Thursday, December 20, 2012

My-my-my-my Seroma

I awake in the middle of the night to find my breast all wet. What is going on? I retreat to Josh's room where I have all my middle of the night supplies.  A milky like substance is seeping from my nipple. It has been 21 years since I last breast-fed a child and ten years since I last had a period. Still it looks like milk. I tentatively taste for sugar. Ugh! Not sweet, vile!!!!! I then feel for my seroma, a fluid filled lump that had formed inside all the surgical scars. I have had this lump, maybe 7-8 cm across, for 4 years. On  a mammogram, it looks real bad but on ultrasound, it is harmless. Plus just last month, it was determined to be the same size as before and therefore not worrisome. More stuff oozes out.

My oncologist had warned me that some day it could break. I had assumed this would happen while I was running or when I was kicked accidentally by squirming grandkids not when I was sleeping. For about a month after my surgery, I could hear creepy sloshing while running. Then the liquid must have thickened.

This thing made up a good chunk of my remaining deformed breast, sort of a natural implant though not well centered. Now I am even more lop-sided.

A seroma that suddenly formed at the site of a week-old soccer injury to his thigh was what Josh had called me up in the middle of the night about,  3 months ago. The sudden appearance scared him and he insisted on a trip to the ER. Within a week, it was gone absorbed somehow.

My seroma: remember that 1979 song My Sharona?

Yeah TMI. But as this is a blog in part for breast cancer patients, I have included it in the spirit of this could happen to you..just like me including lesser known chemo side effects such as non-working apocrine glands and no ear wax.

It is the middle of the night again.The seroma deflation happened the night before. It is still leaking. New seromas presumably fill in just as fast as they are drained but little is said about old ones. It is a whole  lot smaller.
 Right now, Shanna and Tessa are in one spare room; the boys in the other. Our former 4th bedroom, most recently 15 years ago, was Shanna's room which we converted to a den once she left for school. We made another bedroom of sorts in the lower level where Julia lived for about a year and then others. I guess I could retreat there now. I could grab part of the stash of NYT magazines my friend dropped off the other day.

It is the Holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year. Don't know if I believe that given that it occurs in the darkest part of the year and I crave light. So far though, no snow or ice have interfered with my running or biking. I did both yesterday anticipating cold, wet winds today and snow on Friday. But the kids are excited about it and my 8 foot tree (good thing we have cathedral ceilings) is all lit up to amuse the kids.We have been using the Santa hot-line to report bad behavior in a futile attempt to illicit better.

Part of the season means parties. I had my own for the Mom's, then a holiday dinner the other night with some former work buddies, then a bizarre gathering for all former employees that might still be living around here. Our work-place was roughly divided into 3 parts: pre-clinical (research by chemists, biologists, pharmacologists  clinical and administration. Being a chemist, I knew much more of the pre-clinical people. However, this gathering was full of others. I knew only a few people. One was the former boss of both Shanna and Ramy (this is how they met years ago while she was engaged to someone else). I start to speak to him but he looks right through me and goes past me without any acknowledgement. yeah he is known for his lack of social graces but still.....I assume he is there to network in his clumsy way and I wasn't worth the time to delay that. I must have looked shocked. A man approached me that I didn't remember, a tumor biologist who turns out to know many of the people  that I once did as I had been assigned to the cancer group way back in the 80s. He wondered what was wrong? Well soon as this beer is over, I am outta here. I don't know anyone and the one person I did pretended not to know me.. He asked me who that was. I pointed to Shanna's former boss. He knew him and offered to beat him up for me.

We had a good talk on the biology of cancer, which is of obvious interest to me. He works still as a consultant for a foreign company involved in oncology.
Eventually some did show that I knew. A former office mate brought her adorable 2 year old but I guess it was interesting overall.

About somethings, just for my survival, I've been an ostrich with her head in the sand. I know things that are occurring that I wish weren't but it is easier to pretend they are not happening. Some of this crap will be addressed hopefully today. I will have Maya again as I will for a good part of the week.

It is two hours before I usually get up for good. I hate the middle of the nights. Presumably beds are for sleeping only and if one isn't going to sleep, one should get up and do something else. And then the bed is associated with only sleep and one magically falls asleep once one goes under the covers.

The kids are quiet. Tess fortunately sleeps through the night. Danny finally can sleep without his fingers entwined in Shanna's hair so he would know if she makes a move away from him. He is making do with Oliver who has little hair to run his fingers through. All I hear now beyond the clicking of the keyboard are the trucks on the freeway a half-mile away.


Holly said...

Do you feel any relief after the seroma ruptured? I still have mine. AS you means daily pain.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I have pain that comes and goes on that side which I assume is due to radiation damaged nerves, not the seroma. The seroma still is leaking out and now my breast is sore. I am hoping that I don't have some kind of infection though there is no blood and nothing smells.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.


Blog Archive