What's My Frequency Again?
Today is the day. D-Day. Operation "Take the bloody thing out, throw it in the bin and move on with my life (tbtotbmwl)". So let the games begin!
I follow the instructions on my admissions letter. No food or drink after midnight - Check. No alcohol - Check (that bummed me out). No Jewelry - Check. No Nail Varnish - Check. No Make Up - Whoooa there. You are having a laugh aren't you? Sorry can't comply. Do not compute.
Off I go with my overnight bag. I am very, very nervous. I have decided the best way to overcome this is to pretend I am on a "Spa Mini Break" (without the sauna, the massage, the make over or the colonic irrigation). We get there early and a nice nurse shows me my bed. I am told to derobe and put a hospital gown on. I have prior experience of these from CT scans etc. They are pesky buggers, with fiddly tags that do up around your back - very difficult to do. It takes me ages to put the darn thing on and look half presentable.
And then my Surgeon arrives. With his Registrar. I have to undo the fiddly things again. He asks me "Remind me which side we are operating on today" (I have since discovered this is general parlance - everyone asks you this everytime to double check, but I did not know this!) I looked at him with a quizzical expression "Er...the left?" (Thinking, God man, if you don't know after all the months inspecting it, then we are done for. Doomed.) He smiled. I realised I had provided the correct answer. Ker-ching!
He gets his marker pen out. I am a human canvass. I have a round black circle - like a target. And several arrows. Again, this is general procedure. And then I am sent off to the Ultrasound Room. Or as I prefer to call it "The Torture Chamber".
I need to have a wire inserted into my boob. My procedure is called a Wire-Guided Wide Local Excision (or lumpectomy). I was about to understand where the "wire" bit came from. I am also having an Axillary Node Clearance at the same time (a two-for-one, one day only, bargain offer deal!). Basically I am having all the lymph nodes under my armpit removed as the pesky cancer is lurking in there too.
So the nice doctor lady says "We are going to numb the area first with a local". Now, don't get me wrong. I am not squeamish. I am used to needles by now. But that bit really, really, really hurt. The wire goes in once I am numb. It is a long, thin wire and it looks like an antenna growing out of my boob. I am grateful I do not have to go through an airport scanner. If I did, I would set it off and then I would be rugby tackled to the ground, commando style!
I have a mammogram which luckily does not hurt as I am still numb. Much shaking of heads. "Call for Mr _____" (my surgeon). Right, this is when I start to get worried. What the hell have they found in there? Is it going to be a scene out of Alien? Is something going to burst out of my chest and start spitting acid at people?
My surgeon comes along. He is nonchalant. This kinda thing obviously happens all the time. He has a look at the scans. And smiles at me. I am lying back on the couch, semi-naked, with a great big silver wire coming out of me. I feel like I am on the set of a terrible sci-fi movie. He explains that they need to repeat the procedure and put another wire in. I look at him like "Man, you cannot be serious. Have you any idea how 'effing painful that was. Bugger you. I'm not doing it again". But these were thoughts in my head. Not spoken out loud.
So we did it again. Now I had two antenna. We could rock on in stereo. I waddled back to the ward. My fate was sealed.