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Is Kathy Half Empty or Half Full?

February 17, 2010

“You look guarded,” the breast cancer clinic nurse said to me as she entered the exam room yesterday.

Was that an understatement! I was ready to karate chop anyone who dared touch me. Thank god I took that one semester of karate class in college!

She was so nice. So kind. So gentle. So very patient as she waited for me to ask my questions at the same time that I was trying not to cry. I’m really tired of crying. And stopping myself from crying.

She took out one drain yesterday and thankfully, it was 100% painless. Had it not been painless, I’d have refused to have the other one removed. Ever. I was going to embrace my Jackson-Pratt drain. Which lets us all know that I am sicker than I thought I was because while the Jackson-Pratt drain does a very good job, it is hell to have 5″ of plastic tubing shoved into a body. It just ain’t right.

I made an appointment to go in tomorrow morning to have the other one removed. I might have been a little too confident about it but I have all day today to think low-fluid-output thoughts. This is what I want you all to do for me today, because we all know that it takes a village to help me through my cancer…I want you all to focus on my body absorbing it’s fluids without the need for a drain, ‘kay? Thanks!

Next in the happy funtime cancer ride will be a post-op appointment with my surgeon, followed by another appointment to have her put in the catheter I’ll be sporting, for chemo. I also have an appointment for physical therapy because I need to work the arm where lymph nodes were removed, to keep it moving, from weird tissue alignment, and how to avoid lymphedema (swelling) that I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life.

This plus all of the phone calls. I’ve already be on the phone with the breast cancer clinic nurse and the oncology nurse.

Cancer needs so much attention. It’s almost a full-time job.

And to think, Cancer just hired me a month ago!

I found the lump on January 17th. Got to the gynecologist on January 18th. Back to the gyn. for the ultrasound that same afternoon. Over to the Breast Cancer Clinic on the 25th – where I had a mammogram & ultrasound & needle biopsy. Got the Cancer Call on the 26th. Met the surgeon on the 28th. Had the pre-op with  my internist on the 29th. Had the bilateral mastectomy on Feb. 3rd. Met the oncologist on the 10th.

Holy Moly!

It’s no wonder I’m in so much pain and so very very very tired.

I’m going to call Cancer’s H.R. Department to find out when I can take a vacation!

p.s. I’ve got my hands on the pathology report following surgery. My breasts weighed almost 7 pounds. Is that too much information? Bummer for you!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2010 12:15 pm

    I know how you feel about it all! Cancer is really a full time job. I, fortunately, was retired. During the treatment I had to go back to using a day runner again to keep the appointments straight.

    I am really sending you “get the fluids out” thoughts. Drains are a pain. I hate them. I am three years out and haven’t had a problem with lymphedema, but lets knock on wood. My poor left arm is getting iffy. I was told, and I hope it’s true, that after about 5 years, my right arm might be used again.

    I am sending you all the positive thoughts I can muster. You are really doing well so far! Keep it up.

  2. Leslie permalink
    February 17, 2010 12:37 pm

    Sending lots and lots of positive drainage wishes your way.

  3. Sue permalink
    February 17, 2010 1:07 pm

    You have Kathy half full today. Cancer just hired you! Ha, Ha, you make me laugh. Don’t hold the crying back, let it out, get mad and fight! Sending many fluid absorbing thoughts your way today.

  4. February 17, 2010 1:21 pm

    I hope Cancer has a decent 401(k) plan. That’s the least it can offer you.

    7 lbs – that’s interesting! Were they both the same weight or did one weigh more (honestly curious)?

  5. goatbarnwitch permalink
    February 17, 2010 1:24 pm

    Lots of well drained thoughts going your way. That is one heck of a history you have there for the past month… you have every right to be tired and to cry whenever the impulse hits.
    Take good care of the arm where the nodes were taken. My friend, The Mistress, has not followed instructions and her right arm is so swollen all the time it is freakish. Worse, if she gets a cut that becomes infected there will be consequences. Yup, do what they say about keeping that arm in good shape…. I hope that wasn’t TMI. You don’t want to hear the stories from when I worked in the pathology department of a hospital – Yikes!

  6. Pischina permalink
    February 17, 2010 2:45 pm

    I am thinking low-fluid output thoughts RIGHT NOW.

  7. capitolady permalink
    February 17, 2010 3:27 pm

    Fluids Fluids go any leave dear Kathy today!

  8. SueH permalink
    February 17, 2010 4:03 pm

    Ah….I think you’re half full….of nuts.
    Hey, I am going to be in town at the end of this month. May I come over and make ya’ll dinner a week from this Saturday?

  9. February 17, 2010 5:29 pm

    7 lbs of boobage! I can’t wrap my brain around that! I doubt mine weigh one pound each!

  10. February 17, 2010 6:21 pm

    WTF!!! I am gone for a month and I come back and you have cancer and a masectomy and what? OMG. I am sorry I wasn’t around. I am sorry. I am 4 months overdue for my mammogram. I am calling about it tomorrow. OMG.

  11. February 17, 2010 6:27 pm

    I thot of you today at my mammagram, and all the courage women need just to have this very complicated apparatus designed to produce more human beings. Kathy you be an aquarian and aquarians DO NOT DO THINGS SLOWLY… ever. They can put up w/situations for years but definitely have a “quick twitch” muscle when it comes to making changes. Keep up the momentum and keep posting. I have no funnyfunny today. Had a lengthy meeting with my subcommittee in which it ws made abundantly clear that our city has no $$$ and the schools bear the brunt of longago decisions once again.

  12. February 17, 2010 6:49 pm

    Damn not the way I’d choose to lose weight but that’s a pretty sizeable reduction.
    Wouldn’t work for me though, I’m a bit more of a flatsy patsy.

  13. February 17, 2010 8:57 pm

    Oh Kathy, I think about you every day. You’re very fragile now, so just try to take care of yourself!

  14. February 17, 2010 10:26 pm

    “My breasts weighed almost 7 pounds”


  15. February 18, 2010 12:18 am

    Well that is one way to get the weight off I guess, but a touch drastic! Thinking all drained ready to be unplugged thoughts for you! And yes do the stuff they tell to keep the arm working! Hugs Bels

  16. February 18, 2010 1:01 am

    We can now call you Kathy Unplugged! Don’t you worry about no crying… go and cry whenever you need it. It is a release, and nobody is going to think less of you for it. Ok, now sending some drying-up thoughts your way………………

  17. February 18, 2010 2:31 pm

    Kathy, I wish you low fluid output in your drain. The pleasure of having them removed…is only surpassed by the freedom of movement previously taken for granted.

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