December 30th – Day before surgery!

This was the day I was dreading the most!

I’ve discovered that doctors (and nurses) avoid giving all the details of a procedure, so that (I assume) chickens people like me, will actually turn up.
They did inform me, that a needle would be inserted into the skin, next to the nipple, and a radioactive substance injected into the breast.
I was also informed, no numbing agent would be used, and that the procedure would be ‘uncomfortable’ at the least.

Amazingly enough though, even after hearing that, I still made it to the hospital for my appointment.
What could I do? I had to have this done, there was no if’s and’s or but’s about it. They needed to get this ‘tracer substance’ into my breast, so the surgeon knows where the breast naturally drains, and where the sentinel nodes are located, for removal tomorrow. 😦

So, feeling literally sick to my stomach, with nerves, I got ready for my appointment.
I’ll admit, I wanted to get my hubs to turn the car around every few feet and go back home. But I didn’t, and we finally made it to the ‘nuclear medicine’ department of radiology.

There was no wasting time. I was taken back to a consult room within seconds of arriving.
The radio tech asks me if I knew what was going to happen. I told her I did, and she proceeded to explain how this would all play out.
Apparently, I did not know what was going to happen.
1 needle next to nipple = bahahahahaha!

Nope…..lets try 4 needles! FOUR!!? That’s right…..she said F.O.U.R

I looked…the door was literally 2 feet away from me…yet I didn’t make a break for it.

I wanted to cry, I wanted to yell, I wanted that sentence full of obscenities running through my mind, to burst out of my mouth at the top of my lungs.
But, I just shook my head and said, with all honesty, ‘if they’d’ve told me this, I’dve stayed home’

The tech was sympathetic.
She continued, and asked me if I was allergic to ‘lidocaine’.
What?? Lidocaine, did she say??? They’re gonna give me lidocaine?
Ohhhh right now, I Lurrrve lidocaine!

So yup, four injections, each containing lidocaine…I was soooo not scared anymore!

Enter, the doctors. Another explanation on the procedure.
(I half listened, I was still thinking about the lidocaine)
We chatted a little back and forth and then they moved me to the procedure room.

I’d have to say the whole thing took five minutes or less, and most of that was getting me comfortable and them getting prepared.
I felt no pain, no particular discomfort.
One doctor administered the injections, while the other acted as ‘official hand holder’ LOL

When it was over, I was asked to walk around for 45 minutes, swinging my left arm. After which they would scan the breast to see if they could pick out the ‘glowing lymph nodes’

So, hubs and I decided to go to the cafe and get a little lunch.

I must’ve been a sight.
Totally crazy looking, walking around the place, arm swinging wide by my side.
I’d stop, sit, take a quick bite of my sandwich, a sip of coffee, then back up, walking round the table, arm swinging like crazy. 😉

It worked though. 45 minutes later, my lymph nodes were happily glowing on the screen.

Just for clarity:
The four needles were not injected next to the nipple.
They were inserted into the skin, outside the areola, at the 12,3,6 & 9 o’clock positions.
In my opinion, if I had been informed of this in the first place, I wouldn’t have been half as nervous. Any woman knows the most sensitive part of the breast is the nipple/areola area, to tell them a needle, without anesthetic, will be inserted there, is going to stress them out…majorly!
Try being honest!!!

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