Update: Meeting with the Surgeon

This is another one of those icky posts.

I finally met with my surgeon and we spent an hour talking about what is happening to me and what will happen to me. She is a very nice lady who listened well and didn’t mind my interrupting with lots of questions and clarifications. J was there to ask about the few things he wanted to know about, and he liked her as well. This is all to the good.

My surgery is scheduled for Monday October 19th. I need to be at the hospital at 7:45am. I have a ‘wire localization’ procedure at 9am. The radioactive dye gets injected at 11am, and the surgery will actually begin at 1pm. (By which time I will be REALLY happy to have the whole thing over with, and then some.) the surgery will take place at Valley Medical. It will last from 1.5-2.5 hours.

I am pretty freaked out by the procedures – mostly because I think I will be in a lot of pain/discomfort for a long time before I even *get* to the surgery. I have no idea how to plan for an energy working, no particular imagery to give you, or specific guidance to offer, other than this: I can ask that if you send energy, let the guiding messages be these:

  • The surgery will go/ is going smooth and perfect.
  • The recovery is quick and pain-free.
  • This will never happen again

OK, here’s the icky part, you can stop reading now.

The wire localization is a new feature from what I knew before. As I understand it, the cancerous milk duct is so small that they need to provide a kind of guide rope for the surgeon to follow to be able to extract the right thing. It will happen in the same building as the other procedures, and before anything else.

They’ll numb the breast and then use a very fine needle (one smaller than that used for blood draws) to pierce the breast and go in until the tip of the needle rests inside the milk duct. Apparently they’ll check placement with a mammogram. If they get it wrong, they’ll re-position. Once they are sure about the placement, a slender wire will be threaded down through the needle and out of its tip, to lodge into the milk duct. The needle will then be removed, leaving the wire in place. I will then have another mammogram to check the placement again. When they are absolutely sure its in the right place, they secure the wire with a bit of tape.

Frankly, just the though of all of that makes me want to throw up.

Once that procedure is over with, I’ll be taken (via wheelchair) to the Nuclear Medicine department where I will have an ultrasound and the location of the duct will be marked on my skin. (Now, this seems redundant, so I suspect this will be combined with the procedures in the wire localization.) I will then be injected with a weakly radioactive dye, right in the milk duct.

The dye then travels the normal route between the duct and the sentinel node lymph gland in my arm pit. This will take awhile, during which I’ll be reading. Once some time has passed they’ll check to see which nodes show up on a Geiger counter, and they’ll mark my skin so the surgeon knows which one to remove.

Finally (FINALLY) I’ll be taken for surgery. I’ll be given a general anesthetic and they next I’ll know, I’ll be in recovery.

At this point, I can’t wait for it all to be over with.

5 thoughts on “Update: Meeting with the Surgeon

  1. Diana

    I’m trying to think of something that will make a really good movie in your head while you’re going through all of this. Clearly a cartoon will never compare to the situation, but the distraction might help – or even make a magical tool to help your purpose along.

  2. lisa Post author

    I find myself growing very dis-associated with my body when I contemplate it. Not in a ‘dying’ way so much as a distancing effect. Numbing, perhaps. I feel like it’s too invasive a series of procedures to put my brain in a different space at this point.

    Personal experience indicates that, on the day and at the moment, I will go to a very different place. (I’ve nearly fallen asleep while having my teeth drilled because I go somewhere else. It all has to do with my breath and systematically making sure I don’t tense my muscles.)

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