The surgery went as planned and while I was quite groggy, I was sent home that very afternoon.
I had both implants removed, extra skin was cut out and I was sewn shut, laterally. The stitches run about 4 inches across and maybe a little longer on the left side. The left side is a bit more indented as well but not as bad as I thought it might be. The radiation damage is quite evident. I had two drainage tubes placed, one on each side. The tubes came out 4 days later because it seemed to not be draining enough to require them to stay in over the holidays.
We are still waiting on the final pathology report and with the holidays, it is more delayed than usual.
I have been feeling really well and have hardly required any pain medication after the first day or so. I had a couple rough mental days but a lot had to do with the effects of the anesthesia. That stuff messes with my head. I have really just been more tired than anything.
Of course with my luck, my left side with all the radiation damage has decided to start building up fluid. This is common and usually the body can absorb it but in this case, it had to be drained this past Thursday. I am now required to wear a compression binder wrapped around my torso. It is quite uncomfortable and I must wear it day and night until I see the doctor again on January 2. The fluid seems to be returning again despite the compression. I just hope my body figures out how to disperse this extra fluid on its own. It is not necessarily dangerous. It is just really annoying and could cause me a longer recovery period with repetitive trips to the doctor to have it aspirated.
So far, the new ‘look’ has not bothered me very much. I have not had many opportunities to figure out my wardrobe since I have not been going out that much. The new compression binder is not helping to work this out and is making things more awkward if anything.
The truth is, I feel the most pure that I have felt since this whole process started back in 2010. It is my body and only my body that I feel when I rest my hands over my chest. I can feel my heart beat again. The only thing left behind is the reminisce of what cancer did to my body- The scars that will forever tell the story. The look is quite dramatic but it is all me.
Christmas was quiet and uneventful. It is a strange time of year to be stuck in surgical recovery mode. People are busy with their holiday plans and parties so there is a sense of isolation or loneliness. I have mostly missed being able to ride my bike. It seems sort of unnatural for me to end 2012 without being able to get a good pedal in. Even when I was in treatments, I still was able to ride.
I have to hold onto the good memories of the entire year and not reflect too much on the past two months.
It will be 2013 before I know it and I will be back in the Pilates studio and back on the bike.
Here is to a healthy and happy 2013 for all!