Sunday, July 20, 2008


July 17
Copied over from MySpace, which is the night before my ultrasound, 2nd appointment with surgeon and 1st with oncologist.

Today was an okay day at work; but as I started to wrap up my projects to attend to tomorrow's doctor and laboratory visits, I became tearful again. Oy vey! I thought I was done with them!

I'm scared. Dang frickening scared. Will this surgery be painful? Can I keep my lymph nodes from swelling (lymphedema)? Can I puke at work after chemo without getting on my clothes? Won't have to worry about getting it in the hair, there won't be any!

I've read that after the lymph nodes are taken out, you can't raise your arm for a while. Forever you can't have your blood pressure taken in that arm, you can't carry your purse in that arm, can't have blood draws in that arm. Forever. My right arm is the best for having a blood draw . . . I don't like needles so knowing where it's going to hurt less is important to needle-phobia folks. There is so much that has to be watched for to ensure that I don't get lymphedema. But I'm right handed!!!! Can we switch the cancer to the left side please?

A woman came into my work today that had these compression sleeves on her arms . . kind of like those that have been burned badly by fire - they have to have compression on the burned spots to keep the fluid/swelling down. Then I looked at her neck and saw that she had a compression shirt on. My BC-survivor co-worker told me that this customer had to wear the compression shirt because she got lymphedema. This is all too unreal for me right now.

All these thoughts are jumbling in my mind on things I want to know and want to ask the doctors. How disfigured am I going to be? Will I be a Quarter-Pounder instead of a Big Mac? I have a mental image of a 3/4 ta-ta, kind of like a pie, but with a wedge missing. The surgeon says she can smush things around to fill in the gap of what is taken out. Do I want this? Wouldn't it be better if I have a mastectomy so I can have reconstruction surgery and look "normal".

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