Surgery went really well. I had the mastectomy on the right breast with a tissue expander placed. Left side - the tissue expander was removed, a permanent implant placed and the latissimus dorsi flap was taken from the back and transplanted onto my left breast. So I have 3 (actually 4, another small incision under my left arm) and all 3 are healing very well. The incision across my back is about 12 inches long. I would have to say that most of my pain has been from my back. But the pain is tolerable and when it becomes too much I don't hesitate to take my pain pills.
I also had 6 drains placed. Two for each breast and two for my back. A week after surgery a drain from each breast was removed and this week the last drain from my right breast was removed along with a drain from my back. So 2 remain.
I stayed in the hospital from surgery, Wednesday May 25th until Sunday May 29th. Let me tell you if I were a queen I doubt I would have been treated any better than I was. I didn't want to leave the hospital but decided I probably should get back home with my family. The doctors, nurses, nurse's aides were so kind and caring. The food was incredible!! And the bed -- I want one!!! It was so peaceful to be in the hospital at MD Anderson!!
So yesterday I turned 40!! I am so blessed to be alive and well! It is truly a miracle and gift from God that I'm here! The celebration for my birthday was put on hold due to the fact that I still have the 2 drains - it's best that I stay out of public places for risk of infection. I had been hopeful that I wouldn't have any drains on my birthday and had mentioned that to Gordon (PA) and Dr. Skoracki on Tuesday. Gordon said, "well we'd rather you have drains in on your 40th birthday than an infection". True!!! I also thought, "how special it truly is to have these drains in on my birthday, how many people can say they had drains in on their 40th birthday?". I mentioned this to Papa and he said (imagine this being said in an Austrian accent), "well you are a plumber's daughter you know all about drains". It really made me laugh!!!
The great thing about all of it -- it just means I get to celebrate my birthday even more than just one day!!! So as soon as these drains come out -- I'll be ready for birthday lunches and dinners ;). Really throughout this journey I have learned to celebrate each day, each moment!!!
Life is precious, it is a gift that I am given everyday!!!
Jim and the kids have been great in helping out around the house. It was wonderful to have Lauren (our niece) and her sweet baby girl here to help take care of the kids and housekeeping while I was in the hospital. And having Mom (Jim's Mom but I claim her as my Mom) here helping out too and taking care of me. We've had people bringing in meals - everyone is so kind and giving. Thank you for all the cards, messages, emails, phone calls and especially your prayers!
I am so humbled and overwhelmed with the love I have received!!!
Go find your JOY!!!
Love and Blessings from the Top of my Heart,