So, today was a day when I seemed to be talking and thinking about my upcoming surgery all day. I met with my plastic surgeon, Dr. Havard. We talked about what to expect with this upcoming surgery and reconstruction and he answered some lingering questions I had. Scott wanted me to ask whether or not my coughing would hurt the stitches and while I should be careful, coughing usually originates from your abdomen. We also, I think, made sure that the left nipple was not taken so that it could be used in reconstruction later. He also said that he would be injecting 50 cc's of saline into the temporary implants (aka "tissue expanders") once a week for probably a couple of months and that most people usually tolerate that fairly well. We will have to see how the radiated right side responds and whether or not there's too much scar tissue. Then, he measured me so that he can get the right tissue expander in there. Then, I was sent to the hospital to go through the preregistration process and then I met with a nurse (Gail) from Short Stay to do a pre-interview - making sure all my reports were there, how I reacted to anesthesia and other meds in the past, etc. and then she drew my blood as they needed recent blood work.
At that point, it was lunchtime, so I ate lunch there in the cafeteria and ran into a nurse, Jennifer, who administered one of my chemo treatments five years ago. My sister ran into her at work a couple of weeks ago and Jennifer just wanted to tell me that she was thinking of me and hoped I was doing okay. Of all the times I had a needle stuck in me through both of these cancers, I have to admit that Jennifer was the absolute best - I never felt the needle at all. It was nice to run into her, especially since she remembers me.
Then, I chatted with my office manager, Karen Mills, who will be coordinating my dinner delivery schedule. If you are so inclined, contact her if you want to make dinner. I don't cook, so at the moment, since I'll be home-bound for a couple of weeks, dinners will be most appreciated.
After volunteering in Eddie's classroom, I met with Linda Gelbrecht at the Heartspring Wellness Center. I'd worked with her previously on visualization techniques. I caught her up on all that was going on in my life and then she helped me come up with a little routine I can use to help me decrease my anxiety and to maybe help my body bring in healing energy through surgery and my recovery. At the end of the session, I was pretty relaxed. Now the trick will be to remember to do that routine over the next few weeks. In other words, it was pretty useful since I have had a few little anxiety attacks the past few days.
Well, thanks for tuning in. A friend and colleague observed that this blog probably benefits me as well as all of you who are reading it and I have to admit that I do benefit from it. Not only does it save me time in that I can keep a lot of people updated, but it also helps me to unload some of my feelings as I go through this process. Anyway, I'll try not to get into it too much (I mean, I don't need to report what I had for lunch, now, do I?). I do appreciate you reading it, though! Hope you're all having a good day!
Monday, November 12, 2007