Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday, Day 8 of a a'quit' and Day 10 post Op

Uneventful for the most part, the weekend was spent with the husband watching football and me taking it easy. He appears calm and rational. I tread softly around a quitter. One never knows what might cause that last nerve to snap.

He keeps asking me "When am I going to feel better?"  "When am I going to be coughing up and clearing stuff from my lungs?"

I ignore his questions. He is teetering on the premise of "Why stop smoking if I'm not going to get these results?"
I let it pass but I did say "Looking for an excuse to NOT quit is common at this stage." and I tiptoed away.

April assisted in the first dressing change and I did the second one alone. I viewed the site and survived. The metal sutures run in an inverted T shape. This is the change in surgical procedure the doctor discussed when he popped his head into the holding are minutes before the surgery. When I visited the Nurse Practitioner last week I asked her "why" the change. She explained that the doctor felt with all the tissue that had to be removed, this was the best option for cosmetic results. She also said, as the surgery proceeded, a plastic surgeon was in the surgery area and as he passed by, they commandeered him to come in and take a look. He was in the surgery suite and gave his suggestions to the surgeon. The Nurse Practitioner was impressed; a plastic surgeon on the case no charge!

I must say, the wounds are not as horrific as I had imagined. The flat chest, I think, is the weirdest part. Each time I do a dressing change it's less traumatizing. I know this is done to save my life though deep down I still doubt this will do it. I've always felt this way since my diagnosis. The doctors dance around the prognosis with me. They know my work background. I let it go and don't question too much with them.

Carrie, the granddaughter, 8 yrs. old chronologically but much more mature then that mentally and emotionally kept inquiring "Nana, when can I see your chest?"

I hadn't gotten up the nerve to look yet she was ready. Yesterday was the day. I had changed the dressings in the morning so I had my first real look. This was the afternoon after returning from shopping with her and the daughter. She wanted to come home with me; it was time to change dressings and wash the post op bra. I slipped into the laundry room and set the washer for a small load and peeled off my top.

I could hear her calling for me. "Carrie, I'm in the laundry room. I don't have a top on so you might not want to come in here."
I thought that would be a prep for her or a warning. She walked in, stood and looked with no expression change. I watched closely for any reaction of disgust or horror.

She said "Nana, you don't look bad. You just don't have any boobies!"
The metal sutures, the swollen skin, the bruised coloring and the occasional drain holes caused not a flinch.

On to the next step; one little step at a time.

Clinically: the wound margins are clean on the left side. The right side has reddened areas at the horizontal suture site. Minimal drainage noted to the sites. Cleansing is done with 4x4 sterile pads and hydrogen peroxide. New self adhesive bandages used to cover the areas.

The right arm from shoulder to elbow has neuropathy with a burning sensation. Occasionally a sharp short pain will cross my chest. Nerves are healing and this may or may not advance to a stage where it is chronic or may even vanish.

I have an appointment on Wednesday to see the Nurse Practitioner again. Some of the sutures maybe removed if the healing has progressed to that point.

That's my progress update. Emotionally I still have my ups and downs; my teary moments but I'm working through and from all I've read and from reports from friends, this is a normal part of this procedure. I'm hoping they are right.

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