Friday, February 18, 2011

Surgery: Capers in the House!| Halifax, NS

After I met with everyone I needed to meet with and I was all ready to go, Nurse Karen brought me across the hall to the operating room.  I glanced around the room as we entered and she helped me up on to the operating table.  Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh-shitshitshit-its-really-happening.  I lay down and Karen covers me with a warm blanket.  My eyes well up and tears slowly fall down my face.  Karen grabs my hand, leans over me and looks me straight in the eye, "Don't you worry, we are going to take good care of you."   Comforted, I nod and wipe a tear away.

Karen knows I need a distraction and starts asking me questions:  Who are all those people you have with you?  Where are you from?  When I state that I'm from Sydney, Dr. Y (the anesthesiologist) pipes up.  Turns out he's a Caper, too!  Apparently, this is great news for me - he inserts the IV into my arm and tells me it's saline, salt water, the good stuff since I'm from Cape Breton, not the stuff from the Halifax Harbour that he uses on everyone else.

Karen places the oxygen mask on my face and tells me it's time.  I know the happy drugs have started as I smile and drift off to sleep...


email:  karenk{at}

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Surgery: Pre-Op | Halifax, NS

Surgery was a breeze.  Okay, not really, but I had myself so worked up for it for so long and then suddenly it was here without any warning.  So the day of, my mindset was "let's just get 'er done."

Once registered, my posse got themselves settled into the waiting room and I went across the hall for a briefing from one of the nurses.  They had me change into my gown and pretty green housecoat and blue slippers - I've seen pictures, it wasn't pretty.  My posse came over and joined me in the teeny pre-op waiting room.  I was called out of the room several times to meet with another nurse, the anesthesiologist, a resident, and my surgeon.

Dr. Y, the anesthesiologist, was such a kind soft-spoken white haired gentlemen.  He was discussing the tube that would be inserted in my mouth during the surgery; I asked that he be careful while doing it.  His eyes twinkled, he chuckled and said softly, "Oh, don't you worry, we're always careful."  It was then that I imagined he'd make a great Santa Claus.

The resident tried to look important during our meeting.  He flipped through my chart, but didn't really seem to know what he was looking for.  He was the one to mark me for surgery, but first asked me all the questions everyone else had been asking me:  name, date of birth, rank, serial number.  :-)  He confirms it is the right breast being operated on and marks me with a big X on my right hand.  An X?  Really?  Doesn't an X usually signify no?  This doesn't seem right to me! Ackkkkk!  "Um, you're doing the right breast, correct?  The X means that's the side you're doing?"  I squeak.  "Yes," he states matter of factly, "any markings will indicate that's the side we're operating on."  Well, really then, couldn't you put a check mark and save me from panicking?

I meet with my surgeon, Dr. P.  We're running a bit late at this point, about 45 minutes past the time surgery was to have started.  We discuss the surgery and sign the consent form.  I ask him, "How are you feeling, everything good, you had lunch?" "Oh yeah, I'm feeling great," he replies; "I was just out back reading the manual so I'm good to go."  Good to know...


email:  karenk{at}

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today Should Have Been the Day | Halifax, NS

February 15, 2010.  It was supposed to be the day of my surgery.  Oh, it seemed so far away!  There was so much time to worry and fret.  The angst I was having.  I was afraid I would die on the operating table and I kept making mental lists of what needed to be done before the surgery.  I wanted my life tidied up - literally and figuratively.  Clean out the storage closet / decide what should be done with my stuff / make a list of bank accounts / and on and on and on...  

Then we got the call on February 2 to come in and  have surgery the very next day.  In the midst of the snowstorm, off we went to meet with Margaret (the breast health nurse) and have a dye injection in my breast (it helps locate the lymph nodes during the surgery).  My time of worrying was over with the buzz of all the activity. 

The morning of February 3rd, en route to the hospital with my gang; I don't look worried at all, although I think I was distracted by my cute new mittens (thanks Nancy!):

Even though I was either asleep or high most of the day, I still have a few stories that needed to be blogged, things I want to remember, things that will make you giggle.  They'll be coming soon.


email:  karenk{at}

Karla | Halifax, NS to Toronto, ON

We met on July 8, 2003.  Karla and I were hired to work in the same department and this was my first day on the job; she had been employed with the company for a year at that time so she knew all the ropes.

I had left my job in Sydney and moved to Halifax and the promises that the big city held.  I had family in the city, but no friends to call my own.   My new position looked interesting and I looked forward to meeting new people and making a new life.  As luck would have it, Karla and I had desks adjacent to each other.  I was "the new girl" with some of our co-workers and was never really accepted, but not so with Karla.  It took awhile but we soon started having lunch together, then the occasional dinner.  Soon "occasional" became "frequent" and we became great friends.

Karla has big changes in her life and is leaving Halifax and heading to Toronto.  I am excited for her and hopeful that she will embrace the change and take advantage of all things the big city has to offer.  But I'm sad for me.

Karla, my dear friend, I am going to miss our lunches, our Girls' Nights, the rent-a-kitties, and our 2 o'clock specials.  You have been a wonderful friend and I wish nothing but the best for you.  I continue to hold out the hope that you and Justin will discover that Halifax is home and head back this way in a couple of years.  So enjoy Toronto, but remember your East Coast roots.  Don't stay away too long.



email:  karenk{at}