Surprisingly enough, the recovery so far isn’t that painful – I took one pain pill the first night, and that’s been it to date. Honestly, I think the vacuum assisted biopsy was worse painwise, though of far shorter duration.
I tire easily, I’m a bit fuzzy mentally; my left chest and arm are sore; and my activity level pretty limited – far less tottery and wobbly on my feet already, but still moving slowly and carefully, very unwilling to jar anything. The left side can’t bear any real weight or pressure yet and my range of motion on that side is a bit limited, though not bad. I’m strapped into a bra 24/7 (exceptions are made for showering and I am showering, you’ll be happy to know); sleeping is a bit problematic (I prefer sleeping on my left side, and that’s right out, but there’s a tendency to want to turn that way while sleeping); and I’m trying to keep ice on it as much as possible – tiny icepacks during the day, and full sized ones at night.
The incisions themselves are well hidden under gauze and Tegaderm – the gauze on my breast completely covers the nipple, which is a wee bit disconcerting – so I’ve no idea as of yet what they actually look like. It’ll all change in the healing, anyway… scars fade to silver, the body fills in as it can, radiation will thicken the skin. It hardly seems to matter – vanity will, no doubt, return, but the relief of having that thing out my body washes over all other concerns at the moment.
I think I’m having a different reaction than many people do, partially because my tumor was so apparent, its growth so evident – there was and is no doubt in my mind that this was wrong, that it was moving far too fast, that this had to go, and that it needed to happen *now*, if not sooner. My biggest concern with the flush reaction I experienced was that it not delay my surgery, not by an hour or a day; I needed it gone from me.
I found the lump the evening of April 16th, an easily palpable and distinct lump I’ll swear hadn’t been there the night before; surgery was the 11th – just about 25 days, start to finish. I had my first biopsies on April 22nd; by the time I saw the surgeon on Friday April 29th, two days after biopsy results had confirmed that the mass was malignant, 13 days after I first found it nestled in my breast, the tumor was visible. By the time I went into surgery, there were two distinct easily palpable masses, different lobes of the same tumor.
It was that fast.
It was that scary.
And I’m so relieved to have it gone.
My house is clean; people are bringing me vast quantities of food (my fridge has never been so full) and many flowers; my sweet little death trap ’92 Isuzu is on the auction block (o, I’m sad, but it *was* time – the very last day I drove it the turn signals failed, and I certainly couldn’t drive it *now*); I have the very bestest friends, family, neighbors, and housemates ever checking in on me, making sure I’m ok, helping me through this. Many thanks to you all, near and far – you’re champs!
And on that note… back to bed.