A year in my life, from the day I was diagnosed and for the full year after. Walk with me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 49 Road Trip

I took my post op trip to Birmingham yesterday to meet with my doctors.  Sadly, I was really excited about going.  You see, when you are recovering and confined to your room or your home nothing really happens to you.  You are insulated from the worlds activities and are slowly written out of life.  No longer in the flux and flow of living, you exist only to heal.

My children come home and tell me a little about their day.  I ask leading questions to get the small details out of them.  They are patient with me and try not to show their irritation with my detective work, but it's clear that they have things to do and are itching to get away.  My darling husband arrives after that and fills me in on happenings at work.  I have nothing to tell him that doesn't concern my meds, how I feel, or my level of pain.  I am not fun to talk to.

I woke up at 5:00 a.m. eager to load up and get the hell out of Dodge, but travelling is not a spontaneous thing.  I need my arm pillows, my drains emptied and stripped, my drain log updated and put in my travel file, my meds need to be placed in a travel case so I don't miss a dose, I need to dress in real clothing which is an ordeal and put on some makeup which I have to do like a Tyrannisaurus Rex because I can't lift my arms above my shoulders.  Forget about my hair, blowdrying is out of the question so I have to go with the poodle look.  I am on narcotics so none of this is easy and my lack of short term memory causes me to endlessly question my husband about our preparations.  Kindle, reading glasses, check book, insurance card, ID, notepad for questions and note taking.  It is nearly 7:00 by the time we prop me up in the passenger seat and embark on our epic journey.

We forgot to eat breakfast but after a drive thru at Chik fil a we were back on the road, arriving just in time for our first appointment.

All good news.  I am recovering at a fast rate, my margins were clean, and my lymph nodes empty.  I had undetected fibrocystic breast disease in my healthy breast, and more locations of invasive cancer in my other breast than was detected through the imaging process.  Happily those locations were small and didn't add much  to my 2 cm initial measurement.  My breast surgeon is sending my carcinoma to California for oncotyping, after which I will acquire my own personal ONCOLOGIST!  I can't wait.

My reconstructive surgeon took out two of my four drains which felt like my heart was being ripped out of my armpit.  My Tegaderm (sp?) dressing was removed and I saw and felt the uncovered sutures and freaked out.  I made him retape over the sutures.  Seeing them is unexpectedly traumatic to me and so is the fact that I have absolutely no feeling in my breasts, they are a blank spot in my body.  I lost it.

We came home and I went to bed.  I want to wake up refreshed and ready for my new reality.


Laurie said...

After I made such a mess out of my last comment, I should stay off of this thing, but I must commend you for your words. I also must tell you that the first two drains coming out was unimaginable pain, but none of the many others that I had removed amounted to anything. The worst is over.
One of my son's friends submitted the name "Frankenboobs" for my renaming contest. This was not the winner, but I did think it was funny. With massage, this look fades and things become the new normal. (Another entry was "Jack Nippless". I loved all of the potential but I'm staying with "Milk Duds". I hope that your replacements will find a name and place in your heart. I'm glad you tumor coming out party has been successful thus far. Try to have a little more fun with this. It gets so much better.

Darwin said...

Laurie, you're doing fine -- your support and understanding of Patricia's condition is, I'm sure, very helpful and comforting. And I agree, Patti, you know how to have more fun than anyone else, so get on with it! I can't imagine the trauma you're going through, the adjustments you're having to make. All I can do is send you a fruit basket with as much love along with it as I have to give you -- which is a lot of love. Hang in there -- you're going to get through this, and then it will just evolve back into your own true life again, the good, great life you have with your wonderful husband and brilliant children. Do you want me to send a stylist over to do your hair and makeup???? :)

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

That's okay that you lost it. You've been through a terrible trauma. But you will wake up and start kicking ass again. I know you will.

I love the way you write the story. You're a very good writer.

Darwin said...

I would lose it, too, and probably for good. I lost it when I had a molar pulled, I felt like a part of my family was ripped away from me. So I can't imagine -- Patricia, you are brave and fabulous, and I'm so glad you opted for the radical, or it sounds like you'd be going through this again later -- from the sounds of the initial biopsy. Hang in there -- you have amazing support from friends and family. Don't push yourself too hard, take it easy. I love you. Taryn

Melinda said...

So happy for the good news. You are so brave! Keep writing cuz!

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
the sebaceous funk said...

I'm sending a big packet of happy thoughts your way.