Friday, January 27, 2012

An "Ode" to Disability...or rather, a LOATHE to Disability.

Today is the 24th day after my surgery. Today is also the day I decided to call Disability to check the status of my claim. Or rather, to find out when I would be receiving my first check.

I would like to note that during my last surgery, my first payment did not get to me until after my 8th week of being out of work. EIGHT weeks since my surgery was the FIRST time I was paid. Why, you ask? They stated that they did not receive the Employer Section of my paperwork. The same Employer Section that was faxed along with ALL the other items of paperwork. But I digress.

After finally being connected to the idiot that picked up my call after 10 minutes of waiting (the other two times I tried calling over the last week my call was automatically disconnected after hearing a recording that said, "All call center representatives are busy at this time. Please try again later." Click.) who seemed to have an attitude as soon as I gave my Social Security Number, I was told AGAIN that they were waiting on my Employer Section. The SAME section that was faxed ONCE AGAIN along with aaaaallllllllllll the other forms the day after my surgery.

I have no words.

Is this a joke?

I told this asshole that in all honesty, I could not even believe what I was hearing being that 7 months ago I was on Disability for the first time in my life, and was told the exact same thing...when it was a blatant LIE. This was now the second time I was ever on Disability and now the second time I was told my Employer Section was missing.

Now, I just need to ask. Is this only my life? I find it nearly impossible to believe that these kinds of things could only happen to me over and over again. Could it just be coincidence that one particular page in my packet of paperwork that was all faxed at the same time went mysteriously missing for the second time? I just can't seem to wrap  my head around this possibility.

Is it incompetence? Is it a conspiracy on Disability's part in order to delay paying? What would happen if I never called? Never receive the money OWED to me? I just don't understand.

Sometimes I just feel like it's not enough to be blessed with the curse of having Cancer. It's like everything that goes along with "living" while you're going through having the disease makes it almost impossible for you to survive it with a little sanity.

If you need to find me, I'll be talking to an inanimate object in my padded cell.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Follow-Up Visit

Last Wednesday, January 18th, was my follow-up visit since my surgery. It is with great pleasure that I can actually report that everything was (almost) as smooth as a baby's bottom. My appointment with my doctor was at 10:30am so they told me to arrive by 10:15am for my xrays. I was in and out of my xrays by a little after 10:20am and in the room waiting for my doctor around 10:45am. Miracle of Jesus? I think so.

When my doctor came in the room I met him with a grin from ear to ear telling him what a fantastic job he did with the placement of the incision through my tattoo. He smiled and said, "Yes, you reminded me for the fifth time to be careful with it as you were crying before we put you under..." I mean, I told the stupid lady I wasn't drugged up enough while being wheeled into surgery! What the heck did they expect.

He handed me a report of the operation which I don't remember getting from my follow-up the last time. He informed me that my margins were clean and that my xrays looked great - I am healing well and properly. As I read through the pages I saw the Pathology report. It stated that both masses were, in fact, Leiomyosarcoma. So, the "questionable" one they weren't sure about turned out to be Cancer as well. I'm glad he removed both.

When I asked how much of my lung he removed he said, "Minimal - about 2%." I was super happy. He originally told me it would be more like 5-10% before the surgery. Since my mother couldn't be at the appointment she armed me with a list of additional questions to ask. One being how much metal I had in my body in case of MRI's in my future. What I was unaware of this whole time (and perhaps it was foolish of me not to realize but whatev) was that I had/have many staples in both my lungs from the surgeries. He said during many or most surgical procedures people wind up with these. It still seems odd to me to have staples in there. He basically said they were like a normal staple you would see on a sheet of paper. I just find it weird to think about - that a staple is holding parts of my lung closed. Wouldn't the tissue rip? Clearly, I'm no doctor.

