Nov 05, 2013

Not really. I've hardly left my sick bed.

Yesterday I had my Sentinel Node Biopsy. It was to check whether the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes. Scans suggest that it hasn’t, but they needed to do this to be sure. The operation involved having a dye injected and then any lymph nodes dyed blue removed through an insertion into my armpit. All done under general anaesthetic.

So, yesterday morning, the bairns went back to school after their half term break, whilst I got things ready here. I made a quick dash for new pj’s, dressing gown and slippers, drop the house key off to Clairs, and then we were off to the hospital.

This operation was done using Ross’s health insurance, so we had to go to Harpenden, a bit of a trek, but we had private room. This meant Ross was able to crack on and get some work done. Odd, you might think, but it’s his way of keeping busy, and relaxed. And he was right beside me.

After waiting a couple of hours, I was whisked off to theatre, wearing full length surgical stockings, hospital knickers and gown. I looked a treat! Two hours later I was coming round in recovery with a lot of pain in my arm pit.

I’m eventually wheeled back round to my room, where Ross is waiting.

I need to do three things before they will let me leave. Drink, eat, and wee.

First one was fine. Drink. Done.

Then I was presented with soup, a sarnie, ice cream and juice. Unfortunately I was feeling very woosey, clammy and a bit sick. So, I dozed. The soup went cold, the ice cream melted. The nurse came in and I asked for something to help me stop feeling sick. She agreed, although a doctor came in and was a bit shocked at my pallor. Apparently it was akin to corpse or vampire. He wanted to do blood tests, but the nurse ushered him out and said she’d do it later.

They were starting to mention keeping me in over night. Time was marching on but I didn’t want that to happen. I wanted to be back in my own bed with my family there.

The sickness drug worked, I ate the sarnie, and I was gearing up for a wee. This had to be supervised by a nurse as I was still hooked up to a drip and they needed to check I was ok getting up after the anaesthetic. So, buzzer pressed for wee supervision, I feel sick again. And throw up all the painkillers, sarnie, water etc, I’d been so desperately trying to keep down. On a side point, the blue dye they had used earlier had turned my sick a greeny, blue colour.

The nurse comes in again, and suggests strongly I stay in over night. I’m determined not to, so oblige with a (blue) wee, and after taking my blood count (12.1), she relents and signs the papers to let me go. Yay! A quick trip in a wheelchair to the car and we are homeward bound.

Clair had brought the bairns home, done homework with them, played disney infinity and then put them to bed. This was a relief to Ross and I to know they were safe and well cared for, and am very thankful to her. I snuck in to give my babies kisses whilst they sleep.

I was sick again before I went to bed, but at least I was in my own bed.

Imogen and Felix gave me hugs this morning and I showed them what I’d had one and why we needed to be careful with my left arm. Imogen gave me a card she’d made with her head teacher, Mrs Summerhayes. Apparently, Imogen had been feeling a bit anxious around lunchtime when she knew I’d be off to the hospital and had asked her teacher for time out with Mrs Summerhayes. It’s nice to know the school are being understanding and empathetic to her. She needs it, she’s a delicate flower.

I’m staying in bed today. I’ll get up for nourishment, but I’m still feeling sick and in pain. I must make sure I do my arm exercises to make sure the wound doesn’t heal and scar tight.

This is the first in a long line of operations and treatments, but it’s done. One down, plenty more to go.