Yesterday I had the last two remaining drains removed. No more tubes. No more twice-day empty and measure. No more drain log. The only gross thing left for me to do is to change the bandages over the four spots when the drain tubes came out of me. I can wear my own clothes because I no longer need Chubba's oversized shirts to hide the tubes, drain, and lack of bra. I even wore one of my super-soft mastectomy bras today for the first since the surgery, and my right side appreciated the support. I look a little uneven in a t-shirt, but not too bad.
They also took off the large waterproof bandage covering the stitches for the reconstruction. Dr. Chief said that I look good, and he doesn't need to see me for three months. I asked about the stitches that go all the way across my belly and my chest. He said that they will dissolve over time. He said that I have about 5,000 stitches in all. I am sure this is a bit of an exaggeration - at least I hope so.
On this trip to the hospital, I finally remembered to go back to the breast cancer center and give blood for genetic testing. Evidently the sample I gave locally for genetic testing didn't work. The Images Boutique is next door to the breast center. It is a small retail store will all sorts of things for women with breast cancer: wigs, hats, scarves, specialty bras, specialty swimsuits, prosthetics, jewelry and more. I bought four hats in preparation for chemotherapy. I am a lover of hats. In my closet I have four hat boxes stuffed with hats. Most of my hats are too fancy for everyday wear. I have worn hats to weddings, sales meetings, holidays and other events.
I am using my left arm now, but no lifting at all. So long Bob Dole! My cousin warned me of not overdoing it too soon, and I am heeding her warning. (My cousin went through this same garbage last fall.) Getting dressed is a lot easier when you can use both arms. I had to dress differently when I was only right armed. We right-handed people usually put our right arm in first, etc. When you don't use your left arm, you must dress left-handed, left arm first. Here's a challenge, try dressing left handed, and you will see how spastic you feel doing something so simple.
Today, I think Chubba did his first solo "big" grocery shopping since we moved to New England. When he got home, he was excited to inform me that the 24 pack of toilet paper is less expensive than buying two 12 packs of toilet paper. Can't you just see him in the toilet paper aisle, studying the toilet paper, and getting all excited by this discovery? I think he was also a little surprised at the total bill, and was a little bummed when I didn't show the same shock.
This week I have slept more than the three previous weeks combined. I think all the sleepless nights caught up with me. I am finally sleeping through the night. After I get up in the morning to help Molly off to school, I usually go back to sleep until around 1:00 p.m! The days go by quickly when you spend so much of it asleep. I still am dealing with constant pain that sometimes spikes a bit, but nothing too bad. The skin on my stomach feels like it is constantly stretching. It feels a little numb and tingly. The left side of my chest and left underarm just ache all the time. Sneezing and coughing gives me a good jolt.
Whacky thought for the day...
Since two of the women followers - Bridget (not my sister) and Laura (cousin), and I have had breast cancer, the rest of you should be good to go. You can thank us for falling on this sword for you.
A belated Happy Birthday Hannah!!! - June 8th.