Had the mastectomy on Friday. It is now a day surgery which bothers me, like you shouldn't be sent home the same day they cut off a body part, but that's the way it goes now. Pretty soon we will have drive by surgeries where you just tilt your bucket seat back and they come in through the window.
Pain was minimal and easily managed by codeine which puts me to sleep. Today is my first day off the pain meds and its fine. I don't feel like doing much of anything but at least I'm awake. I don't understand how people get addicted to opiods -- I couldn't stay awake long enough.
The breast itself looks a great deal like someone went after it with a ball peen hammer. I have no idea why this one is so much uglier than the other but it is quite the site. The plastic surgeon also didn't put anything in the tissue expander so it is flat and purple. The insurance company requires that 90 days pass between the initial placement of the tissue expander and filling it. I'd love to understand who came up with that arbitrary number and why but it was for sure not someone wandering around with a flat purple boob.
The drain is by far the worst part. It's this 4 inch by 3 inch bulb that hangs out of my chest, presumably stitched in somewhere under the itchy 17th century corset I'm not allowed to take off. The drain has to be emptied of "fluid", as in gross stuff, at least four times a day. It never fails to make me gag. Every so often the drain catches on something and that's one weird feeling.
My clothing options do not lend themselves to a drain. I must dress properly and put on make up everyday as part of my self care regime even if I sit on the couch all day. Mostly I look like I have a grapefruit size tumor on my side. Unfortunately, the drain will stick around for a couple of weeks.
Yesterday I got 10K steps, today the goal is 12K. Everyone argues with me but I just know exercise is the quickest route out of this nightmare.
Which leaves us with the final pathology report. That should come in in the next couple of days. The only thing I can compare it to is waiting for the jury to come back. I had clear margins and clean lymph nodes so there's reason to believe the mastectomy could be the end of it but that's what they told me last time so you will have to excuse my skepticism. I'll do radiation if needed but if they suggest chemo, I'm not at all sure I can go through that again. Maybe, but probably not. I can't tell you how much energy it takes to get through chemo. It's not just the debilitating effect of the drugs. It's having to be upbeat and cheerful through the whole goddamn thing. And I have to be upbeat and cheerful or my kids get all bummed and worried and I can't stand that.
Plus -- and this is important-- there are no bald women in Denver. You can't throw a brick without hitting a balk woman in Dallas, but I've been on the lookout and there are none. I despise being the center of attention. Scarves fool no one and wigs itch. Plus the whole idea of putting my bald head on a pillow gives me the heebie jeebies.
i keep having this weird urge to call my mother and tell her I have cancer again. It's not that I think she would give me love and comfort and support. It's more of a "see, you aren't the only one bad things happen to and watch how I handle this!" I wonder how she would react. I wonder if she would care. I wonder if she would bother to call or send me flowers. I think I know the answer to all those questions.