Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lumpectomy Surgery

2/23/12 - Thursday

Surgery was scheduled for 2pm, which meant nothing to eat or drink after midnight.  I had to be at the hospital at 8am, which was better than sitting at home not eating or drinking.  Manned with tons of magazines (compliments of my girlfriends that provided lots of Hollywood gossip) and my lap top, Steve and I arrived bright and early.  By 9:30, I was in radiology having radioactive dye injected in my boob (ouch), which would assist in the Sentinel Node biopsy.  More waiting then back in radiology for pictures and markings of the nodes.  By 11, I was done, and it was truly just waiting for surgery.  I had great compression socks to prevent blood clots that Steve and his mom helped me put on.  It was pretty funny.  They were SO tight we were giggling trying to put them on, which was probably more stress related than really funny.  We settled in reading, watching TV and just waiting.  My Sister Joey also came to wait with us. 
A little before 2 it was time to go.  I was starving, but so ready to get in the OR and get home.  The one good thing about surgery when you are asleep, it goes by really fast and before you know it you are waking up in recovery.  I will say, my experience with the hospital was great.  I am pretty low maintenance so I am sure that helps, but all the nurses and doctors I met were wonderful. 
During surgery our friend, Kevin, came to wait with Steve.  They went and had crab cakes, which I should be so jealous about, but I was glad Steve had a male friend to take his mind off my surgery.  He had a great iPhone app that shows what you will look like bald.  Steve will be so cute when he shaves his head with me :O)  Once I get my nerve up, I am totally going to see what I will look like.  Steve’s mom and Joey did the pacing and waiting while I was under. 
Even though I had stopped pumping a week and a half before surgery, I was apparently very full of milk, which squirted all over the OR.  I kind of wished I was awake just to see the reactions in the OR.  I pictured something from Grey’s Anatomy when things squirt all over unexpectedly.  I woke up pretty quickly in recovery, and I think I was in the car on the way home in under an hour.  I was starting to feel the pain, but after some really great pain meds, I was in bed soon after I got home.  The next couple of days I was pretty stiff and sore.  The worst was under the arm where they took the nodes.  I had a port-a-catheter put in, which was also uncomfortable. 
Charlotte was staying with Grandmom and Papa for a couple of days, which gave me time to recover and rest.  We picked her up on Saturday, and it was so hard not being able to pick her up and carry her around, but I was happy to have her little smiley face back. 

2/28/12 - Tuesday
Back to see the surgeon for my post-op visit.  I was so excited to get the bandages off, but so anxious to hear the verdict.  See diagnosis to more info.  I am healing wonderfully.  I have three scars, which are still taped up right now so I am not really sure what they look like yet.  Overall, my breast looks pretty good considering the size and surrounding tissue that was removed.  The location of the tumor was under the boob, so there should be no visible scares this summer (aside from the port-a-cath).

We left a little down with the verdict of the lymph nodes.  It was very discouraging to learn the cancer had in fact started the decent to the nodes in such a short period of time.   Still a lot of questions on our minds as we plan for our meeting with two different oncologists next week.        


  1. Oh my. I wish I could be there and wrap my arms around all three of you and take all this ugliness away. I just don't have an answer. I am always here for you if you need me. I will suggest that you talk to cousin Jane Morrison. She went through the same thing around the age of 30. She may have some words of wisdom from her experience. I love you!!

  2. I still can't believe this is really happening, Erin. It just seems so surreal. It is at times like this that make me so sad to be so far away. I hope you are recovering well and that you are able to keep your spirits up as you wait for more answers. You are in our prayers. We love you!

  3. Erin, thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are so strong and we are so lucky to have you as not only a wonderful friend, but as part of our family. We love you! You got this:)

  4. erin, as i think of the day of your surgery, i am reminded how upbeat you were. how encouraging you were to everyone else and not wanting to be a bother to anyone, which you weren't. you are very strong, and determined which will help you defeat this. your recovery nurse was in tears with us telling us how steve was trying to get you dressed to go home and how sweet you both were, knowing the fight that is ahead.she was so worried that you have no body fat to fall back on!!! it's good that we can laugh about the milk, considering the reason for it flying all over the or. he said they needed towels milk was flying everywhere. i think you could have supplied a small third world country with milk if you had the opportunity.

  5. Erin, I cannot even believe that you are having to push this elephant. I wanted to pass along a couple sites that might offer some support & information for your journey. The first,, lets you connect with someone else that has or is going through what you are going through. The other,, was mainly developed for caregivers, but has a lot of good information on it, and you can always use the contact link if you have any additional questions. I am praying for you and know that you will get through this because you have always had such a positive attitude. BTW - your daughter is beautiful! Take care!

  6. Erin...first of all, you are so brave! I can't even begin to express how sorry I am that you are going through this, but I know that of all people, you can get through it! Unfortunately, I have gone through something very similar to your journey with my mother, so please never hesitate to call upon me for not only my medical expertise, but also my understanding, which fortunately only few people have in these circumstances. Hope we can come visit you guys soon! By the way, here's the link to that blog I was telling you about with the woman who blogs her entire journey through mastectomy and reconstruction. It has a lot of pictures, which will help you to feel a little more prepared for what's to come...

    Please feel free to call/text me at any time (even in the middle of the night!) :)