I was first off the rank on 29 April, 2011. I had waited with nervous excitement for this day to arrive, much like Will and Kate...Yeah right. I have nothing in common with them at all. The date is just a coincidence.
The three week wait turned out to be exactly what I needed. It gave me time to process the diagnosis. Would you believe me if I told you that the husband and I were excited to get the whole process moving? When I walked into the hospital, I was a fit and healthy, young mum. I was ready to meet this challenge head on.
All of the staff were incredibly gentle and kind. I felt bad to be nervous because they were just so excellent at their job! It wasn't long before I was in a small room just metres away from the surgeon's knife. I was given a cannula and the drugs began to flow. It was at this point, and I don't recall any of it, that I began to blabber on about "Catcher in the Rye". I have no idea what I spoke about but when I saw the doctors the following morning they were still having a good laugh. Great...
So, around 10.30 I began to come around. The anesthetic hangover was nasty! I wanted to sleep, I wanted to stay away, I wanted to move, I didn't want to move...I felt like that for a good few hours. The poor husband got told by me, and I do remember thinking this was such an awful thing to say when he held my hand, "Please don't touch me. Just talk to me." What a cow of wife. How hard was I going to make this for him? Anyway, he and two other family members were at my bedside chatting away; I really enjoyed their conversation.
When I could sit up I saw that I had a compression bandage across my chest and under my arm. The worst of it though were the two tubes with bags on the end. These were drains! They were collecting fluid. Aside from gross, they were an absolute pain.
I barely slept that night. But, the next morning I made friends with the two other ladies that I shared the ward with. I very much regret not having shared contact details with them. You wouldn't have known we were in a hospital the way we sat there chatting. Before I said farewell though, the drains, thanks goodness, were to come out. No big deal, this was not going to be painful...
Do you think a 10cm, ribbed, plastic tube that has been lodged in your breast for 24 hours would hurt when it is gently pulled out? Oh man, it took my breath away. Even now when I think about it my shoulders curl forward! The second drain, although I took a minute to psyche up for that to be taken out, didn't hurt at all because my armpit and area surrounding was all numb. It still is now actually. I don't know when I'll get full feeling back.
So, I hugged and kissed my ward buddies and walked out of the hospital cancer free, drain free and I reckon a little stronger on the inside.