Happy February first! It's a new month and I'm looking forward to moving on. Last Friday I had my double mastectomy and now I'm at home enjoying (?) my recovery.
Friday we had a 7:00 am arrival at the surgery center down in Scarborough, which is over an hour away from my home. I had to shower the night before with special soap and then again in the morning with the same soap. I assume it was super-duper bacterial killing stuff cause it dried me all out and made me a little red and itchy.
Anyway, we arrived at 7:00, right on time and proceeded to sit around until 7:50 before they took me in. This would be my only complaint about the whole experience. Why not give me a 7:45 or 7:30 arrival time? There is nothing worse than waiting and waiting chewing the shit out of my cuticles and waiting more to be taken in.
Once they took me in, things moved along pretty quickly. I met with the plastic surgeon and he got me marked up, the nurse got my IV going, the anesthesiologist came in with her nurse and started my block, my breast surgeon came in to mark where she was taking out the lymph node and then we were ready to go. They gave me something that "relaxed" me, which it did, but it also got me all emotional and I was crying and saying how I didn't want to do this. Thankfully, the kids were at school and it was just my husband and my mom there.
Fast forward to around 4 in the afternoon and I started to wake up. Not very well, I might add. Super restless, super irritated and just wanted to go back to sleep. I think the surgery itself lasted around 4.5 hours and then I took another 2 or so to come out of it. Time hop for sure.
They wanted me to get out of bed to pee. Um yah, that wasn't happening. So dizzy and faint every time I would sit up, let alone stand up. That didn't happen until around 11 p.m.
They had me pretty rigged up with this bra that was like a bullet proof vest. I had wires, batteries, pads, tape, and a shit ton of tubes to drain excess fluid. Super uncomfortable.
Post surgery--feeling no pain! ha
Drain tubes sewn into me. Yah, that's super comfortable.
And the whole thing.
It's kinda hard to find clothes to wear because I don't have a lot of zip up things and I don't buy clothes big so they aren't big enough to tuck all this junk into. I've been wearing my husbands t-shirts so I end up looking like that trailer park old woman whose size EE tits hang down to her waist and she gives no fucks and doesn't wear a decent bra.
Thank goodness I'm mostly staying home. haha
I did have my first follow up appointment with the plastic surgeon yesterday and that was great! They took out 2 of the 4 tubes and what a relief that is! He also removed all the tape, batteries and wires so I'm much less encumbered now and oh my god, it feels so much better. Next Tuesday the other drains come out and I get to wear a regular sports bra. I cannot wait!
I also met with the cancer surgeon doctor yesterday (there are a million doctors to treat just this one breast cancer--they each do a different thing. Jesus, it's hard to keep them all straight). She went over the pathology report from the surgery. All is as we expected--lymph node clear, Stage 1 (although the tumor was larger than they thought), and I should be able to move forward with my normal life. I now have another appointment with a medical oncologist--probably to manage the tamoxifen I will take going forward--genetics to see if I have the genetic marker for breast cancer and still appointments with the plastic surgeon.
This is a full time job! And of course, all the appointments are in Portland which is about an hour away from my home. #annoyed
But so far, I've only missed one week of work and I think I'll be able to go back after next week. Unless all these appointments mess me up. I wish they would be a little more accommodating with regard to how far I have to drive and try to work around my schedule a little bit more. It's frustrating to have to take a whole day off to get to one appointment. Especially, going forward, I won't be able to afford to keep missing work. I'm sure I'll figure it out, but boy, that is stressful.
So double mastectomy isn't as awful as I thought it might be. People in my small town have been incredibly supportive and helpful. It's overwhelming how kind people are. We have had dinners made for us and delivered to our house every night for the past week and for the upcoming week. You cannot imagine what a relief that is. It seems like a small thing, like maybe you aren't doing much for the family and you want to do more, but believe me, having food ready each day is huge. It has been such a help. I haven't had to worry about getting groceries (that I can't carry or drive my car to), I haven't had to cook, there is very little clean up and new and different food is awesome!
I am so thankful for each and every one of you that has helped our family. Again, it's overwhelming and I have gotten teary on more than one occasion. (I don't cry, so that's a big deal.)
my collection of flowers
My dog has been my company this week and I have watched too many episodes of Hoarders (seriously, how do people live like that???).
her and my usual spot on the couch
Looking forward to updating next week with NO TUBES and a regular sports bra! Stay tuned!