Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bye Bye Boobies 4/2/13

We checked into the third floor of the Stanford Cancer Center at 7:30am. My emotions were completely held together, unlike the days prior. I signed all the paperwork, including the one giving permission to my dad to make my medical decisions in case I became incapable. I was called back and asked to undress from the waste up to prepare for my wire placement.

Keeping busy until being called back.

The wire placement procedure is done under an ultrasound machine. They numb your axilla then stick a long big hollow needle into the infected lymph node. Once they reach the node they literally stick a thin wire in through the hollow needle and hook the end into the node to keep it there. They tape the remaining to your chest, take a quick mammogram and send you on your way to wait for surgery.

                                                                                 Ryan and Jaycie 

My main man!

After the wire placement I was wheeled (in a wheelchair...I wasn't allowed to walk myself) back to the holding room where they prepped me for surgery. My dad, Ryan, and Jaycie were allowed to stay with me at this point. I stripped down to nothing, they gave a gown, a hair net (even though I have no hair), and some sweet purple socks with grips on both sides. Nurses, doctors, residents, and more nurses began flooding the room. They hooked up IV's and started me on this trial medication.

Quick side note, I volunteered to be part of a research study called START, Stanford Accelerated Recovery Trial. The pill they give you, Gabapentin, is supposed to help with surgical pain and reduce the use of other pain meds. The study is to see if it helps patients recover faster. I decided that not only could it benefit me, but it would benefit future patients. It was a way for me to feel like I was "giving back". The only reason I have made it this far, fighting and surviving, breast cancer is because other patients have at one time or another been a "guinea pig", and now it was my turn.

They also asked if I wanted a "block",  I had never heard of one before. It is supposed to relieve pain in my nerves in my back or something....all I knew was it was supposed to help with pain and it would last about 48 hours, so I agreed. Everyone stepped out of the room and the resident anesthetist injected four of the most painful injections. They didn't even feel like needles they felt like someone was taking a pen and jabbing it into my back. My dad later mentioned to me that those spots were welted and bruised.

I was anxious to speak with all my doctors because they always had a way to reassure me. My team of doctors have always been honest and never gave me any B.S., which I always respected because it helped me prepare for the worst. After everyone came in and prepped me I said farewell to my dad, Ryan, Jaycie, and most importantly my boobies and off I went.

I was rolled into a huge surgical room with millions of dollars worth of machinery. The women that were in there were draped in their own blue gowns, head nets, and clear plastic pieces over their faces. They moved me from the hospital bed to a flat table. From there they adjusted my head comfortably into a headrest, covered me with warm blankets, stretched both arms out to the side and strapped them in. I was with the anesthesiologist and she placed an oxygen mask on my face and I asked her if this was when I fell asleep, she said "no" (She was an older women, had been doing anesthesia since the year I was born and she was from Ireland and had a thick Irish accent.), then I felt a rubbing/burning sensation on my left wrist. In her thick Irish accent she apologized for the sting, and that's the last time I saw her...

Nurse was putting an IV in

Sweet new wardrobe

Jaycie putting on my really cool new grip socks

Poppa Bear

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