Saturday, October 29, 2011
A Part of the Picture
Hi! Sorry it's been a while. I'm actually doing great. I walked up to our church's Harvest Party earlier today and saw some of my precious preschoolers. It was good to reconnect. One mom told me how very worried her child was...tears, etc. Though I do not like the thought of children crying, this compassion warmed my heart.
Anyway, in the coming days, I am going to share some of the different parts to the picture I am living in now. Put together, they'll give you a good idea of MY cancer experience. This post is a tad graphic, so be warned!
Above is a picture of my "going home" outfit when I left the hospital. It's called a "mastectomy cami." Those bottles hanging down are the drains. When this picture was taken, those drains were still connected to me. I am standing just to the right of the picture. One drain tube entered my right side, one, my left. The fancy cami has "hidden" pockets into which these drain bottles fit. Every 8 hours or so, these drains were emptied by my faithful posse. The "contents" were measured and recorded, noting amount and color. (Makes you wanna think twice before offering to help a newly mastectomied person, doesn't it?)
On the Monday after surgery, I had these drains removed. I was dreading this procedure, mostly because Dr. F had told me point-blank: IT HURTS. Plus also, there was no offer of anesthesia, local or otherwise. Rats! So, here's the scene...me, laying on a table. Posse-girl Dawn holding my hand, eyes closed; Posse-girl Lorie standing by my side, watching for details. Dr. F removes the stitch which was holding the drain in place and like a master gardener starting a lawn mower, pulls that bad boy out of my right side. TEN INCHES of tubing was snaked inside of me, people! TEN! It felt so nasty and it hurt like a...lot. But then, just as Dr. F had promised, relief! But then? Dread. There was another drain. He repeated the above and I was FREE! I wanted to hug him. (This wasn't the first time).
The drains were not my favorite. Sleeping, showering, etc. with drains in you is...awkward. I am so happy that they are out. BUT here's the thing. All that "stuff" that was draining into those bottles is now draining into ME! So, Friday I went back to Dr. F's office and he, with a syringe, removed about a half-a-cup of Christie-fluid from my left side. Thankfully, this was painless, since I am still completely numb there.
So, there's the drain part of the picture. Sorry if you got more information than you bargained for. More tomorrow! (Bet'cha can't wait, ha-ha!)