Although I feel a bit of an old hand at this surgery lark now, I have to admit to a bit of trepidation yesterday morning. Peter and I had had very limited sleep we were both a tad on the cranky side (me especially). The nurse noted that my blood pressure was rather high and at that point I decided we needed to kiss and make up. Never a good idea to go into surgery in a bad mood.
I think all went well, although you never get to talk to your surgeon after surgery, heaven forbid, I suppose they think you will be too woozy to take anything in, so, I won’t really know how it all went from her perspective until my post-op apt next Wednesday. From my end, well, lets just say there are a lot of stitches and I am the lucky recipient of yet another drain for a week. Pain level not bad, until I try to move but that will subside quickly I hope. The absolute best part of coming home from the hospital though is the look of love on my cat’s face when he realized his job as “guardian of the sick one”, was back on
Well, that’s not really true, but would like to thank Sally at the brilliant ‘Improvised Life” blog site in New York for posting my e-mail and link to my blog. I had quite a few new visitors yesterday that’s for sure. http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/07/24/three-from-our-readers-from-typeface-to-pallet-art/
On Tuesday I was back up at the hospital for my pathology report from the breast surgeon and found out that my supposed DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) was actually an invasive cancer (stage one) so I am really happy that I chose the mastectomy.I just read in the British medical journal, that after a study of 55,000 women who had a lumpectomy and radiation treatment for DCIS, had a 1 in 3 chance of re- occurrence. I am sure alot of that depends on the surgeon and how well they are able to remove all the cancer first time around, but , for me with my history, I am so very glad I chose to lose the whole thing,hopefully, lessening my chance for the nasty stuff to come back. Whilst I’m taking about that, I will report a slight lessening of tightness around my chest. Still feels like I have some teenagers training bra on, several sizes too small, but it is a bit looser and I am now sleeping laying down…..hooray! Gosh, I almost feel like a normal person again. I have also worked out almost all of that axillary cording business that was running down my left arm. The physical therapist said that these cords can snap, send thoughts of gumby arms flashing before my eyes but I’m happy to report that didn’t happen.
Last Sunday, a few friends and our dogs, got together and went for a walk. It has been my intention to start up some sort of walking group for sometime so I hope we can keep it going. Above is a picture of Peter and Charlie leading the way
All joking aside, I will not be getting the Dolly Parton size boob job. Yesterday was my last fill-up. It is rather difficult to explain the sensation of having your skin stretchers stretched, but, suffice to say , it’s not pleasant and if I thought they felt like rocks before now they feel like bolders.That just made me laugh, remember calling your bra an “Over the shoulder bolder holder”? Well, these babies need no support and I think in the end it will be great to rid my life of those particular garments. I did get a little bit of bad new yesterday also. I was under the impression that my next surgery, to take rocks out and put in nice squishy silicone implants, would be three months from my original mastectomy. The truth is its three months from your last fill up, so now I’m looking at October and I will have to take more bloomin’ time off work (unable to do much) when what I had really planned to do was take a quick trip home to see my brother and his wife. I have been feeling really home sick this last year and don’t really want to go in the winter, so that will have to wait I think.
I went to have my boob skin stretchers stretched a bit more this week. Blimey, If this is what it feels like to be pregnant I’m glad I never did it. I feel as if someone has taken two large stones and stitched them under my skin. They are hard and it’s rather painful. I think I’m only to an A cup so I telling you right now there will be no bodacious boobs ever again. I saw a woman on the TV the other day, who had enlarged her breasts to the size of watermelons. I just don’t see how it’s possible to stretch the skin that much….ouch. I am told to massage them daily and I do it a lot, hoping to make my skin looser but it doesn’t seem to be working. It’s also weird to have bits of you that are numb and bits that are not. I decided in observance of my big night tonight, I would de-fur my arm pits….ha ha, it’s such a strange feeling to shave on numb skin. I had to be really careful not to cut myself. Anyway, big night for me tonight, I think that if you are coming, you will not be disappointed, so I hope to see you at six….come hug my rocks.
