What lies beneath

Six days after surgery.

Brave woman that I am, I peeled off the Tegaderm and gauze patch over the incision on my breast this morning – it was starting to look a bit soggy, truth be told, and feeling kinda itchy. A bit scary, but it was time.

It looks GOOD.  Really, just a glancing blow from Cupid’s arrow – steri-strips still on, and there will be lots of changes yet as it heals, but here and now, it’s looking good. Straight line out from my nipple, no major distortion in breast shape that I can see, good clean scar.

The rest of healing is continuing apace. I made it through yesterday without any major naps; got dressed in ‘street clothes’ by myself today; got out of the house (briefly, but still – and thanks for the car keys, Debbie! I do have the very best housemates ever); and made the needed home repair calls this morning (remember that ice dam, that damned ice, we had last winter? And all the damage it caused, upstairs and down, and in my lady’s  chambers? That still needs to be dealt with – and I want to get it well underway as far as quotes, scheduling, etc before I cross the borders of ChemoLand).

I have great flexibility, but very little strength in my left arm – things like slicing bread, opening flip tops, squeezing toothpaste, carrying a full cup of coffee, making a bed, etcetera are all activities it’s not best fond of, and only moderately capable of. Lifting anything heavier than a cup of coffee is right out. I’m still tending to carry my arm curled up against my chest when walking, which is perhaps not the most attractive or graceful reality, but keeps that side supported and stable.

This too shall pass.

There’s some  moderate pain, mostly in my breast and down my left arm; a sort of dull achy overused muscle pain (close to constant in the arm) and then little sharp prickly stabs now and again or occasional  pulling pains, both in my arm and in my breast. Utterly manageable, thankfully.

I still have more food in my fridge than it’s seen in a while; I’m devouring books; and starting to get that antsy feeling you get when recovering from being ill…  almost well enough to do things, and wanting to, but not quite there yet.

A tip of the nib, in no particular order, to:

Nellie & Wes, who have provided me with much food & support, and made my beloved battered truck go away.

Mom, who put up with me through pre-op, did my laundry, helped me make my *complicated* bed,  brought more food and *coffee* and more reading material.

Mark, who’s been dropping by every day, checking in and bringing up my mail.

Beth, who’s been a great long distance support.

Tessa – who dyed my hair blue & pink, and who has been wonderful throughout.

Jim – who risked my stairs, and picked up medication and who is always a champ.

Deborah, *best housemate*, who delights in feeding me, and has given me the keys to her car, among many other things.

Allison, *best housemate*, who brought me coffee, and dealt with the trash, and came up the stairs when I rang the bell. See, Mom, it works!

Matt, *best housemate*, who will be mowing the lawn as soon as we get a dry day and I can move the forget-me-nots.

Ellen, who brought me a HUGE pot of homemade chicken soup, bread, and salad.

Becky, who supplied the first books for my reading pleasure.

Ron, who is Ron, and wonderful.

Dad, who actually called me to see how I was doing, and asked what he could do.

Snatch McKraken, aka Lara Ivins, who came by with a great card and choccies.

Beverly, who brought flowers and conversation to my house.

Davis, who brought freshpicked flowers from the greenbelt in a most unusual vase.

S – who’s been through this, and answered my questions about her experience honestly and forthrightly.

And everyone else who has been by, or helped, or called,  or emailed, or sent cards, or came to my send off party for the Lump, or who will be helping… all of you, you’re the bestest! I am so grateful for your presence in my life… without you and your support, this would be incredibly difficult to manage.

YOU ROCK! Superstars, every last one of you.

I’d give you a hand, but clapping’s not on the list of approved activities yet.

And thanks to VHAP, which has meant that I’m not worrying about whether I’m going to lose my house due to medical bills, or whether I can afford treatment. Affordable health care is an amazing thing.

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