I’m almost there.
Bilateral mastectomy tomorrow. Mastectomy x 2.
Today was the sentinel node shot to show my surgeon which lymph nodes to remove tomorrow for pathology. Last time I had breast cancer that shot was the day of my lumpectomy. It was the most painful thing I’d ever experienced at that point.
But today it wasn’t so bad. Probably an 8 or 9 on the pain scale instead of the 15 of last time.
I asked the tech to hold my hand (people find this request weird but they’ll still do it). And I told her and the other tech that I’d read about a study that said people who swore when they experienced pain felt less pain than those who didn’t swear, so I was going to test this out.
So I lay down on the table, and they talked me through the process. This injection goes under the skin, so that’s part of why it hurts so. It did sting a lot, but I bet it lasted less than a minute. I used one swear word. I did say “ouch” a lot.
I could literally feel the nuclear med traveling to the lymph nodes under my arm after the injection was completed.
After the shot I went to a waiting room where my sister was waiting. They had to allow the injection 30 minutes for the meds to travel completely to the lymph nodes. Then they took me back into the same room to take what I’ll call “pictures” that my surgeon will use tomorrow.
I’m almost there!
Tomorrow is the surgery, and at this time tomorrow it will be done.
Getting today’s injection behind me feels really good. I was concerned about it because the pain level was so high last time.
But this time:
- it actually hurt less, OR
- after having super-painful double knee replacement my pain tolerance has shifted, OR
- both of those.
Right now is a surreal time. I’m actually feeling better than the last several (really grouchy) days.
It’s because the surgery is imminent, and I’ll be through it soon (can’t go over it, can’t go under it, gotta go through it).
But it’s sooooo odd to think that today is the last day I have breasts. I can’t absorb what that means.
I don’t know what emotion to feel. I don’t know if I even HAVE an emotion!
Such an odd time.
But all transitions are like that, aren’t they?
You graduate from high school. You start a new job. You move to a new house. You move to a new community far from your old community. You get married. A loved one dies.
How are you supposed to feel?
I think we all do the best we can. We put one foot in front of the other, and we move ahead.
We all have situations like this. Many times in our lives.
This surgery is just one of mine.
I thank all of you who are praying for me, who are sending good mojo, who have covered me in positive thoughts.
I’m also grateful for my surgeon and her team and all of the medical techs and nurses and receptionists —all who are a part of this journey. I’ve felt very cared for in their offices and exam rooms and waiting rooms.
And I especially thank my sister for being by my side. She goes above and beyond every time. Talk about love and faithfulness!
All of these people, all of YOU reading this, matter.
You make my journey easier.
And now it’s on to the next step for me tomorrow. Singing praises of gratitude all the way!