Friday, August 21, 2009

Returning to the scene of the crime - Adventures of the One-Boobed Wonder

So a year has passed. Yesterday we celebrated my Cancer-versary. August 20th. D-day or more like C-day. And boy is life different. But i'll get to the comparing and contrasting, the pros and the cons, the highs and the lows later on. First i'll give you what you came here looking for...

A CANCER UPDATE...yayayay! (crowd cheers)

Had a mastectomy on the 11th. Yep, they took the whole damn boob. Not that i was really attatched to was doing nothing but causing me problems, what with the cancer and all. But they decided pretty last minute to go from a lumpectomy, to a partial mastectomy, to a whole one...with the expanders. (the most painful thing ever) They stick these things under your pectoral muscle and pump it up until there is enough room for an implant to go in there.
Luckily, I had my plastic surgeon (who is awesome by the way) do a reduction on the other side.
Goodbye huge boobs. Hello perky B's.
Sorry Boys.

Anyway, this is good because it means i don't have to do much expanding to get to the size i need. Hallelujah. Then i'll be all symetrical and two-boobed.

So I had to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and as we're walking to the sign in desk guess who comes around the corner...

unaware that the two of them were planning on being there, let alone that they got up that early (they both are very fond of sleep) I was super surprised and very grateful to have them there.
So my beeper to head back to the pre-op rooms goes off...and a gaggle of men and women walk uncertainly down the hall together to the second waiting room. We're all in the same boat.
We're all being sliced and diced at an ungodly hour on a Tuesday. So as I sat there, mentally giving myself pep talks and having a last second bartering session with God...i realized that's probably what these other ten people were doing. And I hope they got through surgery well and I hope they have a speedy recovery.

So I meet my pre-op nurse...I strip and put on the pretty gown and the hideous brown socks...then family comes back and if you've seen on facebook there is a pretty sweet picture of me after they started juicing me up and before they wheeled me away...and then I remember nothing. nada. zip. zero. which is fine with me. I'm guessing i slept alot, and hurt alot.

I'm not sure when I realized Mary Adelaide was there. But I cried. I was obviously very happy to see her. She drove down from Raliegh. I missed her that morning before surgery by just a few minutes. And as the afternoon progressed, I had more visitors. (Thank you to everyone who came to see me and my parents! and thank you for the flowers and cards) I slept a lot. Which was nice. I really remember seeing Stacy Hannah briefly, yelling at Joe I, holdng hands with Grandma and watching terrible television. Later that night Missy came to visit and Joe P stole flowers from another room to give to me (kidding...but that IS what he keeps telling me)

So, I didn't pee all day. Which seriously was stressing mom out. It was all she could talk about.
Well first off it hurt to blink, much less get out of bed, sit, pee, stand, get back in bed.
and secondly we found out later I had been given a catheter during surgery.

At midnight I peed.
At one I peed.
At two I peed.
At three I peed.
At four I peed.
At five I peed.

My night nurses should qualify for sainthood.
every hour I was calling them and making them take off the leg things that prevent blood clots, and take me and my tall skinny friend fluids, meds, and painkillers to the loo. And then they were coming in to take vitals and switch out empty bags for full ones. Eventually they got smart and started doing it all at one time. One visit per hour. and the two of them switched. However, I did trick them into letting me keep the leg anti blood clot things off. because they sucked, and itched, and made me sweaty and i hate socks. so those came off too.

The next morning some RA's came to visit (it was very Grey's Anatomy), Then i saw Dr. L, Dr. K and Becca (just a visit) and after lunch Dr. plastic surgeon came to visit...he took out the padding, unhooked the front of my bra and exclaimed, "I do good work!"
Thank heavens! I would have been worried otherwise.

And then I got to go home. To the couch. Where I have remained since. Slowly going stir crazy.
Me and my one Boob. and my Mom. and occasionally Chrissy. Just hanging out. watching a terribly unhealthy amount of television.

The weekend following surgery i had more visitors. Hannah showed her face in Wilmington. Kept me company on the couch, Amy came Saturday...we did some Amy Wedding planning. or they did...i took occassional naps. But it was wonderful to see them both. I have such awesome best friends.

Speaking of.

Dear Christine Marie Deaver,
You are my champion. Even when I was getting on my own nerves you stuck it out. Even when I would take serious naps, you were still sitting next to me on the couch when i awoke. You didn't leave the hospital the entire time I was there. You ordered me my much beloved pizza hut breadsticks and didn't complain when i ate all but one. You brought me ice cream, subs, relief from my mother. You are amazing. I love you. and not even school (you-law/me-bs) can keep us apart. Hurry up and make me my key.

Also, Tayor and the Goins Girls hung in there for the better part of my hospital stay and even afterwards with constant texts, phone calls, and visits. I love youuuu

Ok. So progress thus far.
This past monday they took out one of my drainage tubes. and it hurt like a bitch.
Hopefully they'll take out the other one this coming monday before I head back to school.
The mastectomy side of my body is in a state of constant throbbing. most of the time tolerable. the other portion. sickening.
My appetite sucks. (hello new diet plan)
I miss working at PTs. went by today and yesterday. wanted to stay at the bar forever.
I miss my boss, i miss my co-workers, i miss my regulars. I miss being in charge, I miss making the schedule. If i could go back tomorrow. I would. Stupid arm attatched to the studid pectoral muscle won't let me. DAMMIT.

Otherwise, i'm apparently fairing pretty well.

Went on thursday to get a "puff"
i.e. a fake boob to put in my bra so i look even until its implant time.

which gets us to Friday. The day we return to the scene of the crime.
Back to the gyno. Back to where I was diagnosed. Back to where life as we knew it ended.
(so dramatic)
No one i encountered knew who i was thank goodness. Until the doctor came in, she had been there the day i was sent over to the surgeon for a diagnosis of Cancer. (ominous sounding)
It was unnerving to say the least, I wanted to be in and out quickly and painlessly. the Less attention drawn to my presence the better. and being the One-Boobed Wonder...i accomplished just that. Very little fanfare. A few kind words from the doctor and I was out of there.

Which leads me to next week...Back to ECU for two more semesters. Then graduation time. whoo hooooo
Four classes, Four-day weekends, I'm fairly positive I can do this. Go Me!

So a little light reflection on my first year with cancer...
cancer sucks. but it didn't beat me. it bullied me around a few times. but so far the score stands at Kim-1 Cancer-0
and I plan on keeping it that way.