You guys.

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.

THANK YOU.

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!

#strong

16 thoughts on “Recovering from ‘major’ outpatient surgery

  1. Glad to hear you’re doing well and there was no more cancer found! Hopefully that means NO chemo or radiation! Also, don’t worry one bit about having the drains pulled out. It doesn’t hurt at all. They are more of a nuisance in, that’s for sure. My nurse did the one, two (pulled out), three! Barley a tug. Continued good vibes for speedy healing being sent your way. You got this!

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  2. What a joy to read this news!
    You stopped it before it had found that path and that’s wonderful to hear. Continue working to regain your strength. We need you to help our community also become stronger. ❤️❤️

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  3. I’m so glad your recovery is going well. You’ve always been a rock star. Thanks so much sharing this update. Selfishly, it made my day.

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  4. Your cheery, positive outlook will carry you through this rough patch. You made me giggle at your Retail Therapy comment. Love the hat!!! We need to buy some and embroider “like Andrea” on the back. Fundraiser for HAND??? Put me down for the first order.

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  5. Andrea,
    I’m so happy to hear that the pathology report had great news for you! Please keep updated on your recovery. You got this!

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  6. Great news! Don’t worry about tube removals. I was several weeks on a feeding tube and anxious as hell about them ultimately taking it out. I hardly felt anything other than a slight pulling and a feeling of relief that it was largely over.

    Stay calm and be well! Your activity level is impressive!

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  7. I was just wondering about ho you were getting along! Sounds like you have had great news from the surgeon and you are doing alright. You are amazing! So sorry you had to go through this but so glad you caught it in time. Hang in there!!

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  8. Andrea, thank you for the report. So glad to see that things are going well and it sounds like you have great support in place! You got this, girl!

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