Thursday, 18 April 2013

The big MX

The day before my mastectomy operation was just perfect. My friend Alex from West Wales Therapies came to my home to give me a Thai massage, it was a wonderful gesture and a perfect gift. Pure escapism for a couple of hours. Maggie from Magatha Bagatha also popped round for a coffee and a chat with us too. She produced a patchwork quilt, exquisite in its detail. Personalised; cameras, G11, Cath Kidston, L luvs J, Preseli Hills, so many more squares full of 'me' things. It'll be our new family heirloom. Overwhelmed is an understatement.

I'd had a call after lunch from Morriston Hospital who were asking me to go in Wednesday evening, instead of early the following morning. I agreed to ensure we kept the bed. J and G11 came with me and as it was 8:30pm when we arrived at the hospital it was like the Marie CĂ©leste. Eventually we found our ward and I found my bed. J and G11 couldn't stay that long as way past visiting hours, not that they were ever made to feel uncomfortable. I had to see a number of 'official' visitors, including my surgeon who proceeded to draw all over my boobs with a large arrow pointing to the right side to ensure they didn't remove the wrong breast! There was also of course lots of the obligatory form filling. I slept pretty well, I remember having a few tears but not so many.

I had a lovely long shower early Thursday morning and it was confirmed that the operation was to be the first of the day, 9am sharp. I was walked up to the theatre reception and filled out more forms there. I wore a hospital gown and my own slippers and was carrying a pillow, a blanket and had brought up my own sports bra. Once the admin was completed I was led to an outer preparation room with a trolley in it which I laid down on and here they administered the anaesthetic. I could hear lots of bustling and busyness going on beyond the large double doors that led into the theatre proper. There was a clock overhead and I remember noting it was three minutes past nine - the next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room. I really, really needed to go for a wee, that's all I could think about. I held on for what must have been half an hour, (my head insisted I couldn't mention my predicament there so I kept stum!) I think I was back on the ward at 1:30pm (ish) and once the bed was safely parked the first (urgent) request was for a bed pan, sigh. By the evening though I was walking myself to the loo.

The medical crew on their rounds Friday morning indicated that I could go home that same day, I was recovering so well. I didn't entirely share their point of view. I felt physically exhausted as I hadn't slept well for a while and not at all Thursday night, (not due to any pain, just hard to nod off on my back!)  I worried that I had a lot of advice to take in yet, (including what to do with the drain to save the district nurse coming out, exercises, general dos and don'ts). Would I be able to absorb it all? In the end I decided to remain until Saturday morning when J would come and pick me up and hopefully he'd be around in visiting hours to listen to some of this information with me.

You can just see my drain on the left hand side of the picture, draining my right breast.
Looks a little 'perkier' than the left boob - but not bad at all :)
I can't bring myself to look too closely just yet though.
I have to keep my sports bra on (day and night) and not get my top half wet at all (I'm smelling quite ripe at the moment).  Two weeks after the mastectomy I can return to Morriston and have my drain and dressings removed and will be taking antibiotics until then. I also have to talk to a new cancer care nurse (at yet another hospital) about the results regarding the analysis of the breast tissue. My surgeon mentioned that micrometastasis disease was found in one of the three sentinel nodes removed, but not enough to remove all the remaining axillary nodes so that was reassuring. I'm not looking forward to the visit for the lab results, but my priority is to fully recover from the op now, so that's what I'm aiming to do.

Since my mastectomy I've had lots of visitors (some travelled great distances) who've come bearing gifts and cards, too many to mention individually (and I'd be mortified if I left anyone out), but each and every one so very precious. Thank you all.


the veg artist said...

I've been wishing you well through cyberspace too. Rest and recover now. Enjoy the sun while it lasts!

Lins' lleisio said...

So true, I do appreciate my blogger friends and their wonderful and supportive comments. Bless you all too.

Maggie Christie said...

I'll get the heirloom finished soon so you can keep it!:)

That's quite an experience to go through. Rest and recover now. xxx

Midlife Singlemum said...

You have wonderful friends. I'm glad everything went smoothly and you seem to be in good spirits. The photo is beautiful and perky on both sides imo. Have a good rest and I wish you a speedy and full recovery . Lots of love xxx

Chris Stovell said...

I'm so glad that you are being well looked after in all directions. That Mags is quite a star, isn't she. What a lovely thing to do.
I had planned to visit sooner but as you know got waylaid by my own unwelcome visitor.
You are looking and sounding fab, Lins - so amazing. Hope you can put all this behind you as soon as possible. Cx

Rob-bear said...

Sorry I'm so Beary late catching up with the news. Glad you came through so well.

My mom had the same surgery; my wife, almost. So it has "come nigh" over here.

Hope you get lots of rest. See you when you're feeling a bit more bouncy. Like Tigger.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

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