Monday, May 09, 2005

Surgery #2 - Finis!

C'est Finis!

Surgery #2 of to remove more lymph nodes from my left auxiliary (aka armpit) and to place a Mediport is complete and I am doing well. Tomorrow Dr. Wagner will take out the drain that is currently in place and proving to be a total pain in my armpit and then on Wednesday, Jim and I will meet with Dr. Butler and start planning the "nitty gritty" that will become "adjuvant therapy" for the next 52 weeks.

The surgery itself was fairly normal with the exception of my right arm and her numerous veins. On Wednesday, my veins decided they would rather not be available for the convenience of the anesthesiologist and myself. So after 3 attempts, they simply rolled me down to OR, had me slide on over onto the operating table and slipped the gas masked over my face and told me to breath deep.

An hour and a half later I came to with an IV sticking out of my jugular vein!! Not at all what I was anticipating and as you can imagine, it took a little extra effort on my part to calm down, relax and come around. Thankfully Jim was allowed into OR recovery to help relax me and as soon as he was there, holding my hand, my pulse dropped and my tear subsided. All in all, I think I handled it well considering that no where in my expectations for post-surgery had I planned on an external jugular catheter!

Expectations are a bitch!

Recovery these past 5 days has been okay. Post surgery, I felt the normal pain from the drain that I expected (some pinching and tugging) and overall soreness in my right arm and shoulder from the placement of the Mediport. Day 2 my entire back felt like I had been either 1.) Hit by a truck at high speed OR 2.) Done an endo off my bike and landed flat on my back .. Choose the scenario you can relate to most. My muscles were sore, tight and I ached all over.

Now on Day 5, except for the nuisance of the drain, I feel fine. I'd go for a run if my arms could move more freely, instead I settled for a two mile walk on Sunday and 30 minutes on a recumbent bike at the gym tomorrow after the drain is removed!

They put the Mediport in my upper chest instead of behind my collarbone as described prior to surgery. Jim and I suspected that placement was dictated by the unexpected need for a line in my jugular vein during surgery. I plan to ask Dr. Wagner tomorrow. For now it doesn't seem to bother me much but I suspect that I might have to choose my bras carefully since the Mediport is placed in line with where some bra straps might fall.

So that is the latest on my end. The pathology on the additional lymph nodes probably won't be ready until the end of this week. I imagine that "could" have in impact on the talks with my oncologist, Dr. Butler. Still right now all the focus is on CLEAN NODES! Say it with me: CLEAN NODES!

One Day at a time, Living STRONG all the way!


Flatman said...


I said it out loud at my desk. My co-workers now think I am crazy (well, probably not just now).

I admire you for being so brave. I probably would have done something stupid, like try to pull that jug-iv out! (I did pull an iv out of my arm one time in a recovery room - not pretty.)

Keep up the positive thinking and good luck at the doctor.

You have given me one more reason to keep wearing my livestrong band forever!

TriFeist said...

Clean nodes, clean nodes, clean nodes, clean nodes!

Sounds like everything is healing as fast as possible. I continue to think positive thoughts for you!!!

emily said...

awesome holly! you have such a great attitude and i'm following your blog every day. hang in there girlfriend!

LouBob said...

Clean Nodes! I'll agree with that. You just keep well now!

Shelley said...

See...those things are afraid of that Ironspirit..congrats Holly!!