Life a Few Weeks After a Mastectomy

27 May
I’m sitting here drinking my coffee this morning while wearing the cutest slippers in the WHOLE world. A bunch of friends got together and sent me a wonderful gift basket.  These were included.  I LOVE them. The polka-dot pants were from my MIL. As you know, I love polka dots. lol! Don’t you love the slippers? They are perfect for a wanna be farm girl like me. 
I know I haven’t posted in a few days. This Tuesday I will be 3 weeks post-op. Nothing much to post about and I don’t want to sound depressing so I haven’t said much. My days are still painful. I dread going to bed at night because there is just no way to get comfortable. Also, for some reason I have bad dreams almost every night. This is not normal for me. I hardly ever have bad dreams. The good news is that I do normally sleep between 10pm-4am or 12am-4am. Which is really a blessing that I can get this much sleep. But, once 4am hits I am just in too much pain and I just lay there awake, uncomfortable until I get up. The mornings are okay, my chest feels uncomfortable/tight, but the pain is tolerable. I take my pain meds at about 4-6am depending on how long I laid in bed awake before I finally got up. 10am-2pm is usually the best time of the day and usually when I am the most active. Around 2pm I start to get tired and my muscles start to hurt more (probably from using them between 10 and 2) and I either watch a movie or take a nap. Sitting is way more comfortable than laying down. I am still not doing well with my exercises. I am supposed to do them 3 times a day and I do them once or twice. I would probably do them more if Kevan pushed me a little. I also have developed “phantom” pain from where they did my lymph node biopsy (and cut a nerve)on my left arm and this also causes a lot of discomfort. I am supposed to be able to massage it and it will eventually go away. I’m praying it goes away soon. 
I haven’t mentioned it yet on my blog, but my doctor informed me last week that she would not approve my travel to Tijuana, Mexico for our church mission trip (6/6-6/13) since I will only be 4 weeks post-op and will still have many restrictions. They will be helping with vacation bible school with the local kids, taking the children from the orphanage on a day out and having church at an adult rehab center. So, nothing manual, but doctor still said no. Kevan and I had purchased our tickets way before we found out I had cancer and I was really looking forward to it. I’ve never been on a mission trip before. She thinks the conditions there are not good and I could develop a sickness or infection. Also, the roads are bumpy and right now I’m at a critical stage with my tissue expanders. If they are jostled too much fluid can develop behind them which would cause them to have to either remove the excess fluid via needle or surgically – sometimes even having to have the expander removed due to infection from the fluid build-up. I really thought that God was going to do a miracle and I was still going to be able to go. Breaks my heart that Kevan is going without me and a part of me wants to ask him to stay home, but I know it is best he goes. He will be gone 8 days. This will be the longest we’ve been apart our whole dating/marriage (9 years). Everyone that knows us knows that this will be hard for us since we do everything together…so a huge part of me will be missing. I’m sure he will feel the same in Mexico, but at least he will be busy. I start back to work the day he leaves, 6/6. I was going to go stay with my mother-in-law so I wouldn’t be alone, but she will be going on a mountain vacation with a few of her family members (they go every year) and I haven’t decided if I want to tag along yet or not. I don’t want to feel like the 5th wheel. Plus, I start work that same week and would have to work from their cabin with satellite internet which is not that reliable. I, of course, don’t want to stay home alone, but it looks like that is what is going to happen. I wish my parents lived closer so the could be with me. But, most of all I wish I could go on the trip. :o( 
Another thing that happened, on Friday, is that I found out from the oncologist office that my chemo starts on 6/5. I did not realize I would be starting treatment so soon. I have asked to have it changed so that Kevan will be able to be with me, but they were very snotty to me and acted like it was hard to change a chemo schedule once it was already on the calendar. Still waiting to hear back from the nurse in their office. I SERIOUSLY do not want to have chemo for the first time the day before my husband leaves on an 8 day trip and the day before I start back to work. Ugh! I’m hoping to move it to 6/19. 
I think you are probably ready for some GOOD NEWS! 
  1. I’m able to put my hands up high enough to tie my own ponytail with only minimal pain. This is great because I no longer have to ask for help and I wear ponies almost every day now since using the hair dryer takes so long and is so heavy still. 
  2. Another praise is that I can put my hands totally above my head while touching my palms together. This is a great milestone. I was supposed to be at this point days ago per my PS, but I finally made it to it yesterday and I’ve very happy about that. 
  3. I get to wear a bra now instead of the wrap.  I like wearing it for most of the day, but by 8pm or so I’m ready to put the wrap back on.  The bras they provide are one size fits all and they are TIGHT….I have no idea how they are one size fits all because I’m pretty small framed.  But, I’m still glad to be able to wear a bra now.  It does not latch so I have to step into it and pull it up since I cannot put shirts/bras on over my head yet.  I know…..TMI!
  4. I’m thankful I feel good enough to go to church again today.  Although, I will be pretty worn out by 1pm.
 I’ve been thinking about posting pictures of my incisions and/or other pictures of how my right side (near my armpit) looks so much different than my left just so I can document this and see how I improve, but I haven’t decided it I’m brave enough to do that yet or even if you guys want to be grossed out by the pictures.  Not sure if it would be helpful for others going through the process.  I have searched and searched the internet and I cannot find ANYONE that has posted 2 week or 3 week post-op pictures that look like me and it scares me because everyone seems to look so much better.  My wonderful husband laid hands on me last night to pray for my pain, the journey and the end results.  He asked the Lord to help me to love the way I look when this is all over and I hope with all my heart that God answers that prayer (tears falling now).  
Well, I’m going to go read my bible, read some Spurgeon, take my shower and then wake Kevan up to help me with bandaging before we leave for church.  Not sure how much longer I will have to be bandaged, but hopefully, by 6/6 I won’t need to be any longer.  The days I do not start with my scripture reading and prayers are my worst days and I want today to be a great day!
Remember, today is a blessed day by God so y’all have a blessed day!
Genesis 2:2, 3By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

2 Responses to “Life a Few Weeks After a Mastectomy”

  1. willie May 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    It is easy for me to say but in the midst of the disappointments and dreads take a moment to focus and physically count all of the prayers that have been answered and all of the blessings received. Then under that list make another one. "Things that could be worse". First one to my mind, all this could have came about in winter. Cold, Coats and rain or snow on those trips to the doc, no deck to sit on. The "what if" list could be endless. We got a good prognosis, great docs, and you are still young and pretty. Very soon life will begin to get normal. Without the valleys we could not appreciate the mountains.

  2. Mrs. T. May 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    It's wise that your doctor did not approve you going on the trip–infection would be terrible for you to have now, and painful as well. Separation is good for couples on occasion. Love the slippers and the polka dots. 🙂 Oh, and when you get ready to post photos be sure to put in the opening sentence that you have them in the post for wimps like me. I have had 3 C-section scars (same one reopened 2x) and I could not even look at ME when the staples were in!

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