What a day! I don't know if it was the macaroons that i ate for breakfast (delicious but way too sweet for that early in the day) but I was not prepared for what was coming yesterday morning when I typed my last post. I said that I got to see my 'mangled chest' for the first time, but that was while still laying in bed, still partially covered in dressing, still with staples in, and most importantly without my contact lenses in. In short, I hadn't seen anything yet.
After I had my lovely breakfast and a nice chat with the mornings new (young) nurses, my breast care nurse came and removed my dressing and padding so I could have my first proper shower since the mastectomy. This also meant I had my first real look at my wound, and my whole body, since the surgery. I was shocked at what I saw, but it was pretty much what I expected. It was just difficult to take in the fact that it was actually how my body now looked. I felt like I had to keep taking photos so I could see everything clearly and really believe it. The incision runs from where my cleavage used to begin, across my chest, and then down slightly at my side. On my side where the bottom of my bra would normally sit is where my two drainage tubes come out. Simply having a shower was also a strange experience as much of the left side of my upper body is tender and numb. I couldn't really feel if I was washing my side or under my arm at times.
After my shower the breast care nurse returned and removed my staples. That was more uncomfortable than painful really. I got dressed and decided to do my hair and makeup but still felt odd. I then got changed about 3 times as I decided I wanted to try and wear real clothes, not just pyjamas, so I asked my husband to bring some in for me.
I spent about half an hour trying on different outfits, which was more painful than i expected as i had to move my arm a lot more than I had in the last day. In the end I settled on new pants, a stripe t shirt, a cardigan, and a scarf that I bunched up on my left side and had quite thin on my right to try and balance out my chest. My husband took me down to the cafe for lunch and it felt great to be out of my room. We sat outside in the sun and in the end, despite all my efforts to make myself look normal, I took off the scarf and cardigan and just got used to how my chest now looked and felt.
I slowly started feeling better and better as the day went on and I came to terms with my new chest. I had some lovely friends come visit and also got to see my beautiful Little Birdie in the early evening too which always makes things better.
I couldn't decide if I should include pictures of my wound or not. I thought it might be a bit 'too much information' for some people and didn't want to offend anyone, so I decided to have a think about it overnight. In the end I decided to include them (at the very end of the post) because the whole reason I am writing this blog is not only to help myself deal with what I am going through, but to also help anyone else who might be about to go through the same thing. I've put a photo of my Little Birdie and I in first to hopefully make it a little easier to see.
Today is going much better. I had a great sleep and woke up just as my husband and little birdie arrived (still in her valentines day pyjamas). Shortly after that, the Professor came and gave me good news that all my margins were clear and that of the 20 odd lymph nodes removed, less than half contained cancer. I've been given information from the breast care nurse about bras, prostheses, chemo, radiation, and lymphoedema and even wig shopping plus I've had some lovely friends visit and even received a hilarious balloon bouquet.
In short, I'm feeling good again.