ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Breast Cancer Chronicles: A Partial Mastectomy, A Fat Lip and A Missing Tooth

Updated on July 21, 2021

So Surgery Went Well, Kinda...

A week ago, I had a partial mastectomy. The good news is that the cancer has not spread and the lymph nodes are clear. I am recovering, but it has been slow and difficult. After I heal, I will begin a six-week course of radiation therapy. I consider myself very fortunate. My kids were with me and if I ever had any doubts (which I didn't) that they would always protect me, those doubts were baseless. I would rather face a rabid pit bull than my three grown children if they sense something wrong. And they did...

From the moment we entered the lobby of the outpatient surgery center, something just did not feel right. From check-in to post-op, there were too many little things that when added up, turned this surgery into a far worse experience than it should have been. My older daughter, a veteran in the patient care field, summed it up quite succinctly, "This place is a factory." She was right. They do more than 60 surgeries a day. There is little patient privacy and they were insistent that there be only one family member with me in pre-op.

Prior to pre-op, I went to radiology and was injected with a local anesthesia. The radiologist then placed a very thin needle into my breast which would serve to guide the surgeon. After that, I walked to radiology and was injected with dye for the lymph node biopsy. During the ultrasound, I noticed that the tumor had grown since I first saw it over two months ago. It had also changed shape.

Then I had a mammogram. After that, I walked to the surgical suite and was told that only one of my children could accompany me. Well, my older daughter was by my side and less than 2 minutes later, the other two sneaked in. Geez, I wonder who they take after? I was in a hospital gown, sitting on a flat-backed chair and my daughter was sitting on the recliner reserved for the patient. The recliner was too uncomfortable for my neck (previous back surgery) and when the first person came in, she flipped. She was angry that there were 3 family members with me and she was angrier that I was sitting where I was sitting. The kids didn't leave and I didn't move.

The anesthesiologist was a piece of work. I have always loved anesthesiologists! They are the people that keep you alive during surgery and they have always been, in my experience, very friendly and reassuring. I have had ten major surgeries and this was the first time I had doubts about the anesthesiologist.

I got into a wheelchair and was taken to surgery. I climbed onto the surgical table. My arms were strapped down and then the anesthesiologist put the oxygen mask over my mouth and nose. There was something wrong with it. The inside right side was rough and uneven and hurt. I started to fight and yell, "No, stop! You are hurting me", but he pushed down harder. Then I was out...

When I woke up, my breast was burning. Not hurting so much, but a burning feeling. The nurse dispensed pain medication, brought my son in and told him to go get the car, that I was ready to go home. My son helped me into the car and we left. About 5 minutes into our ride, the girls, who were sitting in the back seat, said that I was talking funny. My older daughter asked me to turn around. She said, "Oh my God, mom! You have a fat lip! Mom, you have a missing tooth..."

It was that damn mask, I know it. I was unable to walk until three days later. My body felt as if I had been hit by a truck. I am convinced that as I was moved from the surgical table to the gurney, that they dropped me. Not onto the floor, but from table to gurney.

I did not hear from the surgeon for two days. I found out on my own that over one third of my breast had been removed. When I complained to the surgeon about the pain, he told me to take extra strength Tylenol.

Don't Ever Go To The Hospital Alone

As I said before, I have had 10 major surgeries. I have never had an experience like this one and I have omitted many things. I have never filed a complaint with quality assurance, but now that I am feeling better, I will be filing a formal complaint.

I will never have another surgery at this hospital. Pretty bad, considering that this is the only surgery center that my insurance covers. But one fat lip and one missing tooth later, plus a nagging, gut feeling that I was dropped has convinced me to just say "No".


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)