“Walk, don’t run. Listen, don’t talk”
Day 9 after the surgery and we had our first visit with the breast surgeon and the head nurse. Since it was only my wife who had received the pathology news over the phone, it was good for me to hear her voice and discussthe outcome. She was very upbeat and happy to report that she believes they caught it early although she will want to go in again and remove more tissue as she believes that the tumor was a little too close to the skin for her comfort.
Although she said she’d leave it up to the oncologist, she says that there is a possibility that they might recommend some chemotherapy treatment. That would start early October but we’d need to get a genetic test back first as well as have an initial meeting with the oncologist. We set the appointment today for 3 weeks from now. I took very diligent notes as we listened.
While we waited in the room for the surgeon to come in, my wife made a comment to me about her surgery that shocked me. My wife mentioned a slight procedure that she thought was made that I had no idea about. I told her that I never was told what she thought happened was going to happen. This was a major deal. Well I was right, it did not happen. My normally solid wife was totally wrong, but what scared me most was that she had been assuming something else was going to happen in surgery that didn’t happen. I can’t go into detail, but it was like being told that you were going to have a simple bypass surgery but actually got a quadruple bypass surgery. She was quite relieved to be wrong, but I was definitely seeing how her mind was not there. One more reason why every cancer pateint should have someone go to appointments with them to take notes. I reminded her that she needed to listen better and always ask for clarification when unsure. We both have a lot on our minds these days and while small details might be forgotten, it is definitely not good to go into a surgery thinking the docotr is going to do one thing and find out that they did another. Even the doctor looked a little puzzled when my wife asked about that part.
Well the big relief was actually seeing the dressings taken off and replaced with clean ones. We were both worried about being overwhelmed by a sight that we couldn’t handle and asked around if people thought we should look. I didn’t want my wife to look by herself and get depressed. I wanted to be there. Well as we both covered our eyes as they changed the dressings, I was asking the doctor some questions. When she moved, I caught a glimpse. My wife saw me stop talking and noticed I was staring.
It wasn’t anywhere near what we thought it would be or look like. Again we were quite relieved and everyone had a good laugh. Although there was some black and blue bruising, you can tell that a nice job was done. My wife later said it was nice to see her”girls” were still there. I guess the analog I had been giving my son of a flat tire was pretty accurate, but that the tire was completely deflated. On the way home we had a good little tearful hug and I got a big thank you for being there. It was a tough appointment made very easy.
The drains and her chest pain is starting to become bothersome. I reminded her that she needed to rest. Walk, don’t run. The more rest she gets, the less fluid drains and the faster she will get those drains out. They didn’t take the drains out today but they might take them out tomorrow. That would be very nice but it is still a little hard to tell. The appointment is first thing in the morning, but I’m guessing we’ll need to come back next week to have them removed.
Tomorrow – seeing the plastic surgeon again.
Merideth Olson-Paulson said:
The drains were the worst. 5 yrs. ago when I had mine there weren’t the great undergarments (with pouches to hold the drains). A group of women put together a kit with a “wife beater” white tee shirt and a couple huge diaper pins to attach the drains to. Overall functional but personally pretty funky. Now I can laugh at it but my point is the drains really suck. They can’t take them out soon enough. Good luck and you are in my prayers.
Thanks Meredith. Just two more days we hope