Tuesday, January 27, 2015

the road to recovery

Went through quite a surgery four days ago, for my breast reconstruction. It was seven hours long, and involved intense abdominal surgery, required for the muscle and fat.  Post operatively I experienced acute respiratory failure, and had to reintubated.  I developed pneumonia. I was in surgical ICU.  The following day I had the tube removed, much to my relief.  Spent saturday and sunday in the step down unit, and was considered stable enough to be discharged today, monday.  I have a considerable amount of pain, but the percocet does help some.  Got a couple of surgical drains that I have to deal with.  That's pretty gross. Lots more doctor visits ahead, and truly, I am just tired.  I pray there are no new complications, and that this is the end road in my breast cancer journey.  Except for nipples, but that is a fairly simple procedure, OR 3d tattooing process.  Another 6 or 7 months, I believe, before I get to make that decision.  Who knows, I may opt out of it altogether.  So far, there has been the bilateral masectomy with multiple lymph node discetion, port insetion, chemo  for four months,  radiation for 35 sessions, port removal, (and currently) removal of tissue expanders,  TRAM flap surgery (free flap), and hopefully that is pretty much it.  If anything, I think I'd get the tattoos, as they are very realistic, and the area is fully numb, so it's no big deal.

This has been a long road.  If not going through some type of treatment, there was always the anticipation of treatment/surgery to come.  It has been 15 months.  Once I'm recovered now, I wonder what lies ahead for me. There must be a change ahead.  Something of accomplishment, other than kicking cancer's ass.  Maybe it will be the completion of my novel, and the subsequent publishing of it.  That would surely be a kick.

We're having a blizzard tonight.  I may have stayed the hospital a day longer, but that would've ended up being days instead, with no way of getting transportation.  Was able to get an ambulette this afternoon, but tonight there's a curfew for being on the road.  No public transportation either.  Hopefully people are where they should be, and hopeless make their way to shelters.

When I went to the hospital, I brought my Surface with me, which had been fully charged the day before but suddenly dropped to availability of 7 mins!  And I forgot the bring the charger with me.  Oh well.  It would've been something to do, because it was all so boring.

I was told that I wouldn't be able to stand or lie straight postoperatively, but I am able to do both.

Wish I was able to share some photos, but that just hasn't been happening.  Couldn't very well bring such expensive equipment to a relatively unsecure place.  Would've taken pics of my nurses and aides, and resident doctors, and my plastic surgeon.  Too bad, I would've liked that.

I hear the snow plows scraping along the streets.


  1. Hi Barbara, boy this sounds tough and boy you sound brave. I'm glad at least this part is done and I hope it will soon be in the past. Damn cancer


  2. wow, what a journey. I'm glad this last big step is done and you can move on mentally and physically. take care of yourself! love Mim


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