Monday, July 20, 2009
one more sleep to surgery....
I actually slept last night but thinking that tonight might be a struggle. I am going to have my cancer surgery tomorrow and I am nervous...
It's almost akin to planning a big event.... you know the event is coming and the date but its the small details and the wait time in between that make you nuts. Thursday was the pre-admission date where the nurse goes over the details of the surgery and other pre-surgical tests and gives you a rundown of care when you get home. She indicates to me that I am to have a lumpectomy - there's a snappy word which means - lump comes out - and that is all that has been annotated by the surgeon who will be performing the procedure. He is confident, at the very least that he can remove the mass which is just under the nipple and save most of the breast's exterior including the nipple based on mammograms that are now weeks old. I am relieved for his optimism but weeks later I know the mass is growing and am anxious to see if this will be the case. I am already prepared mentally for what is to come... I have had the time to digest all of this but the reality will present itself after the 'reveal'. I must be at the hospital early on the date of surgery because I am having a Sentinel biopsy in nuclear medicine. A needle is inserted above the nipple with a radioactive isotope and an image is taken. The lymph nodes are the cleaners of our system and they are looking for any cancerous cells that have been picked up by the incredible number of lymphatic nodes in the breast and under-pits. These will be noted and any of these that contain wayward cells will be removed before they can be dispersed anywhere throughout the body - that is bad. She hands me a few sheathes of paper and tells me that it is day surgery and I will be home for dinner. The sheets describe the sentinel biopsy, care of the wound etc. She wishes me luck and I head over to the lab a hundred paces away to have a blood test to see if there is any creatine present (kidney function). I recognize the technician and chat away happily. She smiles and chats amicably - it is after all very early in the morning and I wish her a great day as I dismount from the raised chair. She calls to me as I walk away and says 'with that attitude, you will do just great, take care now' as she begins to close the file she has of me on her table.
My husband has been with me the whole morning and we walk hand in hand out the doors, this time my head up and no swollen eyes.... my old self who is positive and generally quite happy with the world is leaving today to return on Tuesday for the surgery...
This is the part where I recognize the incredible people in my journey... If I have missed anyone - it is only because I really do have a lot on my mind and I apologize in advance... I must admit that during the first week after the diagnosis I was very withdrawn and not myself, so for those friends who kept their distance - I am truly sorry. I should be available to you sometime in the next week, so call and check in!!!
Mom & Dad Fielding, Martin, Jeannie, Paul, Marleen, Scott, Debbie, Al, Mom and Dad Stopani-Thomson, Gina, Christian, Patricia, Chelsea and especially my husband Max, William, Mitchel and Lydia who have been here for me all along and continue to laugh and play and carry on with our normal(?) events filled with love. Thank you xoxoxoxo love you always and forever.
Max, who is my soul mate and the one who is going down this path with me - for better or for worse - thank you for holding my hand and kissing away the tears when they come. I love you forever.
Mark, JK, Jim, Bruce, Shahid, Sean, Cal, Scott who I have worked with for over 16 years and who have been my support... thank you for the notes, texts and phone calls ... and the hugs. I adore you guys, thanks. xoxoxo
Lynn, Annarita, Deborah, Keri, Traci, Donna, Mary, Sandra, Nancy, Serena, Melissa J., Julie, Jan, Bryan, Dan, Dean, and everyone really!! thank you for your best wishes, support and sense of humor.... especially the hugs!!
