A Good Day

A few weeks ago, super-nurse-angel Juli told me I would have some good days and some bad days, and then just some “days”.  But yesterday, well, it was definately a GOOD DAY!  

On Tuesday, we knew the Pathology report was in, but could not receive the results as the submitting physician was out of town.  So the phone call from her office was just kind of a “tease”.  Just enough to heighten our anxieties.  Lucky for me, I have a prescription specifically for anxiety (says so, right on the bottle!) and I, of course, took advantage of that.  

On Wednesday we had an appointment with Dr. Barone, the plastic surgeon. Once again he had nice things to say about my scars on my FLAT CHEST, and removed the last of my medical devices, the drainage tubes and bulbs.  The interior part of the drainage tubes were probably about five inches long by 3/8 inch wide, in the lower portion of where breasts used to be, one on each side.  It was such an odd sensation to watch and feel them removed.  Exciting to lose the tubes and bulbs, but a tiny bit worrisome, too. Where is that 50mL of drainage fluid from the right side going to go now?  I am told “the body just absorbs it”. Okey-dokey, doc.  Guess I’m just going to have to believe you on that one. 

The immediate instructions were for more rest, and no exercise yet.  Sure, I can handle that.  He did explain why it feels like a TRUCK is parked on my chest though.  Apparently, a large section of tissue and skin was removed from the left breast where the tumor was very close to the skin on the upper portion of the breast, plus the nipple and the normal amount of skin below the nipple for the mastectomy.  That coupled with the skin removed from the right side, well, it added up to a loss of a lot of skin.  So…Dr. Barone just “borrowed” skin from my left side, the area under my arm, disengaged it from the muscles and PULLED IT to the front of the chest area to be able to sew my chest closed.  So, there it goes.  Take out a couple of breasts, a bunch of skin, and stretch the rest of the skin around the same body.  Kind of like a size 10-12 trying to fit into a size 6.  I don’t know when I get to feel like the “truck on my chest” has moved on, but I’m pretty sure it is not any time soon.  So for now anyways, half a gallon of milk is way too heavy for me to lift, and it is exceedingly painful to lift my elbows above my shoulders.  So I try not to do that.

At the end of the appointment Dr. Barone called for his staff to get the pathology report, and he smiled and said, “well, this is about the best news you could get”.

  • Right Beast – Negative for malignancy
  • Left Axillary Lymph Nodes (8)- Negative for malignancy
  • Left Breast Additional Tissue (skin) dissected – Negative for malignancy

Wow.  This was one of the good days.  I know that I still have lots of days to get through.  Lots of days left of recovery time.  Still the question of treatment of radiation and/or chemotherapy (hope for chemo only).  Still the work of “reconstruction”.  Years of medications to gulp down.  And I really am a little afraid to be too positive or hopeful so early on in this strange cancer adventure. Just don’t want to be disappointed again.

But Juli was right, and this was one of the good days I am going to enjoy for a little while, even with a truck parked on my chest.

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One Response to “A Good Day”

  1. Cathy Z Says:

    Wishing you many more good days!
    Thanks for the update KL

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