Thursday, November 27, 2008

Part 1~Pre-surgery

I've decided instead of overwhelming everyone with an 18 page update, Imma break it down into three parts.
Part 1-pre-surgery.
Part 2-day of surgery.
Part 3-post-surgery.

In the week leading up to my surgery, just about everything that could happen to me did. From being stuck on Queen street in Toronto with a broken rental car, to delayed flights, to cancelled, rescheduled and then uncancelled surgery, it was an interesting week, to say the least.

The weekend before my surgery, I convinced Kyle, Peter and Melanie to come to an Attack in Black show with me. Although Peter had an emergency and wasn't able to attend, I had a pleasant surprise when Ryan Miller showed up to say hello. I haven't had a chance to see Ryan since I left St. Catharines, so it was nice to catch up. The show itself was really good. It was exactly what I needed to help me forget about the upcoming week.

Adam arrived on Wednesday afternoon. Stashed away in his carry-on luggage was a wonderful surprise sent to me by his parents. A fancy box containing bright pink boxing gloves signed by everyone that was praying for me in their neck of the woods (and about a zillion Hershey's hugs and kisses). Thanks again Mr. And Mrs. Warner!!!

Shortly after arriving at our house, I put him to work helping me set up our Christmas tree.

As you can see, he was way psyched to help. As revenge for making him work, he decided to take pictures instead of helping to get the tree off me after it toppled over.

Due to disagreeable weather, we were forced to start our journey to Toronto much earlier than anticipated. After everything else I had been through, I wasn't about to let bad weather stop my surgery. So, at about 10am, my parents, Adam and I all lumbered into the van and set off.
We arrived in Toronto at about 1:30 and spent the rest of the day shopping, eating at a lovely little vegetarian restaurant that Kyle had shown me, and hanging out at a bar across the street.

We returned to the hotel to settle in for the night at about 10pm. This was probably one of the worst sleeps I've ever had. It was like when I was little and couldn't fall asleep on Christmas eve, only not as pleasurable, as presents are a lot more fun than a mastectomy.

We decided to walk to the hospital Friday morning, as it was only about 4 city blocks away from the hotel. We arrived at a little before 9:00am and checked in at nuclear medicine.

When we were lead to the back, the tech explained everything to us. In order for the doctor to find the sentinel node during the operation, they had to inject me with a radioactive substance and then take some pictures. Sounds easy enough.
The whole process would take about an hour and then I would be taken up to day surgery.

I changed and was taken into a back room that kind of resembled a closet.
The injection would sting, I was told, but would stop right after the needle was removed. Then I was to massage the sight and pump my arm for 20 minutes to get the lymphatic system working.

So, in comes the doctor and a resident. He informs me, again, that it will sting but will be over soon. In goes the needle and I brace myself. Oh, and as a side note, they don't give any anaesthetic for this. I want you to imagine a bee sting. Now, multiply that pain by about 15 and make it about 5 times longer... that is pretty close to what this needle felt like. The injection goes right under the skin, so there is a huge welt that you need to massage into the breast. fun.

This is the machine that they stuck me in. The pictures took about 5 minutes each and there were three in total. Seeing them after they were all put together was pretty cool, sadly, I don't have any photos of them.


iamthenarwhal said...

urrybodys gonna think all i do is sleep.

Anonymous said...

so i'm checking this at school. jessica, my student, walked up to the computer to see the pic of adam sleeping on your couch. she said "joanna teacher, you grandpa?"
i asked if she really thought it looked like a grandpa. she said "no. you father?"

the photo of you and adam looking at eachother in the hospital made my eyes a little too misty for the classroom.
miss you guys. can't wait to see the rest.

you stopped with the polish words.

love you

lucky said...

i'm with asia on that one pic.

i went for my pre-op yesterday, hospitals are strange places... a lot of intense emotion goes on in there!!! did i mention that i get sick of talking about my name to every nurse/technician in the hospital? sheesh.

looking forward to reading part 2.

love and strength and all things good to you. <3

Latex and Alkyd said...

i loved that you started with Imma break it down.

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