Monday, November 3, 2008

Surgery Day

Today the hybrid took me to Overlake Hospital in Bellevue where I "went under the knife." I'm home resting now and find that blogging is just as therapeutic as watching TV.

So, why was I at the hospital today? Well, back in August my doctor found a small lump in my right boob. Thinking it may be a cyst of some sort because it was so small (1.3mm), my first form of "treatment" was to go off alcohol, chocolate and COFFEE for nearly three weeks! Apparently, those delicious foods-of-the-Gods seem to aggravate cysts and make them more difficult to go away. Anyway, after those three horrible weeks, I went back and the bump was still there. So, off I go 2 weeks later to get a mammogram! The nice thing about mammograms and ultrasounds is that you get a picture right away - there's no waiting weeks to learn what they see. So, the "thing" was determined to NOT be a cyst but some sort of solid mass. Yikes. Well, just take it in stride, right? So, three more weeks to wait in order to get a consult with a breast surgeon. Finally, at that appt with the surgeon we determine that I should get this thing removed during a surgical procedure called an Incisional Biopsy. So, that is what happened today. Honestly, I didn't stress much about this whole situation. I've been through WAY WORSE. Not being able to eat or drink for 12 hours sucked but that's what you have to do in any type of surgery.

In my surgery, I declined the general anesthesia and opted for a local anasthesia. I have an extremely high pain tolerance and I am able to relax in some of the strangest situations, so a local anasthesia was allowed for me. Basically, I just napped for the 1/2 hour procedure. They had given me an IV which makes me feel better since I hadn't had water in a while and I got to wear those circulation booties (I actually really like those). While I waited to go into surgery, they gave me this blanket called a Baer Hugger. OMG - this thing is awesome! It's a plastic, disposable air mattress that fills with hot air. It kind of wraps around you when it inflates and it warms you almost instantly. I would like to get one of those for my cubicle at work since the office is always so freaking cold! The IV didn't leave to much of a hole in the back of my hand (I don't think it will even bruise) and the bitter taste in my mouth left from the anasthesia should go away by morning.

The incision looks to be about 1/2-3/4" long. Apparently, it's in a location where the scar will hardly be noticeable and it will heal quickly. I don't really care about scarring. After a car accident broke my pelvis in 2001 and left me with some really interstesting scars on my hips, I kind of enjoy being a contender in worst-scar competitions. Sometimes I win, but lately I've been shown-up: there's the the gal who has a foot-long scar on her chest, a gal that has a a pie-plate size circular scar on her stomach and a guy who has a cranial scar along the top of his whole head. Competition out there is tough!

So, the "mass" is now heading off to some lab to get checked out (the biopsy part). I learn what it is in a few days. I'm feeling pretty confident that it's not cancerous. Jerill says (he's a molecular biologist) that cells are always mutating in all our bodies and sometimes, a mutated cell, instead of being killed off by the healthy normal cells, will sit under the radar and will just start multiplying into a bundle of mutated-clone cells (that is what the mass of anything typically is in the body). Sometimes the mutated cells are cancerous, other times they're not. I'm sensing my "mass" is benign. Usually, when it comes to my health my intuition is dead on, so I'm just chilling out.

It's so nice to be able to eat chocolate and drink coffee. My words of advice to you -- do BSE's, get a physical every year and don't take chocolate and coffee for granted!


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