I've got this weekend to relax, and monday I see my surgeon. Then the fun begins.
We need to go over the pathology report (which at this point is redundant) and she'll check my scars and see how I'm healing. One thing she'll be looking for is to see if I have any accumulation of fluid in my chest or armpit, now that the drains have been taken out.
I've spoken to 2 girls who have had mastectomies and they both ended up back in the surgeon's office a week later with fluid build up. Then she takes a syringe (and it is a massive one, like what they would use for horses) and sticks it in my side where the drains were, and slowly starts removing any liquid build up. The syringe has to be bigger, in order to accommodate the amount of liquid that may come out.
Sounds like fun?
The good news is that even though it sounds scary, I won't actually be able to feel any of it, according to the girls who had it done. I am still numb on my chest area. It's a weird feeling to touch your skin and not feel like you.
So, here's hoping I don't have to get anything drained on monday. It's just not a fun way to start the week. One thing I will have to do though is to talk about the
next surgery ... when they insert my port-a-cath.
Because I have to go for chemotherapy soon, and because chemotherapy is poison that damages your veins, they almost never recommend having chemo via I.V. needle. They recommend that the patient gets a port a cath put in surgically, just under the collarbone. It is a metal round device, about the size of a quarter that gets inserted under the skin. I understand it gets placed right in your main vein by the heart. The idea behind it is that when you get chemo, they will just prick the skin by your collarbone, above the port and the syringe with the chemotherapy will enter your main vein right away, every time, "making chemotherapy a snap."
Hmmm.... a snap for WHOM exactly? It doesn't sound like a snap to me. It sounds like really gross yucky metal things will be inserted into my body and I will be able to feel them not only on the inside pumping into my main artery, but also I will see it from the outside, it will be a big bump under my skin. (They will remove it when I'm done chemo and I will be left with yet another scar on my body)
This is what it looks like, this will be just under my skin -
it gives me the heebee jeebees.
There are so many things I dislike about this next step, but the biggest one is that I am supposed to be awake during this procedure. AWAKE. Oh, lightly sedated of course, but still awake. I plan on telling the surgeon that there is no way that I want to be awake for that. I don't want to hear them talk about what they're doing and I don't want to feel 'pressure' on my chest and I don't want to be on an operating table awake!!
I feel like throwing myself on the floor and stomping my legs and wailing my arms. A full blown tamper tantrum is brewing, I can just feel it.
I DON'T WANT THIS.
Any of it.
The other day somebody mentioned yet again how 'strong' I am and how 'brave'.
I don't think those words accurately describe me. I am not strong or brave.
I am scared.
Shitless, if you really want to know.
So, that brings us to Tuesday. At 8:45 am I am meeting the oncologist for the first time.
To celebrate the occasion I ordered myself a special white hoodie from the cancer awareness website.
It says 'my oncologist can beat up your oncologist'.
I plan on wearing that to the meeting. - I hope he has a sense of humor.
We will go over the report with a fine tooth comb and then start talking treatment options. I understand that it will be a 2 hour appointment and that I will be presented with options. I am not sure I feel about this. I guess I am grateful to be so involved in the treatment decision, but I am getting kind of tired of all my options. Options sounds too nice of a word for all the choices I've had to make. Was it really an option to have surgery? An option to get my bilateral mastectomy? An option to choose chemo? Hardly. They are not options. They are terrible decisions that I had to make in a matter of days. Most days I think I did the right thing. In fact, I think only once or twice did I ever have a twinge of doubt about the options I chose.
On tuesday, I have to chose which chemo drugs I would want to put inside my chemotherapy infusion. That's right, he will present me with 3 or 4 drugs that all work, but all have different pros and cons. Then I need to take a day or so and think about it. At the following meeting, I will tell him which chemo cocktail I chose and we make a plan to start it.
Sounds very empowering doesn't it?
But it is also very scary.
Tonight is movie night at casa Knock Knock. We are planning to eat pizza and watch Toy Story 3. Tonight I have no decisions to make. Dinner was chosen by my friend from work who is kindly picking that up for us, and the movie was chosen by my kids.
Tonight I get to sit on the couch and snuggle with the people I love and indulge.
I think I'll go back to weighing my options after the weekend is over.