Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Two Weeks Two Days

Sixteen days since my mastectomy, possibly as little as twelve days until I begin chemotherapy, I'm in an unpleasant limbo. I expect I'll require a little more time.  I want to feel fully recovered before I square up to the next blow, and right now, I can't imagine being there any time soon.

From what I read, most women are completely numb in the area of their surgery. In my case, the skin of my breast area is numb, but any pressure against my chest wall feels like direct contact with my bones. It's unpleasant and disconcerting rather than painful. According to the look on my face, captured here  by my brother D~ while J~ empties my drains, apparently it's extremely unpleasant. And the skin of my tricep area is so hypersensitive that fabric brushing against it feels like friction against a partially open wound.

Though most people have them removed by now, I still have too much fluid around my surgical sites to take out the drains.

"Why so much fluid?" My surgeon asked when she saw me yesterday, smirking, eyes narrowed. "Have you been exercising?

I had to confess that yes I have been exercising, but only walking, plus a few short sessions on the spin bike. I'm very careful to spare my arm and my "pectoralis muscle" as Dr Z likes to say. She has cautioned me against overuse, warning that use creates fluid, and I have obeyed. After all, I desperately want the drains out. I hate hate hate the drains.

But as much as I hate them, I hate being sedentary more. My back aches and my head aches and I'm gradually putting on weight and losing my usual sense of vigor.

So I'll keep moving, in moderation, and I'll keep draining, hopefully also in moderation. And if all goes well, when I go back to the surgeon on Friday I'll say goodbye to the drains forever. If I am so lucky, I will celebrate with a long-awaited shower.

Okay, so I'm frustrated. You're probably picking up on that. But overall, I swear, really, I'm doing okay.

And now, if you'll excuse me, time to go wash my hair in the sink.


Nancy said...

I continue to be in awe of your candor and beauty, not to mention the strength you are sharing with us all. Can I come walk with you some morning or afternoon, I'll hold Millie's leash if she needs one? Want to do some modified restorative yoga? let me know! sending you love love love and more love.

Anonymous said...

You look healthy and strong and I can see where you would be frustrated--you want to get back to working out--it's who you are. Not to mention that exercise/moving is a great way to manage stress and to cope.

I am wondering if putting on some weight is advised before undergoing chemo as so many people tend to drop weight? I hope this does not sound offensive in any way--I just know for me since I tend to drop weight quickly (I have very bad anxiety and can't eat at times)that when I have an appetite I tend to try and gain some weight b/c i know I will lose it fast at some point.

Wishing you luck on Friday--hopefully those drains will be gone for good.

Anonymous said...

I love the photo of you on your spin bike!! What a way to kick 'c' to the curb. You are truly an inspiration.

gycif said...

Very touched by the photo of you and Millie...what splendid therapy. Thinking of you Amy, and all the best on Friday...with love.

Anonymous said...

miss you kiddo...TRY to follow the Dr's should make you feel better, at least a chance to stretch...sit in a sunbeam in a field of tall, golden grass somewhere near your home. Meditate, think of the things you will be doing soon; cycling, swimming, running.