Tuesday 9 January 2018

Central Excision Day

I feel calm. Don't get me wrong, I've cried. I'm desperately sad to loose my nipple. I'm literally grieving for it. But the show must go on.

Today is the day of my central excision. We head in to the hospital - early this time. We arrive at 7.30am. I haven't eaten since midnight. I'm thirsty.

After half an hour the Macmillan nurse visits. She talks to me about the procedure and some exercises to do afterwards. There's some confusion over whether I am having lymph nodes taken. I was told I wasn't but the nurses seem to think I am. I know from my research that this would mean having a dye injected in to me so my surgery wouldn't be until the afternoon if that was the case. I'm secretly happy - I've had this horrible nagging pain under my arm for months and I have convinced myself it's something sinister - at least this would confirm it either way.

The anaesthetist arrives and calls me in to a side room. He asks me to confirm my name, date of birth and the operation I'm having. He runs through his list of questions - all good - and I return to Chris in the waiting room.

After an hour and a half, I see my consultant arrive. She calls another patient in first. I'm next - second on the list. Mrs S tells me they definitely aren't taking any nodes. She reminds me she is going in blind on this op as the cancerous cells haven't shown up on any scans. She will do her best to take it all away and get the clear margins I desperately want.

A clear margin means that no cancer cells are seen at the outer edge of the tissue removed. The tissue removed is usually sliced in to many pieces so the histology gives a very clear report on exactly what is removed.

Before I know it I'm in my gown and socks and kissing Chris goodbye. A nurse walks me to the theatre. I'm hooked up to all the monitors again, cannula in.

I look at the clock - 10.10am. By 10.14 I'm drifting off....


When I start to come round in recovery I am in so much pain. I'm still drowsy but the pain is so intense that I can hear myself groaning. The nurse asks me about my pain and administers me with morphine. I'm unaware that anyone else is in the recovery area.

Within 10 minutes the pain looses its edge. I'm so thirsty and drink 2 glasses of water. That's when I realise there's about 4 or 5 other patients that have been listening to me groan with the pain. I'm mortified.

I'm sore but I cant wait to see Chris and head home. I fall sleep for a few hours and when I awake I'm offered the famous hospital toast. The greastest toast ever. That perks me right up and before I know it, it's 4pm and I'm heading home. Chris has stayed at the hospital the entire time.

The car journey is excruciating.  We really need to get a car with better suspension.I'm signed off work for two weeks to recover. Hopefully we've managed to rid all of this horrible disease from my body.

The wait continues.

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