So the decision has been made, well almost, the surgeon needs to say that he is happy to do the operation. Diane had provisionally booked me in for the Wednesday 18th January, but I need to see Mr Krisjen on Friday 6th January. Back to the breast institute we go, I will say everyone there is lovely and they make you feel very welcome, and until actually writing these blogs I hadn’t realised how often I was there.
On the 6th I think I was the most nervous I had been, odd really when you think about it, but every time I had been there, there had been some bad news, first cancer, then pre-cancer, then reconstruction but high risk, you are over weight ……. what if this surgeon decides he doesn’t want to do the operation, then what? A mastectomy and I wake up with no right breast, that was the only thing I was certain of, I wanted a right breast. Mr Kristjen was really nice, very nice kind eyes. He checked my understanding of everything so far from diagnosis to where we are at now, think I passed with flying colours. Now to get the breasts out for him, I was so nervous about this, I think being poked and prodded by the last not very nice surgeons had affected how I was feeling. But I need not have been, standing there with my hands on my hips, turning so he could see my back as well, yes he pinched but was more gentle, he could tell I was uncomfortable, so was very reassuring.
After he had examined me, he said those magic words “I am more than happy to do the operation for you and I do not foresee any problems” I was so relieved, I was actually happy and smiley the first time since the “it’s cancer”, not that I really want this operation but I need it, and I will wake up with a right breast. He then explained that I would need my left breast reducing as they couldn’t make the new one as big, he wanted me to be comfortable with the fact I would be about 2 sizes smaller. But he said he would be happy to have his team work on the other breast at the same time as he does the reconstruction, so it would all be completed within one operation, plus he would recreate me a nipple, all in one operation! He is now my hero, as I thought the nipple would come later. I now needed to visit the hospital photographer, they needed some before shots to work from, page 3 girl ?!? 😂
So the operation would be a long one, I would have my lymph nodes removed from my right breast and checked to see if the cancer had spread into these, I would be injected with a radioactive substance, then whilst under anaesthetic they would inject a dye, this enables the surgeons to locate the nodes and remove them safely. Apparently I may have a blue tint to my skin after this procedure, the anaesthetist explains they do this whilst you are under in case you have a reaction to it.
The day of the operation arrived, we were early, no surprise there, this is me after all. The admissions ward was busy, and I was second on Mr Kristjen’s list. Mr Kristjen arrived with his surgical registrar, they needed to mark me ready for the operation, so once again I stood there with my hands on my hips whilst he drew on me and took photo’s, well I can say its getting easier to do this. I also met the anaesthetist before the operation, and another lovely man, who knows how to put you at ease. After meeting everyone, I knew I had made the right decision, I had so much confidence in them, I was not frightened all.
The ward nurse took me down to become radioactive, I was injected in the right breast and it was painless, guess they get a bit of practice. The nurse said that I had a bed so my operation was going ahead but 13 others didn’t have a bed at that time, and may have their operations cancelled. They have this everyday. My wait wasn’t too long, I am taken down at round 10am by a chatty porter, in my fluffy new slippers, and very attractive hospital gown, which had to be opened to the front, but they also gave me one to put over this ( I am sure I look very attractive). A junior doctor, I say junior because he is VERY young meets me and takes me through to a room with a table/bed in, I lay on it and the nice (he was rather attractive too 🤔) anaesthetist took my fluffy slippers wanting to know if they had a names and if not we needed to name them ……. this is the last thing I remember.
I was down for 7 hours. 7 long hours for my loved ones, nice sleep for me 😉