I had a lump removed from my breast yesterday. Minor surgery they called it. I had asked if I could go back to work the same day when I was discussing it with the nurse after my doctor’s visit to book the shenanigans. She recommended that I take the day off from work in case surgery was running late. So I confidently thought I would be back to work the next day. I mean sure she had mentioned wearing a comfy bra for the large bandage, but somehow I did not think to question any further.
Then I show up for my appointment yesterday. I know their can be delays, so I am set. I brought my mommy as my chauffer (yes I call her Mommy, especially when I am being needy), 3 books and my ipad. I was out of their in less than 3 hours. Barely cracked a book, chatted with my mom the most. And home by 2:00 with the adrenaline wearing off and napping the rest of the afternoon.
The big shocker though is when they handed me this paper that says, I can’t shower for 3 days. No really that is what surprised me the most. That morning I had already realized that I would be unable to go to the gym for at least a week. I had made peace with that already. But the showering. That was a daily ritual. Their was no way that a sponge bath would ever compare to the cleanly standards I was used to incasing myself in on a daily basis.
Once I got called in the room was cold, because duh, I’m not really dressed. They gave me a warm blanky and started covering me up. They sterilized me with this pink cold liquid and I giggled like crazy, because a) it tickled and b) I was super nervous but trying really hard not to show it. Then they erected a blue wall between us and started to freeze me.
I asked how long the freezing starts to take to kick in, they said instantaneously, then I wondered why I was feeling another needle. Then I asked.
Are you cutting me?
And of course they are. The surgeon asked, concerned, if I could feel it, and well duh of course I could because I asked, but really it only felt like a needle, because it did, and I assured them of this, and she said that if it is painful to let them know and they will freeze more. But it wasn’t, sot everything continued.
After that was the truly weird part. The pushing and pulling and tugging part. Now this was truly strange. Because I was frozen, but the skin in other areas was not so I could feel the movement of the pushing and pulling and tugging. And my own arm was tied down so I dodn’t flail about in a panic and mess things up, although they were much nicer than saying that to me when they tied it down.
And then it came free. The lump from my boob. They asked if I wanted to see, and of course I said yes. It looked like another planet. It was strangely egg shaped, but had round bulbous bubbles comprising it. It was the colour of sinew much as I imagine its texture, but with a sheen of my blood.
They continued doing what they needed to do, cauterizing and stitching and then a rather large honking bandage was placed on me. I was still frozen and a bit shaky from my adrenaline confidence surge that got me through the hole bit without freaking out. So getting dressed afterwards was interesting.
The rest of the day was uneventful really. The follow ups with the people who where concerned for me. The inevitable call in to work to take more time off, as I had miscalculate the time needed for recovery, even though I had ASKED. I did. Truly I did. And I guess technically I could go back in. But the sheet says resume regular activity after 2 days, and no bathing for 3. And I like to be clean, so it really was the bathing that glued my resolve to stay home.
The moral of the story, is that when they say minor surgery what they really mean is minor for those performing. Anything that gets yanked and pulled and pushed out of you is going to take some time to recover from no matter what name they place on it.
P.S. I should also mention that you should not be freaking out about the lump thing. I have had them since I was 16 in various places in my breasts. I have had multiple ultrasounds and feel ups by professionals and at each stage have been assured that everything was fine. The reason for removal was that the specialist had offered to cut this one out, not all of them though, and have it biopsied. After thinking about it for some time, I thought I would much rather be 100% certain.