If you caught the pilot episode of Boobs Behaving Badly you know that this shit-show got the green light. (F*CKER!)
It’s been three weeks since the pilot episode and while I’m okay and things are looking good, I wasn’t ready to share episode 1 until now. Going forward, I’ll be sharing a new episode each week.
Right. Now that’s out of the way….. let’s hit play on this sucker.
X marks the spot.
Don’t be fooled. This ain’t no treasure hunt. It’s a landmine hunt. Or in this case a boob lump hunt.
I wore this mark for a week from when we scheduled the surgery to day of. And I gotta say, seeing that thing every time I took a shower or got changed was a mindf*ck. Right below that mark is something that can kill me. WILL kill me if I don’t do something about it. The thought that something no bigger than a centimeter could kill me is….I don’t know. Surreal? It’s definitely surreal to think that before surgery I have cancer and after I don’t. Well, we hope I don’t, the tests suggest once the lump is removed I won’t but that’s not 100% until they test the lump, it’s surrounding tissue (which them remove) and the lymph nodes they take in the op under a microscope in the week after.
I’m scheduled for a 4pm op so we don’t have to leave home until after lunch (which I can’t eat!) to head to the hospital and because of COVID restrictions we’re not even sure if Mr.C will be allowed to accompany me to my room. Or see me after the op. (This last thing I’m ignoring because I’m pretty sure this one thing is going to set me off if the answer to it is no. Go figure. I’ve got breast cancer and my biggest concern is whether Mr.C will be there to hold my hand.)
We call a cab and arrive at the hospital and they shove a stupid thing up my nose to test for COVID even though I’m vaccinated and then we wait. And wait. Okay, I’m good. Mentally. I’m calm (which seems to blow everyone’s minds) and smiling and not at all freaked out when there is a delay getting my into my room. Then when we get there it’s almost time for surgery so everyone is fussing and I keep getting the side-eye and the ‘are you okay?’ question. Yes, I’m okay. Honestly I am. We’ve got a plan and we know the steps and what the outcomes could be from here so let’s do it.
I should add I’m not one to ‘freak out’ over things I have no control over. I’m also a processor. And by that I mean I think on shit a lot to get my head around it and move forward. BUT I’m also a gut thinker. And by that I mean I’ve got good instincts and often come to decisions super quick. It’s probably from dealing with all those kids (or maybe just The Kid) for all those years. Then again, it’s probably just me. Sometimes the way I deal with things can look like I’ve got my head in the sand and I’m ignoring it. Nope. My brain is whizzing though all the things to the point that I’m not sleeping more than a few hours and those hours are broken up by long stretches of thinking.
So, I’m getting rushed through the admit process and the nurses are all super nice and checking every five seconds if I’m okay and then Mr.C is on the phone with our insurance because….yeah, it’s insurance, that’s never going to go smoothly. The last thing I hear when they wheel me out of my room in my chauffeur driven wheelchair is Mr.C in a slightly raised voice telling someone that it wasn’t good enough because “my wife is waiting in the operating theater to have a cancer operation”. He was not happy. And I was thinking I might end up sitting in the stupid wheelchair in a corridor somewhere because people couldn’t get the paperwork together.
Anyway, we’re off, down a few floors and into the operating theater. At least I think that’s where we’re going until we get there and it’s like a ward and I’m put in one of the bed alcoves and I’m thinking wait a minute… Then a nice (super nice actually) anesthetist introduces herself and explains this is like the waiting line for the operating room. (I should add I’ve never had an operation. Never been under a general. It’s the reason Mr.C and I butted heads about telling the tribe I had breast cancer and needed an op. He thought we should wait so they didn’t worry and I couldn’t handle the idea of going under without them knowing. But that’s another story I might talk about later. Back to the op.)
The anesthetist is lovely, the nurses are lovely, they put this tube under the blanket they’ve put over me that blows hot air and I’m wondering if I can take that thing home (you all know how I hate the cold, right?). We’re chatting away about kids and work and where we live while they sneak in questions about my medical history and it’s like a coffee catchup between friends. Minus the coffee. And I’m in a bed in a hospital gown (which was kinda cool because it didn’t leave my ass hanging out. I might share pix of it in a later episode).
I’m calm. Not worried at all. My doctor comes in and honestly, I didn’t think it was possible but I got calmer. This man soothes me in a way that no other medical professional ever has. It’s his manner, his knowledge, and his experience. He knows what the f*ck he’s doing and he’s confident nothing is going to go wrong. And he makes me feel that way.
