Writing this is going to be somewhat difficult since my vision is mostly blurry. But here it goes! I’m thankful for auto correct…
A huge thank you (once again!) to my family for taking such special care of me and to our friends for all of the thoughts, prayers and well wishes. It means the world to me.
As many might have guessed from the picture I posted on Tuesday, I had (another) surgery last week. If you lost count, that’s my fourth surgery in three years. I know, right? Crazy. I kept pretty quiet about this surgery because I was trying to forget about it. The more people I told, the more I had to admit it was happening. I actually kept calling it a “procedure.” As if changing the word would eliminate my anxiety.
I required surgery to fix an issue I had/have with my eyes. I’ve always had astigmatism, but it had improved a lot over the years. Enter cancer. My body took on the biggest threat(s) – the tumour, surgeries and chemo – and stopped taking care of my eyes. Literally one day, out of the blue, I started seeing double. Not all the time, but enough that it was causing problems.
Although this surgery is considered minor compared to my others, it held its own risks. The surgeon cut into the white of my left eye, which they describe as similar to skin, pulled two muscles back and sewed my eye back up. (Yes, you’re put fully to sleep.) I knew it wouldn’t be as painful as any of my other surgeries, but I couldn’t help but think… what if I go blind?! What if he slips or there’s an infection?!
Blessedly, the surgery went well. I hadn’t intended to look at my eye so soon, but I peeked before we even left the hospital (surgery ended at 3:45pm and I was home eating pizza by 6:15pm. Lol.).
Friends, it’s wasn’t great. My eye was literally dripping blood for the first 24 hours. It’s still a ball of red – no white. At times, it feels as if there are 100 eyelashes in my eye. It’s sore, only open about halfway (even though I think it’s normal) and waters almost constantly. I’ve been given antibiotic eyedrops and they’re working… albeit very slowly. I’m brutally congested, which is a result of the eyedrops. I can’t win!
I’m proud of how I handled/am handling this surgery. It could have gone either way – it was possible that I was going to have a complete mental breakdown. I could feel it coming like pressure on a gate – if I pushed enough, it was going to open and a floodgate of fear would come rushing through. Instead, I was almost in a state of disbelief. I couldn’t believe I was going to be cut into. Again.
I was sent to the final holding pen to wait to go into the OR. I had to wait on my own, which I hated. I would have liked to take mumsie with me. At one point I was with the anesthesiologist and two nurses. They go over tons of info with you and there they were, listed all in a row – my surgeries. One by one they shook their heads. The anesthesiologist was curious about my genetics and asked if I was BRCA and I confirmed that yes, I’m BRCA1.
One of the nurses was standing next to me as we were waiting to walk down the hall into the OR. I mumbled to myself, referring to needing another surgery, “this is bullshit.” I didn’t expect her to reply, but she did. She said, “you’re right. This is complete bullshit that you have to do any of this. And at your age.” I looked at her, kind of shocked. She sounded pissed off! And I liked it. That made two of us! I said thank you, took a deep breath and walked with her into the room.
The medical team was amazing. They greeted me with smiles as I walked in, which made me feel comfortable and gave me courage. When I saw the table I said, is this it? They said yes and I was shocked. It was a plain old gurney. No sections on the sides for my arms to be taped down. No blood pads along the bed for me to lay on. That gave me hope. I stared up at the ceiling as the team prepped me and told myself, you got this you own this surgery this pain can’t hold a candle to what you’ve been through you’re a beast you’ve smelled your skin burning and felt your blood fall down your back you’ve had to deal with drains you got this you’re gonna be fine.
And I am fine, thank God. But I’m also done. I really hope it’s a long time before I have another surgery. I need a break! And I think I’ve earned it.
Fun facts / answers to questions I’ve gotten a lot:
- The surgery took about a half hour.
- I’m super sensitive to light.
- My eye still has a stitch in it, which will dissolve over time.
- My eye also has a lump in it. I don’t know why. I just know that it’s normal and it will go away. And if it doesn’t… they’ll fix it. I didn’t ask how.
- Marc the hot faux anesthesiologist (featured in the blog post, Love in the OR) was there that day. Despite aggressive encouragement from mumsie, I did not ask to see him.
- The first concern the doctor has for any patient who has had cancer is that the change in vision is caused by a brain tumour. That was ruled out due to a clear brain scan I received a little less than a year before.
I was a good girl at pre-op, so I got a sticker. 🙂
Her face says it all… surgery sucks. (we were on our way)
Being all regal and stuff.