Breast, cancer, husband, implants, lumpectomy, mastectomy, skin-sparing
“I’m with you, you’re stuck with me”
The day before surgery there is nothing else you can do. I think I had more questions than my wife. You just go through the procedures at the hospital and then learn about a million more things about the surgery. The surgery is tomorrow at 7am.
We had three appointments today. Good thing I went. It was just a whole lot of information and stuff that you wouldn’t want to go through alone. I was sitting there looking around in the waiting room noticing 20+ women by themselves and only two husbands. I couldn’t imagine leaving my wife to do that without me there. The first appointment at 9am was to get the blood work. It was also a nice meeting with the anaesthesiologist and nurse practitioner. It was a very calm and relaxing meeting in which we made sure there weren’t allergies or history of complications. They give you a special soap to use the night before when you take a shower. They also recommend no eating after midnight and to take an Adavan before you go to bed and when you wake in the morning to take the edge off. When we get there they will give you a cocktail to get you drowsy and then make some markings on your body where the surgery will be.
The will then take her to surgery where she will be given Propaphal (sp?) which has basically replaced the truth serum anasthesia that they used to give.
At 11am we had our quickest appointment of the day, the visit with the nuclear medicine team. They injected her directly where the cancer is with a radioactive injection that will will follow her drainage to her sentinel lymph nodes. This is so the surgeon can use a Geiger counter type of device to find the nodes and take them away for a pathology study. Within 15 minutes they will know if there is anything in those initial nodes and if they will have to take more nodes. This nuclear medicine has a half life of 6 hours so must be done the day of or the day before the surgery.
At 1pm we got the final meeting out of the way. The pre-op appointment with the head nurse. It was informative including drainage information, pillows to take home, samples of the expanders that will be inserted and finally samples of saline and silicone breast implants. Pretty amazing I must say. I think I had more questions than my wife, but the advice was all good. One Big piece of knowledge. My wife’s surgery is called “A Total Skin Sparing Mastectomy” , so there you have it.
A couple of good reminders: No ice to reduce swelling! Observe the 90 degree rule and not raise your arms above your head, and don’t worry about showering for a couple days after you get home. Also, you are allowed to take Tylenol with Adavan.
It was a draining day and despite all our preparation, we learned so much more. There is an information overload going on and my mind is racing. Fortunately she is already asleep. Tomorrow will be a big day for both of us. I just hope I don’t forget anything last minute!