Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

Countdown to Cut-Up #5

Just a short note to let you know that I am strong and confident heading into surgery #5.

I had my "last supper" also known as my last meal of solid foods 48 hours prior to surgery.  Dave and I decided to have a little smorgasbord of everything I likely won’t be able to eat for a while after surgery. I sampled a bit of a cheeseburger, fries, macaroni & cheese and ice-cream (If my nutritionist Lauren is reading this, I apologize J)

I started clear liquids on Sunday afternoon (just how many popsicles and cranberry juices can one drink?) and started the infamous bowel prep on Monday AM.  If anyone has had stomach surgery or a colonoscopy before, they know the wonderful delights that await you when you go through this procedure. 

In the past I have done OK with it but during the day my tumor must not have liked the havoc I was wreaking and started to rebel big time.   I started to vomit and get really horrible stomach cramping so we called my surgeon and he suggested I check in a day early. 

So, Dave and I headed to the hospital last night around 8PM to get “checked in”.  It’s such a sad statement to see that the Urgent Care facility at MSKCC is more crowded on a Monday night than Grand Central Terminal. 

The process took about 6 hours and Dave was able to head home around 2AM while I officially got admitted.  I was in a lot of pain when I arrived at the hospital but within 5 minutes of getting my favorite painkiller intravenously, I was happy as a clam.  I think I am becoming a junkie…maybe that is the silver lining of the next week or so. Lots of drugs!

Now that pain and vomiting were no longer part of the equation, why not sleep at the hospital to get well rested before my surgery? Not so great of an idea….The hospital was very crowded so they wound up putting me on a floor of people with “really serious” cancer (it makes me feel better to classify myself as still having the “less serious” kind).

My poor roommate had a lot going on and I swear 15 minutes didn’t go by without someone visiting her to do a test or arrange a procedure.  Thank goodness for noise cancelling headphones!

Since midnight last night, I am no longer allowed to drink anything so I am dehydrated, have a bad headache and am grumpy!  For those of you who have kindly offered to “dine” with me after surgery, please realized that I likely will not be able to have any water or food for at least 3-4 days…then I will be giving light fluids (think ice-chips and sips of water) to see if I can handle it. Hopefully I will be able to eat crackers 6-7days in.  So, my dear friend who sent me the chocolate cake after last year's surgery…not a good gift :)

Now it is 10:30 and I am starting my pre-surgery ritual before I head in much later this afternoon.  I start a few hours before by getting psyched by inspirational dance songs on my iPod.  Some of my favorites are:
  • Tubthumping by Chumbawamb (my new cancer anthem thanks to Wil
  • Breathe Life by RadBoy (you really can't resist dancing)
  • Theme from Rocky by Bill Conti (too bad they won't let me climb the internal steps of MSKCC)
  • Anything by Seal (he is the man!)
And then before you know it you are in the recovery room in a ton of pain saying really ridiculous things that your husband and parents will make fun of you for years to come. The favorite expression to date has been ““Dad, I’m lucky I got him to marry me when I did because now I am damaged goods!”  Let’s hope that today goes as smoothly as in the past.

I will be out commission for a few days but Dave will provide a brief surgery update tomorrow.  Thank you for all of your well wishes and fun, insightful posts. I love reading them!