Hello, long time no blog. Well it feels like a very long time. In fact if it weren’t for the small white board in my bedroom that I write the day on I wouldn’t even know it is Wednesday, January 20th.
Let’s start with last Thursday. I worked half a day then went to the plastic surgeon to get marked up, get my pre-op and post-op instructions. I found out that I was going to lose my left nipple, that I was a high risk for blood clots and have to get shots at home for a week in my stomach, and that I will now have five drains to wrestle with for weeks. I was shocked to hear about losing the nipple. I thought I was going to be able to keep both, but since the lymph nodes came back with cancer I guess they couldn’t save it. I was terrified at the thought of having to get shots, daily, at home, either given by myself (not going to happen) or by my husband (I gave him no choice) Left the office with purple lines everywhere and a bit more frightened. Broke the news to Keith. He doesn’t seemed to thrilled about it either. My beautiful sister came out for the surgery we go to a nice dinner to forget about the next battle. I couldn’t find shirt to cover all the purple, I chose a dark light restaurant.
Friday: 5:30 A.M. Check into hospital. Same hospital as last week, so pretty smooth process. The ink hadn’t dried yet from the week before. I held my breath when they checked the billing. When I came in for the outpatient Sentinal Lymph Node Surgery last week I was presented with a bill for $1187 out of pocket expected right then and there. Always a fun thing for the people checking you in I am sure. I paid for it. Years ago I had signed up for Aflac cancer plan through work. Because the thought of cancer in my life seemed inevitable. It was a relief to know I have this extra insurance. I have a one time policy that will give my $10,000 cash. At least that is how the rep explained it. In actuality they feel my cancer isn’t that bad of one so only gave me $1000. After the second and third cancers I have petitioned for more but so far have been denied…..no matter I was thankful at the moment I had the $1000 so I could actually pay the hospital then and there. Since the surgery was only 7 days apart the charges hadn’t had time to post so no out of pocket this time. Whew. Surgery started at 7:30 A.M. The mastectomy took about 2 and 1/2 hours. The reconstruction took about 5. I am placed in a really cute binder that makes my chest feel so tight. I had to do breathing treatments to avoid pneumonia from the binder on my chest. Keith gave me my first shot while in the hospital under the nurses supervision. On Saturday the doctor came in an taught him how to strip my lines and empty my drains. Then I was released. Released! I had an amputation and only stayed one night!! It is so bizarre to me. This is insurance at work ‘controlling’ costs. It is an odd world anymore.
I have a routine now. Get up, breathe in the plastic box, get a shot, take meds, eat, take a lap around apartment, sleep. Repeat several times a day. Keith has been exhausted but still being strong. I know I must smell because no shower until all drains are removed. My hair, well the hair is just gross. I only have 3 more days of shots and then I may get to remove two drains on Monday.
I go and the surgeon on Friday and find out if I have to do radiation of the cancer in the nodes. I am hoping a fat NO on that. But I am learning that cancer throws curveballs, almost daily. It is expensive and tricky and scary and tiring.
I picked the cute picture of the cozy kitten because I am jealous he gets to sleep anywhere he wants. I am stuck on my back for at least another week.
Just FYI I wrote this while under the influence of Percocet and Soma. It is probably riddled with spelling and grammar issues. Oh well… this is what cancer does to you too.
The more you know…