Quick Update (What An Inspiring Title)

Sorry, I’m just too tired/exhausted to blog inspirationally or cleverly or even in an interesting manner. This is a shout out to the blog-o-sphere on my current well-being and a chance to express myself.

Which to write about first, breast cancer surgery or food… That’s easy. I am 3 days post-op from a surgery to revise my bilateral mastectomy incisions and remove dead skin. Even though I now have external stitches (a la Frankenstein) my chest looks so much better! Two drains still hang from the sides of my chest, draining the space under my pectoralis major muscle where my foobs lie waiting to be inflated to adult-like sizes. Yesterday, much to my surprise, the plastic surgeon injected 120 cc of saline into each foob (now a total of 420). I didn’t hurt – until later. Just imagine someone stretching your pecs for you – from the inside! Hopefully adding the saline now will fill up the space, slow down the drainage, and on Monday I can get the darn drains removed. I hurt, yes, I do. Some women go through this with minimal pain. Some say it is worse than childbirth (wouldn’t know except from having delivered many babies). There is constant pressure, as if wearing a too tight bra. The sandpaper-like feel under my skin, which has no sensation, is much less.

Hey, as long as I am moaning like a little ol’ lady… I am exhausted. Good thing since the surgeon won’t let me exercise except to keep some degree of shoulder movement. A walk around the block after the temperature drops below 95° does me in. After the second surgery, I was told to do nothing for 3 days. We were out and about for almost 4 hours yesterday (on the 2nd post-op day) seeing the doc, grocery shopping, pet shopping, medical supply shopping, grabbing me some protein at a wonderful breakfast joint. I was grateful to be out of the house but collapsed into bed at 8.  (See, little ol’ lady) Who knew healing could be so exhausting?

Food – I am focusing on protein, but my appetite grows less and less. Eggs, whey protein shakes, Greek yogurt and cheese continue to be my main sources when I can choke them down. I nibble on almonds and pumpkin seeds when I feel a sag coming on. Throw in some grapes, berries and the occasional green veggie, and – hey, sounds pretty healthy except the amounts are way too low for someone trying to heal. Even coffee doesn’t taste very good – sob. Don’t look for updates on my weight because I’m not stepping on the scale. Drains, dressings, medications, weight loss of real boobs, weight from saline in the foobs – the scale is irrelevant now. (Hey, I can wear size 12 jeans, who the hell cares about the scale!)

My plastic surgeon has turned out to be a real winner. Not only is he the artist and technical expert that my breast surgeon assured, but his dry sense of humor is great. He treats me with tremendous respect, freely accepts Sue and me as a couple, and can pull out a joking attitude that I really appreciate and need. He never rushes through office visits. The office staff is tremendous. (Many doctors lose patients over their office staff members.) The icing on the cake (cake – gag) was right before the last surgery when he was marking up my chest again. My wonderful Sue made a comment about my weenie-ness, which I freely admit to having. He whipped around and said, “Don’t talk about my patient like that.” The he was back to his usual demeanor. I wanted to kiss him, but it was probably the pre-medication drugs hitting.

So now you are up to date. Although this is written without much censoring or even editing, I must add that I continue to be forever grateful that my breast cancer is essentially cured, that the love of family and friends can never be underestimated or undervalued, and that overall life is wonderful.

Now I’m off to find that bottle of Valium…


7 thoughts on “Quick Update (What An Inspiring Title)

  1. Hi Jan, So glad to hear you are doing well and trusting that the pain will soon be just a memory. I know that “well” is relative and obviously that comes in waves of feeling nothing…and feeling everything. It sounds like you have a wonderful support system of friends, family, and medical partners which has got to make the whole experience somewhat less frustrating. I know it does for those of us who hold you and your support team in prayer 🙂 Thank you so much for continuing to blog and to keep us updated….and to feel free here to be candid about your experience, your thoughts, and your feelings. ~Blessings, Janet

  2. So glad to hear from you Jan. Good news that the procedure went well. Sorry it’s uncomfortable right now, but you’re one step closer to getting your foobs “normal” again. Hang in there and thanks for the update.

  3. Interesting that a doctor doesn’t know how much enegry healing takes!! Ha!

    I’m glad to hear that healing and recovery are moving forward. I am one of the lucky few with a high tolerance for pain and 2 c-sections were a breeze for me. My sister is not so lucky and I have spent hundreds of hours with her following surgeries so I can empathize. Your Doc seems like a gem – so happy you found him.

    Take it easy and enjoy al the love and good wishes coming your way.

    • Physicians have a TREMENDOUS ability for denial when it comes to dealing with their own health. Makes one wonder if that is an acquired trait or one the reasons they chose medicine.

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