Because it seems stupid to me to travel into NY for my CT Scans following this being that the only reason I would do so is to meet with a doctor afterwards (and since my current doctor is my lung doctor, technically he wouldn't really be "examining" me by looking at my healed incisions), I asked if he would care if I went to the NJ Sloan from now on for my tests. God willing they will be clean moving forward and I won't have to worry about getting bad news delivered to me again. However, the only time I ever went to the Basking Ridge location was the CT that showed the tumor in my left lung...soooo, I don't have the fondest memories of that place. I can only hope this last year was the worst and it'll be better from here on out. One can dream, no?

As I was making my CT appointment for April, I made sure they were for my abdomen, pelvis and chest - the same CT's I've literally been receiving for over three years now. The girl (most definitely younger then me) behind the desk tells me that they were only ordered for my chest. Um, why?

I had a little tiff with some other older chick behind the desk when she stated with a slight attitude that it was all my doctor ordered after I calmly said that I had never had this issue before. "It's not an issue, I just need to clarify." I turned to my dad while she was still standing there and asked if I said anything with an attitude because I thought I was just simply asking a legitimate question. Why must there always seem be someone unpleasant that I wind up speaking or dealing with? I just don't get it. There is no way in hell I would accept only getting CT's done of my chest when the ONLY reason they found the tumor in my lung after almost three years of being Cancer free was due to a test that technically I didn't need. My Cancer was vaginal - technically I should've only been getting pelvic CT's done. My (extremely smart) doctor that performed my second surgery of the margins around where my initial tumor was removed in my vag ordered the additional CT's knowing that the lungs were an area it could possibly show up in again. There is no way in hell I would go without getting all three areas scanned. The additional scan saved my life - in my eyes, anyway.

After some discussion the three were ordered and my appointment was made for April 18th in NJ. Now comes the waiting period. Last time around I was hoping to start my "Cancer Free" weekly/monthly/yearly counting but clearly that didn't work out too well for me. Hopefully I'll be able to do it this time.

When New Year's 2011 came I said to my friends that this was going to be a good year - it had to be. At that time I thought 2010 wasn't the greatest of years and 2011 could only get better. Ha. I obviously don't have very good intuition when it comes to things like that. This New Year's I was hesitant to even think silently in my head that it had to be a better year. Look where it got me last year! Sometimes it's difficult to stay positive when it seems like you keep getting kind of beat down. I'm trying to look at this last surgery go-around with a smile...and I am, I really am. But what's next? I'm a little afraid to find out. But I guess it is what it is and I'll take it as it comes to me. What else can I do?

As my dad and I were leaving, I looked over and said how crazy it was that we were actually seen on time and leaving the hospital with most of the day left instead of spending hours upon hours in the waiting room. We were going down on an elevator with like, six other people. It stopped on two floors and then hit floor #2. No one got on, no one got off. The doors closed. A few seconds went by and they opened again...on floor 2. No one got on. The doors closed again. A few more seconds went by. The doors opened again...on floor fucking 2! Once again the doors closed, seconds went by, doors opened and we were still on the same floor. My foot was now in my mouth since I had obviously spoken too soon. Only me, people. Only me.

My dad and I along with a few others got off to wait for another elevator. Someone passed us and went in our elevator. Expecting to see them a few seconds later I told them it wasn't working...but wouldn't you know the doors didn't open showing the same people. They didn't open at all - because, of course, it was working now. Seeing an Exit Sign I decided to use the stairs being that we only had one flight to descend. I was greeted by someone that worked in the hospital telling me that no one was allowed to use the stairs unless they were staff. I wish I could've had an out of body experience so that I could've seen the look on my own face. Um, only staff was allowed to use the stairs? What kind of total bullshit is that? So, what if there's an emergency? I've never heard something so ridiculous in my entire life, I said with definitely not the most pleasant tone.

By this time my dad's temper was in full force and he was ranting and raving about how there's no way in hell it was possible that only people who worked in the hospital were allowed to use the stairs. We waited for what seemed like an eternity until finally, the same elevator we were originally in opened. You're kidding me, right? Needless to say it was now miraculously working and we were finally free. Well, hallelujah.

