Stuff You Learn After Breast Cancer Surgery

You can talk to women who are breast cancer survivors. You can read all the breast cancer medical websites. You can ask a zillion questions of your breast surgeon. Until you go through breast cancer surgery, however, you cannot be fully prepared for what the experience holds. 

The first few days post-surgery were spent gently and quietly. I was swollen, bruised and achy, and my body was still in shock. Spending the majority of my day resting, I rotated ice packs and took pain relievers. My chest looked like it had been hit by a semi.

Bras became an obsession. I had purchased two therapeutic bras to wear post-surgery. One was a compression model. This bra and I have a love/hate relationship. It gives me great support, but is really uncomfortable. Oh, and I have to wear it 24/7. After the first week of recovery, I have been rotating my bra wardrobe, trying to find the right combination of support and comfort.

The antiseptic wash that they used before my surgery is called chloraprep. It turns your skin a Smurfy blue. I'm allergic to it. So now, I'm itchy, sore and bruised. Super!

Fatigue is a huge component in my recovery. I wake up refreshed and ready to go, but by early afternoon, my body is shutting down. I take a nap every day and drop into bed at 10:30 p.m.

My appetite was way off for ten days. Nothing sounded very good, except my mom made her special orange jello salad for me. I ate every bit of that. Just this weekend, I noticed that I'm starting to be interested in food again.

I have missed exercise. I know that's a weird thing, but after a week of laying around, my body was craving movement. The Hubster took me to the track on Saturday, and off I went. Walking is worship. I felt the soft, humid breeze as I pumped my arms. My lungs expanded, taking in new air. It was confirmed. I am alive!

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Pathology Report: My breast surgeon, Diane Hunt, called last night to give me the pathology report from my recent surgery. The "negative margins" that I had all of you praying about worked wonders, as all my margins are negative. That means there is no remaining cancer in my breast. Dr. Hunt removed four lymph nodes under my right arm and one of the nodes had a small bit of cancer in it. The other three were clean. The best news of all is that there will be no further surgery ordered. Next up: I will meet with Dr. Hunt on May 8 and Dr. Razaq (my oncologist) on May 9, and we will start making a plan for follow-up treatment (read: chemo/radiation).

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Relay For Life Team Announcement: As the next phase in my conquering cancer journey, I have formed a Female in Motion Relay for Life team. The event will be at 6 p.m. Friday, June 15, 2012, at Wilson Park in Arkansas City, KS.  That's plenty of time for you to consider joining my team, helping me raise some funds for the American Cancer Society and stopping by that night for a really great party! For more information, or to make a donation, please hop over to my team page: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?team_id=1173868&pg=team&fr_id=39564

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 Female in Motion Exercise Update: After a solid week of exercise withdrawal, I resumed walking last Saturday. I made a quarter-mile loop around the track, at a surprisingly brisk pace. I'm back!

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Notable Quote:

Genesis 2:7 (KJV) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.



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