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.