Surgery is complete!!

I know most of you won’t really want to know about my surgery- you just want to know that I am through it. Well, I am, and got home today! I feel OK, a bit sore and tired but that’s to be expected. I’m so happy to see my children- even if playing with them is a bit painful and tiring, but they were touchingly pleased to see me. I love them so much, seeing their smiling faces would make anyone feel better!

Emotionally, I am still doing fine. Fret not! 🙂

Now- there are also those of you who want to know everything. I know myself that if you are going through this yourself, you find blogs just to read about other people’s experiences. Therefore, I owe it to other women (and men!) out there to write more about the surgery and recovery. Those of you who prefer to leave it at the above, are very welcome to stop reading here. I won’t love you any less! 😀

When I arrived at the hospital, I had to wait a little while in the day room before they would fit me in. I got changed into a gown and went to the ultrasound department for a minor operation to put  “marker” (a piece of wire, I believe) in the tiny lump in my left breast. Apparently, it was so small (about half a centremetre) that they would have had trouble removing it otherwise.

That was done via ultrasound under local anaesthetic, involving yet another large needle! It didn’t hurt and went ok, though they told me that the lady before me had passed out. I am made of sterner stuff and walked back to the ward! 😀

I went down for the actual surgery at about 2pm. This came as a bit of a surprise, because I wasn’t expecting to go down until about 5pm, so it was all a bit of a rush, maybe no bad thing, though I’d been enjoying reading my book, lol!

Can’t tell you much about the surgery. The anaesthetist told me he was giving me something to make me drowsy- yeah- I guess they’ve abandoned that whole “count back from ten” thing because the next thing I knew I was in recovery! 😀 It hurt a lot, but they gave me some morphine and that sorted it out. I felt pretty unwell the rest of the evening but was feeling OK by the morning.

The nurse came in and asked to check my dressings. I took off my top and to my surprise she whipped off most of the dressings. I was shocked, and had expected to be warned a lot more than that before seeing how I looked. However- it isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. My left breast has a few small scars around the nipple but it doesn’t really hurt despite the bruising, and I think once it’s healed, it won’t really look any different. My right breast again doesn’t lookas bad as I thought it would. It’s actually more that they’ve removed my armpit than my breast from what I can see! There’s a big scar radiating from my nipple out towards the top of my armpit, and then there’s a big gap where normally there’s be more flesh…it’s a bit hard to describe, but no way am I posting pictures, ha ha! I do want a few of you to read again!!! Again, once it heals I bet it won’t look too bad. The worst thing is the lack of feeling in my right arm. They’ve removed all the lymph nodes in my armpit, so I am thinking most of the nerves are damaged or missing, and the inside of my arm has no sensation right down to about half way down the inside of the lower half of my arm.

I felt sick and achey for a few days and didn’t want to go home with the drain in. I gather that in the States, they make you go anyhow, but luckily here they were happy for me to stay in as long as I wanted. I got the drain out today. I was scared about it, as I got a drain taken out of my c-section wound after I had Robbie and it hurt so much that I couldn’t speak for five minutes! It still felt horrible, and the drain appeared to be in my shoulder or thereabouts, where I somehow expected it to be in my breast- drain came out just below my breast on my side- but I am happy to report that although it was uncomfortable, it didn’t hurt to get it out.

I am home now, four days from surgery, with only steristrips on the wounds. 🙂

I’m not supposed to pick the kids up for 6-8 weeks but don’t see how in practical terms I can work that. I feel like my left arm is strong enough.

I’m not allowed- ever- to get my right arm sunburnt, use a disposable razor on that underarm, have blood taken,  loads of stuff I never thought about…it’s mad. The shaving thing is a pain- they suggest using a man’s electric shaver or a cream to remove hair, but as I am not really confident in using either of those options in the next week, my surgeon is going to have to bloody live with it at our next appointment on 1st September, ha ha!

By that appointment, the cancers should have been thoroughly investigated so I should then have a full picture of what I am dealing with. I also have to see physio to make sure my arm is recovering as it should.

Love to everyone who is going through this, and everyone who is sticking with me through this. We can all do it!

