Post op…I survived!



Soooooooooo, all done!

I was so busy pre op, by the time I was dropped off at the hospital on the day of surgery, all I wanted to do was curl up under a blanket and sleep! No fear, just exhaustion. (I worked until 9am that morning, tying up loose ends..I needed to be at the hospital by 10am! )

I was allowed water until 11am, my last glug being at 10:57am, as recorded by the nurse. My consultant came to sharpie mark me and I was really happy to know that further down the line, the cleavage part of me that has my mole, was staying…YAY! *Not that MY mole has any effect in my career like Cindy Crawford’s has on hers … I just like mine!

I then moved to the Nil by mouth room. There were a few ladies waiting with their belongings by their side. The recliners were empty so I took the opportunity to plonk myself on one, the nurse gave me a pillow and blanket..and I slept.

I was woken to meet the Anaesthetist. He was rather easy on the eye and I was very conscious of opening my mouth when he checked as I couldn’t eat after 7am so was conscious of my coffee breath! Thing is, when you make yourself aware of something, that’s when you mess up because he asked me to open my mouth again as thought I had something red on my tongue, I did, a coffee burn from days before…

Dozed off again to be woken to say its time. Got changed, said a few prayers and off we went. Pre theatre room was very sterile, bright and FREEZING! Started talking about my recent holiday to Barcelona to the ladies whilst the anaesthetic was put in my left hand, easy on the eye Anaesthetist walked in and the next thing I heard….’Nicole, surgery is over, you are now in recovery’.

Felt the usual post anaesthetic feel, groggy and like I was going to be ill. I managed not to be and 30 minutes later was taken up to Recovery. Met husband as bed was being wheeled upstairs, so that was handy. I felt very happy more than anything that Phase 1 was over, hence the smile and thumbs up I managed an hour after surgery, along with the glazed morphine look….

I won’t lie, the first 2 days were
extremely tough and painful, it felt like there was a spear being turned in the middle of my chest and a screwdriver under my arm. The consultant explained that while she was operating and had taken the lump and sentinel node out, she felt that the lymph nodes looked abnormal and suspicious, so made the decision to remove all. This meant cutting through under the arm and attaching a drain.

*The best (or breast?) way of describing the mastectomy is, picture your nipple. Now picture the shape of your eye being drawn VERY LARGELY over the nipple. The shape of the eye is what they cut out to access inside (bye, bye nipple)….they then scoop it all out, then pull the top and bottom remaining skin together and stitch up, with a long line across. The breast is now empty but in my case, I have an inflatable balloon inserted via a port under the breast muscle. It currently has 100ml of Saline pumped in. This will increase over time.

I see my lovely consultant on Friday for a post op discussion to review how many of the nodes were affected
as she will have the results by then. I do know that Chemotherapy will start 2 weeks after Friday and radiotherapy is also required.

Except for the obvious….I’m all good!


One thought on “Post op…I survived!

  1. awww bless you Nicole, you look so well after your surgery. I thought about you all day, and the memories came flooding back to me. I remember that feeling under the arm, because I had all the nodes removed too, but they did that as a matter of course back in 2004. I hope you continue to recover well, and im sure you will find that the chemo is not the terrible ordeal that it once was. Good luck to you in the coming days. I enjoy reading your blogs and am full of admiration for you. Stay positive and stay well. x


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