The Surgery Program for Patients - was to me, a drop in session on what is going to happen to me in the surgery. Drop in, grab some papers, and git.
Well no. Actually it is part of the Cancer Survivorship Program - which was my first real entree into the life that lays ahead, surrounded by 12 other women also on this journey. 5 years. It is a 5 year program. 5 years. They are setting you up for the long haul. I think that came as a surprise to us all. Small forests have been killed to provide us all with a very comprehensive package of great information.
- Important telephone numbers for your medical "team"
- Facts about...lymphedema, nutrition...
- Rehab after surgery
- Social Services for families
- Your Emotions, etc
- Pain management techniques
- Activities for children and parents when a parent has cancer
- Discharge Instructions
Incisions, drains, staples vs steristrips, what door to come in, what to bring, sentinel vs axillary nodes, regaining movement in your arm, what to eat, how to position your pillows, it was all covered.
Essentially there is little chance in this environment to not feel compelled forward - to move through it, because everyone around you is too. OK, in a bewildered fashion. But the staff are really truly amazing. It is like being welcomed to a family, a sad but not emotionally attached but caring and eminently capable family.