So nothing has been decided about New Orleans. As far as when/who/what is going to take care of me. It’s too much for me to think about right this second. Too much means I focus on things that matter but kinda not really.
Alright, in this case, they only matter to me, and Barry. And Emilia. SHEETS.
I’ve never really cared about sheets and always just bought whatever caught my eye at Target. In winter we switched to flannel and summer was whatever. I’m not a sheet snob. Or maybe I am? Because all of the sudden I care. Maybe it’s the move to Florida and our very lack of winter but flannel sheets are a no go. Some of the sheets I was fine with before make me sweat. Maybe I’m just getting older and starting to go through THE CHANGE. I mean that’s unlikely at 34 but I don’t know! Have I suddenly turned into the hottest sleeper? Is it the fact that Emilia’s hot little sleepy body is almost always pressed up against me? We have the ceiling fan on, an EMPTY duvet cover, and I’m still hot!
I went to Target searching for sheets that would match my new (empty) duvet and also not make me sweat. No. Luck! I mean there were some that looked cute and would have LOOKED ok with my duvet but they felt sticky almost. Not good when you’re trying not to sweat!
Then I started shopping on Amazon. I mean they have literally EVERYTHING on Amazon and added about 400 different options to my cart. Read about 19,000 reviews.
Have you ever had linen sheets? They’ve been my dream since last summer. I just felt like they’d be cool and breathable. They’re also SO expensive. I found some BEAUTIFUL linen sheets on Amazon. They’re just chilling in my cart waiting for me to get an extra $150. Natural Linen
BAMBOO (I’ve often told customers at Gigi’s that I wanted bamboo sheets…hi kickee pants for my bed!)
Bamboo Blend I ended up with these because we NEEDED new sheets and that price was ridiculous!
It’s been a few nights of using them and I really like them. I am not 100% in love and want to marry them, but I haven’t been too sweaty! That being said, if they’re not the best option for sweatless sleep, I want to know what is!
Is it linen? Or 100% bamboo? Or something else entirely!
I think I told you before that I’ll be in New Orleans for like 9 days. It’s broken up into nice easy segments.
Night 1: Pre-Op. I’ll have a CT scan of my abdomen to ensure sufficient blood supply to my belly fat along with a slew of other tests. I’ll have to fast at midnight until after surgery. But you better believe I’m eating something delicious that Monday for dinner 😂
Nights 2-4: Surgery and Recovery. I’ll be holed up in the most beautiful hospital I’ve ever encountered. Y’all, it didn’t even smell like a hospital. And they have a chef who’ll prepare my meals. It’s not hospital food, either. It’s Louisiana food.
Nights 5-9: Hotel Stay & One Week Post Op Appt So when I leave The Center I will have 4 drains. 2 breast drains and 2 abdominal drains. At my one week post op appointment they’ll make sure things are healing properly and remove one set of drains. From what I hear it’s an incredibly freeing experience. Probably like taking out your new Invisalign tray AND taking off your too small bra with an exposed underwire multiplied by 1,000. Then I get to come home.
Y’all know, or don’t? My husband is a family practice physician. He is really good at what he does. And obviously is willing to spend the entire 9 days with me in New Orleans fetching my every culinary whim, assisting me with bodily functions, showering etc. The only thing holding us back from that plan is this:
Or should I say, these. We don’t want it to be super hard on them. I’m not sure if I want them to see me so close to surgery. They’re extremely affectionate children and love them some Mama snuggles and Mama just won’t be able to snuggle.
We are in discussion right now to figure out when B will stay and when some lucky friend of mine will get to stay. Do you think having him directly after surgery is best? Or will his expertise be better served when there aren’t highly skilled nurses and physicians mulling about?
Helpppp. I know I have about 5 months to figure this out but patience isn’t my strength and I just want your opinions. Would you prefer to have your spouse with you before and directly after surgery or when you’re discharged but not yet Home?
Now that I’ve had a week to digest, both literally and figuratively, my New Orleans trip I am ready to post about it.
IT WAS AMAZING.
I can’t post anything else without shouting out to the best friends and support I could have ever asked for! Not only did they leave their families and sacrifice family time to come with me, they were there to make me laugh and relieve any stress or tension I felt in the actual center. I’m so forever grateful for these two! And so so so happy they like to eat as much as I do.
