The toughest decision I had to make Monday morning was what pajamas to wear. I played Solitaire in the waiting room with mom on one side and my Ben on the other. I had them wrapped around each arm like kiddie pool floaties. When they called my name I made my last dad joke, “Nope, nobody out here by that…”
The nurse was sweet with a faint, dark mustache and I enjoyed her gentle presence despite the fact that she couldn’t find a vein. We ran out of time because the radiology department was waiting on me, so they sent me on my way with cotton balls taped up and down my arm like a walking preschool craft project.
It was there that I met the woman who would inject piping hot radioactive tracer into my face four times. It felt like a cattle prod and was okay because in my head I thought of it as punishment for leaving a corn poop in their restroom. She stuck the needle in and offered a warning, “Solution” as the tracer oozed. She said “solution” four times and I kept thinking, “Solution for what? This is more like… a problem, lady.”
The real problem is that the only hospital gown they had readily available had a hole in the boob. Nothing a little scotch tape couldn’t solve. I tossed and turned in a tunnel for a little while and a brilliant computer found my sentinel lymph node. The radiologist marked the magical spot on my neck with an ‘x’.
We traveled back to the room where the woman with a mustache tortured me with many needles and met for a little pre-party with my oncologist, plastic surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, and my favorite, the woman who could properly administer an i.v. I think I told her I loved her and I was stone cold sober and sincere.
I don’t remember a damn thing after that. I woke up guzzling Sprite and confessing too loudly that my boyfriend is better at taking clothes off than he is putting them back on. Sorry, dad.
I’ll have the lymph node results back on Monday and stitches will come out.
I have to tell you now that I’m afraid the whole thing is going to split open and slide right off my skull.
Cross your fingers if you have them!