As for the healing process, I'm doing well. I still get pain from time to time but now it's just more so mending and tenderness rather then real pain. Except a few days ago I had another episode where I guess I slept wrong and woke up in an insane amount of agony as to where I could barely breathe. When I tried to take a deep breath a sharp, intense, shooting pain shot through my lung. This caused me to breathe as shallow as possible, causing my anxiety level to rise and so I immediately downed some percocets and xanax. My lovely morning breakfast cocktail of pills. Good morning!

Other then that, I attempted strapping on a bra and though it's not complete torture, it's still not a pleasant occurrence so I guess I'll have to wait a little longer to return to complete normalcy. I've also tried singing and that's not going too well. I can't hold out a note to save my life so I sound like crap but that will come back in time. In all honesty, compared to the last recovery this one is a walk in the park. I'm just looking forward to being able to drive myself (they tell you you shouldn't drive for 4 weeks in case of an accident - you could be held thank you!) places and start living normally again. I'm getting there.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pain, Pain, Go Away, Come Again Some Other Day...

Just a word to (and from) the wise: If you have lung surgery, wait a few weeks before sleeping on your stomach for the night. When you wake up you do NOT feel refreshed.

Because I am limited to the different positions I can sleep in without being in pain, my neck and lower back have decided to hate me the last few days. This is understandable. Since I normally always sleep on my stomach it's difficult for me to sleep any other way. It's just not as comfortable. I can't pull the blankets halfway over my head any other way. There's always some weird light either from the hall or my clock or outside or whatever that somehow finds it's way to my line of vision if I'm not sleeping on my stomach. Plus, I just feel more "tucked in" my way. Therefore, I prefer my normal way of sleeping to any other which makes it hard for me to fall asleep to begin with aside from dealing with being in pain as well.

Last night I decided that perhaps I was strong enough to sleep my favorite way. I propped myself up a little from the bed with my body pillow on my right side and was out in minutes. When I woke up around 5:30am to the sound of my dogs running to the kitchen for food, I found myself gasping for breath as if an elephant was sitting on my chest. I stood up and could barely breath. That was fun! I wound up using my lung machine thing and walking up and down the hallway in order to convince myself that my lung had not collapsed in my sleep.

I wound up taking a few more pain pills and fell back asleep practically sitting up, on my back. I am just now starting to feel like I can take deeper breaths again without difficulty. Needless to say, I highly doubt I will be sleeping on my stomach again anytime soon. This was the most pain I've been in since the surgery, in my lung.

Today marks a week since the surgery. It feels like time is already flying by. Most of the discomfort and pain I've been enduring has been coming from the incisions and up in my shoulder since there is a lot of pressure up there. This morning was really the first time I felt real pain in my lung. It is not something I would want to happen again so I guess I will just be stuck sleeping in an uncomfortable position, with my neck and lower back sore each day. I guess this is a fair trade-off for being able to breathe.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Healing Process.

As I sit down to write this, I am 5 days out from surgery. Last time, I would've been in the hospital this long so I can't help but be thankful that for the bulk of the last 5 days I have been on my couch rather then trapped at Sloan. I am also thankful that most of the time I have been home, I have been mobile and able to do a few other things aside from staring at the TV day in and day out. Last time, I thought I had somehow woken up in Hell and it was made to look like the inside of my house.

Because the weather has been ridiculously nice the last few days, my dad asked if I wanted to get out of the house for a little and join him in going to the food store yesterday. I know, I couldn't contain my enthusiasm for this a-mazing outing either. But alas, I managed to stop jumping up and down in excited hysterics and threw on some clothes that didn't make me look like complete trash.

As I looked in the mirror, prepared to slap on another coating of moisturizer on my chemically peeled face, I noticed that the peeling was almost gone in most places. Good thing because I was starting to wonder if I should call Sloan and tell them I needed some skin graphs aside from my xrays on the 18th. Now let me be clear - this is 5 days of nonstop peeling. And when I say nonstop, I mean it. I have been doing nothing but coating my face with moisturizer and Vaseline since I've been home. That's pretty bad.

The ride in the car wasn't super horrific but little bumps weren't my dad likes to jam on his breaks CONSTANTLY so the jerking back and forth wasn't the best either. Oh well, at least I got out for a little although I'm not sure if I plan on doing it again anytime soon.

