I have been in contact with both Gwen and Wendy, the co-ordinator and nurse and the appointment times are booked. On Tuesday morning at 10:30 am I must be at the hospital radiology for the mapping. I have assured both ladies that I have my EMLA cream ready. I just hope this local anesthetic means no pain that day! As I understand it, (I plan to read over all the information on Sunday morning, over coffee with my husband) there will be four needles filled with a radioactive dye that will flow into the sentinel lymph node and beyond.
On Tuesday afternoon, I have to call the hospital Admitting to find out what time the surgery will be done on Wednesday.
Nothing but clear fluids, soda, black coffee (yay!), black tea etc after midnight, to four hours before surgery.
On Wednesday morning, I have to be way across town, back at the women’s centre where the biopsy was done, at 8:30 am, to have a wire inserted, as a marker for the surgeon to find the tumor.
Then I must go directly to the hospital, to admitting. I will go to the Unit, where my husband can sit with me until I go into surgery. The staff will check my weight and blood pressure, and the anesthesiologist and surgeon will visit me.
There will be an IV. After surgery, I go to Recovery. From there, back to the Unit for one to two hours, and again my husband can be there. After that I will be coming home.
I have been told to be sure to “take your painkillers, even if you feel you don’t need them. Don’t wait for the pain to start. Get up and walk as the pills will make you constipated.” Oh well. I have bran cereal and should be fine, I hope! By then, I will just be glad to have all of this over with!
I hope there is nothing to see in the sentinel node. If there is, I am afraid of what that means. I understand it indicates the cancer has spread. Annual mammograms should have caught the cancer early enough, though, yes?
On another subject, my father-in-law phoned me the other day, after he found out about the cancer. In the old days, this man was gruff, snippy to his family, and drank all the time. A miserable man. Over the years he has had to quit drinking for health reasons. He has mellowed as he’s aged. He is a sweet old fellow now. I was so touched that he took the time to call me. My mother-in-law emails often and is close by, phone or Skype if I need her. My ‘oddball’ older sister is emailing to tell me she is praying for me.
I am blessed.
It’s a bit stressful, though, I find, as I tend to reassure all these people that the cancer has probably been caught early, and that after radiation I will likely be fine. But that is me, and my personality, not wanting others to worry.
Readers, wish me luck, pray if you like!