Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Surgery and recovery

     So, it has been one week since my surgery. The night before my surgery, I actually slept pretty well.  Surgery morning was pretty uneventful, mostly just waiting in pre-op holding.  I met my anesthesiologist and my only request was that he didn't kill me. He laughed at this request. I didn't. I was wheeled into the OR and the doctors agreed that Coldplay was going to be the first music of my 6 plus hour surgery journey. Next thing I knew, I was waking up and my first question was, "were my nodes clean?" YES! The preliminary findings were that my three sentinel nodes were free from cancer. Hallelujah, that was a huge relief! I am well aware that this could change upon final pathology, but for now, that is a small victory.
     Next thing I remember was being in my hospital room, asking for my husband. I don't remember much of our visit as a Morphine pump is a pretty amazing thing! I sent my husband home to get some sleep. My throat was so sore, I was convinced Mr. Anesthesia made minced meat of it and the ice chips really weren't cutting it.  Thankfully, I packed some Ricola throat drops which helped. I couldn't get the pain under control. The Morphine pump was my only pain relief, but unless you are awake to hit the button, the pain is getting way ahead of you.  I tried to scoot my butt back in the bed and it was so painful and I had no strength to move.  Thankfully they left my foley catheter in, so I didn't have to drag myself to the bathroom.  I lay in my hospital bed in horrible pain not moving because it only made the pain worse. By 3am I had a terrible headache. Luckily my nurse offered me some crackers, juice and Ibuprofen. Shortly, I felt human again!  I watched a little tv, dozed off and made phone calls!
     The morning brought the end of my pain pump and catheter.  I knew I needed to get up and moving, but really didn't want to.  The most amazing thing happened that morning....they brought me coffee! Coffee and a blueberry muffin-it was pure heaven to me! After that, I was free to get up and move around as I wanted.
     The next day I was discharged home.  The recliner that I bought is just perfect for sleeping in. On Friday, I got up and went for a pretty long walk with my husband and dog. I couldn't believe how mobile I was. Friday was also the day that my right foot was painful and swollen. Saturday brought some increased pain. By Sunday morning, I knew I was in trouble.  My foot and calf were so painful and swollen that I could barely walk.  Despite the Lovenox injections in the hospital, the leg compression machine and lots of walking, I had developed a DVT.  Because I was a fresh post-op, the hospital wanted to keep me overnight.  This was difficult. I had gone all day without pain medication. I had almost zero surgical pain and almost full range of motion in my arms.  I had a pity party for myself that night, alone in my hospital room.  I just wanted to be home in my ridiculously comfortable recliner with my family. How can a tiny little blood clot cause all of this debilitating pain?  After one night, I was released home on oral blood thinners.
     So, here I sit one week post op marveling at how good I feel (except the right leg). I can completely take care of myself. I can brush my own hair, dress myself, brush my own teeth. I can lay in my daughter's bed and read to her. Things I never thought I would be able to accomplish this early. Tomorrow is my follow-up with my breast surgeon. I am hoping that my final pathology is back and we can weight my chemo options. Thursday brings my plastic surgery follow up and hopefully I will get 2 drains removed. Moving forward, day by day!

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