Hello everyone, Im back to tell you about the first couple of weeks after my operation on the 26th March 2018. I plan to show you how I have been healing, be warned its not all that pretty. If you have just joined here and you want the full picture head back a few posts to where my secret starts.
The 1st night was a long night not for the pain, I just couldn't sleep. I had time to think about what had happened and what it will look like when I can remove the bandage.
I spent the next couple of days in my Pyjamas, no make up, no bra (Not that I needed much of one), hair shoved up, no shower/ bath...I had to be careful of my dressing, plus I didn't really fancy looking at it to start with and I had a drain in (Cha-smell as my brother would say).
The drain was in my right side which goes up into your chest, this is to drain any excess fluid you get after the operation. Good news I didn't drain that much fluid. They say once you drain less than 50ml in 24 hours you can have the drain removed. Which I did two days later. I was told by my Breast Care Nurse due to my slenderness, generally you drain less fluid but everyone is different...below is a picture of me in bed the following morning with my beloved drain, sorry its not that pleasant but it gives you an idea of how long the bloody thing was and why not only my mum, Karls mum and Karl all sat on it in a space of two days..."Ouch". (If queazy scroll past quick).
That afternoon I had a number of Visitors, My Step Dad (Jay) with yet more flowers,(I had so many flowers that day and the days to follow that I ended up with a flower room! Thank you again to everyone that sent cards, flowers, chocolate, cake...it is nice to know that I don't just have a great family support but the most amazing friends!).
That first evening the pain kicked in. I felt like I'd been hit by a bus my ribcage was in agony, breathing became difficult and talking was out of the question...which makes a change. I couldn't contain my tears which prompted my boyfriend to ring the emergency helpline, in the meantime I took Codeine prescribed by my surgeon. Half an hour later the pain had eased off which was amazing (don't be like me and act hard... take the tablets you have been given).
Wednesday 28th...drain removal day, draining only 10ml in the last 24 hours. Woohoo day trip out of the house. Time to get dressed... this was hard for me, it was the first time I had put on a bra and to see only one side filled out was emotional, who would of thought that loosing a boob (Fat) would be so mentally hard to deal with. I must of changed clothes a thousand times that morning as even with my softie in (shown in the previous post...) my boobs still looked odd. I opted with a baggy jumper so I could hide underneath it, both Karl and Sue tried to reassure me but it seemed to make things worse, reducing me to tears once again. I thought I was mentally strong but it is tough and if you want to cry just bloody cry! We headed back to Thistlelane Breast Centre in Cheltenham to be met by my amazing Breast Care Nurse Maureen Cassidy- Gray, she always greets you with a smile, she doesn't beat around the bush, which I personally really like (Nurses are truly amazing). She warned me it would feel strange and it did, to explain how this felt... it was like a worm being pulled out of your body. I felt sick afterwards, maybe that explains why that evening I was sick after a wonderful lunch.
Thursday I made an effort and showered, it was easier than expected, I managed to keep my dressing dry, by just keeping my back to the shower. The dressing was rather large and put on at a diagonal, like so...
4 days post op, I was able to reduced my pain relief (tablets) and was feeling much more human without the drain! I started doing my exercises which you get given, (anyone that goes through this or similar do them as they help to increase your movement). They feel a little uncomfortable to start as you are stretching the scar tissue but do ease off after the first few stretches. That evening we watched the full monty on TV (Not just men striping off) for Prostate and Breast Cancer...Just Wow, it was crazy how close to home this was. I found it hard to watch but so inspiring, it was a reality check that this happens so often but we all forget about it if it hasn't effected us or someone close to us. This isn't here to scare you but its 1 in 3 now that get cancer in their lifetime and if you catch it sooner then you have the best odds of getting through it!
Skip a few days to Sunday and I had started to hate the smell of the bandage, it was a chemical smell (hospital smell to be precise). That morning spontaneously I decided to remove the bandage, I did this alone (I'm one of those people that prefer to cry on my own than in front of people so I figured it was best to do it by myself). I removed the White bandage to reveal a smaller piece of bandage tape. I was not as shocked or taken back as expected it was a blessing in disguise. However I now realised the scar was bigger than I had expected as it went all the way into my armpit.
A week after the operation it was time to see the scar in its full glory, it was really long, ugly, red, worse than I expected, the only positive was it was neat and fine.
so here goes for you all to see...
Looking at this now in comparison it wasn't all that bad, just a shock as no one at 25 expects to not be able to wear tops, dresses, bras, bikini's they once wore. One positive I could get my right chest out and not been seen as nude (No nipple).
Note; My scar has been done across the chest as this is the easiest way to have a re-construction at a later date if I wanted too. I know this was something I didn't want initially but Thanks to my Surgeon she has given me the option later down the line to be able to have this.
Finally this is a more recent picture of how it is coming along... When they are done like this they aren't always the neatest as they have to be stretched across the chest to give you movement, including the little dark dots below which is from the drain. Currently mine still is a little lumpy from the scar tissue but I will keep working with it to hopefully make improvements on it.
Thanks again for following my Journey.