The Morning of My Lumpectomy
The day of the surgery we arrived at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. The first order of business was to go to the Nuclear Medicine department and let the Gamma Ray Machine help ferret out the lymph nodes under my arm that needed to be tested. This is my rudimentary understanding anyway. They injected my breast with what felt like battery acid and then let me rest while the machine zapped me with invisible rays. After that, they placed me in a fancy high-backed wheelchair that reminded me of Stephen Hawking and wheeled me over to have a six inch wire placed in my breast to assist the surgeon with the tumor location. They place the wire by using the mammogram machine.
The Day of My Lumpectomy
Not having had any food or water for many hours, I almost passed out during the mammogram which I was shocked hurt as much as it did. The actual surgery part didn’t require my active participation so that part was fine. The surgeon took three nodes as well as the tumor and surrounding tissue. It will take a week for the results which will then indicate a path of treatment. I feel strong. I have two three inch incisions, one under my armpit and another on the breast where they removed the tumor. They put some sort of space-age clear bandage on the wounds which will dissolve in ten days thereby eliminating any need for stitches. The Percocet has been working its magic.
I thought of Rowan’s Hell’s Angels phobia when I was leaving the hospital in my Stephen Hawking wheelchair. As I passed fellow wheelchair bound patients, I had a strong inclination (which I ignored) to flash them the universal motorcycle greeting of the inverted peace sign.