Well, it’s been a week since my “switch-out” reconstruction surgery.
*please remember, I write these posts, not only as updates for family & friends, but to help the next cancer survivor know what to expect as they go through this. Please read the description below at your own risk. I’ve been told I give up too much information. . . but, I sure wish someone had provided all this for me before I went through it. *
I was surprised that the Dr. didn’t use the previous scar line for this surgery, but I now see that those older scars have faded a bit and the new scar will be at the base of each breast and they are about 5″ long. I still have stitches with glue over them. Some of the glue has started peeling off, exposing little knots and pieces of stitching. This area is also SUPER-ITCHY! But, that’s good, it means the nerve endings are being regenerated and it’s healing.
I also have some pain down the middle of my sternum. Apparently, I had scar tissue which had grown to the tissue expanders and it had to be cut away. So, there’s some of the lovely green-tinged bruising as it slowly fades away. The swelling is going down too, which is a good thing, because it caused me to look a little lopsided. I think I’m starting to look more symmetrical, but, I don’t really know.
I’m mostly surprised by how tired I am. I’ve been going to bed around 10pm, as usual, but not waking up until 11am. I think it’s hard to remember how much energy is expended in healing and recovery. Since it all happens under the surface, it’s hard to be mindful of how hard my body is working. My Oncologist once told me, as I started training to run, I need to check my pulse as I first wake up, before I even get out of bed. If my resting heart rate is faster than my normal heart rate, my body is still recovering from the previous training, and I should not run that day. So much recovery happens as we sleep and it’s hard to allow yourself to sleep and not feel like you’ve just wasted a week of your life.
I was hoping to be released for work this week, but now, I can see why she laughed at me when I asked. . She’s brilliant, that Dr. of mine. I see her again on Friday, and will ask again. . .let’s see if she still laughs at me.