection for them.

Seriously?

Yup.

"Think of it as if you were taking a trip to Italy" - she suggested. "They don't shave in Europe".

Hmm, except for I'm not. I'm not signing up for a trip to Italy, I'm going in for a mastectomy. Slightly different level of excitement.

They're taking my boobs. They're taking my ovaries. They're making me grow hair in places I would rather not.

Hello Universe?! Could you make it ANY harder for me to feel feminine?

16 comments:

Evel said...

I am sorry we are reconnecting over a thing like this....but it was good to hear from you. I know what you mean about being busy living life. I just know we are all going to look back at these entries as just another stone in our path, a simple obstacle that we overcame. Hang in there, Chick.

Knock knock - it's cancer! said...

Evel :)

So glad you were still blogging yeay.

Don't worry, I will kick cancer's behind!

How have you been? I can't wait to read all about your stuff and catch up.

Sayre said...

Oh, Michelle... I am so sorry to hear this - but I know you are a strong woman. It sounds like you have a wonderful man and great friends to help you get through this. I actually think of you from time to time - I've looked for your blog, but it was never updated - and I've looked for you on FaceBook too. Thought I found you, but hesitated to friend you. You'd been quiet for so long. And things have obviously changed since you last blogged.

But for the cancer, it sounds like your life has settled in to a lovely day-to-day.

Cancer can be beaten. The woman Swampy, whose blog Anecdotes and Anodes is a long time survivor of breast cancer. Check her out (her blog is in my sidebar) and if you wish to talk to her about it, I'm sure she wouldn't mind you contacting her via her blog. I've met her - she's a lovely, caring woman who puts a lot of effort into living her life and promoting early detection and care for breast cancer.

You are not alone out there, Michelle. You have people out here and close to you rooting for you - lots of prayers and positive thoughts headed your way. Thank you for getting back in touch - I've missed you!

Knock knock - it's cancer! said...

Sayre - yeay - I'm all tearing up. I've missed you too!!

It's been a couple of crazy years since the last time we've 'talked'.

Definitely look me up on facebook. :)

M.

Sayre said...

Wow - there sure are a lot of you on FB! Can you email me at SayreSmiles@yahoo.com with your avatar and your name spelled out as it is in FB and any other thing tht might narrow down the selection?

I can send you my FB name and avatar so you can look too.

Indian Lake Papa said...

Hi, I am guessing your name is Michelle. I go by Indian Lake Papa and my wife as mama. She is not my mom. LOL We hate cancer and pray that all will go well with you during this crisis. Will be praying for you.

Jenn said...

Hiya. Came over from Dave's blog. Interesting story you got here. I like your upbeat approach. I am sorry to hear about your illness but...Happy to see a well written blog. xx and luck.

Swampwitch said...

Well, I have a "pee on the stick" story, too !
My first chemo was scheduled for a Monday morning. I had struggled all weekend long and was past the point of done gone crazy with stress and worry. It was an hour drive to the oncologist. My friends had literally hog-tied and loaded me into their car that day.
This was during my divorce proceedings, so my soon-to-be-ex was out of the picture. (Important fact to remember.)
There were no other men in my life, and at that point in my life, I didn't care to ever have another.
After going through all the preliminaries, filling out forms, getting stuck more times than a pin-cushion . . . the last question came:
Are you pregnant ?
Am I what ?
Are you pregnant ?
Are you kidding ?

Well, you guessed the rest . . . my chemo had to be postponed for a couple of days until the stick results came back from the lab.

Michelle,
This will not accept my Typepad credentials. Please ask Sayre what to do. Her new blog did the same thing until she changed the settings.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Okay, I just read all your posts and got caught up. First, let me say, let's here it for intuition! You knew. You persisted. Had you not been brave enough and insistent enough, that tumor would have been growing in you for 6 months before they got around to looking at you. This shows you are a fighter. That's a great thing. The next thing I noticed was you gathering the troops, support to help you through this. You are so proactive, it's amazing. I'm also glad for you that you live in Canada with a public health system. The cost here in the U.S. causes many women to delay treatment to their detriment. I think writing about this each step of the way is a good way to get the negative feelings out of you. Feelings trigger chemicals in your body. You want to keep powerful, positive, fighting chemicals raging through your body to kick cancer's ass. What can I do to help you on this journey?

tweetey30 said...

Wow my friend... It is a hard thing to deal with and reconnect in a place like this but that is what friends are for. to help you through an ordeal. thanks for contacting me.. I have tried e-mailing you but never got a response. Is your e-mail the same?

What has happened to you and JP?? All those questions I have been wondering about!!!!

McCrackens Mom said...

