Today I am 22 days post-surgery. I don't know how my recovery is supposed to go, other than what the doctors tell me. I've never had cancer before, so I've never had major surgery to remove cancer before.
I'm feeling good.... really good, all things considered. Chemo did a number on me, so adding surgery a month later has me a bit more sluggish than I'd like. My energy runs out quick. But I'm able to sleep in bed, wash dishes, drive (thanks to no more drains!), get dressed, and even wash my peach fuzz hair by myself. My only complaint is that I have some pretty significant discomfort in one particular area. I'm not surprised that I'm uncomfortable. In fact, I'm surprised I haven't been more uncomfortable overall. But this one spot in the crease of my left arm is just OUCH.
Logic says it's understandable because that was the cancer side, and my surgeon removed 24 lymph nodes. To me that sounds like pretty extensive surgery... which means everything inside there has to do a lot of healing. But it just feels so... raw. Kind of like a rug burn, only on the inside. My pain meds don't really help. Resting that arm doesn't really help.
I don't know if the tissue expander (for reconstruction) is more uncomfortable on that side because of the extent of surgery done there, or maybe the expander has shifted a little and is closer to under my arm than the one on the other side, increasing the irritation. My doctor just says, "Yes, that's the expander" and the nurse says "Take your pain medication" but my body just wants it to STOP. I hope and pray that this is something that will get better with time. I'll likely have the expanders in for the next 8-9 months. That's a long time to have one really painful spot.
I don't want to be the "woe is me" cancer patient, though. I'm banking on the fact that I have zero cancer cells left in my body. If they're hiding, radiation (or laser tag, as my online Bella friends call it) will zap them. I have eyebrows and eyelashes again. My hair is growing (at a snail's pace, but it's growing). My son got to spend two hours running his model trains at the train club today. My daughter spent the day with her BFF. I went shopping and Hubby spent the afternoon resting on the couch.
Life is good.