What a day! Long and not all that exciting until about 2:15 when I got the call from on of the OR nurses that it was going to take longer because they were yanking out more than they thought they would have to. That was when it turned into a different kind of day.
Prior to that call, everything was going really well. The mapping was not a big deal (they weren’t poking my body with giant needles but Loretta seemed to be taking it okay). It showed two sentinel nodes that would be clipped out for biopsy. Then we had to wait – but really only for about an hour. Stuff started to happen around 11:30 when anesthesia showed up, the prep nurse, the surgeon… the resident and her shadow the med student, the Professor and Maryanne. Everyone. It was the resident that clued us in on the fact that there was a cancellation and we were next. At about 12 they took her away for a two hour
Then the call at 2:15. That was when they said that it was going to be all the axillary nodes and that they hadn’t started until just before 1 and they needed another 1.5 hours. (Question: when do these people eat lunch? It isn’t like they can eat at their desks while they continue to work.)
At about 4:00 the surgeon came out and verified that they had removed all the nodes and that 6 of 7 were cancerous. About 5:15 I was finally able to see Loretta in “recovery”. She knew and was not happy. Mostly she wasn’t happy because she felt like she had let people down and she was a little scared.
About 6:00 we were wheeled up to the fourth floor all the way across campus into a private room with a nurse that is happy to use her elbow on Loretta’s back which is still hurting her (not related to the cancer or operation). She is having dinner which is tasting good and behaving well. I will spend the night with her and all her new nurse/doctor friends.
Tomorrow, she gets to go home after she demonstrates that she can keep down breakfast, do things in the bathroom, and manage her pain. I expect to be taking her home mid morning. Sorry, I don’t have any more Gilligan’s Island references. Maybe I’ll be better tomorrow.
A big THANK YOU to everyone who has written comments. I read them to Loretta (and she will soon read them herself and they mean so much to both of us.