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Need Pink Bus on Friday

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

The surgery date is coming up fast.  I go in on Friday morning for a BMX.  I'm getting a bit anxious and would appreciate your support.

Would appreciate any suggestions you have.  I've put meals in the freezer for a couple of weeks, placed all necessities (or all I can think of) at no more than shoulder height, got my computer back up and running, and had a long heart to heart with my dogs.  What am I missing?

Thanks,

Sandy

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3532
Joined: Dec 2008

Some prayers and kind thoughts are coming your way.  I will be on the bus and bringing chips, dip and pepsi.  I will try not to be too rowdy but then again isn't this the best time to be rowdy.  

Have you got magazines, good books, etc for recovery time?  And I always thought that a door tag like hotels use that said:

Please go away I need rest on one side and Please come in, visit, help out etc on the other.  Oh, and it could say to leave the horror stories about cancer outside and all the other stupid things people say.  Of course that would e a very large door tag but sitll could be very useful.

Seriously I hope everything goes well and that you have lots of good help, positive kind people to help you and that you make a speedy recovery.

Stef

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Thanks, Stef.  I like your idea of the sign, but I have a very small house and that sign would cover my whole home.

I feel this surgery will take me one step closer to the end of the intense part of treatment.  I look forward to regaining a more "normal" schedle and life.  (Does anyone remember what normal is?)

Thanks for bringing chips and dip.  Love them.

Hugs,

Sandy

New Flower
Posts: 3979
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Sandy,

 good luck with your surgery. I will bring bottle water and juice smoothie.

please make sure you pay your credit card and other bills in advance to avoid late fees and extra charges. 

Hugs

 

hope67's picture
hope67
Posts: 165
Joined: Apr 2013

I am coming with you. I am keeping all crossed that the surgery goes well. It's not an easy surgery, but after a few days you will be fine.

I am waiting to be called for my second mastectomy, so I know what you are talking about :)

Good luck, Carmen

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

New Flower, thanks for the reminder.  I'll set things up on bill pay now.

Carmen, I'm glad they are doing both at the same time.  Pray your second goes smoothly.

Sandy

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5332
Joined: Oct 2010

Count me in for the bus ride. Sounds like you have everything pretty much set!

 

Denise

kamcat1962's picture
kamcat1962
Posts: 40
Joined: Mar 2013

It sounds like you have thought of just about everything.  I wish I had been that organized!  You didn't mention the one thing that i know you will have with you.  Your courage. Your courage is a blend of love, support, faith, hope and your own inner strength.  It is always there don't forget that.  As for me my mast's weren't that bad.  I was up and around  in about a week and back at full strength in about two.  But remember everyone is different so do only what you feel you can.  It is not a competition. Many good thoughts and prayers your way., Bless you, Cathy K.

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

I have my courage with me, but at times it seems a bit frayed.  This has been one crazy journey.

Thanks for all your support.

Sandy

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2122
Joined: Jun 2010

I will bring some lobster rolls and pink napkins.  Will be sending prayers and lots of positive thoughts that all will go well.

Take it easy for at least a week.

Hugs,

Doris

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Lobster sounds yummy.  Is it swimming in butter?

Doe1504
Posts: 94
Joined: May 2013

Sandy, you know I will be on that bus!

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2122
Joined: Jun 2010

Lobster rolls usually aren't but if you want a lobster, then it could swim in butter.

Hoping all went well.  Thinking of you,

Doris

sandra4611's picture
sandra4611
Posts: 121
Joined: Sep 2013

Sandy,

I was in your BMX shoes one month ago. You will probably wake up with a soft bra on. Mine had little pouches with velcro on them that attached to the bottom of the bra to hold the drains. You can make your own by cutting 4-5 inches off the toes of some socks and attaching the pouches to your bra. The tubes attached to the drains are pretty long. A few years ago with another surgery I put a very long loop of dental floss around my neck and safety pinned the drains to that. 

Do you have a person who can be with you? My daughter stayed with me one night in the hospital. It's certainly not necessary, but I found it so comforting. Bring socks if you get cold feet. A friend brought me a small knitted blanket that was perfect. It was cold in there! I could spread it out down to my toes or wrap it around me like a shawl.  I would also recommend a small notebook and pen for questions you might have. Cleaning yourself after going to the bathroom is difficult after a BMX. For a few days it hurts to reach across and under. Bring a wooden spoon, wrap a bunch of toilet paper around it, and use that for a few days, tossing it in the trash when you leave the hospital.

