I was mostly focused on getting to and waking up from my second major surgery. The fear and anxiety of being out of control was more than I could bear. My dad took care of my three boys as my husband and I made it to and from surgery. I tried to keep the routines as normal as possible. The day started of early, a day before my 35th birthday. On our way to surgery my dad called and said I forgot to pack the proper clothes for one of my boys. I lost it. I tried so hard to keep things completely "normal" for my boys as we navigated our "new normal". Luckily, my dear family friend happened to work at the school my boys went to. I was able to reach her before school started and she saved the day with proper school attire! Teachers are amazing. Now, back to surgery.
My surgery began with fasting the night before and mapping studies the day of with nuclear medicine to help guide the surgeons to gain clear margins and find the draining lymph nodes for removal. The nuclear medicine tech injected radioactive dye around the lesion on my nose. Then I was put onto a CT Scan like machine. A plate hovered closely around my face. I breathed slowly and deeply through my anxiety. After 30 minutes or so, it was over. Now off to surgery. I was greated by the resident ENT surgeon, then by the attending ENT Dr. Audrey Baker (Erman at the time). They showed me the map of the draining lymph nodes and I was given the good meds and wheeled off to the operating room.
Bandages are a must but I was unaware that the majority of my face would be covered in cotton and medical tape. I thought I was only having one lymph node removed but four were taken. I used the bathroom on my own promptly after surgery. The nurse was surprised I was up and moving so soon after the procedure. I wanted to get home ASAP! My husband and I loaded up in the car after I was discharged. We headed to Taco Bell because who doesn't love TBell and tacos after surgery? I was hungry. My boys were a little shell shocked as they entered the doorway after school. I told them not to worry that the doctor cut out all the icky cancer stuff that we talked about previously. The bandages on my face and neck were in place to keep my boo boos clean. Eventually, the scariness wore off and we cuddled on the couch together. We began to heal as a family.