All the anxiety that was building up for the lumpectomy was causing me major stress. As much as I tried to take it easy and trust that everything was going to be okay, I could not help but feel the what if’s of my daughter growing up without a mother. I know, tons of people have endured way more than any of this and still have made it. But I couldn’t help think about death, I just couldn’t. I joked with Alexis that I would haunt him if he picked the wrong second wife. (I would!)
Friday, April 21st came and I hyped myself up for the event. My team of doctor’s and nurses were seriously the best. I went to the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. There was not one person that I encountered that was not accommodating and just very caring and supportive. I got there and Ana the nurse that attended me through the entire process made me feel very comfortable and at ease almost immediately. She gave me a hard time about drinking water prior to the surgery but I was so thirsty and thinking about not drinking water for 12+ hours made me even thirstier.
My mom stayed with Ayla then Alexis and I made our way to the hospital to be there by 10 a.m. We got there, registered and then it was just a continuous loop of registering at different locations, giving my name and date of birth about a hundred times and getting procedures done. The first procedure was getting two long needles inserted in the area that they were going to remove, to protect the needles from snagging on things or hurting me they literally covered them with a styrofoam cup that got taped to my chest. Totally normal and comfortable. Then they take you to a pre-surgery room where other patients are also waiting and you kinda get all your vitals taken, meet the rest of the team that will be in the surgery room and that’s where your family comes and says their goodbyes.
A little snag happened that I did not realize until it was a bit too late. After the plastic surgeon came to speak with me, mark the area up and take pictures of the before area. My main doctor realized that they forgot to schedule the Sentinel lymph node biopsy which they were supposed to do prior to the surgery. He gave me a choice to cancel the surgery and come back the following day. (HELL NO!) I had a styrofoam cup taped to my boob, no way was that happening again unless some serious drinking is involved. We decided that he would test the lymph nodes during the surgery with the ink that is not as accurate as the one they were planning on using but still a common way to test them. The final step was anesthesia, I swear the doctor looked like Cuba Gooding Jr., he kept calling me young lady. SMOOOOOTH! Prior to me drifting off he leaned in close and whispered in my ear, “I am a decade older than you.”
I don’t remember anything after that, not one thing. Those drugs were good. The surgery lasted about 4-5 hours and everything went well. They removed 3 lymph nodes and the doctors did a great job removing and reconstructing the area. I did have a reduction and a lift on my right side to match the lumpectomy side. And I have a drain hanging out of my body which is no fun but not as annoying as I thought. My dad, Alexis and my friend Giselle were all there after the surgery but truth be told, I don’t remember them visiting. I was pretty out of it after the surgery and by the time I fully woke up visiting time was over and I was left alone in the recovery room with the nurses. Ana, Vladimir, Jaime and Alain helped me pee, drink water, open saltine packages and brought me warm blankets.
Overall the experience was far less traumatic than I imagined and I am sure the reason for it is the staff that attended me. I could not say enough good things about the hospital and it’s staff. The nurses were heaven sent and I would recommend this facility to anyone undergoing this diagnosis. As for me, now I wait and see what my treatment will be. Probably radiation and hormone therapy but I won’t know any of this until next week. And for once I am fully relaxed regarding this subject.