Friday, 21 December 2012

Pixie's Christmas Sacks

Back in August I bought some Pixie's Happy Bags and when I found out Pixie was doing some festive ones called Pixie's Christmas Sacks I couldn't not buy some!
These ones come in festive sparkly organza bags and contain:
A Snowball - To remind you to have fun and not take life too seriously
A Christmas Tree - Because nature is beautiful
A Reindeer - To remember the magic of Christmas
An Angel - To watch over you and send blessings your way
A Snowflake - Like you, special and unique
A "Merry Christmas" - Because that is what I wish for you
Pixie has now raised £9,000 (!!) for Cancer Research

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

At Home

First day back from the hospital, am reading up on the necessary After Surgery info.

I'm wrapped up tightly in a corset and I still have the horrid drain in but hopefully it should come out soon.

The Medi-Home nurses will come to the flat and check my wound, dressing and drain until they can officially discharge me.

Lovely flowers from Grandma Dilly

Christmas floral arrangement from Amanda & Paul

Pretty flowers from Gma & Gpa


Fagin investigating the balloons from SJ

Some of my cards:

The Op

Mum, Rob & I checked into the hospital at 07h00. We were there for about 15 minutes when a nurse came through & explained how the day would work. Then about 07h30 I was taken through to register with a nurse who ran through various questions with me & measured me for some sexy anti-DVT socks. Then I met with my surgeon's registrar who explained exactly how the operation would work.

About 09h30 I went down to the x-ray department. I had 2 mammogram photos taken & then 2 local anaesthetics (ouchy!) in lefty. They then inserted 2 wires, one in the area of the marker coil, the other in the area of microcalcifications. Feeling pretty tender I walked back to the waiting room and about an hour later I met with the Home Care nurses. The HCNs will be coming out to the flat for as long as I need them to check the wound, keep an eye on the drain, dressings etc & once they are happy I can officially be discharged.

About an hour later I met with the anaesthetist who explained to me how the GA would work. He said they would put a cannula in my hand & then I would have the GA injected. He explained my arm would ache a bit & then I would fall asleep. Having never had one before, I explained how nervous I was & he told me I would be very well looked after.

Then I met with my BCN Carole who gave me a pressie (shower gel, tissues, Polos, a pen, notepad, chocolates & a Get Well Soon card) & explained next steps (exercises to strengthen the shoulder & arm & that I was to relax lots) & that I might be a bit smurfy (blue face for a day or two, smurf wee for a day & blue boob for between 2 weeks & a few months) after the op due to the blue dye used in the SLNB.

About 13h30 I was feeling pretty hungry & thirsty having been nil by mouth since 20h30 last night. Then I was called to go for my operation. Eeeek! I kissed mum and Rob & walked down the corridor to get changed into my hospital gown, dressing gown, sexy anti-DVT socks & slippers.

I then walked down the next corridor & into the operating theatre. I lay on the operating table & they tried twice to put a cannula in my hand before finding a good vein. Once they had it in the anaesthetist chatted to me about my job & the next thing I knew I was coming round from the operation.

I don't remember falling asleep from the GA so it felt bizarre when I came round to be told it was all done. I vaguely remember Rob calling the recovery ward about 16h25 but was so foggy I couldn't be sure (later found out he did call & I wasn't dreaming). I was surprised to see I had a drain in as with WLEs you often don't need them but they told me I had a fair bit of oozing (yuck!) during the op. not sure how long it'll be in for but I can ask the HCNs tomorrow. After about 5 minutes I was sick a few times but this is a fairly common SE of having a GA.

The recovery team bought me water, a cup of tea, a sandwich & some jelly & ice-cream. I had a pretty sore throat from having had a tube in my mouth so couldn't really eat the sarnie but the ice-cream was great! Then after dozing a bit more I was taken downstairs (about 18h30) to see mum & Rob.

After waiting in the discharge lounge (sounds gross!) for about 15 minutes & having a smurf wee I was free to go home :) Michelle & Leanne kindly did Fagin duties so there were no stresses there whilst we were away.

I have a follow-up appointment on the 4th January to ensure they got 2mm clear margins otherwise I'll need another op. Fingers crossed!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Nuclear Medicine

Today I had a Nuclear Sentinel Lymph Node Scan with Nuclear Medicine in preparation for my operation tomorrow. I went along to the hospital and had to take off my top & bra, put on the gowns and lie down on a padded exam table. I then had an injection of a weak radioactive dye (technetium-labelled sulphur colloid) in my left boob close to the nipple. The injection itself didn't hurt but when they injected the radioactive tracer liquid it stung a little. I thought that I was going to be having the blue dye (to show up your lymph drainage) but that is actually a different injection & is going to happen tomorrow at the same time as my operation.

I then had to massage my boob for about ten minutes so the tracer liquid could move quickly through my system & as soon as it was draining properly they were able to start taking images (a process known as lymphoscintigraphy). I was still lying on the table when a radioactive slate was put underneath me and I was moved forward under a large camera. They took 3 photos, 1 on top, one slightly to the left and one to the side. The images are taken to show which nodes are receiving the liquid, which in turn indicates where the sentinel lymph node (SLN) is, so that the surgeon knows where to find it tomorrow. They then marked me under my armpit with an X again to assist the surgeon with locating the SLN tomorrow. The tracer liquid also means the surgeon can use a Geiger counter type thing during the operation to assist in the node finding.

Then I was free to go. Next blog post I'll have had the WLE.......

Pretty card from Hannah:

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Pre Op Assessment

Today I had my Pre Op Assessment. I wasn't really sure what this would entail but apparently it is something everyone has before they have any type of surgery to ascertain that they are fit and healthy enough to undergo an operation. From speaking to other people it seems that everyone's assessment is different but this is what happened in mine....

Before I had my appointment I had to fill in a questionnaire which asked me lots of questions about any operations I had had before, lifestyles, allergies and general health. When I got to my meeting at the hospital they went through my questionnaire, weighed me, measured my height, tested my blood pressure, took my pulse, swabbed my groin and up my nose for MRSA and they also explained what would be happening in my operation next week. They also tried to take my bloods but my veins weren't behaving so after a few attempts I was sent over to phlebotomy where they managed to do it straight away using a Butterfly Needle. I am going to ask for those all the time in future rather than be a pin cushion!