So where to begin...Oh yes...Welcome to my Nightmare, and I am not quoting the wonderful song by my drear Alice Cooper. His was perchance a frolic in the park...a mere vision in the land we sometimes visit on a "darker" night of sleep. Mine is unfortunately unfolding in the other hours we visit in a 24 hour day.
Once upon a time, not all that long ago-well a year, give or take a few days, I sat in another world.* A very happy place, quite frankly a place that gave me a gift, something I had never truly ever received before in my life-the gift of relaxation. Yes, I had reached Nirvana in the land of Cozumel. Other pages of this site are dedicated to Cozumel 2003 my wonderful experiences in Mexico if you care to partake but this is not the page of Nirvana. The reason I bring up such wonderful memories is that admidst the calm azure sea was born a ripple which would reach sunami proportion within the following year. The day C.S. Lumpkin reared it's head in the form of a small (very small) bump in my left thigh.**
August 2003-C.S. invaded
September, 2003-July 2004-on and off thought about, felt, rubbed, moved said growth. Thought it felt bigger, moaned about it more as time went on, forgot about it at certain times, was a pain in the ass about it to Duane, Valerie, Heather....later on to Crystal, amongst others. There are no words to describe the on again off again STUFF that had transpired over this time frame pertaining to the "LUMP." I was advised as far back as Nirvana to go have it checked out but as usual I didn't listen. That translated to me, being the hypochodriac I am, that is was cancer..so if indeed it was, what was my course of action, ignore it..it will go away. What a jerk I am at times!! But then the other part of me was thinking well if it was cancer I would be losing weight etc. Forget this, I will stop this right now..if I start going into my mind thoughts you will think me mad..even though we all know I am :) Anyway this insanity continued on.
Around March or so I fell down the stairs at my house. Evil (one of three furbags that try to dominate our abode) tried to trip me (again). I slide down a few steps on my left hip, suffered a black and blue which over the following weeks turned hues of purple and even yellow, quite a nasty sight. As the bruising disappeared so did the pain but in April my hip started hurting again. The pain would come and go but as time went by it visited for longer periods. I mention this episode in my life as this was one of the main reasons I decided to visit the doctor (finally) in July.
July 20, 2004 1:30 PM-Appointment with Dr. Raupp-General Practioner. Blood pressure taken, height, weight, temperature. Talking..the blah blah...finally 3 choices:
Could be Limpoma
Some other abnormality (of which I failed to remember as the third choice, although said jokingly on his part didn't sit right with me)
A rare form of cancer that if said the only way to treat it is amputation and not a good chance for survival.
Before visiting him I had searched the web to try and diagnose myself (as all good Hypochodriacs do). I had convinced myself already that I had cancer but upon reading ALOT I pretty much hoped it was a limpoma. The visit, the first words out of his mouth..limpoma, well I felt a tad better until of course he opened door #3. If for no other reason he should have known better than to say that to a person such as myself, for I am what I am and I always assume the worst. Of course it only got worse when I was told that he wasn't able to give me a diffinitive answer and that I needed to see an orthopedic SURGEON. He handed me a couple of business cards and wished me good luck-gee thanks!!
July 23, 2004 3:30 PM Appointment with Dr. You-Orthopedic Surgeon.
August 3, 2004 8:00 AM MRI
August 10, 2004 Evening-picked up MRI's
August 13, 2004 4:30 PM Appointment Dr. You-to read MRI's (yes it was Friday the 13th-normally one of my favorite days!!) Blah blah will fill in blanks later BUT He could do the surgery it was a simple procedure-basically pop it out but bottom line I needed to go see a specialist-an Orthopedic Oncologist. He never told me what kind of Doctor he was, he just eluded to IF (on the off chance) the LUMP was cancerous he would know what to do.
August 16, 2004 Well, it's all just blah blah.......I haven't updated the journal page as it just keeps getting longer..weirder, my heart isn't in it anymore....was hoping it would but cut and dry but NOT. Have been to Orthopedic surgeon...as of Friday the 13th (a lucky day in my book)(is it? anymore) I now have to seek another doc, more specialized..CSL has to be cut out...fine,out damn spot or tumor, as the case may be... but what doth that bring? I pray not what the depths keep telling me.
August 24, 2004 8:00 AM appointment this morning with Dr. Henshaw in Washington, DC. Stayed the night at a Courtyard on RI Ave. Suffice to say around 9:30 AM Dr. Henshaw made me feel a tad better about things. Still have to have CSL removed BUT that is fine with me!! If I hadn't said it before..well dare I say it now..my appointment today was with an orthopedic oncologist. (SP)...Yeh..well you can guess where my brain matter has been for the last month. Surgery is scheduled for 9/17/04 at 7:00 AM. Further details later....
September 1, 2004 3:15 PM Cat Scan
September 7, 2004 Here's hoping all I hold near and dear are ok in Florida after Frances. Did I ever tell you that my confirmation name is Frances..only spelled Francis after St. Francis-patron St. of animals. Anyway onto other things...here is the deal..I have prayed since my C-Scan, last Tuesday not to hear from my doctors office-well to be exact-that I didn't hear from them with news that they found something.... Due to the long weekend it would be 3 and some days, meaning probably today for the results to reach my doctor. Everytime the phone rang at work I cringed, especially if it was my line. Well I was feeling a tad relived until later this afternoon when the phone rang around 4:50 PM. The voice on the other end didn't say the usual...asking for "DEBBIE," they asked for Deborah Burgess...MY heart sank...more so when I heard, "This is....Patti from Dr. Henshaw's office...I have something to tell you.." Long short..my surgery is rescheduled for Wednesday the 15th at 3:45 PM, need to be there at 12:45 PM. This is due to some dear child ..chemo..surgery..etc...my heart...prayers and thoughts are with this child.
