I stole that title from my dad as he titled his e-mail to me that exact way, awkward.
Yesterday I had my final surgery. Yesterday was my last day of hell in this saga of burning fire. I had my final surgery to exchange my expanders out of my chest. The expanders were placed after the breast surgeon took out all the breast tissue in order to stretch the skin out for implants. The expanders were pumped with saline each week until goal size was reached. I also had two large, which were now considered one, cysts in my uterus that were attached to my right ovary, more like engulfing my right. We found these cysts when I did my PET scan to see if the cancer had spread. I never knew about them and they were pretty shocked about that. The gynecology oncologist could actually feel them inside of me upon physical exam. Did I mention he’s not bad to look at? However the first time I saw him I was having a terrible week crying everyday & oh bald, and the second time I forgot to shave my legs and look like a boy. Ugh. Oh, hi Kim.
Anyway, my surgery was on March 7, 2018. Of course there was a snow storm, OF COURSE there was. No better way to cool off hell than with a blizzard. I was not nervous at all for this surgery until 2 days prior. This surgery, while it was fairly invasive, was not bad compared to my first surgery. I hate to say it like this, but in my first surgery, the surgeon literally scraped the breast tissue out of my skin and muscle, removed 22 lymph nodes and cut my muscle up, that’s intense. I had two foreign objects place in my body and then had them pumped up. Oh, let’s not forget about the drains on each side.
I only started to become nervous on Sunday. Not terribly but, nervous. I was more nervous for this snow storm. What are the mother f*ckin’ chances. They don’t call you until 1 pm on the day before surgery, yes, weird. So I was VERY PATIENTLY waiting for the call. They called, 12 pm arrival, nothing regarding weather. I was e-mailing Ed back and forth, “should we go???? Should we borrow a truck??? Omg I’m nervous”. Response…. “stop checking the weather and get back to work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. Absolutely zero exaggeration on exclamation points, actually there may have been double. This was after many e-mails back and forth including one “you are in charge Kate”, always Ed, always.
Surgery was on. Kim and I got the hibiclens I needed to shower with the night before and morning of surgery. It is anti bacterial and decreases risk of infection.
I took 0.5 mg of an Ativan, I’m off them now, remember when I took it every night?? Good ole’ days… I’m legitimately joking. I was nervous and I needed to sleep. Dad was coming at 9:30 am, didn’t want to take any chances. Woke up, showered, dressed. Kim was still sleeping so woke him up with some hugs then continued to hug until dad came. There were tears but not many. The roads were clear. Only wet and no one on the road, oh yeah maybe because the state of emergency. We got in in record time, left at 9:25 am, arrives at 10:21 am. Wow. Parked, walked up. What a beautiful place the Josie Robertson Center. However I hope you never have to go there.
We sat down and were called in 20 minutes later. Ed brought his slippers, LOL. I bring my robe on every vacation and would bring it pretty much everywhere if it was not looked down upon. Anyway, we were brought up to the room. I was having deja vu, just weird. Walked past the hallway where my previous room was, not great feelings radiating towards me, but shot them down. In the room, changed into medical garb. It was 11 am, surgery was not until 1:27 pm (and the last number I saw on the clock before being drugged was 1:27 pm). Pregnancy test, still not pregnant, although seeing all the babies in our family makes my ovaries hurt, but maybe that was just the cysts??? I was poked twice, they couldn’t find a vein. Anesthesiologist came in, great guy. Gynecology oncologist came in, another great guy, plastics PA came in, not the actual surgeon because frankly, poor social skills, however his work is LIT (translation: best mastectomy boobs I’ve ever seen).
Around 1:15 pm it was time to go up. This is the second time I’ve walked up to my own surgery. I hate it. The first time was when I was getting the lymph node taken out to to be tested for cancer. I was hysterical. This time, not so bad however seeing all the people, instruments, everything… no good for Kay. I laid down and had a warm blanket put on, love that. The anesthesiologist was searching for a vein, they had to use a baby IV, the smallest one they make, because my veins were dead from being dehydrated. At this point I was looking around and started to cry. I’m 29, I’ve been through so much, why am I here? Thoughts I honestly don’t have too often but today, I did. The answer: it’s my path. I was borderline heavy cry but I didn’t let myself get there. The nurse started asking me questions, as they usually do. She eventually gave me a dose of something, then another, then I was out, waking up in recovery.
I don’t remember what happened when I woke up. I’m having flashbacks as if I was drunk and am remembering things. I think I asked, “where’s my dad?” and “did they find cancer?”. Right here and no were the answers.
Unfortunately, I did lose my right ovary. He said it would be a possibility because he maybe not be able to determine what is cyst vs. ovary. I’m a little sad about it but he said all you need is one ovary to make a baby. The cyst and ovary will still be sent out to pathology. I called my mom, have no idea what was said, lol. Probably “mommy I’m done! No cancer! I’m hungry”, I need to ask her. Then I texted Kim. LOL WAIT THIS IS FUNNY.
- “Our baby”
- “Love you”
- “No cancer”
- “One ovary our”
- “Hooedully can have baby”
Drunk texts by Kay.
Honestly the rest is blurry. I think I was examined. I had to pee. Nurse helped me then I got dressed on my own. FaceTimed Hillary for 2.5 seconds and barely remember it. Nurse walked me downstairs and we were out of there.
We left at 8:30 pm. Ugh, you won’t even believe the rest. I was feeling pretty good. Again, nothing like last surgery. The most pain part was my pelvis and actually my port removal. I’m assuming the port because it has been in my for so long it must have attached somehow. Riding along, no major issues, then BOOM. Stand still on route 80. We used Waze and it brought us to a major highway that was BLOCKED OFF BY TO TRUCKS THAT HAD FALLEN OVER. We were on route 80 W from 9 pm to 12:15 am. No joke. I had to pee so badly from all the IV fluids I got, eventually I had to open the front and back door of the car and just pee. My bladder was pushing into my uterus and it was too painful. The traffic started to move and I was not done. Anesthesia actually makes it pretty difficult for you to pee so you have to push it out, kinda hard after that type of surgery. So I wrapped it up, moved the car up, and did it again, LOL.
At around 12:15 am, dad and a few others got out of their cars to see what’s up. I took pain meds again around 11:30 pm, my last dose of the heavy stuff. We were right in front of one of those police turn arounds in the median and said f*ck it. Turned around, got off at route 46, roads weren’t great but doable. Got back on route 80 wayyyy down the line and made it home at 1:30 am. HOLY CRAP. Thankful it wasn’t my first surgery. Thankful I like my dad. Thankful I had somewhere warm to go home to.
I wake up this morning with a drain on each side. Which was placed because the plastic surgeon removed some scar tissue plus it is still a pretty big surgery so fluid will rush to the site. When I heard I would have drains again, I was upset. Now, meh. I can do this.
I wake up this morning hungry, a little nauseous, thankful for my friends, family and Kim.
Also thankful for modern medicine.
To date, I have 10 scars, 7 tattoos, two foreign objects in my body and a new perspective on life.
I instagram storied my entire day, here are some highlights.