Either I am a bit of a wimp, or having a mastectomy with a tram flap reconstruction really sucks. Maybe a bit of both.
Here's a quick run down of my the last two weeks.
Surgery on the 18th took 7 1/2 hours. I was supposed to take only 5 hours, but they found a little more cancer than they were looking for. It looks like they got all the cancer. The biggest tumor was 5.5cm! Plus there was a 3.1 cm, and a few small satellites.
Lymph nodes - yes some cancer. However, it was only in the sentinel node - the main one - and had not spread to the others. They removed 4 lymph nodes. Because I was afraid of lymphedema - this nasty thing where your arm and pits swells up, I am keeping my left arm glued to me as if it were in a broken-arm sling. If you put a pen in my hand, you would swear I look just like Robert Dole.
Little or no pain except one nasty night in the hospital. My thumb was glued to the magic morphine button. Nausea was a constant problem.
Three distinctly different roommates; two of which were annoying.
Four nights in the hospital. They wanted to kick me out after three, but I made them let me stay another night because my pain and nausea flared up. They changed my narcotic from percocet to dilaudid, with the addition of compazine.
Because of poor directions by the hospital regarding pain management , I over-medicated myself at home on dilaudid. I felt totally out of it - cried too much, slept too much, didn't want to read or even look at a magazine, and no interest in writing (obviously). Nothing. I felt great one minute, and slammed into the wall the next. I had to put myself through detox.
Drain tubes are gross, and you don't get use to them. I have four! Clothes became an issue because of the drains. Poor Chubba, he doesn't have a clean button front shirt left in the closet. Any big short or sweats with pockets (for drains) were pretty much taken over by me too. When I got dressed at the hospital to come home I said, "Look I have balls." I know, sick, but it made Riley and Molly laugh. When Molly and I were snuggling at home the first night, and she leaned against the drains on my side, she said, "Mom your drains do make you feel like you have 'man privates'." Don't get the wrong idea. She was just reinterating what I said earlier in the day at the hospital, but with more tact. Out of the mouths of babes...
I left a lot of detail out, but will fill in later. (The roommates were too much!)
Today is the first day that I started to feel like myself again, as long as I don't look in the mirror.
The biggest bummer was I missed Riley and My Mom's Birthdays - May 20. However, I did have the nurse write "Happy Birthday Riley" and "Happy Birthday Mor Mor" on my whiteboard.
Tomorrow I go in for my first follow-up appointment. I am hoping the drains come out.
No whacky thought for the day...
Thought for the day...
1 in 8 women have will get breast cancer. So, if I ever even started to feel sorry for myself, I kicked myself in the ass because millions of women are going through this right now with me, and many millions of women bravely paved the way before me.
Happy Memorial Day. Let's not forget those men and women who serve on our behalf. God Bless Them.