(Crossposted from last week’s ThrowsLikeAGirl)
Today’s blog is not for the faint of heart or stomach, o fearless readers. So finish your sandwich or latte and come back when it’s well digested.
You were warned.
So Monday I went to the hospital and spent most of the day under anesthesia while my surgeons did the complete right mastectomy (pathology was clear on that by the way, yay!) and created a couple of frankenboobs in their place. Something I did this time around was look for as many pictures of my procedure as I could so I had a pretty good idea what to expect. There is a thread on the Young Survival Coalition bulletin board that I highly recommend to people that is devoted to reconstruction. Brave young women post anonymous pictures of themselves at various stages of their reconstruction so that people like me can get a better idea of what it really looks like. I plan to post mine as well (though I forgot to take a “before” picture). Paying it forward and all. So basically my surgeons are very pleased with how the skin looks (I sort of think frankenlefty looks like a baseball.) And based on the pictures I saw, my recon is right on schedule.
My chest feels pretty tight (ironically like I’m wearing a bra). The expanders are in place and I’m pretty sure the plastic surgeon said frankenrighty is already 2/3 expanded. I have a bazillion medicines to take and I have to admit it freaks me out a little. I made the rookie mistake of taking 4 ibuprofen at the same time as 2 percocet. My stomach quickly reprimanded me for that. I have to give myself a shot of blood thinner every day. Which also freaks me out a bit. Better that than clots though.
As usual, I felt like I received great care at our local hospital. My room was huge. Corner suite (or “isolation room” as they call it.) Apparently word got out about what a scary patient I am. Grins. By Wednesday I was regularly walking laps around the cancer ward (I started calling it the Poop Loop. Anyone who has had surgery can figure that one out.) The hospital was testing their alarm system on Thursday. Woo. One time the alarm was Code Red, so I stuck my head out the door and asked the nurses if we were supposed to be walking out single file. You can take the teacher out of the school and all…
So lots of people came to visit me at the hospital and I thank everybody who came by I had been trying to figure out whether to put my compression sleeve back on and my physical therapist (thanks for visiting!) reminded me that I actually have 4 drains on that side right now and that my arm is probably at an all time low in terms of edema. Which it was. I could actually slip all the identification bands off my left arm without cutting them by Thursday.
So I have 6 drains that I will probably have for a while. Last time I only had 2 and I had them for weeks. I still think it’s kind of weird that we have to drain and measure the liquid every day.
So anyway, that’s what I’m doing, where I’ve been. I am glad to be home.