Thursday, December 3, 2015

Frankenchest and more

So it is done. I am in a cloud of opiates and have alarms set to keep them coming.  I was the very last patient to leave the building due to my late surgery slot. I hadn't eaten in 22 hours and was quite hungry all day especially as I was making soup. But after I woke up, everything they suggested made me want to throw up. A few sips of Vernors was all I could handle.  The rule is no leaving until I could pee but I was so woozy and really didn't have to go. but everyone wanted to go home so I reluctantly obliged
Before the surgery, he spent some time drawing all sorts of lines on my chest.  He promised he would take way more fat than was needed to fill in my missing half breast but when I woke up (in sea of intense pain!!!), I felt my belly. Still all there. Turns out my breast had absolutely no tissue to provide an effective bed for engraftment. Well at least I don't need to wear that torture device but I am very sad that I will remain mutilated. It isn't clear if it could be fixed in the future. do I want to go through 2 recoveries? I wasn't able to talk to him after the surgery. Lots of time was spent learning about aftercare and how to milk the tubing from my drain. so far there doesn't seem to much drainage.  After numerous doses of fentanyl and Vicodin, my pain now is tolerable

Since the surgery wasn't until late, I had plenty of time to run fueled by black coffee. At least I could have that as I am quite the addict.

This is quite rambling. I blame the drugs

Update: My night was not so bad. I slept upright which cut down on the tossing and turning I normally do. Sleeping on my belly and side is out. I have a not so attractive bag of blood pinned to me. I have to measure its contents 2x a day. Once there is less than 30 ml per 24 hours, I can go get the drain pulled. This should happen soon as only 20 ml happened last night and that probably will be the most. Unfortunately I am bleeding from one of my many wounds that has seeped out of the gauze pads, the padded surgical bra and onto my shirt. Obviously I am wearing old clothes. They were surprised that I couldn't pee as they gave me more than a liter of fluids during the surgery. My fingers looked like huge sausages. Good thing I took my rings off though one of them was quite the ordeal to remove as I am so much bigger than I was when I got it. But all night, I got up almost every hour (well with the long walk to the toilet at least I am getting my exercise). My fingers finally shrunk enough to put the wedding ring on but not the other ring. My pain is under control, thankfully, but I am cutting down on the opiates because they make me nauseated.

I will miss my exercise the most. I am encouraged to walk and have a Jawbone to keep track of that. Although they say no bicycling, as long as I am on smooth roads, I don't know why not. Jostling encourages the formation of seromas which is what happened with the 2 tumor removal surgeries. I did run again in less than a week after the surgeries.

The lady who literally wrote the book on Triple Negative Breast Cancer (that she asked me to edit )had a new TNBC tumor last year and had a mastectomy as one can only be radiated once. She blamed her seromas on having to drive up an especially bumpy road to get  to her cabin in the Rockies. These things are impossible to remove as they usually just fill right back up again. After 4 years, the huge seroma I had at the surgical site (looking very much like a tumor on the mammogram but a seroma by ultrasound) burst one night while I was sleeping. But the walls are still there according to the surgeon and are part of the reason I couldn't get my engraftment yesterday..

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

I am so sorry. You must be very disappointed.


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