Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Honey, I'm Home! (you might not like the gross details if you are under 16)

from my bff, she said she still thinks of me as a redhead (so do I)

I'm home, at last. What was supposed to be an overnight stay turned into 5 days in  CICU. In typical Linda style, what was supposed to be one surgery turned into 2. The reason I stayed so long was not complications but the cardiac team wanted to get me back on my regular meds and make sure my heart was OK.
My heart is far from OK (I may need a defibrillator implant later this spring) but it just did its 'normal' goofy things during surgery and in ICU.
The pre-surgery prep went pretty well.....that is except for the wipes you have to use.....it made me itch so terribly. I imagine I looked pretty odd in the hallways rubbing my breasts....but they really, really itched. I refused to use the wipes after that.
I was not looking forward to nuclear medicine, where I was to get 4 shots around my nipple so they could track the cancer to my lymph nodes. They weren't as bad as I was anticipating, except #3, that one was the worst.
Then I was off to ultra sound to get wires inserted into the the breast tumor and cancerous lymph node. I asked why they thought the ultra sound would work today when it didn't a week ago. Hmmmm.....it was decided to use mammography instead. I sat in a chair and they squeezed and located the mass, then they needed a different view. Having a mammogram while seated is different. A DR sticks me again in the breast, not sure if he left the needle in or put another one in, but then he inserted a wire. After that one he did it again for the lymph node. Yes, I am still squeezed in the mammogram machine. Now we need another view......oh no, one is not right....take it out....re-stick me and put in another wire...take another mammogram view.....this one is good. Were you counting? I got 7 pokes in my breast! Now for the funny part.....the tech tapes a Styrofoam water cup on my chest area over the wires that are sticking out. When I got back to the pre-surgery room the nurse says "usually they use a coffee cup", I said she had one but switched it out. 
I went down a little late for the surgery. The operating room was all set up for open heart surgery as well (in case anything went wrong). I had an excellent surgeon and cardiac anesthesiologist. I remember leaving the room I was in and being asked if I wanted anything to relax me and the next thing I remember is waking up in CICU and hearing a bunch of people calling my name. I remember being told that surgery went good and I remember Kevin leaving. I remember getting a dinner tray about 6 and eating about 1/2 of it. The bbq chicken was dry but the whipped potatoes and gravy were not bad. I had a sore throat from the breathing tube. I may have dozed off a bit but I did not sleep for any extended period of time that night. At midnight I was up and sitting in the recliner in my room. The DR wanted me to get up and I was NOT sleepy....so why not get up. The remainder of the nights I was there they closed my door and curtain and I used an eye mask. I had several IVs and a swan catheter hooked up to me, all which came off day by day until I was only hooked up to a monitor for my heart.
My surgery consisted of removing a cancerous tumor from my upper breast and 4 lymph nodes. The lymph node that was biopsied last April and found to be cancerous was not any more, the chemo took care of it. I resumed the warfarin and Lovenox 2 days later, but then the output in my lymph node drain turned more bloody...so....the surgeon was called. ......she found swelling at the surgery site and also pathology reported that cancer was found on the edge of the tissue she removed. That morning she OK'd me to go home, but things changed quickly. She decided to 'take me back' into surgery on Saturday (her day off) to remove the hematoma and take more tissue from the posterior area. I was bummed, but once again I repeated to myself:

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
 This time the surgery was done under sedation and not general anesthesia and we were given a time slot from noon to 3PM. So we waited.....hubby, his sister, and my Pastor came up to see me. I was finally taken down sometime after 1, joked a bit with the nurses, dr, and anesthesiologist. I scooted onto the operating table and was cold so the surgeon put warm towels on my arm and I was given some "happy juice". That was it for me, I woke up in my room and asked what time it was and what my hubby and his sister had to eat. I forced myself to stay awake. I had dinner that night and slept as much as one can when in the hospital. I was so relieved not to find any more IVs attached to me. A snowstorm started Saturday night and continued into Sunday, that area received about 18" of snow. My Dr braved the drive in (her day off) to change my dressing and thought I'd be able to go home on Monday. I did, here I am!!!  :-)
I really feel great.
Read more about some fun adventures in CICU in my next post.

The inside of the cute card. Love it!


  1. You are one tough cookie! Brave beyond measure!!
    Your wonderful attitude and prayers of those who love
    you, have seen you through. Cancer free now! So thankful and
    happy for you.

  2. Oh my Linda! As we say in the South...bless your heart! I can't imagine so many pokes in the breast! Ouch! I am so happy to hear you are home now though and doing well. You amaze me with your high spirits...:) You are an inspiration sweet friend. Take care of yourself...Hugs, Vicky

  3. Yikes, that seems like too many pokes to me...you are a strong woman!
    Take care,

  4. You are a real trooper! Glad things went so well for you!

  5. I'm happy to hear you are home and feeling well after having been through so much. Take good care, Linda

  6. Oh my to have your attitude of gratitude with what you are going through is such an inspiration, and your sense of humor must bless everyone around you. Sending love and prayers.

  7. Linda, I have no words. Thank you for sharing so much. I am waiting for you on the other side(cancer free)!