I’m earning my Purple Heart!

Friday, April 27, 2012 – I hope the reference to a Purple Heart doesn’t offend any of you military people out there, (and Tom’s uncle Tim Sapp has a real Purple Heart from his time in Vietnam – thank you for that by the way Uncle Tim!)  but honestly I feel like I’m in a war of my own – against my own body.  It’s exceedingly weird to look at yourself in the mirror and have this knowledge of something in yourside yourself is working to kill you.  And then, to know that the only way to make it better is to poison yourself.  Bizarre.

Thankfully, there are methods now that can make this so much easier now than people had it years ago.  Not to mention the recovery and curing rates have so astronomically improved in the most recent years!  One of the the ways that they have developed to make the chemotherapy sessions easier is by having something called a “Power Port” placed in the upper chest.  That’s what happened today.

We had to be down to Eugene at the Day Surgery area of the Riverbend Hospital by 8:45 am.  They checked me in, I had to fork over a check for $875 first (ouch!), and then they took me to the prep area.  I was issued the usual 4 star, overly fluffy and glamorous nightgown – oh wait, wrong place.  I got a beautiful, disposable, paper gown – open down the back of course – and a nicely warm blanket.  Thank goodness!

My nerves were on edge (as you might imagine), and I as I laid on my bed waiting for everything to start, I started playing with my iPod.  They told me that I could actually listen to music on  it during the surgery even!  So I was definitely going to take advantage of that.  I could tell that there was internet available, but was disappointed because it was password protected.  So the next time that my nurse came in, I asked her if there was free wifi that I could plug into.  She said, “Sure!  Do you need the password?” and then hooked me up. 🙂  I can’t tell you how much just being able to turn on my favorite radio station, KLove, helped to soothe my anxious feelings.

As usual, I wasn’t to have any liquids before 6 hours before surgery, but if I wanted to set my alarm for 3 am, I sure could have something to drink!  Uh, think I’ll pass on that one.  Note to self: When one is going to be given an IV, it is best to over-hydrate the day before.  Yeah, forgot about that.  So when it came time for the nurse to find a vein, it was rather difficult.  She ended up failing at it & had to have the anesthesiologist put one in instead.  He got it in on the first time & I didn’t end up with huge bruises from it either.

The whole process was supposed to be done under local anaesthesia, but I’m such a light weight when it comes to meds, that as soon as they started the drugs, I was OUT of there! 🙂  I think that’s the best part of the whole surgery thing.

When I woke up, it was an hour or so later, and it was all over!  I now had a crazy lump under my skin just slightly above the top of my right “girl”, a bandaged suture slightly higher than the lump & another about 3″ higher on my neck, where the doctor had placed the tube into my vein.  I’ve been told that Dr. Winnie Henderson is a breast plastic surgeon and that all her cuts are “pretty”.  Too bad she can’t give the girls a little bit of help while she’s already in there. 🙂  The bandages are huge though and I have to keep them on for 72 hours.  That means I can’t take them off till Monday.  Grr.  Hope they don’t start bugging me.

It doesn’t hurt at all, but because of the way they taped the top bandage, I look like I have a stiff neck when I turn my head, and to top it off, it was tipped a little when they stuck it down, so I look a bit silly.  Once I was all dressed again, they wheeled me out to the car, and we headed to Shari’s for lunch.  It really wasn’t bad at all as far as recovery goes.  Oh, and yes, I had pie for dessert.  What kind?  Chocolate Peanut Butter Silk – YUM!!!

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