I realize that I pretty much glazed over my post-op recovery from the lumpectomy. Honestly, it wasn’t all that bad, so I didn’t think much of it.
I took some pain pills the first week, and most of the time it was to help me sleep through the soreness and knock me out enough to not roll around since I had to stay on my back. I’m a side sleeper, and sometimes I wake up on my stomach, and since those positions were a no-go, I wanted to make sure I was out. So I took the pain medication the first couple days during the day, then the rest of that first week at night only.
The incision from the removal of my lymph nodes under my right arm hurt more than my chest did. I seriously couldn’t feel anything in my chest for days. Maybe that was leftover numbing from the nerve block? Not sure. I think I talked about the nerve block and how it was left in, so I had two little bocci balls full of numbing stuff in little sacks to carry around. Brad got to remove those wire catheters from my back and was so grossed out, it was fabulous. Apparently they were a good inch deep.
Anyway, I was surprised my chest didn’t hurt more. Occasionally there was a little zap of pain, but it only lasted a second. It was tender if bumped, which I obviously tried not to do, but I’m certainly not graceful. There’s still the slightest bit of tenderness.
I had to wear a surgical bra. Picture the most unattractive sports bra on the planet made of a heavy cotton gauze. Sexy! A few days ago, I finally bought a few front closure, wireless sports bras that are pretty loose. They came up when I did an Amazon search for surgical bras. Surgical bras came up, too, but they didn’t look as comfy. So I’ve converted to the sports bras. 24/7. Twenty-four seven.
My chest still looks like Franken-boobs. It’s healing, but it takes time. There’s still scabbing, but at least the steri-strips are gone (I may have ripped them off in the shower at 2 weeks post-op because I felt that was long enough, they looked gnarly (mostly because they had marker on them from Dr H’s artwork), and they were already half hanging off. I don’t think the scarring will be too bad, but by the time this heals, I’ll be prepping for the next, so there will be new scars, scabs, and steri-strips!
I still have some neuropathy in my toes, and I’ve had some swelling in my feet and ankles. Both happen more when I’m sitting a lot – so at a desk on office work or school days. I’m trying to be conscious of keeping my feet up when I’m planning to sit for long periods of time. Surprisingly, the days spent playing with kids and running around doing errands are the better days because it keeps my circulation going. Brad bought me some copper socks for the swelling, but I forget to put them on until after I’m already swollen. Ha.
I think that’s pretty much is it as far as recovery goes. It really wasn’t that bad. I was driving a week later and moving around just fine. I feel fantastic and am so glad I don’t have anymore chemo to make me feel crappy again. In a little more than a week I’ll have my next Herceptin injection and find out the date of the mastectomy. I might not have anything to say until then, but I’ll try to think of something!