Today would have been my dad’s birthday. Still miss him so so much – it’s been nearly 11 years without him and not a day goes by I don’t think about him still. I hope he’s looking after me now.
So leading up to today we kept busy before my op. We did visit the zoo, had a lovely bbq with friends and managed to get to the cinema to see Tomorrowland. I was dreading Wednesday 27th May – the day of my op but keeping busy helped a little.
We had to be at hospital at 7am in the morning. I was so scared but no choice. I had already said goodbye to Nathan, Lewis and Freya the night before. Sad to be leaving them again. But I think they’re getting used to it now.
So up very early, Phil took me to hospital while they were all still in bed, sad to say goodbye to him too. As soon as I got there I had to start getting ready – into my gown, I had to put some surgical stockings on and fill out lots of consent forms. I met with my consultant, doctor, nurse and anesthetist. They all took their turn to run through things with me again. My consultant – Dr Chakrovorty – drew on me where they would be cutting. He explained that he was going to preserve my breast tissue. This is done by cutting around the nipple in a horizontal teardrop shape, and then using something like a hot iron tool to cauterize – this separates the breast tissue from the skin and helps to stop bleeding. It’s clever. Then they scoop the breast tissue out. They use the muscle from my chest wall and some biomesh to support the new implant and they sew me up. He says it’s worth the risk of putting an implant in straight away as it preserves the skin better – even with the risk of it being rejected – so fingers crossed no infection that could cause this! I had a second incision vertically under my arm to remove the lymph nodes.
I was shaking like a leaf as I was so nervous – I’ve even chewed all my nice nails off. But they kept reassuring me that everything was going to be ok. So I was taken on my bed down to surgery. The lovely anaesthetist, Helen, was amazing – she had even read my blog! She was so calm, kind and reassuring and promised to stay throughout my operation and to make sure I woke up! So I drifted quickly into a deep sleep and as they promised I didn’t wake up until gone 3pm! I had been under a long time – my first thought was how worried my family must be as I was expected to be finished by 1.30pm. My second thought was how much pain I was in!!! OMG, my chest hurt so much that I couldn’t take a proper breath. They quickly got some morphine attached and into me which took a while to kick in but as soon as it did the pain eased, and the sickness started! Might have guessed! so all night I had terrible sickness and nausea – even with anti sickness meds. Should be used to this now. I felt so awful. On my way back to ward I saw my friend Louise with her beautiful new baby Evangeline – they both looked like angels! Made me so happy to see them x.
It wasn’t worth my family visiting that evening as not nice for them to see me throwing up. Plus I was alive and ok. I managed to put some updates on Facebook for my family and friends and called Phil – I didn’t make much sense as I felt so sick and high on morphine but he knew I was ok. My adorable ward doctor came and sat and chatted with me for a while – her name was Jayani Nanayakkara – what a beautiful name too! She told me about Sri Lanka and how she had always wanted to be a doctor. How she ultimately wants to work in dermatology, maybe in Australia – she will be amazing! I feel so privileged to be meeting such wonderful medical staff – it really has reassured me how kind people can be – it makes such a difference.
But I had a bad night as in a lot of pain and continued to be sick most of the night. I was exhausted by morning but ok. I was bed bound as I had a cannula in my left arm for all the drugs and fluids, oxygen in my nose (you need this with morphine), 3 drains in my right side, and I had compression pumps on my legs to stop blood clots! I had to rely on the nurses to help me with everything. I could hardly move!
By lunch time on Thursday I gradually got unconnected except for the drains – these were important to take excess fluid away from my wounds. I am tightly bound by layers of dressing and waterproof tape so I can’t see anything of my op yet. I will get unwrapped next week and post some pictures.
So they said I could go home. By late afternoon my consultant came to visit – I even got a hug! I asked him how the surgery went and he said he had invested 5 1/2 hours on me so he hopes it went very well!! Unfortunately at the end of my op they had a little mishap of a lost metal marker from my breast tissue so they had to X-ray my chest area to make sure it hadn’t been left in. I really hope it hasn’t, but more importantly that nasty cancerous tissue wasn’t attached. But there’s nothing I can do. At least they were honest and told me. You can just imagine everyone hunting for a tiny metal clip in the theatre!
Dr Chakrovorty also took some photos for me. I know it’s weird but made me so happy – I would have loved my op filmed but they couldn’t. I find it so interesting – my boob tissue looked like the inside of a Dalek from Dr Who – but red – apparently red is good! yellow is fat and my boob didn’t have fat so all that swimming paid off! It will be sent off with my lymph nodes to pathology and I will get a full report back in a few weeks – then we’ll know what happens next! I really hope it’s good news.
So before I left I had one drain removed. That was fine – didn’t hurt at all, just a little uncomfortable. They hold them in with a small stitch. I am still wrapped up very well with 2 drains that I have to carry everywhere in a bag. Had to have a little trip back today to get one re-vacuumed as it had come apart but all ok. Still in quite a lot of pain – I can’t believe that people actually pay for new boobs and put themselves through this! But my new little coconut boob will be unwrapped next week. I will be resting until then and hope I feel better over the next few days. Will post more updates as soon as I know more.