Four Weeks

15 May

While the sutures are doing just fine, I’ve managed to develop an infection in the remaining drain site. The area is inflamed, pussy and a shade of red no skin should ever be. So back on Cipro I go for the next 10 days. I’m back to living on my heating pad, too. It’s the only thing that seems to make the drain site more livable.

Of course we reported the infection to Dr. Elliott’s people, thus the Cipro script. We were also told that the site needed to be cleaned with soap and water.  It’s amazing the pain control you can accomplish with a focal point and slow exhalation during the cleaning process.

For those not familiar with the process, simply pick a spot that will keep your attention then take a deep breath and while the cleaning takes place, then control your exhalation keeping it very slowly and even. What this does is give you something else to think about, first. Secondly, it keeps you from gasping and screaming, or at least cuts down on the likelihood. When we scream we also tense up just as when we gasp. Staying as relaxed as possible is a key to any kind of pain management.

In the ‘good news’ department today, I got up this morning without taking any pain meds of any kind before getting out of bed. I *was* very stiff and sore, but I wasn’t experiencing pain like I had been previously. I do hope that this is the first step towards really being healed.

More good news: The level of drainage is starting to go down again. It’s still over 30mls in 25 hours but I think I broke the 50ml plateau finally.

Finally, in the ‘things you never thought you’d ever say in your life’ department, here’s an interesting tidbit. My mother is a 25 year cancer survivor. She had Stage 2 breast cancer which means that it had spread to her lymph nodes. The doctors performed a double radical mastectomy. At that time in Wyoming they weren’t doing breast reconstruction at the time of the breast removal. She was told she had to wait two years before she could have reconstruction.

Two years later she decided to just do implants because it was easier rather than any of the flap procedures. She told me she didn’t do her homework like she should have. Unfortunately, she developed necrosis and had to have both implants removed. She never had them replaced out of fear of having the same problem nor has she had any type of breast reconstruction surgery.

With her own experience and my previous experience she has been scared to death. Of course I wanted to reassure her that I am doing well. I also wanted to show her the marvelous work that Dr. Elliott did. So I text messaged her a pic that I had taken of the Twins at the 4 week mark. She said something I never thought I’d ever hear my mother say to me. “You have beautiful boobies”. Yes it’s a little freaky to hear something like that from my mother. It’s nice to know that she IS reassured though.

She has told me that if she ever decided to have reconstruction done, Dr. Elliott is the ONLY person she would trust to do it.  I’ve said it before, but I cannot say it often enough, I cannot recommend Dr. Franklyn Elliott of Atlanta Plastic Surgery AND his staff highly enough. They have been absolutely amazing throughout the entire process.


2 responses to “Four Weeks

  1. JBBC

    May 16, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing the story of your Mom – it is so inspirational to hear of those women who have survived and thrived after breast cancer treatment. I can imagine how harsh the treatment must have been 25 years ago and how difficult it must have been to go through it at a time when it was such a taboo subject and not discussed as thankfully it is now.


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