The crinkling in my neck is completely gone - woohoo! Whatever that was, I hope it doesn't come back. How weird.

I was able to take my first full shower earlier today. I had to do most of the washing with my left arm as it's still extremely difficult to lift my right one. Other then being totally out of breath from washing my hair and shaving my legs, it was great. I finally took the bandaging off my tattoo completely - not only because it's healing but because my skin is starting to (EW) rip due to having that freakin' medical tape on it all the time. I want to puke just thinking about it. There is a small wound above the incision from just that - as you can see:

But seriously - how happy am I that the incision is right inside the lines of my mic?! It'll heal as a scar but so what. At least it's not completely across the entire thing or going vertically or something. This makes me very happy.

As for the other incisions, the tape is going to be on them for a while. There are large wounds under there and I don't want to mess with that. The last time I waited till the last possible second to take that off. Yuck.

So far, so good, I guess. Little things still obviously hurt that I probably shouldn't be doing. For example, my dog Lily jumped on my bed to sleep with me yesterday morning and because she was on my right side, I guided her - legit guided, not lifted - to my left and wound up paralyzed for a few seconds from the pain. I guess I should just get used to trying to take it easy for a few weeks even though I feel a lot better then I did at this time the last time around. Until then, pj's and TV-watching it is.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lung Surgery Take II & all that Follows...

It is now Friday, January 6th, 2012 - three days since my surgery...and I can honestly say that although I'm in a lot of pain and discomfort, there is still a small smile on my face. My doctor was able to remove both masses laparoscopically! Of course this was the first question I asked after being woken up from my anesthetic slumber and was so extremely happy when they said that no, I did not have my entire lung cut open again. It is probably one of the best pieces of news I have ever received.

Starting from "the beginning" - we left around 5:30am on Tuesday (1/3/12) morning to head into the city and arrived just before 7am. Long story short, I was freaking out because no one was giving me anything to help me relax. I kept informing the nurses that were coming in and out of my "room" (more of a bed separated from other beds by sliding about privacy...) that I needed something to take the edge off before I was to go absolutely insane. The funny thing is, most of the nurses that were coming in to hook me up to something or obtain another piece of information or whatever else, remembered me from June - haha. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I guess it was good since they understood my anxious "condition" but at the same time, I'm sure they weren't excited to see the crazy chick with a Tourette's mouth back again.

There was a new woman from Pain Management that came to see me. When I explained to her that I needed to be as knocked out as possible without actually being knocked out prior to my epidural and being wheeled into surgery, she basically gave me a hard time. Bitch, I'm telling you what I need in order for me to keep myself from stabbing you in the jugular. Low and behold, she didn't give me enough. I was totally aware of what was happening when they were putting in the epidural, of course crying the entire time. I was aware when I said goodbye to my parents as I was being wheeled down the hall into the surgery room, of course, crying. I was still aware when they asked me to move over onto the actual operating table with my doctor looking at me as I was hysterically crying telling him that I didn't want to know what was going on right now...and getting in one more comment about please doing his best to take them out with a camera and not ruining my tattoo. Haha. I enjoy my slight doctor pep-talks.

Here I am after being stabbed to death...crying...

I might have been crying even more because they told me that they were running a little behind and that I probably wouldn't be going into surgery until 10:30am. I never understand this. I was asked to be at the hospital at 7am. One would think that I would be the first or second surgery. Apparently not! The thing is, if you're going to make me wait there, KNOWING I have major anxiety, then do what I tell you to do and give me as much sedatives as you can so that I'm at least relaxed and not wanting to claw my way up the walls. They should try to make you feel as comfortable, both mentally and physically, as possible. Whatever.

I remember one of the nurses saying my name and telling me to wake up, that surgery was over. I opened my eyes and asked, "Did they get them out with the camera?" She said yes. I was ecstatic. I know that I wasn't in as much pain waking up this time around and I wasn't propped on my side like the last time. My dad took this picture when my parents were allowed to come in. I don't think I look half bad for being cut open...then again I'm probably glowing with my good news...

