As those who know me best can attest, I’m not speechless very often.
But I’ve been at a loss for words for most of the past couple weeks, as I’ve been showered with love (and way too many gifts) after sharing my recent breast cancer diagnosis.
Seriously. I’m not sure I deserve you all, but I’m definitely glad I have you in my corner.
Surgery was last Friday, and a lot has changed in the decade-plus since my first trip to the operating room to fight cancer. I had pre-admission testing (even though it was outpatient surgery) and pre-surgery homework that included doing breathing exercises, using special soap, and drinking a protein shake that promised to boost my immune system prior to my ‘major’ outpatient surgery.
I was apprehensive, as you might expect, but everything has gone well so far. We left for the hospital shortly before 7 a.m. and were home with my prescriptions well before 6 p.m. I alternated muscle relaxers and pain pills until yesterday, when I stepped down to Tylenol.
The biggest difference with this surgery was that I came home with two surgical drains — tubes coming out of small holes in my chest that allow various fluids to escape. The drainage gathers in bulbs that my husband Bob and I empty and measure twice a day. When the flow slows eventually, I’ll go in to have the drains removed. (I had to watch a video that showed a drain being removed, and I am not looking forward to it one little bit.)
Today I got the surgical pathology report, which my surgeon said was great news. The only cancer detected was the tumor we already knew about. And although it looks like the cancer had begun to find a path to travel, it hadn’t hit the road yet. Now it won’t.
My recovery has been a bit more active than I anticipated, since my doctors want me to keep moving to prevent pneumonia and keep the drains flowing. So my mom and I have been making daily outings; we’ve been to Holland Park, Noblesville’s Square, IKEA, and Hamilton Town Center so far. Nothing like a little retail therapy to make you feel better!