Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Journey Continued with Good News!

Breaking News!
June 13th Wednesday....
The Surgeon gave me a clear bill of health after the surgery, now off to Oncology to set up Radiation treatments. All seems to be going well!

How we got here:

May 30th: The Pre-Op
Arrived  at the hospital around 8 30a.m. with my large white envelope and a form of Passport with details to help us go through step by step.
A nurse called within ten minutes for assessments which is basically going through the do's and don'ts after surgery and leaflets galore to read about exercise and rest clothes to wear that would be comfortable and a little pillow to go under my arm for comfort when riding in the car, I came out with my leaflets etc and was told to wait to be called for a blood test, out again called in to another nurse who sat both of us down to tell us about how the surgery would work out and how long while we asked a few questions that took a few minutes and details to be in the computer very quickly before the service went down! after that an ECG and a chat with the anaesthetist, he was very kind and went through that with me as it would be the first time I had to deal with an actual operation.
When all was done I had to fast from 12 midnight no drink or eating after that time.

May 31st: The Operation
As you might imagine we were up up by 4 30a.m. and on the road soon after to get to the hospital at 6 a.m. with a choice of parking ! wonderful.
We were amazed to see a tired looking receptionist was in the office having almost finished her shift she managed a smile and took details and putting on my identity bracelet .
We arrive on the second floor just before 6 a.m. already a few tired looking patients waiting to check in with the nurse at the station who had just arrived. My name was called and we were sent to the change room. I bundled my day clothes into a bag gave it to John, the nurse was right by our side with a wheelchair and I bundled up with nice warm blankets, some waiting time and finding a porter I was on a trip through the hospital the porter wheeling me and John trotting behind trying to keep up! We were at a good pace  through many corridors, up and down elevators over a bridge and into the area for prep a form of cream over the area where the lump was and two small injections then ultra sound and off to have a wire inserted to show the surgeon exactly the right spot a partial mammogram to make sure everything was in place. Before I knew it I was sitting back in the wheelchair and suggesting to John a rest at home would be a good idea as I would be getting on with business and not available till around 3 p.m.!

After waiting a little while a porter was found and this time it was almost a race to get back to the operating room, passing by Druxy's the aroma was incredible I could have eaten anything and certainly wanted to drink something I was so dry.
Destination and arrival we were 20 minutes late! The doors opened and before I had chance to say good morning I was on a movie set of ER huge lights above the table I was prepped one person on one side of my arm and another on the other side both very busy, before I realized it a mask came up to mouth "this was it" take two deep breathes Barbara was all I heard! Next thing I could hear someone calling my name and found I was in post op coming out of a dream with at least 6 or so other patients all in varying states of confusion! WOW it was over and within minutes I was being wheeled out to see two faces looking at me  relieved with a little smile to greet me it was John and Lisa!
In less than an hour I was feeling a bit wobbly but ready to go home lots of tissues in hand and dressed  wheeled out at a good speed while John was bringing around the car. Can't remember how I got in the car and home.
All I knew was feeling very Grateful that I was able to get on the couch and have a snooze to regain my senses.

That was all done by 31st May!  the Month my family dreaded,but, I think I have broken the ties to that one.
Hopefully this coming week the Doctor will give me a clean bill of health topping the whole process off with three weeks of radiation which should keep any problems cropping up in the near future.

The Book that inspired!
I feel genuinely blessed and happy having the opportunity to spend time realizing how lucky I am.  Knowing how much our blended families and  friends have helped us through the Month of May. and sending so many positive thoughts  our way.
It really works ! I believe that with all my heart.

To: South lake Hospital, Newmarket  Ont.

I feel very Grateful, the whole experience looking back has been a top team looking after many patients, doing an excellent job.
The staff from surgeons, nurses, porters and Volunteers  somehow have the ability to have time to reassure patients and make them comfortable as possible while working at top speed!

Amazing !!    Thank you, from   Barbara Bradbury and my team!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Journey with the family,My friend the Monk and Me.

May 6 Sunday 
Southlake Hospital, Newmarket photo on Flickt by Snavy
John busy in the garden getting the awning up and the barbecue out ready for the season to look forward to. I must admit my mind was occupied with thought of the biopsy on Monday but I felt in good spirits. I even indulged and had a Gin and Tonic and tried to focus on the pleasant things in life.

May 7th  biopsy and bone density 

John had his brave face on as we parked the car and made our way to check in identity bracelet on and off we went directed to ultra sound room. The whole thing didn't take too long, they located the lump on the ultra Sound machine and a surgeon made 4 marks and then biopsy was done taking minute sample of tissue, done very gently and taking very little time. I was free and John happy to get back in the car. 
I must admit The Monk kept coming into my mind telling me to relax and breathe calmly, it took a bit of convincing but I managed it and felt I sort of helped the proceedings a little figuring if I was tensed up it would have made the experience worse for me and the folk who had to do the job! 
Arriving home with an ice pack in place and a little company from my Daughter Lisa while John went to a meeting. I even had a call from the hospital to make sure how I was feeling! 

May 16th the Results
The Biopsy confirmed breast Cancer and so at an interview with a nurse lots questions and answers to guide me through the process and my first meeting with the Surgeon. 
John and Lisa were with me  at the interview Lisa armed with a file full of information from my previous bout with cancer,which helped a lot with decision making. He explained options a total mastectomy or a lumpectomy,  I chose the latter being the lesser of two evils!
He put my mind at rest and I was comfortable knowing I was in good hands. the operation would be after a few visits for ultra sound on my abdomen and bone density scan.

We were told a pre op would be 30th May and operation 31st May everything seemed to be on fast track, which although nervous I was grateful too for me and the family.

Thinking  about what would be ahead I realized Ignorance is far from Bliss when it comes to your health.  I realized my Monk said we should control our mind and not the mind control you!
With that thought, I got down to work focusing on "now"  and not what was to come in the near future. that way I could enjoy my time with my family. I had lots of encouragement from them along with advice from my daughter Lisa, my mentor Nel (step daughter in law) who had gone through cancer a few years ago, twice as a matter of fact, a valuable pro, for she was able to answer many question and I was very grateful for her wise information and last but not least my Mate, John (Husband) taxi driver with no tips! 
All ready to cheer me up along the way through each stage. John was extremely complimentary with my new out look and managing to be positive! I was right Chuffed?
To be continued on the next Blog...