Monday, December 1, 2008

Part 3- Post-surgery

Adam spent the night with me at the hospital, grabbing what little sleep he could. It was difficult due to the annoying woman across the hall from me who wouldn't stop fighting with her boyfriend over the phone. Seriously, we heard her talking(read: crying) until at least 12:30am.

This crazy broad kept yellin about her dang morphine and I.V. Her pain was a pretty constant 9 on a scale of 10. I'm not really sure how that was possible, being that she wouldn't shut up, and had no problem traipsing around the flipping hospital all day and evening. I mean, I had just had my breast removed and I averaged about a 4. I guess we all feel pain differently though.

Shortly after she passed out, the woman beside me started having heart problems. This prompted doctors, nurses and x-ray techs. to be entering her little cubical every 30 minutes or so until around 5am. This poor elderly woman was about 78 and was battling colon cancer. No matter how much pain she may have been in, I barely heard a peep out of her. I really wanted to reach through the little curtain that was separating us and hold her hand, but convinced myself that it might freak the poor dear out a little too much if I did.

The next day brought more confusion. The sign on the door states that discharge will be at 9am sharp. When 9am rolled around, I asked if the nurse had any idea when I would be discharged. She said that the doctors were doing their rounds and it shouldn't be long. At about 11:00am an aid came in to give me a clean gown and towels so I could clean up. I told her that I was leaving, but she had heard no such word.

washroom break

trying to catch up on sleep



gettin puuurdy

By 12pm we were all growing rather impatient waiting for this mythical discharge that was supposed to be happening. My mother asked the nurse again, and she said it would be soon.

taking out the IV

I was finally discharged at about 12:50pm. They brought my lunch about 2 minutes before I was to be discharged. It looked a little like this-
Adam stole a wheelchair for me, as they were expecting me to walk all the way down to my car. Keep in mind I had barely eaten anything since Thursday night because of the nausea. I was so weak I could barely stand. Apparently, you are supposed to be sent home the same day as your surgery for this procedure. I am absolutely amazed at the women who manage to make it home the night of their surgery. I honestly don't think I would have made it, had I tried.

My ward. I was the last room on the right.

I slept for several hours on the way home. It was a tough ride, and I was really glad to have it over with.

feeling awesome

obligitory "Adam sleeping" shot.

My dad helping out with drainage

The next day, a home care nurse came to dress my wound and teach us how to change the drainage bags. Thankfully, Adam volunteered to do this for me, as it made me want to throw up.
As of right now, I am feeling a lot better.
I am doing my physio daily and it is helping me to regain some of the movement in my shoulder. My doctor made a house call last Thursday to check up on me. He said that I am healing really well and that I can start walking on my treadmill, as long as I take it easy. The last two days I have been on the elliptical for at least 17 minutes. It feels wonderful.

I will be going back to see the surgeon on Wednesday (Dec. 3rd) at 1:15pm. I will have my staples removed and learn more information about grade/stage of my cancer and my treatment schedule. In all likelyhood, I will have to have more test run due to the cancer spreading to my lymph nodes. At the very least, I'm expecting this to include a bone scan and liver ultrasound.

I have 37 staples that close a wound that starts in the middle of my chest and ends in my armpit.
I have posted more pictures, including some graphic pictures of my chest. If you have a weak stomach or feel uncomfortable seeing my wound, I suggest you don't go to this page.

I've had a lot of people as my why I am posting pictures of what is left of my chest after the mastectomy. I guess the answer is that I really want people to know that I am not embarrassed of this. Breast cancer happened to me, and I'm beating it. This is what my body looks like now, and I don't want to be ashamed. I think it is important for people to actually see the full extent to which it affects peoples lives.
Too often we think, "Oh, that person has cancer. Dang, that sucks". We never really see how it affects the person, the scars and deformities that it leaves (both physical and emotional). It is a terrible disease. So, I guess I am doing it to help others to understand.


iamthenarwhal said...

scars are hot. we have matching ones.

Mae said...

reverse matching ones.
that is even more hot.
hotter. whatever. <3

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your updates, it's good to know exactly how you are doing. Love you xxxx

Lady Hayley :)

Anonymous said...

i think it's great that you're doing this. people should be able to see what really happens. i'm proud of you for baring all considering how private of a person you are.

your wound is very clean. and it is pretty cute that you and adam match now.



lucky said...

meg, i'm not gonna lie. this one made me bawl my eyes out. they are not tears of sadness, but tears of admiration and pride. i'm so proud of you. this entry made my heart soar.

Anonymous said...

i like you.


Mae said...

Dang Lucky, now you're making me all teary <3

just the fact that you take the time to read it (not to mention all your wonderful comments) helps give me the strength to keep doing it.

lucky said...

stop it!! i can't tell you how much your blog is helping me. no idea.

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