Thursday, July 31, 2014

With surgery a week away, here are all the ways I'm pregaming

With surgery a week away, here are all the ways I'm pregaming :

1) I’m getting my drink on!  So it turns out that you aren't allowed to drink for the whole week prior to surgery. This ordinarily wouldn't present a problem for me, as I'm not really much of a drinker (or at least I'm not until someone tells me I can't, then suddenly drinking seems like the most important thing in the world). At the very least it would have been a nice option for calming my nerves in the days before surgery - plus my best friends are coming up from New Jersey this weekend (how amazing are they?)  and I definitely envisioned consumption of cocktails as part of the weekend. So upon hearing the news that I would not be allowed to drink for the week leading up to surgery, I had to figure out when I could imbibe in my final cocktail. I sat with the nurses at the breast surgeon’s office studying a calendar, counting the days backward from surgery, and hoping to determine that my friends’ visit was far enough from surgery that I could sneak in a cocktail. It was determined that I absolutely *could not* drink, but, (while not recommended) I could maybe get away with smoking a cigarette.  After the disappointment set in, I started texting local friends and pulled together an eclectic hodgepodge of people to go out with me for drinks last Friday, while I still could. Now between my bum knee (you may recall my recent fall/knee injury) and my impending breast surgery, I've been feeling like quite the old lady. As a result, I purposely picked a bar in close proximity to my house, that offered an early bird special, and the fabulous lottery game - Keno. I told my friends they all needed to wear orthopedic shoes (to match my sensible walking shoes) and carry a cardigan. I ordered a Side Car thinking it sounded very old fashioned (I was trying to play up the whole old lady thing!) and tried my hand at a round of Keno. It turned out that the Side Car was gross and I lost at my first ever game of Keno. It was decided that the next time we all go out, the plan is to make an appearance the the bar where all the healthy girls with big boobs go. Although I'm not sure where that would be. Any suggestions for such a place in the Boston area?

2) I’m getting my hair did! I also learned recently that post surgery, I won't be able to take a real shower for about two weeks. I'm sure this will be the least of my worries while I'm recovering, but I want to make sure my hair looks decent. So, I have scheduled mother/daughter bonding blow outs for me and my mother for the afternoon before my surgery. I might feel like crap, but at least my hair will look good post-op.

3) I’m planning my post-op wardrobe!  When I had my pre-op appointment with the breast surgeon, the nurse practitioner talked up this shirt they were going to give me for post surgery. It offers everything a mastectomy patient apparently needs (pockets for your drains, buttons in the front, made of a breathable fabric) and because of corporate sponsors, I could get my very own specialized shirt for free!  She then pulled out two of these fashion marvels for me to choose from. One was burgundy nylon and totally not my style, the other was this one:

It's not hideous, in fact it kind of reminds me of a Yankees jersey. And to be honest, it is really comfortable...but it's not something I would ordinarily wear. So since you, my readers, provided me with such awesome suggestions when I requested a pre-op song, I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas how I can, in the words of Project Runway's Tim Gunn, "make it work".

4) Of course I'm doing (and will be doing) lots of less glamorous pre gaming activities as well, like going to three doctors appointments, managing a couple of panic attacks, and scrubbing with chlorhexidine.  But mostly it’s been life as usual around here as I prepare. You know... dealing with a tantruming 3 year old, learning more about Mine Craft from my 8 year old than I ever wanted to know, and hanging in the sun every chance I get. All in all, I'm feeling good and ready for game day.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


1. Help me select a pre-op song.
With surgery a month away, the thing I find myself fearing the most is the moment when my family kisses me goodbye, I'm put on a gurney, and rolled off to the surgical room - alone. So I'm trying to think of a way to lighten the mood. (Yes, I've seen the viral videos and no, I'm not going to have my medical team break out into song and dance. Because quite frankly, am I the only one who thinks asking doctors to learn a synchronized dance is a lot to impose on already busy professionals? Not to mention I wouldn't even know how to broach the subject with them.) Having said that, I do like the idea of music. So I'm looking for suggestions for the perfect pre-surgery song.  I want something that will make me feel assertive and strong (think Eye of the Tiger.) Front runners right now include: Police and Thieves by The Clash, Raw Power by The Stooges and Ready, Steady, Go by Generation X. However, don't feel you have to limit your suggestions to punk songs. It can be gangster rap, an 80’s hairband, a song with lyrics ironic to the occasion, your favorite workout song, or if you know me well maybe a song tied to a good memory together. I would love your suggestions, as you my reader/friends, have been such an important part of this journey that listening to a song suggested by you will remind me of my support system.
2. Help with my kids.
The  thought that has been keeping me up at night is worrying about not being able to care for my daughters while I'm at the hospital and during the weeks that I'm recovering. I really don't want them to look back at this summer with sadness. So what I need from you this time friends, especially those of you who are local, is to let me know concrete days and ways you are available to help us out.  Can you take them to the beach, to a museum, a local park, or even out for pizza?  I need them to be able to look back at this summer as a time of joy.