Tell a Mom not to use her right arm. Tell this to a Mom with a 4 year old and watch her face. I am one of those people who is never content to do just one thing at a time. While the onions are sauteing, I can get the laundry going, start a fire, wipe a nose, answer a text and find my husband’s wallet. I will get back just in time to perfectly translucent onions ready to proceed with dinner. Multitasking is an art.
For those of you following my journey, you may recall that soon after my double mastectomy last July, I developed an infection in my right breast. I had this major operation and was booted out of the hospital in less than 24 hours by a cold and unfeeling nurse with no real discharge instructions. No one told me that I had to stay on antibiotics for the full length of time that I still had drains protruding from my sides. Coincidentally, the pharmacist only filled my script for a 6 day supply of antibiotics. (Never heard of that before and not sure why they didn’t give the full amount I needed.) I was suppose to have drains in for 2 weeks, but this was stretched out to 4 because of the infection. Was this an oversight by the surgeon, the hospital or the pharmacy? YES!
So, fast forward almost 8 months…. here we are. My right side is filling up with fluid and is quite painful. I saw the plastic surgeon last week and he ordered an ultrasound. The only way to fix this problem is to have another surgery to redo the breast that never healed properly. In case you are wondering how this works, the breast is recreated with a layer of Alloederm which is intended to adhere to your skin, and creates a pocket to hold the breast implant. In my case, the Alloderm didn’t properly adhere on the right side and my body is reading it as foreign material, creating all this extra fluid. Aside from the pain I look pretty lopsided, with one side looking fairly normal and the other teetering on being Pamela Anderson-esque. For the short term, the surgeon suggested I not use my right arm. Pshaw!
My second and hopefully last surgery in this breast cancer saga will be on April 8th. I am told it is way less invasive with a shorter recovery time than the mastectomy, which is great news. I also got the approval from my oncologist to have my port removed at the same time. Usually they like cancer patients to keep them in for a year after treatment, but given the particulars of my case, I’ve been given the green light. I am thrilled about this and see it as a big thumbs up to close this chapter of my life and move forward with the rest.
I know my blog has been fairly quiet, but as you see I’ve had quite a lot on my plate. In case you are wondering, I’m still writing. In fact, I am currently taking a writing class with Martha Frankel and I am starting to comb through the work I generated from this blog. Many people have suggested there is a book somewhere in here. At first mention, it was hard for me to look at this body of pain and suffering as a book that could help others. The more people began to reach out to me, the more I realized that my journey is about more than breast cancer and my particular brand of struggle. There is a unifying pulse that speaks to the human condition and our thirst for something more. I don’t know what else to say about it right now, but if I write it… will you help me share it and bring it forth to the world?