Not really sure what this blog post is going to be about today. I am sitting in my bed and it’s almost 11.30 in the morning. Hmmm, what’s wrong with me why don’t I get my lazy you know what up. Is it cabin fever? no, not really I had a trip to the hospital yesterday and had those blasted drains removed, which was marvelous. After swinging those little hand grenades around for three weeks, never knowing quite where to put them and forever getting poked in the side by the stoppers on the top, I am really glad they are gone. The pain however, is not. I had no idea that I would still have to sleep sitting up, mind you I’ve got it down now with one of those back rest things with arm on the side, sitting atop another pillow, with an extra pillow placed upright down the middle. It took me a while but it really is quite comfy. However, I would just love to lay the f***k down, ooh sorry about that, but really I would have thought that once the drains were out I’d be able to……no, can’t too painful. I had another session with the physical therapist also yesterday and now my axillary cording hurts more than ever. She seems very positive that it will be fine but in the mean time I guess all this is really getting me down. Yes, that must be the reason I’m so lathargic….I’m depressed. Me, who always puts on the rose-tinted glasses, who’s cup is always half full. After everything I’ve been through with chin up and smile on (albeit through gritted teeth at times) I really feel down in the dumps. I have been listening to a lot of music this morning and that always helps, but really I need to snap out of these doldrums, I just feel buried under a pile of worries. So, that’s the news from the A.S.S. today, I’m sure tomorrow will be better. Wishing I was here in the sun at Lake Crescent. The photo is from a couple of years ago before I knew any of this was coming…..Happy Days
I wasn’t quite sure at first why the plastic surgeon wanted me to see a physical therapist but I dutifully filled out the paper work and waited in a waiting room of people, many of whom clearly needed pain management and straightening out (literally) I was cheerfully met by Adrienne who took both Peter and I back through a myriad of machines that made the word torture ring in my head. She examined me and tested for my range of motion. You know the sort of thing. Arms up……well I can sort of get them skyward. Arms to the side….right one yes left one not so much, actually quite a bit of pain in the left one. Lay down on the massage table and let’s have a look. “Oh yes, you have something called auxiliary cording on the left side” ?????? Apparently, when lymph nodes are taken out sometimes sinuey stuff can get caught up and you end up feeling as if your tendons are as taut as piano wires. I’m sure I have not accurately explained this but long and short (ha ha) of this is that I have to stretch out these tendons with lots of massage and excercise. All of which hurts, hurts ,hurts. Oh just give me the bucket of pain pills, shut me in a sauna and let me stretch the crap out of them…. Sorry, just a tad frustrated. Why I keep expecting everything to be perfect, when it never is I just don’t know. By the way after having my boobs filled yesterday, my chest feels like Swarchzeneggers’ pecs……..
I Have decided to post a picture of my mastectomy scars. I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words isn’t it? We all know so many women who have had to have this operation and it’s not as if I want to go around flashing or anything, but I feel as if you should all see the unvarnished truth of how devastating this thing is to a woman. This is not about “poor me” at all. I have so many caring, loving and just plain fantastic friends. Not to mention a husband who would love me no matter what I looked like, no,I am doing great. But what about all those women who don’t. The quiet ones who say nothing, the ones that don’t talk about it (unlike blabber mouth here) People you know from work or neighbors, even relatives that sit and cry alone. People like me who are not much for joining groups. I don’t like the idea of a bunch of us sitting around telling tales of ‘woe is me’ or ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’ sort of a thing. If there was one called “Sister hood of the wacked off boobs” or something like that, then maybe. But, that’s just me, somehow poking fun at it all helps me. My own mother (saint that she was) never complained, I never saw her cry and I know she must have, we all do, yes, even stiff upper lip me (only once though) Mothers never want their kids to worry or fret over them do they. Just know they all had to look in the mirror and see this…………………..