I’ve been home from the hospital for seven days. My surgery was 14 days ago, and while I’d love to say I’m feeling better with each passing day, the truth is that I’m feeling pretty lousy.
There have been many days where I thought I should update but honestly I just haven’t had the energy.
A woman in my online breast cancer group warned me that for every 5 minutes that I did somethinMog physical, I’ll end up sleeping for two hours.
I thought she was kidding.
Turns out, she wasn’t.
I don’t think I’ve felt this exhausted since giving birth to twins, except at least with twins the bonus was that I had twins.
My bonus with this surgery is that I have an incision that runs from hip bone to hip bone and “lollipop” incisions on both breasts where my nipples used to be.
But hey, I am cancer free!
So, there’s that.
My surgery, as it turned out, was scheduled May 16th and supposed to be 8 hours long. My mom and Hugh both brought me to the hospital and originally planned to drop me off and go home (since my hospital is so far away from where we live). However, since surgery was expected to be shorter, they decided to stay so they could see me when I woke up.
I honestly don’t remember much before being taken back to surgery other than kissing them both goodbye and being filled with a lot of anxiety.
I remember waking up and seeing their faces and being told that my surgery took much longer than expected (more than 12 hours!).
They left to go home to sleep and I went to sleep as well (or as much as you can sleep when the hospital staff wakes you every single hour to check the blood flow in your transplanted skin cells).
My surgery was a double mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction (along with Tram flap reconstruction).
Essentially my body went through amputation and transplant surgery where I was the donor of the organs.
And trust me, I feel every single ounce of it and hurt everywhere.
The morning after my surgery I awoke barely able to see and extremely frustrated and angry.
And I’m quite certain everyone who saw me, knew it.
I couldn’t focus on anything or anyone.
Everything I looked at was blurry and no one had an explanation why, except that my body was in shock and “hopefully it would get better”.
It took a good, solid week for me to even sort of get my vision back, and it still remains mostly blurry and completely changed where my eye glasses are no longer the correct prescription.
I came home with strict instructions to do virtually nothing but “relax and heal” for the next two weeks.
I’m allowed to shower, although that’s complicated since I’m not allowed to lift my arms above my head or bend at the waist.
Pretty much I spend my day in a recliner my son Alex bought me, wanting to cry, because my drains hurt 24/7.
I am thankful, however, for family members and some friends who have made meals for my family.
I’m thankful for my mom who checks with me each day to see what needs to be done, whether it’s running to the pharmacy or just picking up groceries, and makes sure we don’t go without.
I’m thankful for my kids who are willing (& able) to do the laundry and are teaching themselves to cook (with my supervision). And who help get their little brother up each morning for school and who help get me out of my chair every single time I need to move.
I’m thankful for a boyfriend who puts up with the “excitement” that is now our life, which includes him shaving ny legs since I can’t bend to do it myself. True love, I tell ya.
And mostly, I am thankful to be alive and cancer free.
I’ve waited almost a year to hear those words and when my surgeon came to my room after surgery to tell me that pathology on my tissue came back “cancer free”, she cried right along with me…
Two of the most amazing words in the English dictionary.