Friday, July 22, 2011

Bikerchick gets lucky at the hospital

Bikerchick is me!

Who'd you think it was?
Haven't you heard, I got three tattoos last night in one sitting on my chest area.
If I still had boobs, it'd be soo hot.

Nothing screams 'class' like boob tattoos.

I went to my radiation apt yesterday, they were all very friendly, until they asked me to strip from the waist up and lay on their cold table. It got a bit friendlier once the gentleman brought me a blanket. Yes, they assigned a gentleman to this procedure for me. Perhaps because they knew it'd be less comfortable for me, or perhaps they knew that he hadn't been on the job that long and having one look at my non-boobs would freak him right out.
Or at least teach him not to look.

I'm fine with both.

So we get in to the waiting are where we have to watch a 15 minute video about radiation. We've heard it all before, but it's interesting and we're nice so we watch all the way til the end.

Then it starts over again, and we decide one time is enough for us.

We look for a way out, where the nurse if waiting for us. She brings us into a special room where we can talk about radiation that specifically relates to my cancer.
She draws pictures on an approved 'breast cancer handout' that shows a woman topless. She proceeds to circle the boob and starts shadowing it. "this is where the radiation will go" .

She takes a look at me and pauses. I am not sure what face I made, but she didn't like it.

'Honey what's wrong?' she cares enough to ask.

"Well, you said we were gonna discuss the specifics of me and I don't have breasts so I'm a bit bummed that the cancer handout you're working with shows a woman with breasts."

O ya, I totally said that.

Poor woman proceeds to erase the breasts on this handout but after a while gives up and says 'we need to pretend that they're not there' - at which point I look down and say 'don't worry, I know I'm a misfit' in my best Eyore voice.

It was fantastic. Should'a seen the nice girl turn red. I almost felt bad, but not entirely. I figure the longer we take here, with her, the later I'll get to the part where they will do the CT scan and tattoo me.

Nice girl talked a mile a minute after that, (i bet she wanted us , well me, to leave) and escorted us into the SIMULATOR. (that's what it was called)

I wanted to make a wisecrack about that too but it seemed in poor taste after I had already embarrassed her.

So Brad and I walked in. They asked me if he could wait outside, at which point I replied that I may just faint if you make me do this without him.
Guess what? He got to stay.

He watched them remove my top, stare and i mean REALLY stare at my chest for a long time. I almost felt bad that there was nothing there for them to feast their eyes on. Finally the gentleman asks if he can touch my chest (he needs to position me in a thousand different positions first and then place the laserbeams around me just right so he knows where the tattoos will go.) I say yes, but I think I should've had some more fun with him and told him to ask Brad, who's sitting there in the chair beside me.

(But I don't because I'm not like that. Pffft!)

After they ask me to put my hands up in the most uncomfortable position behind my neck they proceed to inflate some kind of a pillow thing that takes a mold of my back and body and I need to sit like this until I cry out in pain. For me, that takes about 5 minutes, because I feel pins and needles already. The nurse tells me that it's too soon to cry (wolf) and she ignores me.

She sticks me in the CT scan and then all the important people leave the room.
Just me is left. In a dark room with a spinning machine and my own thoughts that are interrupted by the pins and needles feeling every few minutes.

I was in there only about 5 minutes, but it felt like 20.

As they walk up to the CT scan I plead with them to let me move my arms.
They are benevolent and so they allow me that comfort.
Gratitude washes upon me.

Doesn't last long because gentleman comes over with tattoo ink.

This won't hurt you - he lies. I know he's lying because I have 2 tattoos that I've actually gone and paid for and they hurt like hell. So I know when someone tells you that it doesn't hurt, they are lying.

He starts with the first one, incidentally that goes into the lumpy fatty tissue that we've discovered that I have on my chest and he's right.
That one almost didn't hurt.

The next one is on top of my breast bone. I would have braced myself for this one had I known that is where he was aiming. *my head is facing up and my eyes are closed at this time*

Let me tell you that I screamed for this one. And not just a short 2 second scream. It lasted a good 6 seconds. And then I look at him. "Sorry, this one is always more painful, it's on the breast bone' - looks apologetic. Then he says "we need to go over it another time though it's too small" - I swear I want to leave this room and find out where he parks and slash his tires.

I am annoyed.

Breathe Michelle Breathe.

Last tattoo was not bad as well, just annoying again. So all in all I escaped without having to ask for demrol after all. It was hit or miss on that for a while. But I did it naturally!

Aren't y'all proud?

So, having 3 tattoos on my chest (coupled with my tattoo on my back and the one at the back of my neck) definitely bumped me up to biker chick status.

Sooo, now about the part about how this bikerchick got lucky at the hospital.

I went in for my 10 minute procedure.
The surgeon told me I could take 2 ativan since I was very nervous about the whole thing.
This morning, just for good measure I took 3.

Brad was driving, so what did it matter?

We arrived at 11:15am like our appointment card said and we found out we were not due to see the dr til noon. I should've been pissed, but I felt oddly calm about it. And I had started to slur a little so I thought it best I don't speak to much.

We wait. I feel (you guessed it) somewhat calm.