September 9, 2004 10:30 AM Appointment with Dr. Raupp. Pre-surgery visit-Blood work, EKG and patient history.
September 13, 2004 Fairfax Radiologist still had not called with results of C Scan.
September 14, 2004 Dr. Henshaw called-Cat Scan, lungs clear, but cat scan shows small cyst on adrenal gland. Not related and nothing to worry about..AT THIS TIME. Great.
September 14, 2004 I was suppose to call Patti between 1:30-3:30 PM to reconfirm surgery time etc. She beat me to it and called around 2:30 PM to let me know surgery has been rescheduled to 11:00 AM-need to be there at 8:00 AM. At this time we discussed the pills I was now on and if I could take them the morning of surgery. She said since Dr. Henshaw said I should she agreed but said to call the nurse in charge of the following days cases and advise her so the anesthiologist would know. I called twice between then and 3:25 PM and had to leave messages. I was concerned and felt I needed to call Patti back and left a message. At 3:50 PM she returned my call. I was prattling on about sorry to bother her etc and that they hadn't called back. She said Hold on that..I have great news, really what..I rescheduled your surgery again..No way yes way..you are kidding...no it is now for 7:15 AM-need to be here at 5:00 AM. Some little old lady's doctor forgot to get her blood work done so she had to be moved to a later time.
September 15, 2004 Day of surgery. Well need I say that I slept horrendously, wait did I sleep at all? Sure didn't seem like it. Woke up (again) around 3:00 AM ish and couldn't go back to sleep. I picked up the phone around 3:53 AM as I knew the next few minutes would fly by and it would ring, at 4:00 AM. Well as I imagined it did and it was now time to get up and shower quickly as Duane would be here at 4:20 AM to pick me up.
As usual he was on time. I opened the screen door, stepped outside and noticed it was raining, how fitting, I thought. As I started to close the door I scanned my living room, saying a quick prayer to God above that this would not be the last time I saw my couch, tv, fish, cats, but more important than anything in the world, MY DAUGHTERS. (Also that my "leg" would cross this threshold again)
The ride to the hospital was uneventful. In fact this is the first time I have driven to DC when traffic was pretty much non existent. Arrived at the hospital. Found out I was not pre registered yet-proceeded to do that. Of course there were problems with that, the computer just would not cooperate. I certainly was not in the mood for this as I was scared S*&^less and quite frankly grew tired of answering the same questions 3 times!! After the computer meltdown (perchance it didn't like being up at the butt crack of dawn either), the hospital employee placed a lovely bracelet upon my right arm and it was back to the waiting area until I was called for the blood letting. This time they only sucked out 1 vial which was good as I figured I needed the rest for today's festivities! With that done it was back to the waiting area. I hadn't had time for my butt to hit the chair when an orderly called myself and another woman to follow him to the "ROOM." BUT before we embarked on the LONG walk...our wrists were checked, just to make sure we knew who we were, or he knew he had the right patients.
The room, pre-op might be the correct terminology for it, was a buzz with nurses and such. Bright lights (uGH), dressing rooms, beds, privacy curtains, monitors, IV bags, needles, lions tigers and bears oh MY!!! My name was called (wait, is that my name, no, is that me, no, I am home in bed right..NOT) and a kindly nurse handed me some items and told me to disrobe. She closed the curtain behind me and I begrudgingly donned the lovely surgical gown, robe, booties and absolutely gorgeous hair cap. I folded my STREET clothes and placed them into a huge bag and opened the curtain. She directed me to a bed of which I would spend the next 45 minutes. She placed a blanket over me which felt like it had been a sauna for the last few hours. I suppose most people like this cozy warm feeling but within 5 minutes I had both my legs out from under it. I felt like I was melting...melting.... TO BE CONTINUED.............
Today is 10/14/04 and what I am about to add to this page is not something I forgot and would have added when time came but suffice to say I want to add this RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Because it has been brought to my attention that this is HAPPENING more and more, perchance at this hospital or many, I don't know BUT since it DID HAPPEN to me, and it was BAD, I want others to know. Are the anesthegoligist (SP) at fault, well since it is their job I suppose it is so.. I thought it was the NORM...but then again I have been "under" before and never had this experience and hopefully I never have it again.....well...here goes....
I woke up be it after..or mid point..or heaven forbid the beginning of my surgery...with "the" tube in my throat...I thought I was choking to death. I could not swallow, I could not catch my breath...I thought this is it..I am going to die. I don't know when it happened..but it did and it was awful...bottom line I am going to BITCH. For one reason only-for it not to happen to others.
Below picture of "A.L." After Lumpkin-2 weeks following surgery.
*For those of you that have checked here from time to time over the last month you know nothing has been written here until today-7/19/04. Suffice to say I can FINALLY write of this-thanks to the wonderment and grace of God and all that have kept me in their prayers.. THANK YOU & God Bless!
**(Because I can only sit here just so long I will be typing in the time line and then filling in the blanks as I go-please bear with me)