While I sit in hospital having the chop again it’s ironic I am back again where It all started! Hopefully this is the last hurdle of the universe’s plan for me. I finally have time to sit and write my next piece for my blog. Hannah sure does keep me busy I literally do not get a minute with her. Come bedtime at 7 each night I am too tired to even think straight let alone look at the computer to type anything. Thanks to baby brain and chemo brain, I defo feel my mind is not as sharp as it used to be. Thanks for been so patient I know August was the last one. I promise I wont make you wait that long for the next one 🙂
So surgery 1 – 16th September 2014
What a day to have your boob removed – of course I got no sleep the night before
you would swear Hannah knew something was up, she played up the night before, only 4 weeks old so still not fully settled in yet. That night she knew deep down I was stressed but didn’t think I was on the outside. I just wanted the tumour gone I had my game face on me ready and waiting to go. Tough cookie me but even the toughest of cookies still have to crumble sometimes. I was not going to surgery well rested. I stayed in my mams the night before it was easier just to get up and go and leave Hannah sleeping with Supernanny. 🙂 My ma shes some woman !!!
I checked into admissions with my new jammie’s, slippers and dressing gown in tow or (housecoat)as some of you may prefer. Why is it we buy new pj’s for hospital stays talk about keeping up appearances. #pureirishthing.
Think I bought 3 new sets of jammie’s this time for my hospital stay I need to get out more. Seem to live in them these days and no you will never see me at the shops in them. lol
Getting back on track I sat in admissions all day chatting on whats app to the girls keeping the spirits up. I had ran down my battery to quick dam S4 and the shitty battery life on them. There was nowhere to charge it that I could see the lack of plugs was unreal and sure we all need a break from technology. So I sat and watched the telly with flipping Jeremy Kyle and doctors please shoot me now!!! I must have been the last to be called cos I was literally about to start chewing furniture I had been fasting for over 12 hours. I was in there since before 8. I was so dang thirsty I wasn’t called for surgery till 2pm I love my food can’t be starving me like that. Think the longer I was kept waiting the more anxious I got.
The phone rang I heard my name mentioned by the nurse bout time lets do this shit ! the lovely nurse in admissions got my stockings and hospital gown and done final checks on her end before we headed towards the staff elevators.
When I arrived to Theatre area I climbed on the bed and was prepped with the usual heart monitor stickers, blood pressure cuff, mop cap, white knee socks for clotting, lovely disposable knickers, left arm strapped out and ready for cannula god I hate them I feel like a pin cushion at this stage. It is worse after you have had cancer and lymph involvement because you can never have your blood taken on that side or blood pressure read from that arm so beware and the amount of times people go directly to that arm. I am always nearly screaming no cos you do have the tendency to forget. So while chatting to the anesethist final checks and consent of course all done before i go to sleepy land.. I was having right sided masectomy along with tissue expander placement along with lymph clearance cos it had spread there too. I am so lucky to be alive and i thank god every day. I woke up in recovery still very much off my titties i would say ususally but will say tit lol. I was in and out and i was in alot of pain. Do not try be a superhero for the 1st few days its very sore. You have nerves an all cut you do not recover over night, I couldnt chop veg for weeks. I had to have physio and exercise it everyday to build strength back up this is essential. i have full range of movement back in my right arm now. I felt like a man though on one side one boob was gone and my other one still there.
The pyschological effect that has on any woman is a big deal but you get on it and of course I would have to make a joke of it. Calling myself half boy half girl was my way of dealing with it all sure you need to see the funny side of things and sure most of you that know me and i have such a weird sense of humour.
So even though I had a mastectomy on one side and sort of temporary reconstruction on same side. See with a Tissue Expander its an Implant placed under the skin which has a magnet on the front of it, these are not tacked down or secured, so they give you a blue magnet to bring with you every appointment and it goes on your breast and that shows them where to jab you with the 50ml syringe filled with saline its actually quite cool. So I had saline implant placed but it was empty I had to get filled each week to stretch my skin as they had to remove so much with the size of my tumour. yes it was that big I lost not only my breast tissue in the mastectomy my nipple and a good chunk of the skin too. had we of tried to put an implant straight away it would have looked ridiculous. skin stretched they actually would not have been able to close the skin over the implant so I was patient for want of a better re construction further down the line.
Recovery afterwards was tough I had new baby I could barely hold I couldn’t unscrew bottle caps, chop veg, tighten her bottle lids simple little things we take for granted. I was kept in hospital for a week for my own benefit, they said with new baby I will be doing to much as soon as I was out which was 100% true cos I am that type of person. It was so tough spending nearly a whole week away from my 1 month old Hannah. I remember crying in the hospital because i got so frustrated with myself for not been able to hold her properly and I was missing her so much. I felt really down and of course you do not want your baby in the hospital full of germs at 4 weeks old. There is no greater love than a mother and their child!
I never understood that til now and i would move heaven and earth ten times over for Hannah. I gave in and got Doyler to bring her into me on day 4 I checked with docs was it OK for her to be in they gave the go ahead. I got so upset as I couldn’t hold her properly it was so uncomfortable I had to just sit there and let her lie on my knees all I done was stare at her little face and kept touching her cheek as I wasn’t going to see her for another few days. God it was awful and of course I was a blubbering mess when they were leaving! Bloody hormones fecking main reason I got into this mess in the first place lol !! God dam you Estrogen 🙂
I was sent home with 1 drain left in on the right side this was my new accessory for the week everywhere I went so did the drain it was collecting fluid following the Mastectomy so that you don’t get a build up in the area after the procedure. It’s standard and all depending how your body is at eliminating waste so to speak. I had to empty my drain myself and measure the liquid with a syringe and track how many mls each day so we knew it was reducing each day. The drain was like a little clear size grenade hanging off the side of me. It poked out through my clothes, I had it pinned to my top, word of warning do not pin to knickers or trousers !!! It gone thrown over my shoulder when in the shower or resting on a soap dish sometimes I even pinned it to an earring so as not to let this thing pull at the side of me ! I later found out your not supposed to have them raised above you but sure look it was only for showering and that and no harm came from it. Once the output from the drain was minimal I was straight onto my breast care nurse pleading to get it out of me. I was walking around Avoca handweavers with my drain in tow when I got the message to say come on in and we will remove it for you. YES!!!
Had I of been able to drive at that stage I would have broke the speed limit !!
P’s removal of your drain is not for the faint hearted. Please make sure you take some pain relief prior to removal 😉 my skin had started growing over it that’s how good I was healing up. But it is over before you know it.