Dr Annette Richard, who is my GP and who is an incredible advocate for women like me who need all the help they can get :D.... thought you might like that. She has a program available to all women facing this disease and it is well worth it. xoxoxo
Sue who is the one who has been an incredible friend and who introduced Annette into my life. You were there when I first got my diagnosis and have been a strong support system with your phenomenal sense of humor and grace. Thank you for lending me your good luck bear for my surgery - I know it gave you luck and yes, you will get him back when I don't need him anymore. I will always need and love you. Thank you to John and Kevin. Hugs xoxoxo
Mandi who was the first person at my work who got the news and cried with me, then made it all better :) Thank you for popping by with goodies for my freezer and offering to take my daughter to daycamp on day of surgery. xoxoxo
Jilly who is my soul friend, whose mother passed within hours of my diagnosis. You continued to support me as you grieved for a mom who was so incredible in her life and passed that on to you and your sisters. I will always remember you taking me to visit the koi pond near your home with your daughters and just loving every minute of it - we will do that again soon. I love you. xoxox
Sarah and Len, who have been so incredible to us with their support and love over the years... Sarah, I have known you most of your life - you are like a daughter and a best friend and your thoughtfulness and kindness are a testament to all that is good in this world. I love you so much and I am the better for having you in our lives. xoxoxoxo
Tina and Brock who are going through so much these days and will go through more with the very soon arrival to be!! Tina, I have known you most of your life and you are so sweet and gentle. Your beautiful voice is just a hint of that soul inside. Take care of you and the little one coming - can't wait to see her. I love you! Brock, you are a good man and a wise choice :)
Brenda, Mitch and Trevor - thank you for being great friends and of course some of the best neighbors anyone could have!! Brenda - keep an eye on the pool :D thanks for your humor and support on the first night of diagnosis and your continued support over the weeks. xoxox
Ameeta, who has been fantastic by keeping Mitchel busy on trips he would not otherwise have taken due to circumstances. I will see you tonight for coffee just before I go to bed.... maybe we should have a non-caffeinated drink... you know how we both are when hopped up on that stuff!! xoxox I will save the sappy stuff for you... to Peter who has been a great friend and assistant to Max's deck projects and to Sanjay who has always been so sweet - from the moment I first held you (20 minutes old) to now, a high school student this fall :D - I love you all. Next trip I get to go on with you and mom!!
Brenda A, Robin, Samantha and Raven, whose friendship continues to grow through the years. We have been through a lot together and you have always been there for me. I have not been able to see you these past few weeks... I know you have your own issues to deal with. You are thought of often and I miss you. I will see you soon, please know you can call anytime. xoxox
Brenda B. & Terry, who dropped by with a wonderful bouquet of Gerber Daisies (my faves) and a hug - I have known you almost your whole life Terry and it was wonderful to see you - it's like you have grown up in just the short summer we have had so far since June. I wish I had been able to make it to your Graduation Ceremony and party - such an incredible honor to be asked. I adore and love you!! Brenda - I always look back to the day we met at the Western Fair those years ago and instantly liked you!!! Thank you for your friendship. xoxox
Tom, who has been a dear friend for many years and who dropped what he was doing after he read my blog to have coffee with me the other day... you know, you don't need an excuse to come out to see me!! I am glad you did, I miss you sooooo much!! love you!! xoxoxo
Kelly and Mike, who are adorable together... and who came to see me as soon as they heard... you always knew what to say - it always comes from the heart. Thank you Kelly for chillin with me after your holidays. We had fun - thanks for your hugs and your fantastic sense of humor. I miss you so much and I love you. See you soon!! xoxox
Jeff, whose wife passed two years ago from this disease - you were incredibly supportive of your soul mate and have extended your help our way... thank you so much and we do hope to make your party on Saturday. xoxox
Sandra, Jeff, Daniel and Amber, who are good neighbors and supportive friends.... hope to see you out soon. xoxox
Shelly and Paul, whose apple/rhubarb cake and the books were so appreciated... Max keeps bugging me to make one - bwa ha ha ha ha .... he will just have to wait!! xoxox
Today, Max's brother Paul is helping him to finish the pergola and back deck - a great distraction as Max mentally prepares himself for tomorrow and the weeks to follow. I can see it in his face and he tries not to be near me right now... we were both somewhat cranky yesterday and managed to keep away... sometimes it is better that way - far less emotional and easier to deal with.
It is finally sunny out and so today, I will do some gardening and then have coffee with a friend this evening and go to bed.... one more sleep to surgery....