Obviously this was the most important thing. I knew my recovery wouldn't be complete Hell and torture and that I wouldn't be in the hospital as long. I wound up only staying over one night and both my (male) nurses were great and extremely helpful. They actually kept telling me I should be out by early afternoon on 1/4 so when I was told that I was scheduled for a follow up chest xray at 3pm I was pissed. I kept trying to remind myself to be thankful of what transpired but I just wanted to go home at that point. Lucky for me, they removed my catheter in the morning on Wednesday, my chest tube in the early afternoon and finally my epidural in the early I didn't have to sit there with tubes coming out everywhere. I was getting a little nervous though because I couldn't pee for the longest time!

Once they remove your catheter, they put a "hat" - this thing that fits inside the toilet so they can monitor your peeing to make sure you're actually going - inside the toilet. My mom stayed over with me and I kept trying to go but nothing was coming out. I actually told her to go in there for me because I was scared they were going to try to put the damn catheter back in! Good luck with that, nurses. You'd never get that thing back in there.

Other then taking forever to pee, I was numb again - except not only was I numb on my right side, I was numb (AGAIN) on my left side. Umm...why? That was the first thing I asked my doctor when he came to visit me on Wednesday morning. I mean, my left side is still numb from the last surgery but this was as if I got surgery on that side once again. Basically, the entire "trunk" of my body was numb. My sides, my boobs, under my arms, my back and down to my belly. Lucky for me, the numbness on the left side lessened a bit as the day went on and it's back to being the regular sort-of-numb that it's remained since June. My doctor was unable to explain why my left side was numb, by the way. Cool. Glad there is no reason for this.

The meds they used for the epidural were different this time around...and I wound up having a weird reaction to them. As I'm sure anyone that's ever received an epidural knows, you get this pump that you can press every so often to control your own meds. For me, once again, the epidural did nothing to help with the pain - it's just an annoyance. But they always tell you it's helping even if you don't think it is, so I do what they tell me and press the button. Well - I wish I got a picture of my face. As soon as I started using the epidural, my face turned legit tomato red and was itching me like crazy. Only my face. What the fuck. I looked like I had fallen asleep in the sun with baby oil on my face. It was SO red.

I knew the epidural was causing this weird reaction on my face - and it was also causing me to be crazy nauseous. They let you have liquids as your first "meal" in order to see if you can keep anything down due to all the meds and whatnot. Welp, I violently puked up all the ices and jello and whatever else I consumed the morning following my surgery. I didn't tell my nurse because I didn't want them to freak out. I knew it was just the meds that weren't agreeing with me. I was still pumping the epidural since my shoulder was killing me and the same medication they gave me during the last lung surgery to relieve some of the pressure could only be administered every 6 freakin' hours. So, when lunch time rolled around and I had some actual food...I knew that was going to come up too. And my friends, it did. Gross.

I decided that perhaps I should stop using the epidural after that. I probably stopped pumping it around 11am. I could've stood on the side of the street and used my face in place of a stop sign it was so red and coupled with the puking...enough was enough. After a few hours the redness started to go down a little and I wasn't feeling as sick. Again - I didn't tell my nurse. Whoops...

Hey! You gotta do what you gotta do to get the hell out of there! I guess you can see my Rudolph nose a little in this picture. This was before my liquid breakfast:

After they took out the catheter, I had my mom take some pictures of my war wounds. The three incisions that were made are actually a lot bigger then I thought they would be. I guess I was assuming they would be like my last laparoscopic surgery on my pelvis...boy, was I wrong. The four little ones on my stomach are so tiny in comparison to these.

The pictures below show the incisions but my body is also cluttered with other markings - I guess my doctor mapped out what he might have had to do should the laparoscopic surgery not have been an option. If those markings are any indication of what could've been...then HALLELUJAH I wound up with the first option.

The first incision point is under my armpit basically, the second is on my back where my lung is and the third is through my tattoo. As you can see, they're not super small (granted, they're nowhere near what my other one was though).

