Well here I am. Looking a bit different but I am alive and still me. This is my little record of my mastectomy.
MONDAY 15th April 2013
Got booked in at the hospital at 12:00 and rather disappointingly my husband wasn’t allowed to stay with me at all. He was told to leave straight away and I could see in his face that he was upset for. This was to be my first ever foray into the world of surgery and I would have liked someone there with. Anyway I was shown to a trolley, given a gown and rd to change. The doctors came round after what seemed like an age, made sure I understood everything and marked me up. After waiting another age a nurse came and labelled me. At about 2:00 ish I was walked off to theatre. A little chat with my surgeon and some nice chaps and I was gone.
LATER THAT DAY
I vaguely remember waking up on the HDU with a lovely nurse telling me I’d slept a long time, but I was ready to sleep some more . Next time I awoke was back on the day care unit. I drifted in and out of sleep a lot, I think anaesthetics work well on me!
Around about 8pm I asked the nurse if anyone had rung my hubby to tell him I was ok and they said they would do that when he could come and pick me up. 😦 I would have liked to have had him there with me.
Around 9pm they were wanting me to go home. I said I didn’t feel up to it but they were quite insistent. I said I hadn’t even been to the toilet yet so that was it off I was sent. That made me feel really ill like I was about to faint, I couldn’t manage a wee so they ran the tap, got me a drink and made me stay there! At last – a wee…..hooray. by now was feeling really sick, I asked if I could stay but they insisted ladies feel better when they are home in their own bed. I’m not sure I totally believed that, I felt that the ladies probably didn’t get a choice and that like me they were rushed home. The surgeons all tell you that you can stay overnight and I think they actually believe that you can but the nurses seem to view it differently. When I was being talked through what would happen during my hospital stay, my consultant said to me that when they come back to the ward the following morning their patients are never there, they have always gone home the night before, and do you know what? He genuinely believed it was their CHOICE, bless him! I know differently.
Around about 9:30 pm (approx 7hrs post op) I was home. Poor husband was petrified
Day one – I slept ok, no surprises there, I was still having effects from the aneasethia. Hubby not looking so well rested though. The district nurse came in around mid morn ok Nguyen. She wasn’t too sure what she had to do, so I explained about when the fluid I in the drain was less than 30cc in a day they were to remove the drain for me. I’d had a bit of a leakage thing happen around my drain site so she changed my dressing for me and left.
I asked if she’d be back tomorrow but she said it was her day off.
Day two – still very tired. Also feeling some pain today. Hit the pain killers. They sent me home with about four days worth, seems ambitious to me! District nurse came about 4:00 this afternoon, a different one today, had to explain again why she’d come round. I asked if it would be her coming back tomorrow, no……she’s got a day off. I asked if we could expect a morning or afternoon visit, didn’t mind which just wanted to know so that the poor dog could go for a walk. On one of my trips to the loo today (glad we’ve got a bungalow, not sure I’d manage stairs) I did manage to clean my teeth. That was nice. You take things like that so much for granted but when you don’t feel great they do make a world of difference.
Tonight is a bit tough with pain- mostly under my arm. More pain killers for me. X
Day three. Woke up to a good start and felt confident enough to get out of bed and maybe get myself into the lounge. Left it till after breakfast.
The nurse turned up earlier today, the same one that I saw the first day. Having studied me for a while she decided the drain could be removed. I must be honest and admit to being a little apprehensive about having it done, but it was pulling a bit and the sticky plaster was aggravating and I was looking forward to getting out. Lovely nurse Jean did warn me that people report that it is not particularly pleasant…………God, did she understate that!! It bloody HURT. The pain went right across the top of my chest all the way to my side under my arm. Now I admit to being a bit of a woose over all of this, but I started to feel all woozie and faint again, hot, cold and clammy all at the same time and generally very sick, not good. Eventually all that passed, I got some colour back (I was no longer the same colour as the bedsheets) and the nurse could finish up and leave. Understandably she doesn’t want to come back until Monday – can’t say I blame her!!!
I stayed in bed a while longer, had loads of pain relief and slept. Husband and dog went for a little walk …..
The next major event came a while later when a trip to the loo was necessary (life is fun at the moment!)
I got out of bed, had a bit of pain and put it down to the drain pain. As I was leaving the bathroom I had another giddy turn, luckily husband caught me before I hit the floor. I caught sight of myself in the mirror and I looked like my mum……after she died! I really didn’t want to be here doing this, it was getting to me. Got back to the safe haven of my bed and hubby called the GP, he called in on his way home from surgery and left a prescription for anti dizzy meds. Here’s hoping for a better result tomorrow. I really want to get out of bed, even if I only sit in a chair it would feel like a positive move forward. I’d quite like to do some knitting, I’m missing it……is that sad? I miss my knitting more than I miss my boob!!
day 4…… feeling so much better today..I felt well enough to put makeup on and my first visitors were coming to see me today. I was looking forward to some girlie company. My husband is brilliant but chit chat is not his strong point. Anyway there was a knock at the door, he called through and asked if I was ready for visitors. I tidied myself in my sick bed (I thought my lopsidedness could get lost more in amongst duvet covers – after all, we wouldn’t want to scare the horses would we!) and waited. A face turned up at my bedroom door, but it wasn’t at all who I expected………not a face from round the corner but a face from 134 miles away MY DAUGHTER! Standing there all by herself! Alone!! Oh my word, I was amazed, delights, shocked, flabbergasted and most of all chuffed to little meatballs to see her!!! The fact that she had come all that way, by herself, was astonishing. I know it is nothing to most people, but she doesn’t drive long distances, let alone doing it by herself. She had conquered her own fears, phobias and anxieties for me – I felt SO honoured and so very proud of her. Thank you sweet pea xxx
After that excitement, more visitors turned up (the ones I WAS expecting this time) and we had a nice catch up. More tea??
As the day progressed I felt better and better, what a result.
Day 5…… coming on in leaps and bounds. I’ve slept through the whole night a few times now and normal patterns are nearly resumed! The pain is surprisingly calm, most soreness is under my arm and the dressing that covers the hole where the drain was. On the subject of dressings, I am very pleased that I don’t have any on the major wound site. I don’t know if I explained that before but I have had a total simple mastectomy and I have no stitches or clips to be removed nor have I had any dressings on it at all. Right from the outset it has been open to the air and by the same standard completely visible. Quite amazing really! And definitely a positive as I means I don’t need to have anything else done to it. Phew!
One little thought and I don’t know if this is a positive or not, but the remaining boob I have now looks bloody MASSIVE! It seems such a shame – I didn’t really ‘grow’ boobs until I was over 40 years old. They were only A cup sized and friends would tease me about my ‘back and front’ tattoos! But as I got older they grew, and bloomin fine they were too, even if I do say so myself. But sadly didn’t get to have them very long, something less than 14 years in fact. And that does make me sad. The double act ‘Phil & Grant’ are no more…….