Bald Barren And Boobless

An honest and comical reflection of my journey through breast cancer

Month: November 2016

A rude awakening

rudeawakenI slept until 1 AM and then had to take more pain medication.  I was awake again at 5:30 AM for more.

I’m so sore after just a five-hour gap that I can hardly move. My poor love had to help me this morning, he’s in such a rush trying to get out the door and here is his wife with arms that just don’t work and pain that would worry a horse.  As his running out the door he turned the light on shoves the tablets in my mouth and squirts the water down my throat – a rude but necessary awakening.

I see my breast surgeon today for a post operative checkup. The drain is still going strong so it will be there for a little while yet.  I got the all clear about the pathology in the left breast thank goodness. He is surprised at how sore I am welcome to the club. Everyone’s bloody surprised about the pain I’m in.

In the afternoon I decided to hang a small load of washing and straighten my bed slowly. Oh my goodness within an hour I feel like I’ve ripped my muscles from my sternum I need to go to bed with more pain medication I can hardly move the drain is even more full today :(

New Habits

old-habitsBless Temazepam, it’s helping me so much to sleep at the moment. It’s my first night home and it went pretty well. My drains are still quite full so they need to stay in the longer.  The liquid coming out of my wound needs to be less than 15 mls before the drain can be removed.

So I still have a drain in each side at my rib cage that is draining fluid from both sides of my chest. These drains are so painful at times, if they touch a nerve the burning pain is unbearable. Imagine trying to sleep, I’m sitting up on a pillow all night trying not to move in case I bump the drain.

I found out that one of my dear Auntie’s passed away. There’s only two remaining sisters in my mum’s family and it’s so sad. Mum was one of 11 children she was the youngest and she was one of the first to pass away from breast cancer.

I’m determined to take it slowly and gently today, I really want to begin good habits and keep them in place. Habits like a green smoothie every morning, daily meditation, daily movement (a walk, Pilates, stretching) and writing daily.  Wish me luck …  I’m really keen to instill these new habits, after all they say that cancer can be a lifestyle illness. I really believe that my stress levels have contributed to my health crisis.  I figure while I am recovering it is a good time to instill some new habits.

I’ve spent the day snoozing after I took my train tablets they make me so tired but they do take the edge off this pain. This afternoon I had fun with the lies and the girls. Laughter is such good medicine. The pain is the same but I’m doing a little more movement so I figure it’s an improvement.

I want to go home…

gohomeBetter sleep again with another sleeping pill. They upped my pain management today and gave me LA (long acting) Targine.  I have been as sick as a dog all day. Swimmy head,  wanting to vomit, just yuck!

I’ve maxed out on all my other pills so I have no other options; I just have to go with it. My surgeon said sorry for the pain and that the drains should all come out tomorrow. He leaves and am thinking if I’m still in pain I will ask to go home were at least I can be with my people, in my home, eating my food.  I asked the nurse and she agreed to help me organise it.  Woohoo….

Poor Marc had a complete shocker today. He’s trying to do all of my chores plus his, Sam is not coping and is being really hard to connect with, poor loves. I’m sure Marc feels like he’s having a complete breakdown. My friend Chris visited today it was so lovely we just sat and laughed. Sam is having a sleepover at a friends, a good idea after the day that Marc has had. The pain is still so intense I apologise  for the whining but I really cannot express just how bad it is.  This is not only for me to be honest with you the reader,  but for anyone one else out there who feels like the may be going crazy.  Especially when your specialist says, it should not be this bad……

Slow steps to Recovery

slowstepsBetter sleep last night because they gave me a sleeping pill, thank you Lord. I saw the registrar this  morning and he said that this amount of pain is normal and it should settle in a few weeks. Thankfully he is happy to prescribe what is needed to help me manage the pain in the meantime. I was so frightened I’d be sent home without any pain management.

It would have really helped if I expected to be in this much pain but it just was not discussed with me and the surgeon – I’m not sure how we missed that.  Expectations have such a big impact on our response to things. If I was expecting to be a lot of pain I’m sure I would have handled it better.

Peter and Wendy bought me a home-made kale smoothy today how awesome is that?

I told them this time that I am gluten free dairy free and sugarfree so I been literally eating cardboard. I will never say this in hospital again it really wasn’t smart. They are not set up to support such eating.

My sister in law  popped in today and I’ve had another drain removed so I only have two left.  That makes it easier to move about even though my arms still don’t work.  I will ask for another sleeping pill tonight, the pain is the same but I feel like I’m getting used to it. One of the breast care nurses came to visit today they didn’t know I was here and only happened to glance in and see me. They will mention this to my surgeon so hopefully the next lady does not miss out.

Toughen up Princess…

toughLittle sleep all night, best time between 7 and 830am. I had the cannula out today and one drain will be removed as well. I have been given laxatives but my arms still don’t work so I’m looking forward to how that will pan out.  Apologies for the honesty, but I must share all so you know that real story.

