I was sick yesterday, the kind of sick that I don’t think I have ever been in my life (luckily). I think it started Saturday night, I had gone shopping with friends at an outdoor mall and I wore warm clothes but by the end of the day I couldn’t get warm. I blamed it on the miserable, damp, cool New York Autumn. I had dinner with the family and immediately came home to take a warm shower, which seemed to do the trick until sometime in the middle of the night.
It started with a sharp pain on my left expander that woke me up sometime around 1, then around 4 I woke up cold enough to have goosebumps. As quietly as I could, I went to get a fleece blanket and a down blanket but I didn’t fall back to sleep until almost 7. I woke up at 9 blisteringly hot and still tired. Getting out of bed I felt woozy and wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it to the bathroom to empty my drains. I sat for a couple of minutes and finally went made the effort. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be sick or pass out, but I didn’t have the energy to lift my drains. All I could do was lay my head against the countertop, praying that the dizziness would pass. It didn’t.
Before surgery, I bought a couple of ice bags to help with swelling so I grabbed one of those and made my way (very slowly) to the kitchen, filled it with ice, and finally got into a leather recliner that was so cold it felt like heaven. I met a stripper once who told me they cooled down between sets by putting ice on pulse points, it was such a random thing to remember but I stuck the ice against my neck in a haphazard attempt to get somewhere in the area of a major artery or vein and fell asleep for almost 3 hours. And that was basically how I spent my day: ice pack, nap, ice pack, nap. Standing made me feel lightheaded, sitting up made me feel sick, so laying down it was. When I finally mustered up the energy to empty my drains, the left one was alarmingly cloudy and thick.
And it still was this morning even though I felt better. So after some sage advice from some ladies on facebook, I made a call to the plastic surgeon and that’s where I spent my morning. I felt like a jerk because Monday’s aren’t his clinic day and in the end, he wasn’t overly concerned. He sent me on my way with some heavy antibiotics and instructions to not start it until Thursday when I see him for my regular appointment and the pain on my left side, which was secondary to feeling like crap, could be the expander moving. Again, we’ll revisit on Thursday: it might’ve flipped, I might’ve just irritated it but it’s frustrating. I feel like I’m back at square one. I can’t reach without pain, I can’t lift anything without pain, it hurts to get dressed and the hydrocodone and muscle relaxers I have aren’t doing anything to alleviate that.
There’s nothing pretty about a mastectomy, but I hope this is as ugly as it gets for me. This is totally not for the faint of heart.
As a total aside, last week I was interviewed about my experience of finding out I was BRCA2 positive, what it’s like to have Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrom, and what surgery and recovery as been like. You can check it out here!