While I was in the hospital, my chest tube was all bandaged up and I didn't know what damage had been done to my tattoo. I was SUPER nervous about this. When the nurse took out my chest tube on Wednesday she said that it looked as good as it could be...but I didn't see it until today when I took off the bandages to try to take a shower (which I still couldn't since the incision is still oozing...gross). It really is as good as it could be and I'm SO happy about it! My doctor stayed right in the lines, haha. It's a thick incision but it's small - and will heal right along with the lines of my tattoo. I'm so relieved. It's a great feeling to know that something that will be on your body forever wasn't ruined during an unwanted surgery.

Anyway, my follow up xray's were of course, late. I didn't get them done until around 4pm on Wednesday so my mom and I just decided to stay a little while longer, have some dinner and then leave to avoid rush hour traffic back home. I wound up arriving home around 8pm on the 4th and I was never happier to be in my own house. This surgery definitely ran a lot smoother then the last one but it's still stressful and upsetting.

With that being said, I'll touch upon some of the lovely side effects that only I would wind up with. First of all, my red face finally returned to it's normal color...but for the last three days it has been PEELING non-stop. Like seriously, it looks and feels as though I decided to get myself a chemical peel. Are you freaking kidding me?! Layer upon layer upon layer of my skin has peeled off! I don't even know how to say it without laughing about it because it's just total ridiculous.

I have been lathering my skin with lotion and straight Vaseline and it is still peeling. I just don't get it! What the hell is this from? Is it from the epidural? My mom suggested that maybe it was from the anesthesia - like, the mask they put over your mouth. Ok, well if that's true then why is my ENTIRE face peeling? This is something I plan on asking my doctor during my follow up visit on 1/18.

Another weird side effect I have...I don't even know how to explain. I discovered this last night as I was rubbing my shoulder up to my neck since it's still killing me. Even as I try to explain the feeling of this I think to myself that I must be completely out of my mind, but there is no other way. Basically, right below my hair line behind my ear on the right side of my neck, feels and sounds as though there is a small layer of...plastic? Under my skin.

It crinkles.

I'm laughing typing this. I don't know what the fuck to say other then I muted my TV last night, put my neck close to my dad's ear and told him to listen. When I press into my skin under my hair line it legit crinkles as though you're touching a piece of some flimsy plastic, ha! It also feels like it...under my skin. It's SO weird! It was really freaking me out last night. All I kept thinking was that perhaps some of my spinal fluid like, leaked out into my neck and was fermenting in there or something.

Clearly, I'm not a doctor. I decided to wait until trying to explain this to my doctor or one of his Fellows at Sloan...if for nothing else then saving myself from looking like a lunatic. It has gotten a little better throughout the day today and doesn't feel as weird as it did last night. But seriously - what the fuck.

Other then the chemical peel I didn't order for myself and the plastic that was inserted under my skin during surgery, the other things are pretty normal. My skin is starting to feel tight and hurts. I can barely lift my right arm without the assistance of the other one. My breathing is a little labored and I can feel a little gurgling in there. But these are all normal healing processes that I'm just going to have to deal with.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with how things turned out. My paperwork states that I can't drive for 4 weeks but I guess I'll see how I'm feeling in two weeks when I go for my follow up visit. I'm hoping to be able to take a shower tomorrow which always makes you feel like more of a human. I've been using these hospital bath wipes in place of real soap and water which isn't the best feeling in the world...and my dad helped me wash my hair today. So, little by little I'm starting to feel more normal although I'm sure I'm going to be in pain for a while. But that's fine. It won't be anything like it was the last time and for that, I'm super thankful.

Because my mother and I were so exhausted when my doctor came to see me, we didn't ask how much of my lung he actually removed. We also didn't ask if the pathology reports were back yet. I'm sure on the 18th I'll obtain this information but I will be curious to see if both masses turned out to be Leiomyosarcoma and how much of my lung I still have left.

I'll update more as my recovery goes on.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Countdown to Doomsday.