I’m bleeding where my drain hole is an waiting for my sister to turn up so she can help me change my pyjamas.  I’m thinking I’m just going to have to toughen up Princess. I spoke with my other sister today Gerri who’s got a lot on her plate it’s funny life just keeps moving on regardless of what you’re going through.

Sam was really emotional when he visited tonight that we had a good talk. I don’t think he’s ever seen me like this, heck I’ve never seen me like this. He’s just feeling really scared and lost and he’s really struggling at school. I really wish I could be there for him more.

Ohhh the pain…

inpainI felt like I slept a little deeper, I woke up thinking hours had passed and only 30 minutes had. If you’ve ever experienced that, man it is depressing. I woke at 530 with so much pain it was hard to breathe. After getting the nurse and getting some pain relief I finally was able to relax a little. My doctor seems really surprised at the level of pain I’m in.

He casually strode into the room today and stuck out his hand to shake mine he thought I was joking when I couldn’t lift my arm to meet his. He made it sound like I need to try harder and that I’m imagining how bad things are. This really cuts right through me as I do not like to whinge or make a fuss.

I get the IV removed today I have been sitting up, apparently I’ll go home in 3-5 days when my pain is under control and I can use my arms (slightly important).  I had a visit from a lady from that breast cancer support group with never met before but gosh it was so lovely to talk to her, what a blessing.

Wendy and Pete came by from church and Marc and Sam visited as well this afternoon. Marc will bring my drain bag back with him tomorrow that will help a lot because at the moment I’m not able to move around with my drains all hanging about.  The drain bags were part of the breast care nurse support that as I said previously I’m not accessing that this time.  I’m really craving sleep I’m so tired but still the pain is unbearable.

Feeling lost and emotional

lostandemotionalI’ve had very little sleep, where the drains are just burns.  The drains are for the removal of excess fluid from the surgical site. I have two on each side down my rib cage. I can hardly lift my arm. I’m still nauseous, I lost my breakfast even with the anti nausea tablets.

The four drains are filling up really quickly. No visit from the breast care nurse this time, apparently because they will I wasn’t on their books, and oversight from my surgeon. Funny how something so small can mean you fall through the gaps. I would really love someone to talk to about what happened.

It is much more casual this time from their perspective, I suppose because there is no active cancer. However from my perspective I’ve lost my breast I’m in so much pain and I’m being treated like it is no big deal. From my perspective it’s a much bigger deal the emotional cost is much heavier than I expected.

My beautiful man Marc spent the whole day with me  which was lovely. A beautiful friend Carol from church brought a beautiful big bunch of flowers. I’m feeling very acknowledged and recognised by my loved ones. I’m hoping to sleep tonight they’ve given me Endone and Tramil with this much pain relief I should sleep.

Trying to use the bathroom independently with an IV and being unable to move your arms is rather a challenge. Lucky I was born for the challenge. After trying to pee in front of the nurse in the middle of the night I decided this was my only option.  Seriously the pain in my chest when I try and move my arm up at any angle is just ridiculous so trying to lift up my clothes, pulled down my pants, wiping and flush is just excruciating.

Its B day

futureI didn’t sleep too well I was wide awake from 4 AM. I’m at hospital by 630 and in surgery before 830. The anesthetist was not very friendly and didn’t explain things.  Just got me on the table and put me to sleep…..

I woke in so much pain, like my chest had been crushed.  I have four drains in.   I woke with no pain relief I was completely out of my mind that couldn’t do anything to get anyone’s attention it was awful.

Someone finally realised the state I was in and asked me what was wrong.  I tried to explain and they eventually gave me Ketamine that almost put me back into a state of sub consciousness. It made me so dizzy and nauseous that I nearly vomited.

Since then they’ve been giving me PCA Fentanyl ( as I need it)  which makes me really nauseous I’ve been sick three times, I’ve had no food today and I just can’t keep anything down.

I’m in so much pain I really cannot believe it. It’s truly the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. They explained it is because of all the muscles that the cut and moved when they put in the expanders. I really, really hope I get some relief soon.

Keep Calm and Carry On

keep-calm-and-carry-on-navy-blue-poster-front__69597-1319984235-1280-1280My hair is growing back but its so fine, it’s just long enough to stick out on angles and not long enough to do anything with. I feel like I have a permanent bad hair day but I refuse to be thankless and the fact that my hair is growing back. As we always say money had a bad haircut  – it will grow soon.

It’s the day before the day today I’m feeling quite anxious and wondering whether I felt I will feel better or worse after this. Someone in my world who has been struggling with my journey and with their own journey said to me today “so is tomorrow just the other boob?”

That tone was like I was going in to have my nails cut and they couldn’t give a crap. It took all my strength not to bite. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. I need to remember this is not about me even as personal as it feels. Holy minimise my shit Batman!

On a more positive note I have had many messages of encouragement. I’m sure be okay Lord I feel empty apart from the fear I have nothing I give it all to you.

I’m so tired today that I’ve packed my bag and I’m ready for the next adventure.