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Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm A Free Woman

Today was the day! I finally got my drains out. It wasn't exactly pleasant, but their out and I am never looking back. I honestly wasn't expecting to get them out today. My fluid was pretty much at the same level it had been a week ago. I was very disappointed walking into Dr. Geter's office today. Leaving the drains in meant that chemo would be postponed an entire week. That was something I really didn't want to deal with. I was mentally prepared to have my first chemo treatment this week. One down would mean only 7 more to go. When Dr. Geter came in, I think he could sense my frustration. He explained that because my fluid level was remaining the same, he felt it would be OK to go ahead and take the drains out. What!? Take the drains out!? I'm not prepared for this today! He went on to explain that leaving the drains in to long could cause an infection. I certainly didn't want that!

Dr. Geter left his nurse to do the dirty work and I immediately went into panic mode. I could hardly stand to have her touch me before I was flinching and breathing heavily. Before Dr. Geter had left the room he told me he could give me a local anaesthetic to make it less painful. However, he said that most people prefer to just have the drains taken out quickly rather than be poked with a needle. Sorry, poke me with the needle. I had the nurse go back and get Dr. Geter so he could numb me up. It certainly helped, but it didn't take away all the pain. I was instructed to take a deep breath in and out on the count of three. I know I breathed in, I'm just not sure I ever exhaled. When she pulled out the drain, it made this popping sound on the inside and then I could literally feel it being pulled out of my breast. I know, it sounds weird because it is weird. Ryan was with me and I'm not sure he took a breath throughout the whole ordeal either. I did hear him give a big sigh when it was over. After she did one side, she had to go and do the other. I personally think they should have one person on each side so that they can both be done at once! I'm glad it's over to say the least.

Now comes the hard part. Ryan and I will leave for St. Louis at 7:00 in the morning. I have an appointment at Barnes at 1:00 for an echo cardiogram. This is to make sure that my heart is healthy enough for the Adriamycin. If all goes according to plan, I will start my first chemo treatment on Wednesday at 11:00. I'm feeling a bit anxious and I am sad that I have to leave Charley every two weeks, but I know the benefit of it all will pay off in the end. I will try and update you as often as possible.

I do have one very specific prayer request: Please pray that I would not experience one ounce of nausea during my treatments. I can handle fatigue and an achy body, but I can't handle nausea. I know that God is bigger than any anti-nausea medicine. I don't expect chemo to be a walk in the park, I just need it to be as gentle on my body as possible. Thank you prayer warriors and Praise God for His promise to us!


The Womacks said...

We're praying that things will go just as you're hoping, Mel! Be strong, you're stronger than this, God has made you that way!
Love you

James said...

Melody, thanks for contacting me on my caring bridge site. I was just sharing with my husband how nice it is to be able to relate to another breast cancer survivor. I read through all your post and related to so much of it. I was glad to hear I wasn't the only one whose back killed her during expansion. What are your chemo drugs called? I needed some medication adjustments after my first treatment, let me know if I can answer any questions about the side effects. I have loved all my drs. at Barnes, I will be praying for you tomorrow. My husband & I got the Narnia series on tape to listen to on the drive & watching movies on the way home kept me distracted from the nausea. God Bless, Leslie