Questions answered they unlock the wheels on my bed and off we go. Now this is my first experience with an operating theater outside of TV so I’m looking around and checking things out and there are like fifty billion people in there and I’m wondering what everyone’s job is. Then the anesthetist tells me we’re at the needle part and my blood pressure spikes. Duh! Someone says don’t let her see the needle then the next thing I know I’ve got someone new beside me chatting about my kids and the newest Gbaby who’s due any day and before I know it the anesthetist says done. Phew. Not a needle seen. Then we’re talking about a mask over my face and if I’m okay with that and the next thing I know I’m crying for Mr.C.
I kid you not!
I’m sobbing my heart out and calling his name.
I’m getting told to calm down, my blood pressure is too high, take a breath, you name it they’re saying it and I’m crying out for Mr.C. I can hear them saying they’ve called him, he’s on his way, but I’m inconsolable and nothing they can say or do changes that.
Then he’s there. His hand is in mind and his voice is in my ear and I stop. Jesus Christ. It’s a miracle!
Seriously. I stop crying, my blood pressure lowers and I’m still a little out of it but I’m awake enough to tell him this is why he can’t go first. And yes, but that I mean die. Yeah, morbid I know, but my brain works in weird ways when it comes to him. He’s my rock. He’s the one I stand on, beside and behind. He’s me. And I know how that sounds. But there’s no me without him. He’s been so good through all this. He’s had questions and asked them. He’s taken notes during doctors appointments. Brought me food after tests I had to fast for. He’s checked swelling and wounds and dealt with housework and dinner and shopping. All while working a demanding job that often takes up 18 hours of his day.
We haven’t talked too much about anything but the tests, appointments and treatments yet. We’ve both been concentrating on the physical parts of my cancer diagnosis. Once we get past those and move into the long term treatment I guess we’ll talk about the emotional toll of all of this.
Back to the op. I’m in my room (which looks like a damn hotel room. It even has little bottles of shampoo and conditioner and lotion and stuff in the bathroom!), Mr.C is with me and I’m more and more with it to the point the nurse is looking at me weird when I ask to go to the bathroom. Apparently I’m not supposed to be able to do that yet so she offers me a bed pan. Um, no. I’m good, thanks. Of course that doesn’t mean I can get out of bed and go on my own. I need a nurse escort. Fine. Let’s go.
The nurse holds on to me even though I’m steady and don’t need her but then she says, “Oh, and don’t panic, remember your pee will be blue.”
Yes! I’ve been waiting for this! You gotta get your thrills where you can in this kind of situation and I was already disappointed that my boob isn’t blue like they said it would be. It’s caused by a dye they inject into the boob so they can find the lymph nodes and it colors your boob and turns you pee blue for up to a week. I couldn’t wait to see it. Well, as I said, no blue boob and would you believe only one blue pee!! So disappointed. And just to give you an idea, that one blue pee? It was like I’d poured a bottle of blue Gatorade in the toilet!
Recovery (after the whole sobbing for Mr.C thing) was fine. I ate dinner which was delivered by a man in a suit (although he said it was a uniform) that added to the whole hotel feel of the place. And I don’t know about you but I’ve been in hospitals before and never have the beds been as soft as the one I slept on. After the doctor came in and told us all went well, Mr.C left for the night and I got some sleep.
When the doctor came back in the morning, the nurse changed my surgery bandage for surgical glue and I got my first look at my wounds which were way bigger than I’d expected. They also looked weird due to the stitches being internal. (I can’t get my head around that one. How do you do that?! And don’t say needles!) Anyway, all good, I can go home.
I can go home?
It’s barely 12 hours since you cut me open?!
I know I feel fine and I’m not in much pain, more discomfort than anything, but go home? *nods*
Right. Okay. Better buzz Mr.C and tell him to come in earlier than we’d planned.
I finish breakfast (delivered by a woman in a suit, I refuse to call their uniforms anything else), I get a call from admin asking about my payment……uh oh…..a woman from the hospital pharmacy arrives with my take home meds, Mr.C arrives then the nurse comes in with my discharge papers, she takes the port thing out of the back of my hand and I can get changed and go.
Less than 24 hours after we’d left we walked back through our front door.
I don’t feel all that different. Sure I’ve got some pain (super mild) and discomfort and the swelling (hello! bigger boob!) and bruising is a little off putting but otherwise I kinda feel normal.
And yet now I’m ‘supposedly’ cancer free.
I say supposedly because we still need to wait for those under the microscope tests on the lump, breast tissue and lymph nodes.
A week. We wait a week.
A week and then we’ll know whether it’s chemo, radiation and hormone therapy or radiation and hormone therapy.
It’s going to be the longest wait of my life.