Has it really been a week since surgery?! I know there is a long road to full recovery but each day I feel a little better than the previous day. Being cancer free…knowing that this was all worth it, everything that we’ve been through since August, helps tremendously in my mental recovery.
A lot has changed over the last week but I’m becoming more used to the changes:
- The post-surgery pain was intense but thankfully they sent me home with medicine to help with that. After a while, the pain changed as my body adjusted and it has turned into a tightness in my chest mostly. I still get twinges of pain periodically in different areas that last anywhere from a few minutes to longer.
- The numbness in my chest has improved over the last week. Initially I couldn’t feel the area around my collar bone or upper abdomen but that has gone away. I still can’t feel most of my chest, my left arm pit or the back of my left arm but I don’t anticipate getting much feeling back in those areas.
- The tightness that I feel is slowly getting better but it’s not exactly comfortable. It feels like I’m wearing a sports bra that is about 2, maybe 3, sizes too small all the time. I’m still swollen, mostly on my sides, so I’m hoping the tightness will feel a little better when the swelling is gone. I can feel them inside of me, which is an odd sensation.
- I still have all 3 drains. Joe empties them twice a day and measures the amount of fluid output and the color. I’m hoping to have at least one removed tomorrow but that is probably a bit optimistic.
- The first few days of the drains were awkward, especially trying to wear a shirt. Through a random conversation, I learned that painter’s aprons work great for drains so Joe grabbed some for me (only $1.50 at WalMart!). They have been great! It allows me to store the drains in the pockets and it hangs across my waist like a belt. When I go out in public, you can see the apron but not the drains or tubes. I use it even to sleep now, such a great help and significantly less bulky.
- Still no showers until after my drains are removed. Our shower has a seat in it, which has been perfect for sponge baths. I’m grateful for the seat too because I don’t think I’d be able to get up out of the bathtub.
- My range of motion is getting better but is still quite limited. I can’t lift either arm fully and it hurts to reach for things. I’m hoping tomorrow that I’ll be able to start exercises to improve mobility.
Overall, I’m still feeling pretty good. I see the breast care surgeon tomorrow to look at how well I’m healing. I don’t foresee her having any concerns but I’m glad to be having a checkup tomorrow to ensure my healing is on track. I’ve seen a lot of progress over the last week and I’m grateful for each day that I feel better. I will be glad when I’m fully recovered!