I’m not doing ok.
I was doing okay until today at 2 something when I had to talk to the pre-op nurse, but that 1/2 hour conversation stressed me the F out, and I’ve been spooling.
Back up to Monday, Tuesday, and earlier today I was working my tail off like a Tasmanian Devil. I was teaching and simultaneously preparing for being out for 6 school days. Prepping for being out for one day when you need a sub is a lot. Prepping for being out for one day during Covid when you need a sub is hard x3. Prepping for being out when you need a sub during Covid and you’ll be gone for over a week is ridiculous. The only thing I can compare it to is planning and preparing to be out on maternity leave. I have copied, labeled, sent to print shop, put in said drawer in my teacher area, written the most detailed of plans and talked to or emailed everyone involved with every detail. I have used up all of my anxious energy about Friday by staying busy planning and teaching and being with kids. I’ve been hustling hard. My being with kids and teaching/planning self has managed to keep me excessively mind-occupied. I’ve been so consumed with all of it that I haven’t thought about what was coming. That is, until today around 2.
The pre-surgery nurse called in the middle of our building Zoom/PLC meeting (while all of us were in the building, yes this is how we stay safe, haha). So I didn’t get to hear what happened in the meeting. Oh well. My teaching partner Nichole will give me the recap.
You guys. I have to scrub myself down with antiseptic soap tomorrow night and then again on Friday morning. The nurse stressed sleeping in clean sheets and clean PJs afterward. (am I dirty? what the hell?) I told her my sheets were in the dryer at this very moment…do I have to wash them again tomorrow?
Apparently, yes, yes I do. And I can’t put on previously worn PJs or clothes.
Jess made me feel better when he explained that MRSA can live on our skin, and it’s fine, until it somehow gets inside us, and then all hell breaks loose. Ok. So I don’t want a MRSA infection to kill me, so I’ll scrub myself down like I’m about to go in for surgery. Which is precisely what I’m about to do.
The thing that is making me the absolute most queasy and horrified is the procedure they have to do before the actual surgery. I have to go back to the mammogram/biopsy table on Friday morning. They are going to push lidocaine into my right breast (again) and use a core needle to put a wire into my breast to locate the tumor. This is done so the surgeons can find the tumor during surgery. They have a handy target…the titanium rod they left in there last time.
I will spare you the Google photos of what this procedure looks like. But my pre-op nurse told me they’d “bundle up the wires and tuck them into my bra” after the procedure. To sum up–I’ll have a wire probe sticking out of my breast until I go in to have surgery.
I WILL WALK AROUND FOR A FEW HOURS WITH A WIRE STICKING OUT OF ME LIKE I’M A POPSICLE. I have to go do several other things in the clinic before surgery…and the wire will be there.
I am going to have a wire hanging out of my breast for around 4-5 hours before I even go in for surgery. How is this normal? And if I bump it or it displaces, then what happens? (There is a whole internet about this drama.) And did I mention yet that I will at that time be fasting? I can drink clear (black) coffee, and other clear things until 2 hours before surgery. But if I want to self soothe with a snack, that’s not an option.
The worst thing about this is that it’s another invasive wire bore to my breast. It will be yet another hole on my breast and another huge massive bruise to go with the surgery incisions. My breast is just almost healed from the last biopsy a month ago, minus the fact I have a hole in it still, and a dimple. Basically, due to lumpectomy vs. mastectomy, I get have two biopsies to go with this surgery. I didn’t really know this is what happened until today.
I can’t be any more eloquent than this tonight. I’m stressed AF. I’m not feeling good with any of this, but I’m not changing my treatment plan. So below is a cute picture of me and my mom when I was a baby…
Tonight Jess reassured me that I’m strong and I can endure and I have incredible stamina and strength. He kept telling me, while kissing my head and stroking my hair, that I am a so strong and that I can do anything.
I love that he has so much faith in me. I don’t, but I also don’t want to disappoint him. I feel like it’s really unfair to have a girlfriend for 8 months that suddenly gets breast cancer. He’s had enough to persevere through in the last few years. That said, if it were him sick, I wouldn’t bat an eye. I have to let that knowledge, that I would be glued to his side and want to be with him through it all, guide me. Jess wants to be my cancer coach, my cancer companion, my love. He’s sworn he’s not going anywhere. He loves me, no matter how sideways things get or weird my body becomes. I know this because he’s told me. He’s here for the ride, the life=joy+pain. It’s his algorithm, actually, one he keeps reminding me about.
I guess that’s all any of us have, love and a shot in the dark.
Can I do hard things? Today I don’t know.