Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Lumpectomy Post Op recovery

Part of my blogging about this cancer journey is for me, but also so that others coming behind me can be prepared. This is the information I looked for that I had a hard time finding.  I'm going to be very honest, and sometimes that may mean more details than you are comfortable with. Guess what? Breast cancer involves talking about things like nipples, breasts, milk ducts, and all things related to them. If you are uncomfortable with those words, please pray you never develop breast cancer.

I have two incisions. One is about 1/2 inch above the nipple and about 4 inches long. The other is near my armpit and about 3 inches long.

The first couple of days the most painful area was where the lymph node biopsies were done, which is near the armpit. The body chooses which are the "sentinel" (or first) lymph nodes to filter fluids from the breast, so when the doctors decide to find those nodes, it means sometimes those first nodes are not right near the surface. No, my first three sentinel nodes were a bit deeper, meaning muscles and stuff needed to be moved.

My chest has been wrapped in a large ace bandage to keep pressure on the area. Yesterday I was able to remove that bandage to shower for the first time. Ummm wow…. That bandage was covering the fact my boob looks like it was pummeled with a baseball bat. It only feels slightly better than that. It also only took me a second to remember what the surgeon told Dean when he was done working on me, "I had to take a bit more tissue than I expected." Umm yeah. Not all things are pointing in the same direction they used to be and…well…divots are for golf courses, not boobs! I'm told some of this will fill in with fluid as I heal. I hope so.

Today, day three after surgery, I'm still *really* tired. I've never been so tired so many days after a surgery. The anesthesia and complimentary drugs must have been a bit different this time, because I'm wiped out! Yes, I have cancer, but this was a very slow-growing cancer that wasn't yet affecting my general health. Maybe its just a combined problem of coming home with Audrey, finding out I have cancer and all that stress, getting the house ready for me to be out of commission for a few days, and then surgery itself?

I have a couple update posts coming about the kids. I'm tired of talking about cancer. Next week I'll have a visit with my surgeon and oncologist, but until then, lets talk about the FAMILY, shall we???


Imogen said...

You have been through more in the past few months than many do in years - it is no wonder you are exhausted. I wish every one of your readers lived close by so we could help out with practical things so you could get some well deserved rest. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. It has prompted me to get my a** into gear and team up my first mammogram. As always, many hugs to you across the seas xx

e wilson said...

You're the bomb.... Lots of love from Missouri.

e wilson said...

You're the bomb.... Lots of love from Missouri.