August 30th, 2017 was the day my boobies had to go. I was scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy.
I had received a call from the hospital the night before to inform me I would be first on the schedule at 8am and had to check in at the hospital at 6am.
After a light meal and a shower with Hibiclens, an antibacterial soap they ask you to use to minimize the risk of infection, I went to bed. I had a restless night and got very little sleep. I got out of bed at 4am for another shower with Hibiclens.
We made some quick before pictures to document all the changes my body would undergo over the next few months. I was eager to get this surgery done. I didn’t want to spend another minute with the thought of having cancer inside my breast.
After waiting only a few minutes in the waiting room, we were called into the pre-op area. This is where all the surgery patients are being brought to prepare and set them up for surgery. The first order of business was to pee in a cup to ensure I wasn’t pregnant.
Then I was asked to change into a hospital gown and the bright yellow socks they provide. Over the socks they put some booties. These are compression boots and during the surgery they will be attached to a system that inflates and compresses them at a certain interval to ensure blood circulation in your legs and to prevent blood clots.
The next thing is they hook you up to an IV. Because you have not had anything to eat or drink, this might prove a little more difficult than usual and it took quite a few tries to hook me up.
Different patches we put on my back and attached to wires to monitor my heart and vitals during the surgery, including a blood pressure cuff on my left arm.
Then there is the paperwork, lots and lots of it. You have to sign all the different consent forms for the procedures. Whether or not you will allow for a blood transfusion etc.
One by one the different doctors and nurses that will be part of the procedure will come to see you. There is a doctor that does a general health check and clears you for surgery, even if you had already done a medical clearance exam. The anesthesiologist asks you about your prior experience being under general anesthesia and how they will monitor you throughout the procedure. The surgical oncologist discusses his plan of action. The plastic surgeon has you stand up and puts the different markings on your body with a Sharpie. He also signs your breasts to make sure they remove both. The surgical nurses make sure they have the correct phone number of the person who is with you. They will call that person at different times during the surgery and then you wait.
I waited for another 20 minutes or so and then the assistant anesthetist comes by together with your nurse to bring you to the operating room. This is where they give you your first drug. It helps you to relax.
I kiss my hubby goodbye and off I go. I was rolled into the operating room and asked to move from the bed to the operating table. I remember them restraining my arms and that was the last things. It went all dark.
The next thing I remember was waking up with a sharp dull pain in my right upper arm area. I dozed off again. My mom is next to me to see me. I am in a daze. My hubby comes in to give me a kiss.
I remember the bed being moved and we bump into something, an elevator door. The pain is still there.
Slowly, I am waking up in my hospital room. I am being administered something for the pain. I fall asleep again. My parents and my hubby are in my room. The surgery had gone well. My husband leaves to take my parents home. He is coming back to spend the night with me.
I remember only parts of the night, I was heavily medicated with morphine. I had my own room on a long hallway one of the upper floors. The night was filled with humming sounds of machines, beeping when my IV fluids had to be changed and I had to call for a nurse to go to the bathroom. They had not given me a catheter, so I had to get up every time, which was a painful process.
The next morning, the surgical oncologist came in to see me to make sure I was doing well. He signed the discharging papers. I was allowed to go home.
Leaving the hospital with the cancer removed from my body. I could now focus on healing and getting better.