We got into New Orleans at about 6 PM Sunday night. From there we went directly to the hotel after a few missed turns, and a blessing from the universe in the form of Matt Nathanson. We suspect that the building was an old mental hospital but google cannot confirm or deny that suspicion. The hotel itself was nice and clean. We changed quickly and then headed out for dinner. Mister B’s Bistro was our destination. It was delicious. We shared the gumbo and fried green tomatoes for appetizer and then each got the shrimp and grits because we didn’t want to share! We ate and then walked down Bourbon street, stopped in a voodoo shop and then went to Cafe DuMonde where we were able to walk right in and sit down with no wait at all! (relatively pro tip, go at night!) There was a band playing just outside and the atmosphere was so cute! It started drizzling at that point so we opted for a cab ride back to the hotel. Also, random question, do you wear your seatbelt in a cab?
In the morning we got ready and then walked to Luke. We had the best French Pressed coffee, it almost made me want to try using my French Press…almost. We shared out breakfasts. I ordered chicken and waffles, Jana the shrimp and grits and Geri a hot buttered crawfish and burrata tartine. ALL WERE SO GOOD. We then walked around some more and ended up at Cafe Beignet. Just gotta say Cafe Beignet > Cafe DuMonde! Cajun bloody mary?! And absolutely fresh beignets! The line was just as long as the morning line at DuMonde but I would definitely make it a point to try both for your own scientific research.
Then it was time for my appointment. I was so nervous. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be a candidate for the reconstruction I had been planning on, or that something was going to go wrong. Or I’d flip a coin and somehow lose. None of those things happened.
I met with the breast surgeon first. He’ll be performing my mastectomy. He was very kind and answered my questions mostly before I even had a chance to ask. My biggest question going in was why am I keeping my nipples? Like I’m doing this somewhat radical preventative thing to leave this source of potential breast cancer? It didn’t make sense to me…until he explained the procedure for removal of breast tissue and that the remaining tissue would be so little that IF I were to get breast cancer in it, the cancer would be immediately felt. And, I asked about nipple function. Because I don’t want to have headlights ALL of the time, ya know? And he explained that it’s a muscle reaction instead of a nerve reaction. That matters because my nerves will be severed during the mastectomy and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll regain sensation in my breasts. After a quick breast exam that appointment was done.
Then I sat out with my friends for about an hour until my plastic surgery consult. They were seriously so patient just waiting while I bounced in and out. LOOOOOVE.
I met my plastic surgeon in a sort of conference room. I was impressed with the number of chairs in the room because it was just he and I. We talked about my options, which are limited due to the prophylactic nature of my reconstruction. Both. Only option. As far as reconstruction it’s implant or autologous (my own cells). He said the implant option would likely be uncomfortable, painful, cold and animated as they’d have to use the largest implant available. (He’s clearly not Dolly’s surgeon, ok!) It would be sewn under the muscle and would ripple or move when I used my muscle. He explained the DIEP flap procedure, drew me pictures of what would happen and then told me he would get rid of all of my stretch marks! Which is exciting and also a little sad. E won’t ask anymore if she maded this one or that one. I asked if there was anything I could do to not have to get a small implant for projection, and I even asked if I could just eat tacos. He said tacos aren’t even that bad for me but beignets and fried chicken would do the trick. Ha!
After the consult I went into the room and had to get naked, but for some cozy socks that they provided and a gown, open in front. They took photos and then my surgeon came in to assess the situation. He said we are going to go a little smaller and lifted which is A-OK in my book! Bye bye DD! Said I should be good belly wise, thanks four children, and said we may need a super small implant for projection but he thinks it’ll be fine! He told me I should be out for a total of four weeks but said they would write a note for six weeks if necessary. I told him that my boss was actually out in the waiting room and that she’s unbelievably understanding.
The facility is, just, well incredible. It’s beautiful and welcoming and not antiseptic feeling at all. It feels comfortable and homey. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have such an incredible place just a few hours away. I’m so grateful to Mackenzie for being so vocal and open with her journey and for encouraging me to check them out! I now know that I belong there.
Billing told me what she expected our cost share to be and while it’s more than I initially thought it is still so so so incredibly low! I’m grateful for insurance and the Army and the sacrifices that Barry makes to take care of our family. I’m not exactly EXCITED for September 11 but I’m excited. (Which makes zero sense, I know!)
Today I’m sad and emotional and stressed and overwhelmed. Bad feelings abound in my head. They’re bouncing around like popcorn kernels. Amidst the bad and stress though, overcoming those feelings, I’m grateful.
I’m grateful for friends that support me. I’m grateful for my mama and her support of me. I’m grateful for friends that leave work early during hell week to run with me. And the ones that just listen to me without judgement.
I’m not a patient person by nature and I very much hate the hurry up and wait that is my current scenario. I’m learning patience. I’m learning peace. I’m learning acceptance.