I went into the American Fork Hospital yesterday for a 45-minute minor surgical procedure, and left seven hours later. It all started with misinformation.
When the surgeon said we'd do this procedure--installing a port where the chemo can be dripped--it seemed like an easy thing. With this little device, blood samples can be taken and chemo can be administered in the same spot without so many pokes with needles. It's snuggled up next to my right collarbone, and has a small tube that goes up to a vein in my neck, requiring another small incision. But I'm ready for chemo now, which starts Tuesday, and depending on the results of chemo and follow-up surgery, it'll be in place if I have to have more chemo later. I'm told it takes about 15 minutes and local anesthetic to remove the device when I don't need it anymore.
We reported on time--at 7:30 a.m.--to the surgical services floor of the hospital, waited nearly an hour, and then as I was getting prepped, the charge nurse came in with abject apologies, saying he had misread the schedule and the person calling patients about the timing of surgeries had been given the wrong information. We could have come later because the surgeon had a meeting mid-morning and couldn't get to me until later anyway. He handed Roger a coupon good for $5 in the cafeteria. When he went down there for his mid-morning snack, Roger ordered a cheeseburger and got a croissant breakfast sandwich. More zigging and zagging. But we always carry books to read so we don't get stuck with People Magazine, or Sports Illustrated, or (horror of horrors) daytime television. We both read quite a few pages.
A chest x-ray, EKG, and blood samples taken, and at last they were ready for me. Sleepy-bye juice inserted into the IV, a metallic taste in my mouth, and on the way to the OR I was out. Then somebody was telling me to wake up. My throat and neck were sore. We didn't leave the hospital until after 2 p.m. because I wasn't waking up to their satisfaction. I capitulated when the nurse insisted I should have some caffeine. Normally for me that's a no-no. I just don't like what carbonated drinks do to me. But I took a few sips and Roger had the rest. Finally I was awake enough to go home. Having not had anything to eat all day, I wanted to stop on the way for something to eat.
At home I took a two-hour nap. That'll show 'em. I just needed to sleep it off.
Best part of the day: removing the medicated cellulitis wraps on my legs, having a shower and shampooing my hair. Second best part of the day: daughter came over and fixed my floppy hair.
Today's diagnostic test, a PET scan, determines which chemo cocktail I'll get. Monday I go for a chemo class to learn how to use the five prescriptions the oncologist gave me for managing the side effects. On the whole, I'd rather be promoting my new book.