I come to and hear a man calling my name. "We're taking you to your room Carey." I'm awake, the surgery is done. My first thought, how many drains do I have? I'm wheeled into my room. Bob, Riley, Auntie Dee and Uncle Jerry are there. I ask -how many drains? Two, I'm told. Two - that means it was in my lymph nodes. Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! I'm awake and in no real pain. I look down and my left side is flat. I don't want to look any further. I lay back, close my eyes. I will look later.
They tell me it went as expected. Dr. Ruark even did a little plastic surgery and tucked in the excess skin. She said she'd like all of her patients to be as exuberant and positive as I am. I'm not trying to be anything but what I am. I can think of no other way to be during this. I have to embrace this and hit it head on, otherwise it will overtake me.
My mom and Denise come to see me. My mom just wants to give me a kiss. She needs to know I'm alright. While we're visiting, she keeps staring at me. I ask her what's wrong. She says nothing, I just can't get over how good you look. Who knew I could look good after surgery? Bonus!
I'm allowed liquids. They bring me chicken broth and ice chips. Poor Bob, in his haste to take care of me he spills the soup on me, not once but twice. I look at him and say hand me a straw. The straw works perfect.
Everyone leaves and I sleep. Bob comes back and we have a sleep over. I've gotten out of bed, gone to the bathroom and eaten all within 6 hours of surgery. Not bad. I'm not feeling as horrible as I thought. Then again, I may have spoken too soon. In the middle of the night, I turn green, feel nauseous and hot. I hit the call button. The last thing I want to do is vomit. I love my aid, she puts cold washcloths on my neck and forehead. She's my angel in the night. I'm given anti-nausea medication and allowed to eat crackers and pudding. I'm coming back - whoo hoo!
Poor Bob is next to me sleeping on a chair bed snoring like no other. I ask them to shut the door so as not to disturb anyone else. I'm fine with it. Seeing him sleeping so soundly after the stress he went through today makes me happy. He deserves a good nights rest.
Morning comes and I order breakfast. While I'm eating, I meet the PA. I've gotten conflicting information from the nurses and my doctor on the use of my left arm. My doctor tells me no movement until my drains are removed. Walking only to the bathroom and back. The nurses tell me to move my arm or risk frozen shoulder. The PA confirms - the doctor is correct. No computer, sitting still and doing nothing. This is worse than the surgery. Yikes! Will I be able to do this?!?
I'm allowed to go home after I eat lunch. I'm released in the afternoon and head home. I walk in and head straight for the new lazy boy which will be my home for the next few weeks. I'm to see my doctor on Friday to receive my pathology report. I have a week to be still and start healing. The surgery is done. I did it! I've gotten through the first major hurtle in my journey with the Big "C". I just faced a major fear and found out I can make it through anything. I'm on top of the world.