Hello Michelle,
I have just read your Jan 28th blog after seeing a comment you wrote on my blog (LifeNow). First, I am sending you, by whatever cosmic means we have, strong women vibes...please know that there will be many out here who will be thinking and praying for you as you start this part of your journey. It sounds like you are angry (understatement) and I believe anger gives you strength. Stay angry, fight, but when the time comes for you to rest and do the things you need to do for your body to heal..just direct that anger at the illness. I don't know where you live but here in BC, medical will pay for reconstructive surgery (minus nipples...strange). I have a friend who found that added shape gave her back her self confidence...do you mind if I follow along. My feeling is that aside from being blinded sided by a terrible disease you are mourning the loss of ..well...your breasts and ovaries..the things which make us feel and look feminine. Maybe I can help you with the grieving as I walk that road too. Please let me know if I can do anything to help.

Knock knock - it's cancer! said...

Sayre - so happy we found each other again! And now on FB too, who knew? Funny I always said I'd never go on FB...hahah.

Indian Papa - ooops, that's what assumption does, eh? Sorry about that :)

Jenn - welcome, and thank you.

Swampy - I see your comment just fine, but I changed my settings anyway ... is it working any better for you now? PS - Funny pee sick story. Although that would have frustrated me to no end having to postpone chemo because of it. Ugh.

Karen!! OMG. I missed you so!!!! I mean Vancouver Voyeur... oops. How are you my friend? (Wait, it is Karen right? LOL - I just realized it's been about 3 years, so maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure)

Tweets - we reconnected, that's all that matters :) Glad to see you are still going strong on the blogging, and your quilts look super!!

M. Mom - I'm not angry, I'm hoping I don't come across as angry. I'm venting I guess. I am trying to stay hopeful, and positive and find as many silver linings as I can in this whole experience. I feel for you too, I imagine that few people really understand the sense of loss unless they actually go through it. Are you in Vancouver? (local?)

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Yep, it's Karen. I've been as busy as ever, some things never change. Working on two political campaigns right now, or rather, avoiding them for a couple weeks to take a breather. Interviewing tomorrow for two commissions in our area. They need to send 20 names to the Governor for selection. I don't really need to take on either one, so I won't be disappointed if one of the other 19 gets selected. Been doing remodeling projects around the house. You really ought to check out my posts from June to August of last year to see the amazing transformations. Still working on the kitchen as of tonight. Lots of little things still getting completed . . . sllllooooowwwwwwllllyyyy. :-) So when is the surgery, what the schedule, surgery, chemo, radiation?

McCrackens Mom said...

Hi Michelle.
I've just read all your posts re: your cancer...I admire you tenacity in insisting on having referalls faxed and asking for copies and following up..you started to fight right away, and at a time when a lot of us would be reduced to just panic. You're a brave woman and I know you'll continue to fight. I also know you're fighting fear and grieving over the loss of your breasts. I have a close friend who has had a double mastectomy (she was older than you and I do realize that makes the situation different). I'm sure they have told you you can have reconstructive surgery (however BCMed) doesn't pay for nipples....odd, however....
I hope it is helping you to keep this blog, because it helped me reading it, not because I am facing anything as devastating but because it reminds me that many of us walk difficult roads and we need to share our fears, our hopes, our pain. Thank you for sharing yours with us and please, if there is anything at all I can do to help, in any way...let me know. I live out in the Valley so am not too far away. You will be in my thoughts and prayers on Thursday. xx

Genkicat said...

Hi, Well I found your blog because you've found mine. And I cried when I started reading your posts. I am so very sorry you have to go through all of this. And its obvious you are going to beat this. Seriously. I can tell. I normally send all my good luck vibes to other women who are trying to get pregnant. But ALL of them are headed your way, especially as you get ready for surgery this week. I hope everything goes very smoothly for you, and you are back blogging in no time.

Knock knock - it's cancer! said...

Karen - surgery date is Feb 3rd (thursday) - i will find out more about what happens next after that. It takes 7 days for the pathology results to come in... that will tell me the stage that the cancer is at, and how far it's spread, the prognosis, and the treatment. At this point it is expected to go like this : Surgery, then 6 weeks wait to heal, then chemo begins, then at some point - depending on how long chemo takes - take another break for a month and then start radiation. Oh, then, I need to have another break to let my body regain it's strength, and then proceed with a hysterectomy. After that, at some point (if I'm not completely fed up with surgeries and hospitals by then) I can have my reconstruction done. And you better believe I'm gonna be getting HUGE KNOCKERS! Lol. Just kidding :)

Your life sounds extremely busy - i will have to go back to the summer posts to see the transformation of your remodeling. Good luck on the kitchen tonight.

M.Mom - what a nice comment, thank you. I did find out that MSP now pays for the nipples too, bonus! They changed that 3 years ago. I am looking forward to EVENTUALLY getting mine done when this whole process is over. Yes, I definitely want to keep in touch with you and go through this 'together' - PS - I'm in Maple Ridge...

Genkicat - I loved your blog, was so touched by it. I am glad you enjoyed my posts too :) THanks for all the good vibes, I swear I can feel the energy from here.