Recovery is hard. Before the surgery, I had heard that it actually wasn’t too bad, and that chemo was way worse. And maybe that’s right, but that only speaks to how seriously horrible chemo is, because recovery from a bilateral mastectomy is some serious business.
After the surgery on Wednesday, I was told that it went well, or at least as well as planned. This was how the basic conversation went:
Doctor: How are you feeling?
Me: Okay. How are you feeling?
Doctor: Fine. Thank you.
Me: How did it go? Is the cancer gone? Did you get it all?
D: It went well. We won’t know about the cancer until we get the pathology report.
M: Oh. But do you think it’s gone?
D: I can’t say.
M: But do you believe it’s gone?
D: We won’t know for a couple weeks.
M: Well, I believe it’s gone.
Then I passed out from the morphine.
That day was tough. I was supposed to go home the next day but the pain was still pretty horrible. I could barely walk, so I asked to stay an extra night. The next day was a bit better. Still tough, but better.
When I got home, Nate ran around in circles saying “mama,” “mommy,” “mama.” It was adorable. I piled a little pillow fort around me just in case he accidentally karate chopped me. The home nurse came by that day and removed one drain and took off the bandages. That, again, was tough. I’m still wearing the post-op camisole so I haven’t really had to face the scars. I’m not ready for that yet. (I had four drains total, two on each side. Three have now been removed.)
I am still in a fair amount of pain. But at least I can stand up on my own now. And I know that each day will get a little bit better.
I’ve been shying away from posting a picture of me without hair, but now that I don’t have boobs, the whole no-hair thing doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. There’s some perspective for you!