OK…so the night that Mom and I went to meet the women from the Breast Cancer support group and exchange Christmas ornaments I had a little cough. We had a great time talking with everyone and I absolutely love the ornament I was given because it was a tiny snow globe with a little trailer surrounded by trees and snow and on the outside it says “another trailer-park holiday”. I loved it. I felt like the baby of the group because I was the most recently diagnosed and most of the women are in various stages of remission and or recovery. What I like the most about these women is that even though they all have one terrible thing in common they mostly talk about every other subject and only return to The Cancer Discussion when one of them (or us now) is having a problem or just wants to share whats going on with them. I really had a great time but on the way home I was having a difficult time catching my breath and my chest started hurting worse than it had been so I had Rick take me for an x-ray as soon as I got home. I really thought I had better just check and make sure that my lung hadn’t collapsed again because I was told it might and the pain I was having felt like it did before. After two x-rays a VQ scan, and a cat scan the doctors decided that I had double pneumonia …again, and admitted me to the hospital…again. I don’t know why I was surprised. Three days after I was in the hospital the doc’s tell me that I don’t have pneumonia and they don’t know why my chest hurts so they start doing tests on me to look for cancer in my back where I’m having the pain. I don’t want to subject you all to every little detail of my hospital stay so I’ll just give you the highlights. When they were doing all the tests on me they found four more enlarged lymph nodes under my left arm but because I was about to have a mastectomy the surgeon didn’t want to do the biopsy at the same time because of the pain I would already be in, so sometime soon I’ll be visiting the operating room again. I stayed in the hospital right up until I had my surgery and I was doing ok until I woke up from surgery in the most God awful pain I’ve ever felt. Apparently I threatened a few nurses and screamed for them to send the surgeon in to me so I could beat her ass for not telling me that I would be in excruciating pain of my life. The nurses screwed up and only gave me half of the pain meds that were ordered for me so I was just screaming for them to stop the pain. I felt like they had been digging around in my arm and chest and through my side to my back. Oddly enough I didn’t hurt where they cut my boob off. One of the nurses tried to make me feel better by telling me that the surgeon had to cut through three layers of muscle to get the job done. That just made it hurt worse. I don’t remember everything from that day but I’m told that it was not an easy thing to watch because there really wasn’t much anyone could do to make me feel any better although everyone there tried. I do know that it was ugly in that recovery room. I stayed in the hospital right up until Christmas day. I went through two days of throwing up and having diarrhea and the doctor wanted a stool sample so he ordered me some amodium but told the nurse not to give it to me unless I could balance long enough on one leg and one arm hovering over the potty with a little plastic “hat” in it so they could see why I was sick. Really?!?! Who cares why…just make it stop for God’s sake! Ya know if I had a husband who would bring me some amodium from home that would have worked out great.( thank you Rick, no really…thank you) So, it did stop and I also managed to get them a sample which by the way showed nothing to explain why I was so sick. I got the feeling that they weren’t convinced that it was happening at all…it’s a good thing I got some on my nurse when I threw up or they never would have believed me.(oh shut up…it was only a little bit)
I probably should have stayed another few days in the hospital just because I knew I would have a terrible time at home controlling the pain but I really wanted to come home and spend the day with my family. I never did make it to Mom’s house for Christmas dinner but she sent me some of my favorite cookies and pie that Robin made. I’ve been sleeping on the couch downstairs because the stairs just look like pain waiting to happen. I still hurt pretty bad but I’m managing to deal with it. Losing my breast doesn’t really bother me as much as I thought it would. My biggest complaint right now is that I can’t get into my bath tub and soak. Rick has to help me wash around all the tubes and bandages without getting anything wet and I have figured out how to wash my own hair in the kitchen sink without any problems. Until today I haven’t even wanted to write or even talk to anyone because I’m just so damn tired all the time. I have no energy at all. I think today I’ll be making that second pot of coffee and see what happens. In a nut shell, my surgery sucked but my family and friends have been better to me than I could have asked for.