7.21.2009

I feel it all.

Wow, what a week. Let's start with Friday. Friday I had my surgery. We dropped Elijah off at my friend Nicole's house. A while back after hearing my story she offered to be my wet nurse for Elijah. She has a beautifully written blog entry about the entire experience on her blog at http://nicoolio.tumblr.com. After we dropped Elijah off we went to St. David's and checked in with admissions. We were then brought to a dreary day surgery room and I changed into the gown and got as comfortable as I possibly could. I had my vitals checked and an IV started and finally they took me down to nuclear medicine at around 10:30am. I spent a long time in the nuclear medicine room, we hit a few road blocks in there. Originally they were going to inject my chest with the radioactive dye and then I was going to go through this scary looking machine and have photos taken so they could find out which lymph nodes the dye went to. Well, I am breastfeeding, therefore leaking breastmilk, and the radioactive dye gets into breastmilk, so I was leaking radioactive breastmilk. This wasn't harmful to me, but it would really mess up the photos and confuse my surgeon when he was trying to figure out which lymph nodes he was going for. So instead of taking the pictures everyone decided my surgeon would just go in with this tiny camera during surgery to find which nodes they went to. Because I was leaking radioactive breastmilk we had to figure out a way to contain it so it wouldn't contaminate the operating room, so we taped breast pads to my breasts and a nurse wrote do not remove on them. I got the dye injected in 4 areas right around the site of the melanoma, it burned a whole bunch, then I was sent back to my room.

Once I got back to the room the nurse came in and hooked my IV back up and asked if I wanted to be pre-sedated. UH, YES PLEASE. Finally the anesthesiologist came in and talked to me about the procedure and gave me a sedative. It must have made me pretty damn out of it because when we got to the operating room I asked if it was the OR and then the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room. I had a big bandage covering my chest and a drainage tube attached to me (which was the most annoying thing ever, seriously. It made everything from nursing to peeing to showering difficult). I spent a bit in recovery and then I was finally released and able to go home.

Recovery hasn't been terrible. My chest is really sore, I was prescribed hydrocodone, I am sure it's doing something and it would hurt a lot more if I wasn't taking it, but I feel like it's not doing enough. Nursing with the drainage tube in was a bit of a challenge, and a little painful when Elijah's little hands would grab it.

Here is a before and after photo:




So there's that. Then there's this...

Today I went to get the drainage tube removed. After my surgeon removed it he got the pathology report from my lymph node biopsy. The lymph node in my armpit came back clear of cancer, but the lymph node that was near my collar bone came back with a small amount of cancer in it. 0.7mm. So it's very small, but it was there. If we had waited 6 months it would have been 1 or 2cm and I probably would have had to have another surgery. So, I don't need to have anymore surgery, but I do need to have PET scans, which is a radioactive body scan to look and see if there is cancer anywhere else in my body. He was also saying that I might have to do some kind of drug treatment. He mentioned Interferon. We won't know exactly what treatments I will have to do until we see the oncologist.

Elijah is my rock. He makes me stronger than I might normally be because I need to be there for him! I think I am doing a pretty good job of dealing with everything. I have lost it a few times during this whole ordeal, but nothing major. I have been trying to stay positive about it all, but I still get discouraged sometimes. I still cry and worry and am scared, but I know that in the end I will pull through, it's just going to be a huge pain in the ass, and it's going to make me a little sad sometimes.

I can't wait until my chest wound heals so I can start wearing my moby wrap and wearing my little Elijah. My chest is his favorite spot to lay. I wish him laying there would make me all better.

One day everything will be back to normal.

2 comments:

Megan said...

jess, i'm so proud of you- life is throwing you some major obstacles and you are handling them so well! it must be so scary to be dealing with all of this, but you are so tough and you've got that beautiful little guy to keep you strong! and kudos to jason- i was reading your friend's blog too- pancakes in bed- not a bad deal!

keep your head up, lady! and know that a lot of us up here in the northeast are keeping you in our thoughts!

love,
megan

Janessa said...

You are doing a great job!! I can't imagine going through all of this right after having a baby and dealing with all of those new mommy changes. You are very lucky to have a great husband that loves you and Elijah so much. I still remember your baby shower in NH and how he was rubbing your back and putting the heat patches on. You have a great little family and I'm so happy for you!

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