(The following was originally posted on my Carepages blog for family and friends during my treatment.)
Hard to believe I’m sitting here writing this and that in just three days it will have been two weeks since my surgery.
Since then, life has moved quickly. After my surgery, I was surprised by how good I felt the next day. I had expected to go home and sleep for several days. I had planned some Netflix to watch from bed and bought new pajamas. However, I found I was not tired and was able to spend most of my time sitting in one or the other of my two favorite chairs—one in the tv room, the other outside. The neighbor lady walked by and saw me sitting on the front porch. She was amazed that it had only been one day since my surgery. She told me the lady up the street didn’t leave her house for six months when she went through it.
I returned to my surgeon’s office the following Friday (7/14) to have my drains removed. Unfortunately, neither were ready. These drains, in case you’ve never had/seen one, are a little flexible jug about the size of my fist. (I do have a small fist, for what it’s worth.) It’s attached to a thin tube that extends out from beneath my bandages. I hung the duo from a lanyard with the tubes coming up through my shirt’s neckline. They are not necessarily a beautifying clothing accessory, though I considered hanging beads or gluing rhinestones to them. They are the kind of thing that I am highly aware of as I’m always concerned that. . .
a) they will get snagged on something and pull out of my body
b) they will get snagged on something and spill all over my clothing
c) will gross someone out if they see them hanging there. I wear oversized, button up shirts to try to hide/protect them.
(I later learned some people wear a fanny pack under their shirt to hold them. . . oh, now you tell me!)
Finally, on Tuesday (7/18) I was able to have one drain removed and they changed my bandages. The incisions don’t look too bad. We laughed because the surgeon was able to save my heart tattoo. It bears Tim’s name and I had been worried he would cut it in half or worse. I told him "all or nothing." I didn’t want a half tattoo. Haha.
I had bought a new, specialized bra for this situation. I discovered with all the bandaging, I wouldn’t be able to put that on just yet. I dug in my drawers and found an old tube top from the 80s. (Perfect.) Hubby and I laughed because the two young interns who helped remove my bandages commented that the tube top looked really comfortable. (It was.) We decided they had never seen a tube top before. (Is that no longer a thing?)
At the same time, I asked the doctor about my left leg which had been showing some edema, particularly at night. He sent me right over to check for blood clots—Yikes!—but none were found. (Yay!) I believe every inch of my body has been tested for something, at this point.
Sometime between surgery day and this week, all my eye lashes fell out. It cracked me up because I didn’t put on any make up a couple of days after surgery and, a few days later, when I went to put on my "better than sex" mascara, I realized there was nothing there to put it on! We had a good laugh about that. Just goes to show that even though I’m five weeks since my last chemo treatment, I am still having side effects from it. I don’t see the oncologist again until 8/1, but will have a lot of questions for him.
In the meantime, a few weeks ago, Tim’s stimulator, which keeps his back pain at bay, quit working. Along with all my doctor visits, he’s had his share trying to figure out when they could go in with the fix. They called us on Wednesday to see if he could come on Thursday for the first procedure. (It will be several weeks before the new implant can be permanently placed). Today we are a pair, him not being able to bend, me not able to lift. Somehow between the two of us, we are getting around and laughing about the irony of it all.
Today, the UPS man delivered a box containing “medical supplies.” He said, “Did someone get injured?” Tim and I both laughed so hard. There just isn’t a short answer for all that has been going on with us. What was in the box? Medical tape adhesive remover. We both have tape marks on our body and nothing takes that off. Along the way, a nurse had given me a small packet with magic liquid that took the stubborn adhesive right off. I saved the packet and found I could order the product online. Now we can be stick-um free!
Hopefully, from here on out, things will continue to get better. Healing up from all this is taking way longer than I’d like. At least, we are finding things to laugh about as we go along.