Thursday, March 31, 2011

Post-Mastectomy Follow-up #1

Today I met with the surgical oncology team at Huntsman. Everything is looking pretty good. There is still some swelling and some possible redness of the skin that will be watched closely although Shannon thinks that it is just my normal blotchy skin. The good news is that my drain output has been minimal so we were able to remove one of the two drains today. This made me especially happy because it was the more superficial drain and I could see it under my skin. Totally creepy. The build up to drain removal was intense. For some reason I was convinced that it would be excruciatingly painful. I described to the nurse how I envisioned a hook at the end of the drain (I was certain I could see that under my skin) tugging at my tissue as she pulled it out. I also envisioned her ripping it out like a bandaid. I lay on the table hardly able to breathe with my eyes closed. I didn't even know when it actually happened as Vicki (the nurse) kept talking. Felt nothing. So for all of you who keep telling me I'm tough......I'm really a wimp!

I don't meet with this team again until June. I think I may be on to the next phase of this journey.

As for post-surgical discomfort (aka pain) that has been decreasing every single day and I am pretty much tapered off the pain meds. Sometimes I find myself feeling so good that I will jump up and and do something out of habit. The associated discomfort (aka pain) often reminds me that I am still really sore with certain arm movements and lifting is not yet allowed.

My next follow-up is with the plastic surgeon on Tuesday. Hopefully the swelling will be down, no sign of infection, and the final drain can come out. Later in the day I have an appointment with a Naturopath. I'm really excited to meet with this woman. Hopefully she can help me cruise through chemo although I'm not sure that is even possible. Then, Friday I meet with my medical oncologist who will give me final clearance to start chemotherpy the following week.

I also want to thank everyone for the cards, flowers, food, and goodies. We have not had to cook a single meal this week and have had the yummiest plant-based, leafy green, anti-cancer meals brought over. I must say that I feel kind of guilty when people bring things over. All this resting has resulted in a lot of pent up energy. I am kind of a spaz. Even though I feel great it is really difficult to do things around the house. We really appreciate everyone's kindness.


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  2. Loads of great news. Keep up the strength and using some of that energy. Drain tubes are sort of freaky, getting them out isn't bad and it's so much nicer to not be tethered to em.

  3. I did the same thing you did! I thought the tube coming out was going to be terrible and was surprised when it was nothing. I would love to hear about your experience with the Naturopath, it was suggested to me recently to meet with one.

  4. Great news Jen, when Brian pulled his 6 inch long nerve block out of his leg, which they told him to do himself, he was prepared to faint, but despite it's tiny little barbs it was not a big deal pain-wise anyway! Crazy how our brains create false anticipations.
    Happy healing this week.