I'm sure I've used the term Doomsday or D-Day more then a few times during the course of my journey with Cancer. However, I feel that this might really be the most emotionally trying surgery I'll have had for a few reasons. One, I'll be losing more of my lung this time then the last time. Two, I have no clue what type of surgery I'll wind up getting until I wake up from it. Three, there's a strong possibility due to the location of the small tumors that I will wind up with another major surgery. Four, knowing the torturous recovery I went through less then 7 months ago (that I'm still suffering from), the possibility of having to relive that all over again is causing me to take more then a few xanax every day.

I've said it once and I'll say it again - it's the not knowing part that makes it the most difficult to deal with. At least when you know exactly what is going to take place, even if it's the worst possible thing you can think of, you still have time to mentally prepare. When you don't know, you don't know what to do. Do you pray and hope and wish for the best possible scenario and then have it be a total slap in the face if it turns out the other way? Do you just prepare for the worst even when everyone around you is telling you not to?

The "problem" with me is that I'm a realist. I've said it before that some people may take this as me having a negative side but I do not feel that way at all. For me, it's easier to examine all possible outcomes and prepare for the worst but hope for the best rather then expect the best and feel totally devastated when it doesn't turn out the way I want. Of course I am hoping for a slight miracle - that they can be removed laparoscopically (and that my tattoo won't be ruined...). But what if they can't? I'll wake up from surgery and hear that they had to cut me open again and I'll be heartbroken. Just the thought of having to go through that horrible recovery AGAIN kills me...but I feel that it's better to be prepared for that possibility then to pretend it won't happen.

I received a call on Friday, 12/30, from Sloan telling me that I need to be at the hospital at 7am. I'm quite happy with this because I'm hoping I'll be the first surgery of the day. The last time I had to be there much later in the morning/afternoon and they didn't wind up taking me into surgery until like 4-5pm because they were running behind. Do you know how horrible that is? You can't eat after midnight the night before plus you have all these terrible thoughts running through your mind all day. So basically, you're on the verge of insanity. I don't know why they do that to people.

Side note: the person from Sloan that called me was some Joe-Shmoe off the block and not a nurse. Not that I don't know what to expect but I did have a few questions that I could've used an answer to. She told me she couldn't answer them. Um, is it me or would you think a nurse would call telling you what to do to prepare, what to bring, what to wear, answer questions, etc.? Once again, maybe I'm asking for too much. I feel like I'm always asking for too much when it comes to medical things. Like, is it too much to ask that my Medicaid Representative call me back after four consecutive days of leaving messages and faxing her? Apparently. Someone finally called me back after the 4th day stating my Rep was out for the week. How nice. Perhaps her voicemail should've stated that. Whoops - there I go again. Asking too much. Anywho...

At least this time hopefully I'll be taken right in, start my recovery sooner, be able to eat/drink something sooner and GOD WILLING be able to leave that fucking hospital as soon as possible. I've come to both love and absolutely loathe Sloan-Kettering. I know I'm in the best hands but at the same time just the thought of trekking into the city for doctor appointments, blood work, injections, surgery, etc...makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.

By this time tomorrow I'll know what kind of recovery I'm looking at. Again, I'm hoping/praying for the best outcome - if only for the sake of my boobs. If I need another full-fledged-cut-me-open-bend-my-ribs surgery the Ladies are going to be on their own for quite a while because I'm honestly not sure when the next time they'll be able to reunite with a bra will be. For all the women out there who are well endowed, I know you feel my pain. It's not easy living a bra-less life.

Anyway, in preparation I've cleaned my entire house, my room is spotless, my bedding is in the dryer so I can climb into a fresh-sheets bed tonight and I've packed a bag for the hospital that will allow me to stay for one-five nights. I will be bringing a nice supply of xanax

I just want to get it over with already. My next entry will either be an incredibly happy or incredibly angry one. Hoping for the first option. Tonight I will be enjoying my "Last Supper" of sushi and hibachi and I have scheduled a massage for myself after that. There's nothing more I can really do. Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst. Hear we go again. I'm hoping to kicking off 2012 with something that I can be happy with rather then upset about...I guess we shall see tomorrow.