Thursday, July 5, 2012

Home Again Update

Here's a copy of an e-mail I sent out this morning:

Just a quick note to you with an update.

About two weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer again, a new tumor of the same kind I had before, in the same breast.  I opted for a double mastectomy to get rid of the cancer.

On Tuesday morning, Andrew (my son) and Jamie (his girlfriend) drove me to Portland to Mercy Hospital Fore River for my surgery.  They came in on Sunday evening from CA and we had all day Monday to visit and do some fun stuff.  They were able to stay with me in the prep area right up until the time they wheeled me down the hall to the OR.

 So they got to meet my surgeon and the anesthesiologist and the nurses who were caring for me and got the same information I did about the procedures in a double mastectomy.  I chose not to have the "happy juice" before surgery--I was quite relaxed and not at all fearful or anxious, my blood pressure was normal etc.  So I was awake as they wheeled me down the corridor and into the OR.  What we all appreciated so much was the calmness throughout the whole experience and everyone's positive words and approach.  I wasn't in the OR before too long when I went right to sleep as the nurse was reading the first of my affirmations. This was around 12:45.  The next thing I knew it was after 3 and I was in the Recovery area.  Shortly after I was moved to a private room on the third floor.  This evidently was part of the Mercy Hospital Birthplace--three new babies way down the hall that I never heard as well as one very pregnant woman.  One other woman had also had a mastectomy and she and I shared a nurse for the time we were there.  I'll post pictures on the blog.
view of the Fore River from my bed

would have loved a soak in this tub

best rocking chair ever, flat screen TV, sofa/bed for company

adjustable hospital bed by the window

corner sink in entryway to room

bathroom with roll-in shower

photograph of flowery path in my room

When I ordered my dinner, the person on the other end answered "Room service.  May I take your order?" I referred several times to my room as if I were staying in a first class hotel--flat screen TV, airconditioning, giant tub and shower I was not allowed to use unfortunately, and a lovely view of the Fore River out my overly large windows.  I decided not to use any narcotics after so requested that an order be put in for tylenol and that and Ibuprofen are all that I have taken.  My doctor filled out the discharge papers on Tuesday so I was free to leave the hospital on Wednesday the 4th after breakfast (room service again) and my discharge teaching procedures and rebandaging with the morning nurse.  Andrew and Jamie picked me up at 10.  We went up to the 4th floor to see some art quilts one of the nurses had told me about before leaving the hospital--a very kind nurse took me all over the 4th floor in a wheelchair looking for these quilts.  A couple of quick stops to pick up sandwiches for lunch and fruit at the grocery store and I was home by noon.

Andrew and Jamie stayed for lunch, went for a walk in the woods and over to the log cabin, we took a bunch of photos

and they left around 2:3o to go north to visit his father at Chemo Pond for a few days.  I had Andrew take my car so I wouldn't be tempted to drive, though my doctor says I should be able to drive easily by Monday.

I expect Andrew and Jamie to come back on Sunday night or Monday morning.  We have tickets to Schooner Fare at the Brunswick Summer Theatre for Monday evening and I'm looking forward to that.  Tuesday morning they'll go with me to my post-op visits with my surgeon and then with my oncologist so Andrew will know what if any follow-up treatments are planned.  Then we'll go out to the Lobster Shack at Two Lights and get ice cream at Red's before they have to fly out at 5:30.  I should be fine to drive myself home.  I'm hoping to have the drains removed that day so I'll have even more mobility.

I expect that I'll have a 6-8 week recovery time, mostly to get the use of my arms back and slowly build up lifting ability.  Right now I'm not to lift anything that weighs more than one pound.

I'm feeling great.  I slept really well last night.  My appetite is good.  And the cancer is gone!

Thanks to all of you for your positive thoughts, for reading my affirmations on the blog at and for everything else you do for me.  I love you!


1 comment:

Robyn said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you for a quick recovery!