Friday, July 8, 2011

Ouch! My Boobs!

It has been exactly two weeks since my double mastectomy with reconstruction surgery.  Originally, I was recovering more quickly and easier than expected.  I never had to sleep sitting up in a recliner chair.  I was just fine laying flat on my back in my bed since the day I came home from the hospital.  I stopped taking pain medicine within four days.  After a week, I was comfortably walking around the store with my husband and going out for a bite to eat.  I did my arm exercises three times day, and gained a reasonable range of motion back.  When one of my drains got taken out, I was happily looking forward to each day being less painful than the day before.  I thought that the worst was over, and I was proud of myself for making it through everything.  After all, it’s easy to be optimistic when things are going in your favor.

But over the next few days, I noticed a considerable amount of swelling around the area where the drain had been.  When I went in for my doctor’s appointment this week, they said that excess fluid that had built up around my tissue expander.  The PA tried to aspirate the fluid with a needle, but she was not successful.  After sticking me five times, she said that we will just have to wait until next week to try again.  If that doesn’t work, the surgeon will have to make a decision about what to do next.  She also said that the drain on my right side will be staying in for an additional week, since there is still too much fluid coming out.  I was pretty disappointed, because having a drain attached to me is very limiting.

I did, however, get my first set of fills this week.  As the syringe pushed saline (which will later be replaced with silicone) into the tissue expanders,  I could actually see my boobs getting bigger right before my eyes.  So cool.  The bad thing is that it was also very painful, and even more so afterwards.  So now I am dealing with the pain from the fills, along with the drain, swelling and excess fluid.  I could barely get through today without crying.  It looks like I’ll be back on pain medicine tonight. 

I feel like I just took about twenty steps backwards in my recovery.

Everything hurts so much more than it did before.  I’m worried that they won’t be able to aspirate the fluid, and that will prolong the whole reconstruction process.  Or even worse, the tissue expander may need to come out completely.  As if this all wasn’t bad enough, I’m not allowed to lift more than ten pounds for the next month.  I miss picking up my baby, swinging him in the air, squeezing him, hugging him, and letting him climb all over me.  I want to take him out, but I can’t even lift him to put him in the car seat.  I’m having a really hard time not being with Ryan as much as I want to right now. 

My husband has been so incredibly supportive, especially this past week.  His mom is staying with us a few nights to help take care of Ryan.  This allows my husband and I some more time to spend with each other.  I have had some friends come over to visit earlier this week, bringing flowers, cards, sending me chocolates, etc.  I am so spoiled!  My mom has been there for me between her own chemo treatments and she is absolutely my inspiration and source of strength.  Thank you all for helping us out so much while I’m recovering!

Friends & Family Visiting

Me, E, Ryan, and K!  <3
Chocolate covered strawberries from my friend, A.

Barry's mom visiting us from Florida
and helping out with Ryan.
Our little family of 3.

I am trying to pray for acceptance and to leave everything in God’s hands.  I know that the hard times are when we need to do this the most.  But sometimes it is really difficult to let go of the reigns and give God permission to handle EVERY area of my life.  Of course, His plan for my life is so much greater than anything that I could have in my own mind.  I am trying to focus on the bigger picture, and acknowledge that the struggles that I am going through now will shape me into the person that I am meant to be in the future.  I am so thankful for this life that I have already fought so hard to keep!  I have come such a long way, but I know that there is still a long road ahead of me before things will actually return to normal.


  1. I'm so sorry you feel like you are going backwards, but you are so strong and each step is closer towards the end of it all. *BIG HUG* And you look so beautiful in all of these photos! Those strawberries look delicious and are so pretty!

  2. I just started following your blog and LOVE IT!! I got here from Meghann :) I just wanted to let you know that your strength and perseverance is radiating off your blog. These are just minor set backs but I understand where you are coming from my friend was diagnosed as free of breast cancer in March and just finished her reconstruction surgery 8 weeks ago :) I'll be praying for your boobies to not hurt anymore!!

  3. I am so sorry about the setbacks, but I hope they are only minor and that the Doctor will have good news next week. I am sorry about the pain from the fills, but there is nothing wrong with taking a little bit of pain medicine for it, that's what it's there for. It doesn't make you any less of a strong're the strongest person I know! Those strawberries look delicious:)


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