Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pre-op stuff finished, shopping done, time to relax

Allison and I were at Menorah a little before 9 this morning.  Traffic was OK in spite of the Grandview Triangle cave-in, which was a good thing. 

I had my lymphedema training, which was a way bigger deal than I thought.  Once a lymph node is removed, I could develop lymphedema at any time during the rest of my life!?!?  Here's a link to learn way more than you'll ever want to know about it:


You can navigate at will through various topics.  Bottom line, I can never have my BP checked in my left arm, no blood draws, etc.  And I am supposed to wear a compression sleeve when I fly.  And always wear gloves when gardening or cleaning (hmmm....maybe I'll just avoid the cleaning part) and be cautious with any type of cut or burn.  And don't carry anything heavy on that shoulder.  All this for giving up one node!  That sounds like loads of fun.  I'll have to talk to some of my survivor friends to see just how far they go with these precautions. 

There are some very simple exercises for after surgery to keep the fluids moving through the lymphatic system.  Nothing difficult and probably a good 20 minute walk with arms swinging will take care of it.  Or the Wii Fit - bowling or yoga.  But then, I've never tried bowling with my left arm, that should be amusing!

My next stop was to Surgery Pre-Op.  They asked me my name, birthday and what surgery I was having (obviously checking for impaired brain function...lol).  I had another blood draw (because surely they couldn't have drawn enough for all the tests with last night's donation), the usual BP, oxygen, EKG, and a chest xray.  I had a consult with Nuclear Medicine to talk about the dreaded tracer dye for the Sentinel Node biopsy.  The nice young lady assured me that they use a tiny needle to insert the dye into and around the nipple (sorry guys!) and use a numbing agent with the dye.  I asked her if she would be willing to have the test without the Emla numbing cream (which is administered 45 minutes or so before the test).  She stumbled over her answer and that was all I needed.  I met with the anesthesiologist who explained the process for tomorrow.  I asked her about the numbing cream and she wasn't willing to order it as I am not "yet" her patient.  She did tell me I can use one of my anti-nausea patches that I used on my cruise, since I already had them. 

I then talked to the nurse, she called the surgeon and got the necessary approval for the Emla.  They let me know while I was in Radiology and I'm surprised they didn't hear my "woohoo" all way back in the Surgical area!  I also got my instructions for this evening, including the process to use for preventing MRSA.  Yeah, I think the sooner I'm out of there tomorrow, the better.  Hospitals are great places to pick up really ugly bugs. 

After the chest xray, we were "outta there" and headed over to a nice little restaurant for a mid-day cocktail and lunch.  An inhouse-berry-infused vodka, lemonade and club soda over ice was delightfully refreshing.  We actually sat outside, I had a great salmon salad with a dill dressing and some berries with cream for dessert.

We drove back to Independence and hit a few stores looking for a front-closing sports bra (suggested by the nurse but not required).  I bought a couple at Penney's then we went to Marshall's and found a few others that hooked in the back, but had more shape and seemed to be something I could wear under dressier clothes and not feel weird.  Mission accomplished.  Then it was off to Sonic for Happy Hour Diet Cherry Limeades.  One more stop to the grocery store for a few provisions and then home.  I'm actually going to cook dinner tonight, as I've eaten out for the past week and Taco Tuesday didn't sound appealing. 

Nerves are doing OK (my BP was actually quite good today) but I'll be glad when tomorrow is over.  Allison is charged with updating the blog tomorrow afternoon once I'm out of surgery and recovering. 

Now it's time for watermelon! 



  1. Michelle, wow...there is so much to think, consider, and go through with the initial procedures in preparation of your operation. I had no idea all the things you have to learn for "afterward", like gardening with gloves, compression sleeve when flying, not using one arm for blood pressure, gosh...

    Please know that we will be reading your blog to find out how you're doing. I'll be out after 4:00 tomorrow, but will check when I get home late at night.

    Thank Allison for keeping us up to date. Glad you could purchase things for afterward and had a lovely mid-day drink and lunch.

    I'll be thinking of you tomorrow.


  2. Michelle

    Again, I'm thinking about you. I woke up this afternoon and the first thing I did was go to the 2 blogs.

    You talked about watermelon so much that I got a slice today and had some myself. Can I say it was oh so lovely.

    You take care.


  3. I will be thinking about you tomorrow and wishing for the best.

    I can understand your anxiety and nervousness about tomorrow.

    I guess I wasn't as nervous because I wouldn't have to deal with the wondering if all of it is gone and the continued chemo or radiation. I was more of a cut out the bad part stitch in a new part.

    My biggest worry is "blowing a gasket" on the stitching holding the new valve.

    I had an insulin IV drip for the 5 days I was in. Plus a bolus with meals. Never had a problem going below 120 and rarely above 200.

    I'm pulling for good results for you.