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Surgery Day - 08th December 2020

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

Its 5.15am and its time to wake up and get ready for the day of my surgery.

I jumped in the shower, put my face on and dressed in a baggy jumper and jeans.

I was then greeted at my bedroom door.. by all 3 daughters, who had woken up to surprise me as they would also be coming with me for the journey, how blooming sweet are they!

All I wanted this morning was a coffee, however I was only allowed a small glass of water up until 6am.

The night before Breast Surgery, you are advised to have a light meal and drink (late evening) and not to eat after 2.30am,

At 6am we all jumped in the car and made the journey to The Royal Derby Hospital, not what I was expecting with my three girls in the back of the car, singing at the top of their voices, however it was a great distraction at what was happening in the next hours to come.

We arrived just before 7am and entered the car park, when looking for Car Park Entrance 21, it makes you realise how huge this Hospital actually is!

The time had come to leave my family, with Covid still hovering over us, I had to travel the journey alone, which was hard, as when you don't have that special someone next to you, your mind ticks constantly, there is no distraction, plus my sense of direction is rubbish.. its always better to get lost with someone else than on your own.

I entered the doors and waved goodbye to the family, knowing that the next time I would see them, I would of had my surgery. As I entered the hospital I asked a Nurse if she could assist on where to go and she kindly escorted me, its a good job she was there, I would of never of found it on my own!

I sat and waited in the small waiting room, watching the nurses set up for their day. Two other ladies eventually arrived Jayne and Josephine who were also having breast surgery.

After a few minutes, myself and the other two ladies were escorted to the ward, where we were shown our cubicles to sit in until our operation, the strangest part of this, was due to the Coronavirus, we were all kept separated, by curtains therefore we didn't speak to each other not even a hello.. I think everyone is just so tense.

Within the hour My consultant visited Emanuele-Garreffa, he asked me to explain in my own words what I thought was happening today. I explained I was having the cancer removed from my left breast and also having lymph node removal to check if the cancer has spread to that area.

I was then asked to remove my top half of my clothing and this is when Dr Garreffa shown me his art skills with a marker pen, he marked the area of the cancer which looked like a dart board and also the incisions that were to be made.

Now anyone that knows me, I say it how it is, and one of my main concerns was that I would be left with ugly scaring, so I shared my concerns with him and he reassured me that there would be minimal scaring,

this made me happy and I felt relieved that he was a consultant I could share my thoughts & fears with, Dr Garreffa then advised my surgery would be in the afternoon!!!

The Wait!!!

The afternoon, was this... 12 o'clock 1 o'clock?? I didn't know when I would be going down for surgery.

I sat in my cubicle eight and a half hours waiting, with the only thing to keep me company was my phone, thank god for technology. I sat and tried to keep up with all the messages that I was reading from friends and my family wondering when I was going down for surgery and keeping me positive about the whole experience.

In all of the time that us ladies waited, I saw only one of the nurses, to ask " when did you have your covid test" the nurse was asking this as there was some kind of mix up from how the Covid Test Centre process their testing.

It was 3.15pm and the nurse came and said that it was my time to be taken down to theatre, a porter came and wheeled me down, I remember thinking thank god, as the migraine I had from no food or water since 6am was just awful.

The was introduced to the anaesthetist he was about 6ft blooming 5, so lovely and calmed me, he joked with the nurse which was great rather than the formal approach, he advised that he would be inserting a canula into my hand, and then shortly gave me the mask, I remember looking at the clock and thinking its 3.30pm, I counted down from 10 ... and then woke up in recovery at 5.30pm

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