Barb’s BC Status Update–Part 2

It’s really not surprising that Barb has had to contend with nausea post surgery. This is the woman who has never been able to read in the car because she gets carsick. She’s the same woman who as a girl would get seasick riding the ferry to Mackinac Island or taking a scenic tour boat ride at Pictured Rocks (along Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan). After becoming PADI certified in regular and advanced scuba in college, she’s the one who got sick her first (and only) time scuba diving in the Caribbean. She has also had plenty of issues with the altitude whenever she has skied in Colorado.

Anyway, nausea was responsible for keeping Barb in the hospital an extra night after her surgery—even though the anesthesiologist gave her a patch before surgery to wear behind her ear that is considered “the gold standard” of anti-nausea care and she was on other anti-nausea meds as part of her post-op regimen. She was definitely in better shape Wednesday night than Tuesday night; however, she wasn’t ready to go home and thankfully she wasn’t forced to leave. She was able to build up her endurance walking the hospital halls and received the kind of immediate care that only a good nursing staff can provide.

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But she was ready on Thursday to make a break out of her cocooned hospital stay and was discharged that afternoon, wheeled down to the lobby by a nurse’s aid in the largest wheel chair I have ever seen! Barb’s hospital, St. Mary’s in the Detroit Metro area, has a Cancer Center off of its main lobby, which includes a cancer care store, where cancer patients can buy wigs, specialty bras and special toiletries—without an extra trip to a specialty store. Barb was able to conveniently pick up an extra specialty sports bra before heading home, which makes her life so much easier.

The fact that Barb hadn’t washed her hair in nearly 3 days was driving her crazy and I am totally impressed with her hair stylist, South Lyon’s own Tonya Luzod, who fit Barb in for a wash and trim Thursday afternoon and refused to accept payment. She is a rock star! So are Barb’s neighbors/friends/mom who within 3 hours of being home had dropped off 3 different meals—complete with homemade desserts—including ravioli, pork chops and lasagna! I’m also impressed with Barb’s husband, Mike, because Barb had no complaints about his driving home. Bumps and potholes and poor shock absorbers can be your worst enemy when you are driving around the first week or so after surgery and Mike avoided them quite well.

Barb slept comfortably for the most part Thursday night in her own bed, propped up with 4 pillows and a pillow wedge. Unfortunately, she woke up feeling nauseous Friday morning, this time even throwing up. Mike had to call Barb’s doctor who was able to prescribe some meds that helped fix the situation, but it was definitely unsettling.

Barb spent the Labor Day weekend on pain and nausea medicine that kept her comfortable and able to get up and around. She was able to walk around her neighborhood and even went to a family birthday party on Sunday. But boy, was she wiped out when she got home!

Barb--1st photo after surgery

The mastectomy and reconstruction expanders are definitely causing Barb pain and when her Narco prescription ran out on Tuesday, she was very concerned. I encouraged her to get in touch with her surgeon, which she did, so she could continue on her pain meds. Of course he prescribed plenty of good meds to get her through this whole process–because she’s got a few more steps to go through before she is ‘recovered’ and pain management is so key to a positive outcome. Yes, many women don’t require as much, but if pain is impeding progress, call your doctor!

6 thoughts on “Barb’s BC Status Update–Part 2

  1. Awesome care package!!! Pain meds are awesome-er!!!!!!! A little percoset goes a long way… the pics and sending love to all in Detroit Rock City!!!


  2. Pingback: Cancer: The Ultimate Time Suck | Searching for EMWA

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