(forewarning- this is being written while I still am undergoing a narcotic induced haze!)
The hospital has a new policy of writing on your body in marker close to the area that is going to be operated on before surgery. After the surgical resident marked my left breast my boyfriend held out his hand for the pen. The resident looked at him quizzically and he said, “I want to sign too.” The resident couldn’t help but drop the strictly professional serious face and began to laugh hysterically. It was indeed quite funny.
Can you believe that I went home less than 24 hours of having a section of my lung resected?! It seems crazy to me. However, the surgery went well. The doc told me the “node” was definitely was cancer, but the tumor had clearly defined edges and the surrounding lung tissue had no cancer in it. Thus, all the cancer is gone from my left lung. The only cancer I have left in my body now is one more tumor very deep in my right lung which we will begin radiating soon.
The whole surgery/hospital experience was not one of the better ones I have had. Up until this point, I have had the opportunity to have all of my surgeries done in the cancer center. Not this time. They moved me to a “private” room in a different part of the hospital. This room had no bathroom and no door!
About midnight, I really needed to pee…they put me on what looked like a bedpan in a lawn chair. My feet didn’t even reach the floor! While I sat there with my feet dangling, the nurse proceeded to take my temp and blood pressure. No big surprise, I couldn’t go. Nor could I go at 1am when they put me back on that stupid thing. Seriously, do people not realize that most of us need a little privacy? When you have cancer you lose so much privacy and dignity from the necessities of treating the disease. But really, is it completely necessary for you to be in my vicinity when I pee? Do you really have to take my temperature now?
That night I slept in 10 minute intervals because I was in terrible pain, but they wouldn’t give me anything for it until 5am. Finally when they gave me pain meds at 5am, I felt like I could sleep. But each time I dozed off, my pulse ox would fall low and the machine would start beeping loudly right next to my head. Every friggin time! It was like a warning not to sleep.
Of course, if you have ever spent time in a hospital, you know that 5am is when everything really starts. The train of doctors making rounds, the nurses starting new shifts, the one lady who creepily is way too excited about wanting to “bathe” you, etc. etc. Thus, when they came to take out my chest tube at noon and asked if I wanted to go home at 2pm, I said, “hell yeah!”