They gave me a huge mug in the hospital for water, but it was too heavy to lift. Ask them to fill it with just a little water and ice at a time. Bring some really small pillows. You will need them. Find some little ones - about 6' - 8" inches and barely stuffed with soft filling. They help keep you comfortable and fit perfectly under each arm to keep from irritating the places where the drains are sutured in. If you can't find them and don't have time to make them, buy a bag of stuffing or cotton balls and a couple Zip Lock bags and make your own. That will work in a pinch. Bring Chapstick. Your lips will be SO dry. If you have oxygen, your nasal passages dry out quickly. I found a little petroleum jelly helped.

They will get you up out of bed a few hours after surgery. Let the bed do the work. First make sure it is lowered as close to the floor as possible. Raise the top of the bed all the way behind you at your own speed. Don't let someone else control the speed.  Swing your legs over to the side and dangle for awhile, even if you are in an awkward position. Don't let them rush you! Get your feet under you - it was helpful to keep them wide. Keeping the muscles in your chest and arms relaxed, grip the nurses forearm and let her pull you up while you push up with your thigh muscles. I found it to be uncomfortable for a few seconds but the "rush of blood" feeling across my chest faded quickly and I was able to stand just fine. Bring your shoulders down and back. It will make you feel better. Don't stay hunched over.  

I kept losing the nurses call button that also had the on/off switch for the lights. Kept falling between the bed and sides where I couldn't reach.  Bring some really big safety pins or large document clips and pin it to your pillow. A little flashlight is handy if you think of something you want to write down at night or just want a sip of water but aren't sure where it is in the dark and don't want to turn on a big light.

I was in the hospital 7 days due to an infection. I had brought a book and a magazine but never opened them. I wanted peace and quiet. No tv.  Ask them to move you to a different room if you get a noisy roommate. It worked for me! I had a roommate who blared her tv 24/7 and had visitors all the time who spoke like they were at a party. I also asked the nurse to post a sign on the door saying Please Keep Door Closed since my room was near the nurses station. I swear the night crew is oblivious to the fact that people are trying to sleep. They laugh, shout, and come into your room evey hour all night for one reason or the other. If you have a roommate it's worse. Sometimes the nurse will turn on the big overhead lights...and they aren't even there for you!

Make sure they don't take your blook pressure in either upper arm after a BMX. They can take it on your leg. Some docs will let them take it on your wrist but hold the wrist up by your heart. If you leave it down, the BP will show low and if it's too high, the BP will show as higher. Lymphedema prevention starts on day one. Make sure you've read about it and know what to avoid. When I was too sick to be vigilant, they started taking it on the same upper arm for a couple of days. That upper arm is still sore a month later and I have some cording.

What about at home? Will someone come over at least some of the time? If not, set up your recovery area. Put a small cooler by a recliner. Have someone put juices (I craved orange juice) bottled water and your favorite snacks in the cooler with some ice every day. You may not be strong enough to open the tops of some soda bottles or medicine bottles so keep one of those jar openers handy. Earphones were a nice touch so I could listen to calm music. I never bothered with the tv during the day, but some people find watching happy movies or game shows helpful. One day I sat outside - it was wonderful to be in the fresh air.

For showers, I pinned my drains to a 2' long lenth of flat elastic around my neck, wrapped Saran wrap all around my bare chest, soaped everything else and used a hand held shower head to rinse off. Lean way over the sink or tub to wash your hair...but realize your doc may not want you to raise your arms that high. My husband did it for me at home. In the hospital they had a no-rinse shower cap. They warmed it up, put it on my head, and massaged. The shampoo does a good job and doesn't have to be rinsed out. Your head will be wet for awhile, which made me cold, but it was worth it for clean hair. If your hospital has them, ask for a couple to take home. I think they also have no-rinse shampoo at drugstores.     

Good luck! I'm wishing for a uncomplicated recovery period. Please let us know how you are doing.

xxoo,

Sandra

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Your post brought up things I hadn't planned on.  Thanks.  I will be doing a bit more preparation.

lintx's picture
lintx
Posts: 456
Joined: Sep 2012

 

I'll bring extra Starbucks coffee and blueberry muffinsSmile  Will be thinking of you, as I had the same in May 2012.  You'll do fine.  Those tubes are the real pain.  Lots of hugs for you.  Linda

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3532
Joined: Dec 2008

Sandra made some excellent suggestions.  She mentioned about wiping after going to the bathroom and bringing a wooden spoon.  If you have a drugstore like walgreen, riteaid, CVS they have a section with medical supplies and most of them have a toilet aid that will do the same as the wooden spoon.  It can be washed out and will do the job as well.  Hoping you have a quick recovery with no complications.