The procedure begins, they get Brad a stool (same thing - he has to stay doctor, otherwise I can't do it without his support) and the surgeon brings the needle out. I ask if it's gonna sting.

She says it will sting AND burn.
I love dual action.

Ready? Here comes the sting. (needle going in)
And now you'll feel a slight burn. (HOLY F*CK - my actual words followed by whimpering and screaming and a bunch of 'i don't like this' in a row)

I trust that she got the hint because finally she backs off with the needle. Pheew.

Then the rest of is is pretty fast, there is a ton of tugging and pulling and then there is stitching back up. I am grateful that we are finished and feel like I should pay her a compliment after screaming her ear off a few minutes ago.

'You must be really good at sewing buttons ' I say. (What? I thought that was appropriate)

She laughs and then we're all done.

She said the clot came out with it. Which is good. I took a picture of the port but it's still got my skin and guts attached to it from when it got removed and so it just doesnt seem right to put it up. But it was a lot bigger than I thought, it's the size of Brad's thum and quite tall too.

Good riddance.

Then I proceeded to escort myself out and immediatly fell flat on my face.

The 3 ativan pills may have caught up to me.

Blame the Ativan manufacturer for any and all spelling mistakes and possible errors in judgement for all the things I say and do for this evening.

Oh and the lucky part??

It really only took ten minutes, and absolutely nothing went wrong with it!


Embracing the Rain said...

So glad the port removal went well and the clot came out with it!

Conquering Cancer By Living Well said...

My God, you are hyserical!! I'm laughing so hard here at what you described, but my heart goes out to you with the pain you had to endure. 5 tats - nice!! ;-) I absolutely love your comment to your surgeon about how good she must be at sewing buttons - I really, really wish I had been a fly on the wall there! Glad you are doing well, feeling well, and that this too is behind you. You've got the radiation as your next step, but with all you've been through, tolerated, fought like hell with, etc. you KNOW for a FACT you can do this radiation!! I'm so proud of you and how you've handled absolutely everything that has come at you with strength, courage, wisdom and grace. As always, a great post! Hugs!!

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

Embracing - Thanks, me too! I've been thinking of you and crossing my fingers for you too!

Conquering - I woke up this morning and I feel the room spinning, I told Brad I have a headache, and I even threw up ... He looks at me and says "i think you are experiencing an Ativan hangover" - I think he's right. I was high as a kite yesterday, could barely walk. LOL. But at least I wasn't scared. I was C.A.L.M. hehe.

Sayre said...

My doctor prescribed Ativan for my occasional anxiety (I actually can't remember the last time I took one). I break them in half, which is about right to get me relaxed. One whole one is a bit too much - three would knock me on my ass. Seriously. In front of God and everybody. Brad is probably right. Hangover.

I'm so glad this part of your treatment is over. Radiation won't be much fun if that appointment was any indication, but you'll get through it just like you did chemo. After all, you have LOTS to live for! said...

I could ask who you got lucky with being that much out of it but I will keep my mouth shut for now.. I am glad everything went well for you.. You are moving right along arent you?? Hope the radiation goes well as the chemo did.. said...
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VV said...

I am so glad that part is over for you. I cringed on your behalf each time you were in pain. I cheered with each cuss word or smartass remark. You go girl!

Unknown said...

Hi Michelle..
Okay..I'm confused..but then I take ativan every day. So..did you go through that hellish experience?

I was worried about the port removal with the clot attached so I'm glad that part is all over for you.

I laughed at the 3-ativan story. Even now, after long time use of ativan three would make me groggy..and will give you a headache the next day, unless of course you take ativan the next day too.

So..aside from your incredible sense of humour..I have to ask if you did go through all that if you were just joking...blame it on the brain fog that I choose to surround myself with. Sending love you way hon. xx

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

Yup - I went through it Andrea ... lol. Not that I remember it :)

Unknown said...

Well, it's a fact that ativan does affect short term memory. Okay...I'm just going to say this because it's the Mom in me wanting to rock you and tell you how brave you are...You're brave and I'm proud of you and I don't know that I could go through what you are. Certainly I wouldn't be able to take it with such humour. I want to shout "Enough already". xxx

Mandi said...

Ew, I don't envy that port removal, especially after everything you went through to get the thing in! Love that you are Bikerchick now, we are going to have to buy some Harleys and troll around with our badassness.

3 Ativans! I take one before surgeries, but wow, 3 I would be on the moon!

Anonymous said...

I saw take an Ativan before each radiation session. But just one, not three, greedy girl! :)

SO glad the port & the clot are gone. I'm counting the days until I get my bumpy little friend out. 10 days from today!

Robyn said...

I was intrigued about having my port removed while I was awake but then my plastic surgeon did it during my reconstruction. I'm with you about the tattoos, I have three regular and four from radiation, and I love telling people I have seven tattoos and seeing them wonder where they are :)
Sounds like you are doing so well, I'm so glad.

Praelior said...

Good for you to call that gal out on her "we'll just pretend" line of BS. I get so frustrated that it's the _patient's_ job to make people in the dang profession more comfortable. *high five*