Monday, July 19, 2010

Had a good week, getting a bit nervous

Mom and I had a very good week visiting family and friends.  We went to Hampton Beach twice, we got her siblings together for lunch (for the first time in years even though they all lived in the same town), she got to visit with her friends and play the violin, we saw other family members that we hadn't seen in a long time, and we played with the grandkids.  The weather was very "summery" which works for me, the two bedroom Residence Inn worked out great, and I ate lobster at least 3 times. 

The next 72 hours are going to be anxious ones.  I'm hoping everything goes well today and I get back to Menorah in time for my 8 p.m. MRI.  Never had one, so fear of the unknown is always the worst.  I am not particularly claustrophobic, so I think I'll be fine.  I've heard some people don't like the position but I am a tummy sleeper so I don't think that will be a problem.  I will probably be able to deal with the noise.  I am hoping there are no surprises as far as additional signs of cancer. 

Tomorrow morning I have to be at Menorah for a 9:00 appt. with Occupational Therapy.  This is precautionary, in case there is a need to remove additional lymph nodes.  They teach you how to prevent lymphedema.  I am hoping not to need to know.  Immediately afterwards, I go for pre-op testing.  Not sure what all that entails, but I'm guessing I'll be "donating" some blood, maybe chest xray and/or EKG.  I had a call last week from an RN who took my medical history so that part is done. 

Wednesday morning I am to report to Menorah a 11:00, thirsty and hungry...LOL!  Nothing after midnight, including water and no meds.  That doesn't bode well for finding my veins, so I'll have to drown myself on Tuesday right up to the last minute.  My veins are small and shallow and I've had way too many blood draw attempts that resulted in huge bruises.  If the technician uses a butterfly needle and is careful, it's no problem.  I don't think they can use a butterfly for IVs, though.  My blood sugar will probably be way higher than I like - the longer I don't eat in the morning, the higher it will go. 

The first procedure will take me to Nuclear Medicine where they will inject some dye to locate the Sentinel Node.  I've read about this and I'm not liking what I read.  There is a thread on where women refer to it as "barbaric" and off the chart pain.  Some hospitals are starting to use lidocaine with the dye, but not all.  I don't know if Menorah will, but I am going to ask a lot of questions about this on Tuesday and try to get some clarification.    This is actually the one thing that I am most worried about. 

My lumpectomy is scheduled for 1:30.  And if everything goes according to plan, no surprises with the Sentinel Node biopsy, no additional node removals, clean margins, I should be going home that evening with placeholders inserted for the Mammosite radiation.  And I will be cancer-free.  Yippee!

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful support!



  1. Wow Michelle! I'm so glad I thought to check in your blog tonight before bed. You have so much on your plate the next few days. Thanks for the great descriptions and explanations. It helps me to understand what you're going through both mentally and physically. It's a lot to have thought about beforehand, and a lot to be going through and thinking about now. I hope you find the answer to your question tomorrow. I want you to know I'll be thinking of you a lot. You are one special person, and I'm glad to know you.

    I want to share with you that my friend's husband is a real fighter. Even after the problem with his liver, after the motorcycle accident, he is "slowly" starting to respond by squeezing his wife's hand. He's a fighter, like you are, and has AMAZING support from his family, friends, and his church members. You are a fighter, too. That will get you through the hardest days. Take care.


  2. Michelle,

    We hear on Pleasant Lake will be thinking of you in the next few days.

    You go girl :o)