Next stop- chemo! Joy!!! 😀

12 Responses to “Surgery is complete!!”

  1. August 24, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    We are all glad to hear you are doing alright.

    The description made my knees hurt. I can watch them do anything to me, but I am powerless when it comes to needles and incisions to others. Thye had to “cut” my wife during the first deliver and the Doc was smart enought to move me from “down there” before he did it. He kind of knudged me and I saw the scissors. I figured it wasn’t the best thing to see.

    My wife said that it wasn’t the best thing to “feel” for the next couple of weeks. My oldest boy has BIG HEAD!

  2. 2 Sarah McBride
    August 24, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Glad to hear everything went well and they’re looking after you. Keep smiling and good luck when you start treatment ((((((hugs)))))))

  3. 3 Sara
    August 25, 2008 at 12:38 am

    I’m so glad that you are doing ok! Send lots of thanks to Ian for giving us the updates. 😀

    Why is it that you can’t use razors on that arm? Are those rules something that you have to live with forever or just for the next few weeks? Hugs either way!

    I hope that your arm continues to heal well, as do those boobies!

    You can beat this!

  4. 4 Skry
    August 25, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Hey S, glad to hear that everything went well with the op. Big ups from New Zealand for being so brave! 😀

    I’m a bit puzzled at the razor thing as well, but I would definitely recommend that you don’t use a mans shaver! I use an electric shaver and, while it cuts close to the skin, there’s still a tiny bit of stubble left. Not enough to worry me but on a tender underarm I can see how it would chaffe…

    I’m also going to have to Google this drain thing you’re talking about. Have never heard that term before.

    All the best and I hope the rest of the treatment goes as well as the op.

    Love and hugs,

    Skry x x x

  5. August 25, 2008 at 5:56 am

    I’m glad everything went well. Those drains are really nasty.

    Thank you so much for keeping us all posted.

  6. 6 emma
    August 25, 2008 at 10:54 am

    well done Suzy, and thank you for getting back in touch to let us know how you are when typing is surely the last thing you can be bothered doing. brave lady. can you or ian send me a wee message with your home address on it sometime? xx e

  7. 7 layla2376 / Leigh
    August 25, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    So glad to hear you are home xx Love from all fo us xx

  8. August 25, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    So glad to hear you in such good spirits! Yeah, I read the whole thing but like MTAE I’m a wuss at that sort of thing. My old chemistry teacher in high school wanted me to be a surgeon but I told him I just couldn’t hack it. It’s funny, I can clean and dress fish and game but when it’s a person I get all woozy. 😀

    Best wishes on healing up!

  9. 9 Debbie Foran
    August 25, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Just found your site so glad your surgery went well. I am from USA in New Jersey and will pray for your complete recovery.

  10. 10 Kate
    August 27, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Dear Suzy, I’ve been wanting to write for a while now since you told us about the cancer diagnosis. But it’s not the type of thing you can write a quick sentence about and keep your fingers crossed that it hits the right note. I’m off this week & so have a bit more time & have decided to write. Although I don’t know you in person, I’ve been reading your posts since about April & really enjoyed the mixture of craic, scenery, cooking, banter. And, I was quite overwhelmed when I heard your news and can only imagine what a shocking and unreal experience that has been for you & your family. I sense pragmatism in your approach to it which I think has served you well and probably meant you don’t become emotionally exhausted. Although I wouldn’t blame you for a wobble & bit of a blurt every now & again if the notion took you. I don’t know how you got through the biblically proportioned rain a few weekends ago. I was at home that weekend and in Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor…There are some good photos of the floods on Flickr. Anyhow, take good care of yourself & your ones & really well done for getting through the surgery with your nerve & spirit in tact!

  11. 11 tina from Maryland
    August 27, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    hi suzy– glad to hear that you are doing well.

    I love that you still manage to keep your funny sense of self during all this..

    Can you have your ‘pits waxed?? That might be a better option…

    Hang in there, and thanks for the update

  12. 12 thecrazymommafiles
    August 29, 2008 at 2:36 am

    Hi Suzy. I’m so glad to hear that your surgery went fine and that you are doing well. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. You’re one gutsy gal!!! Stay strong!

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