I'm sitting in my car in the hospital parking lot waiting for my next appointment. I am getting a Sentinel Node Biopsy to determine if any “abnormal cells” have spread.
The Sentinel node (under the armpit) is the first lymph node to be affected. Finding it involves an injection of a radio-istotope into my breast, which travels to the sentinel node. If the Sentinel node is not involved, there is a 95% chance that the remainder of the glands are negative as well.
But first I get to have 3 radio active ,“seeds” injected into each tumor. Fun times! NOT! They freeze the area (my boob and under my arm) – Ouch! Then inject the seeds. Apparently, I am pretty sensitive because it was NOT frozen the first time he went in there – damn it! These seeds essentially make it easier for the surgeon to identify the tumors during surgery.
All of this is in preparation for surgery tomorrow. I wouldn't say I am scared, per se … but nervous yes! I mean it is surgery after all and anytime you must go under the knife there are risks involved. Oh, and there is the whole recovery time and the fact that I don’t like pain, AT ALL! I don’t know many people that do, but I think I am a big baby when it comes to pain or discomfort. This was emphasized when I yelled out in pain when the freezing hadn’t kicked in yet, so one of the nurses started rubbing my arm and squeezing my hand mid procedure. I was a bit taken aback, (as nice as the gesture was), I mean we had just met and I don’t like to be touched when I’m in pain. Not to mention I was having hot flashes during the whole thing and her arm was sticking to mine and I needed some space! “It’s almost over,” she kept saying, gently. Ugh! I just wanted to punch her! All I kept thinking was, “GET OFF MEEEEEE, I CAN’T BREATH WITH YOU UP ON ME!” I had my nipple in the air, the doctor sticking my boob on my right and her rubbing my arm on my left, all the while being told not to move and surrounded by these blankets to ensure I didn’t touch the disinfected site. I was suffocating! But I didn’t want to be mean, (she was so nice), so I just sweated and bared it as long as I could, then I gently tapped her and said with a weak smile, “Thanks, I’m OK now.” “Oh, OK,” she smiled back and backed up. Thank GOD!
I really can't wait until this is all over, I want to start my life! WAIT, scratch that. As I wrote that, I just caught myself. That's a BC (before cancer), type of comment. There is no starting my life, my life is actually happening, RIGHT NOW MONIQUE! I forget sometimes. That, “I will be happy when . . ,” mentality can kill you. . . maybe literally. Def emotionally. What I really meant to say is; “When this surgery is done and I am healed, Corey and I can finally take that, "Monique kicked chemo's ass," trip we have been planning for months. This has me realize how easy it is to slip into that, “I will be happy when,” state of mind. Everyday I am grateful I have come as far as I have; for the support that I have; for the amazing healing, I have experienced. Even when the, "poor me," days rear its ugly head, I am still grateful. AND I need to remind myself everyday that cancer is not something I need to put behind me, it isn't going anywhere. The treatments will change, the feelings and emotions will change, the check-ups will change, but I will always be the girl who got cancer, has cancer or had cancer. Duh! And that is OK. It was a wake-up call, and we all get some sort of wake-up call, (if we are lucky), and mine was cancer.
I was resisting pulling out my iPad and writing in the car, but now I am so glad I did otherwise I wouldn't have seen that I am still, "waiting" for something to end before my, "real" life can begin. NEWS FLASH! My life is happening right now!
I have 2 reminders on my phone that beep everyday: The first one is, “Create my body as a place cancer cannot live.” The second one is, “My worst day is someone's best day.” Today I am creating a third, "Your life is happening, so don’t waste it.” You have any alerts you need reminding of?