We were early getting to the hospital on the day of my double mastectomy. We watched some daytime television as we waited for my mom to arrive. I was nervous as I thought about my children, hoping they were okay. My sister texted me earlier with cute pictures of my 3-year-old picking out toys at a store. My daughter’s language arts teacher emailed to wish me luck and told me Laura was doing fine. I smiled and missed them already.
My husband and I went to the registration desk. My mom told me she would arrive in about five minutes and would meet us. I answered the necessary questions and signed the paperwork. My mom tried to make light of everything, but I wanted to be anywhere but the hospital. We all went to the pre-surgery area and soon I called in to prepare for surgery. I used the bathroom, changed into a hospital gown, and laid on the gurney.
Time went slowly from then until they were ready. My plastic surgeon stopped in to give me some positive news. He said instead of me returning to do multiple surgeries for reconstruction, he could do everything today. I certainly liked the idea of not having multiple surgeries, but I really liked knowing that after this surgery, I would look somewhat myself. I also met the surgeon and anesthesiologist. But then I still waited for my turn to go.
Even though I loved spending time with my husband and mom, I also wanted to eat and just get the surgery completed. Finally, the time had come and my mom and husband kissed me goodbye as they rolled me to the operating room. The first thing I noticed was that it was much smaller than the previous hospital’s OR. No music played either, as I enjoyed before. All I could see were the eyeballs behind the staff’s surgical masks. Many surrounded me, and I felt anxious because they were all staring. The medicine trickled in as they waited for me to fall asleep. My plastic surgeon asked me where my favorite place is to go. I told him Disney World and I tried to imagine being there as I fell asleep.
I slowly awoke, staring at a white wall. My mind tried to wrap around the reason I was there and I looked for nurses. I looked down to see white wrapped dressing around my chest. I shifted in the bed when I felt something pop on my right breast area. Then, the pain came strong. I tried to will myself back to sleep, but couldn’t. I felt annoyed to hear nurses talking about trivial things instead of checking on me.
A nurse came over, and by then my cerebral palsy spasms were kicking in due to feeling pain. I told her I needed something to relax my muscles. She gave me something, but it didn’t do much. I just wanted to get to my mom and Jeff so I could tell them how I felt. Again, time seemed forever until going to my room, but eventually someone came. As I left, I glanced to the right and saw surgeons in a room talking.
As soon as I saw my mom in my room, I started to cry. I felt so happy to be back with them, but I also felt this intense pain on my right side. My mom hugged me gently as the nurses scurried to get my bed set up. My room was nice and big to accommodate my motorized wheelchair. My husband also planned to stay with me, so the big room helped.
My mom, husband and nurses were going back and forth about my pain. I still wasn’t allowed to eat. I heard that I was on high doses of morphine and Valium, but the pain continued to pulse. I felt sleepy, and it was getting late. My mom went home, and my husband stayed with me.
It wasn’t a restful night, but I did get some sleep. I looked forward to better days to come.
Note: Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Breast Cancer News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to breast cancer.
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