I am the last surgery on the docket for my surgeon today. Fasting for the entire day is really a bummer. A hungry Grace is a cranky Grace.
In bad timing news, I had some, eh em, stomach trouble the whole second half of the day yesterday. I either ate something that did not agree with me or my anxiety caught up to me in gastrointestinal form. Let’s just say I started today on empty, no reserves.
I usually do not get nervous before surgery. I used to say that I ‘liked the big nap.’ After this last one 2 weeks ago, something has shifted. I felt so very bad upon waking up from surgery and continued to feel that way for 24 hours. Tachycardia or a fast heart rate had me feeling no bueno and that in turn, made me anxious.
Today’s surgery is similar, or perhaps more in depth than last time, but they are choosing to do the whole surgery under twilight anesthesia, instead of general anesthesia like they did 2 weeks ago. This is the kind of anesthesia you get when you have your wisdom teeth removed in the office. The kind of anesthesia where, if the docs were to call your name and ask you a question, you should be able to reply in some form. This type of drug has amnesic properties, so even if you are rousable, you shouldn’t remember anything.
Couple things… One major pro is that is that I shouldn’t have the tachycardic side effect afterwards. Also a pro is that I have no nerve endings in my chest from the mastectomy so I have almost no pain receptors there. One teensy problem I am having reconciling this level of consciousness with this surgery is that my nipple is being removed.
YOU HEARD ME.
They are cutting off my right nipple as it is breast tissue and this cancer is looking for a home. I don’t love the concept of being rousable whilst my nipple is being cut off. Even if I can’t feel it.
One quick and revolting story here: My 7th grade son asked me to explain the surgery, so I told him the plan. Upon hearing that my nipple was being removed, he doesn’t miss a beat before asking, ‘can you keep it?’ I ask him why in the world would I want to keep it and he replies, ‘So Enzo can use it as a pacifier.’ Pause for my own dry heaving. A. Enzo is 8 years old and he does indeed still suck his thumb, but no, just no. And B. WTF. Paging Dr. Freud and any other available therapist within 50 miles of my home!!!!
OK- Let’s regroup and pretend that never happened.
I think the idea of going back for my second lumpectomy after a mastectomy (this is an insane phrase) without any loved ones, as it is still a Covid lockdown, just has me on edge. Getting dropped at the curb to have your skin, muscle, cancer and nipple removed is just wrong. Doing this alone twice in 2 weeks is a lot to ask of anyone. I am teflon a lot of the time, but this might break me.
Between quarantine and being alone at the hospital, I feel isolated. Literally, of course, but mentally, too. Like even though you are all with me in strong spirit, this go round feels like I am headed onto the Ark with no twinsie animal by my side. Like the person who walked this walk alive, but is now in Zombie form and just mindlessly following the old routes. It is like having constant, unpleasant deja vu.
After this surgery things will/should slow down for a few weeks while the docs send out samples for further testing and decide on the risk/benefit ratio of chemo.
Until then- Imma just zombie walk to surgery…