Sunday, March 27, 2011


My last post that was around 10:00 pm on Monday, the night of my surgery, made it sound like things were all going very well.  Well, at that point they WERE. It pretty much went downhill from there.  Richie left and I was happily going to settle in for the night.  Then the unexpected happened.  I could NOT sleep.  How could I be on Morphine and not be able to sleep?  Anxiety, I suppose, is a powerful thing but, I kept trying.  I kept pushing that button, and kept falling asleep for about 10 minutes. It was rough. I was pretty much up all night.  Without going into too much detail, I was not satisfied with the nursing care, and I’ve already begun to seek alternatives for my next surgery.  Someone asked me if I was having trouble sleeping because the nursing staff was keeping me awake, and I remember saying, no, if anything, it was me bothering them.  It was around 3:00 a.m. when I first mentioned to the Nurse Assistant that I had a severe headache, and that I found that odd, for someone on Morphine, and then after 4:00 by the time the nurse that was helping out my nurse came in to discuss this headache.  I finally began to blame the morphine itself for the headache and asked that nurse if there was anything else I could take instead, and she said yes, I could take the hydrocodone and just use the PCA (Morphine pump) as needed. I asked her what the usual plan/process for the weaning off of the morphine pump was, and she said “I don’t know”. Then, I began to wonder if should have been on the oral pills all along too instead of relying on the self-administration of the morphine, which I was actually trying to hold off on.  Just think how much pain I could have been in when I woke up, if I had actually fallen to sleep.  So, somewhere around 5:00 am I started the Hydrocodone and stopped the morphine.  The headache did not stop, however, until after my Mom arrived around 10:15 with my free iced latte’, and taco, and some Advil.  Free? You ask? Yes, Free! An amazing thing happened when my mom went to see my caffeine dealer at the Irie Bean coffee shop  , (Raf,  sounds like Calf…his brother’s name is Ace J)  When my mom began to order my specialty drink,  Double Iced latte’, 2% milk, extra ice, less milk, Raf said, “Is this for the (bald) girl with the little boy who comes in here?  She likes it in the paper cup….”and he put it on the house!! It was awesome because I do like it in the paper cup, but I thought that was probably just one too many things for Mom to remember.   Then, Mom went to the Casita Taco next door and my sweet taco lady also guessed who it was for, and put it on the house for me as well!  Hand on chest…..Verklempt J.
At 8:00 a.m. my surgeon came in and told me the surgery went well, and that they visibly saw no cancer.  He gave me some instruction on how to care for the incision and told me that I would go home today, and to make a follow up appointment with him next week.  I was pretty out of it, so I don’t remember everything he said.  At 9:15, the next nurse came in and I asked about what time I’d go home and she said by 11:00.  I was shocked and believe I said “OH SH….I…T”.. ..I was not near being ready to get going out of there.  Then the nurse said, “Well, we will not kick you out. You can leave when you are feeling ready.”  So, when my mom arrived, I instructed her to lay low, and just stay in the room. I would not call the nurse, and we’d likely not see them until 2:00, which was about accurate.  The nurse tech did come in to take the BP, and then finally I did feel I needed to call someone to empty the drain. Should I even go into what happened next?  No, but it turns out that a liquid and gas filled rubber pocket does have a tendency to splatter when you release the little stopper. Next time I’ll close my eyes.
Since I’ve been home, I’ve been a bit more emotional than usual.  I’ve been in more pain than I expected.  The doctor had told me that this surgery was “not that painful, but takes longer to recover from than you’d expect”. (Maybe because it IS PAINFUL to the person who has had the surgery).  I was in quite a bit of pain when the surgeon himself called me on Thursday to give me the pathology report results.  The great news was that they found NO CANCER in any of the breast tissue or any of the lymph nodes.  Unfortunately, I was so busy complaining about the hospital, and then further upset about what he said next that I hardly took note of that.  When I told him that I was having a lot of nerve pain, he said that generally that decreases with time, but it could be a year, or it may never go away.  He said that he has actually had to go back and cut nerves that were originally NOT cut, on people in order to get the nerve pain to stop.  So from that statement on, I’ve been a bit in the dumps. I’ve also been perseverating a bit on, and feeling a bit angry about how much time I still have left with this treatment.  I think being in pain makes it seem even longer.  I still have 6.5 weeks of radiation, then 3 months cooling off, then, left mastectomy and bilateral reconstruction. Then, i still won’t be quite done with the Herceptin chemo.  At this point, more surgery is not sounding very reasonable.  I’m hoping that by next week I’ll be able to see the light at the end of that tunnel more clearly again.
With all that said, I’m actually feeling a bit better even as I write. (See, Blahging is great.)  I’m sitting here thinking about all the good things that have happened this week.  I have very supportive family and friends.  I already mentioned the taco and latte’.  In addition to that, and my Mom doting on me most of the week,  this week alone, I’ve had flowers sent to me by my Uncle and Aunt, my father in law, and 2 of my friends Cindy R and Jenny C.  I’ve had friends bring me food….Lisa C, Jenny, homemade spring rolls by Roberta, and people take me out to lunch, mom and Cindy R.  One of my out of state friends, Kristin T. sent me a very thoughtful care package and I received a sweet note and a gift card from my 90 year old friend, Vi.   I received get well notes from my co-workers, supportive statements on my blog, personalized supportive emails and texts, and all of my neighbors got together and signed a card and gave me a gift certificate to the local Soup Peddler.   I’ve had my Words With….. Friends, up, playing words at all hours of the night, and I think I may have won one gaim.  One of my friends even gave me the gift of an old memory with his pledge to play a “reunion” rock show, which is normally out of character.  I got to go out to the ranch on a beautiful day with my family, my son learned to pee pee in the toilet, and my husband made me an awesome dinner of grilled shrimp and those awesome bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed jalapenos!
I got to do modified yoga once, and got to go out and walk on the greenbelt twice.  I even found a new, even closer to my home, trail entrance.
One of my good friends told me that I looked great when he saw this photo of me at my, ‘Fist Punch’,  Gus Fruh, trail entrance on my first day out after surgery. 

Not really looking great, but sporting my new “fast runner look” on the right side.
Thank you for the compliment, though. J

Oh yes, I have not forgotton about the wonderful massage that i had that was set up for me before my surgery by my sweet friend Cindy S. Or, the awesome time i had hanging out with my BFF, and at the Downtube Shifter Tube Top Extravaganza.  Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate that day with us!

Thank you all again for your love and support, and your reminders of what keeps me treading forward.  I think next week will be a better week.


  1. Pretty amazing. I always enjoy the things you write. Even when the situation is not really funny, you have a great, quirky way of expressing things.

  2. How you are able to write with all that is happening is beyond my understanding. As your mother said you have a gift in your writing. Thanks for the inspiration to get up today.

  3. See, all those trips to the coffee and taco stores weren't for nothin'! Yep, this week was a doozy for all of us, thanks for helping me power thru. See ya at the Amish Rage show!!!