Well, Sean certainly has done a fine job keeping you updated on the medical stuff so far. Here is today's news.
Three of my Jackson Pratt drains were removed today. I won't say it was fun, but it is a relief to have them gone. The doctor who took them out is so sweet, but he tricked me a little. He pulled the first one, which was only about 4 inches long and completely painless. Then he said "That wasn't bad, was it?" I said "No" and he proceeded to pull drain #2 which was about 12 inches long and really rather painful. He apologized, but there was a lot of deep breathing and pressing the button on the pain pump before I was ready for drain #3 to be pulled.
Last night was OK. I spiked a fever (101.5 deg F) after having my port accessed yesterday so they were concerned about an infection (highly unlikely due to their super-duper sterile medical practices here, ha!). The doctor ordered a stat blood culture at 9 pm. The phlebotomist showed up at 1 am and I woke up as she was tying the tourniquet around my left forearm. She said "You've only got one usable vein here and it's this big one on the underside of your wrist. It's really deep and rubbery, so this is going to hurt a lot." A this point, I became wide awake and reached over and took off the tourniquet and said "No thanks. I have to have blood drawn in the morning and I'm not sacrificing my last vein to you." So she stormed out of the room declaring "Well, I'm the only one here tonight so it's me or nobody." I proceeded to go back to sleep.
At 4 am I was woken by the surgical resident on-call and asked why I had refused the blood culture. I told her that I'm like a human pincushion here. I get shots, blood draws, blood sugar tests, etc. all day long and I grin and bear it. Ask anyone. But if some incompetent (I didn't say this to her) phlebotomist says I only have one usable vein (which is crap) and that she's going to hurt me, I'm not going for it. A nurse can draw my blood instead. So the resident says she'll inform my surgical team of my decision. I later find out this is the same on-call resident who told Sean it was OK that I had thrown up all my bowel prep solution the night before my surgery. Which by the way, was very NOT OK according to Dr. Sugarbaker.
So today I claimed victory. I discussed it with my surgical team on morning rounds and they said since my fever was gone, I didn't need the blood culture. And they said my future daily blood draws can come from my port line when my TPN line is changed. Yay! Yes Carolyn, it pays to be snarky.
And yesterday's night shift nurse and today's day shift nurse? Fantastic! And today's night shift nurse is named Juliet so how can I go wrong? Now we're just waiting for the pathology results, which should be back soon. We're hoping for clean margins across the board, which would mean no cancer evident in the edges of the tissue they removed. We've come this far, I know good news is ahead. Stay with us and pray with us.