Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Surgery, Boobies, and Kiwi's, Oh My!

Back in 2009--when we still lived in Boston--my doctor recommended I have surgery to remove a rather large fibroadenoma from my left breast. Fibroadenomas are benign tumors that are generally harmless. We had some issues with our insurance at the time, and I used it as an excuse to put the surgery off. For no reason other than I am a big fraidy cat and I freely admit it.

Last year when a mammogram and ultrasound showed a suspicious area on my left breast, I needed to have an excisional biopsy done in the operating room. The decision was--since they were taking me in to the operating room anyways--that we would remove the large fibroadenoma as well as a smaller one while they were in there. My surgery was set for January 16th, 2013, and I was terrified. I hadn't been put under in over 15 years, and even then it was not surgery--per se--as I was just having my wrist set after breaking it. I was scared of being put under, it creeps me the heck out.

My surgeon prescribed some Valium specifically for the night before (so I could get some sleep) and the morning of (so Chris could drag me to the hospital without a fight, minus some kicking and screaming.) That morning I was nervous for sure, but the Valium certainly helped. We got to the hospital very early, just after 5 am. Once checked in, I was taken to a room and changed into the most awesome hospital gown ever, called a "Bair Paws" gown. Get it? It has hoses that plug into it to control hot or cool air to keep you comfortable. It was awesome! I realize the photo doesn't capture how awesome I thought the gown was, but that was just me being a big fraidy cat. Again.
After waiting quite a while, radiology came to take me to have my wires inserted. The wires were for the purpose of making sure my surgeon biopsied the correct area, and to show the location of the small fibroadenoma. The big fibroadenoma didn't need a guide wire, LOL. Any idiot could have found that thing. The wires were placed via ultrasound after the radiologist had me all numbed up. I didn't feel a thing. After she was done, I was sent to mammogram to check that the wires were in the right spots. Once all was confirmed to be good, I was sent back over to my room to wait to be taken to surgery. I did relatively good all morning with no serious meltdowns--that was until I met the anesthesiologist. He was very nice (although a New England Patriots fan) and took the time to explain exactly what he would be doing. I asked him about the tube for my throat, and when he confirmed that they would indeed be inserting a tube I got upset. For some reason, this scared me more than anything else. He promised I would be asleep before they put it in and it would be out before I woke up...but this assertion didn't really calm my nerves at all, so he put something in my IV to relax me even more and left the room. As soon as he left, I started freaking out! My surgeon came in to talk with me before the anesthesiologist came back, and of course when she walked in I was crying like a big baby because well as I mentioned before, I'm a fraidy cat.

Finally after 5 hours, I was wheeled off to surgery. I really wasn't freaking out at this point because whatever he put in my IV was making me suuuuuuper mellllllllllowwwwww. Yay for drugs! We got to the operating room and I remember them asking my name, what I was having done, switching to the other bed and the anesthesiologist putting the mask over my face. That was it. Evey over. The next thing I remembered was waking up in the recovery room with a very nice nurse named Linda talking to me. My surgery had taken just about an hour and a half, and while I was in recovery my surgeon was talking with Chris letting him know everything went really well and that the large fibroadenoma was 6 cm and the size of a large kiwi.

As they were getting ready to take me back to my room--where Chris was waiting for me--I asked them the most important question of the day, COULD I HAVE SOME COFFEE? I had had nothing since the night before, and now it was after 1 in the afternoon and Evey needed her coffee. They said they didn't think it would be a problem, but I would have to wait and ask my nurse. So naturally, as soon as I was wheeled back and my nurse came in I asked for coffee. Ha ha! She was more than happy to bring it to me, as long as I ate some crackers and felt fine. I did and I felt fine...and let me tell you that crappy hospital coffee was DELICIOUS! Not long after, they determined I was good to go home and we were on our way.

I was sore and uncomfortable the next few days--as you can imagine. Lefty was bruised to high heaven. Within a few weeks I was healing really good, the bruising was going down significantly, and the nerve issues were sorting themselves out. The biopsy obviously came back negative, and now 10 months later I am just left with two cool looking boob scars.

Hopefully there is no surgery in my near future. As I have mentioned over and over I am a fraidy cat. And ain't nobody got time for that!

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