Stef

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1205
Joined: Jul 2012

Wishing you easy and painless recovery and peace of mind. I haven't had mastectomy yet; had a couple of other surgeries involving staples and drains; it's not that bad with the right painkillers and a lot of patience. I came to realize that dirty house and takeout pizza are not the end of the world. Don't be a hero, ask and accept help from anyone willing to help.

Virtual hugs,

Alexandra

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Stef, I'm going out tomorrow to pick up last minute items and will definitely stop at the drugstore.  Thanks.

Alexandra, I agree.  I discovered during chemo that a dirty floor did not cause the earth to spin off its axis.  Tried to teach the dogs to do it, but training has not progressed that well in this area.

Starting to get nervous and edgy and this makes me goofy.  My sense of humor gets a bit strange. (maybe more than a bit.)  I have to get into surgery before they put me in a room with soft walls.

Bless you all,

Sandy

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3532
Joined: Dec 2008

Sandy,

You sound like me.  Humor is my tool of choice for dealing with stuff (nearly all stuff) and sometimes it gets goofy, weird etc.  My best fried and I both have serious health issues and we kid about that neither of us can die because we haven't learned the words to Wind beneath My Wings.  We also threaten ulogies (wild made up stories) that would make us roll over in our graves so that keeps us going.  Once when I was having my ears examined and the doctor was looking at my left ear with the scope I raised my hand to the other ear and waved at it.  He almost dropped the scope he was laughing so hard (for those that don't readily get it I was pretending my head was hollow and he could see from one ear to the other)  But then everyone probably gets it.    I liked the training the dogs to wash the floor.  Perhaps if you sprinkled wet dog food all over they would like it clean.   It's much easier than teaching them to use a broom or mop.  LOL

 Use whatever helps you get through this.  I think most people get it when you are this nervous.

Stef

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Actually the dogs do a good job on the floor if I sprinkle shredded cheese on the floor.  They give it a good shine.

My daughter has inherited my sense of humor.  When I spoke to her a couple months after this journey started I was fussing about showing my chest to so many people.  She said, "Yeah, and at your age you have to pay them to look."  I laughed so hard my stomach ached.

Humor takes the sting out of everything.  When I go out, I'm going out with a giggle.

Sandy

Cricket64
Posts: 63
Joined: Sep 2013

Not that you need any more suggestions, but there is one anyway.  Be certain that your closest, and truest friend(s) are included in your survival kit.  They will be thankful if you actually let them know the ways they can help, instead of trying to guess at what you want/need. 

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

My best friend will be taking me to srugery and staying over my first night home.  Friends ae very important and a real blessing.

 

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3532
Joined: Dec 2008

Cricket,

that is a great suggestion and I wonder if posting a list of things that would be appreciated would be appropriate.  Like a sign in sheet. It could include whatever someone needed or wanted done:

Shopping, Cleaning, bring a meal, going for a walk, driving to a medical appointment, etc.  This type of list would be specific to her needs.  As a friend, I would love to see what needed to be done and to sign up to help.  That way someone doesn't 5 people showing up on the same evening with dinner (although freezing is possible) or 4 people coming on the same day to do wash or cleaning.  When my best friend was ill I brought over meals and did grocery shopping for her.  These ere the things that she wanted help with.  She also liked to have someone there who would just listen when she ranted about her doctor, her illness, and anything else that was bugging her.  All I did was listen and at the end of her rant, I gave her a hug and asked her if she wanted to break a few dishes.  She broke into laughter and said that was the perfect thing to say.

You are right that most of our friends and family would be happy to have something specific to do.

Stef

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8249
Joined: Aug 2009

surrounding you with love, and prayers.   Please share how things are going once, you are able.

 

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.

Vicki Sam

elthia
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2013

Thinking of you and hoping all goes well. I have not had a mastectomy yet, so no advice just well wishes

treecy1106's picture
treecy1106
Posts: 143
Joined: Apr 2011

Things will be fine and this too shall pass!

My BMX was by far the best choice I ever made in my life aside from having children and that wasn't easy at first since I had 2 C-sections.

You are in my prayers for a speedy recovery!!!

 

((HUGS))

Patrice

 

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