Finally got to the hospital at like 6:30 AM on the 29th and had to wiggle our way into the building since parts of it were still closed from Ike damage. They did have one OR operating and one floor, the obgyn floor open.
I went into pre op and then had to give a pee sample. Whatever for I asked after straining for 10 minutes to get out a few drops as I already emptied my bladder earlier that morning. A pregnancy TEST? You have got to be kidding??? I could have told them with 110 percent certainty that was totally impossible. Still they felt it necessary. ARRRGGG!
The associate pastor from the Methodist church came up to visit me along with my husband, mother in law and sister in law and a good friend. The surgeon came in and I asked him about getting lymphedema after the surgery and he assured me his patient did NOT get lymphedema. Then they gave me Versed and that's all I remember until I woke up in a room later that day filled with tubes and drains and catheters and a leg pump thingy to keep my blood flowing.
The surgery went perfectly and the surgeon felt he got clear margins and I should be good to go! I asked him, I think, through a morphine haze, if I would need radiation and he didn't think so. Phew! I had to get the nurse to give me something for nausea from the morphine and went back to sleep.
The hospital was extraordinarily quiet since only one floor was open. I got lots of sleep and had a huge comfortable room. I could hear babies in the distance every so often and that's all.
The hospital discharged me after one day, thank goodness, because the food sucked. I had my husband bring me a cheeseburger from Fuddrucker's down the street. Phew! I went home with vicodin, xanax, tramadol and neurontin. I had an allergic reaction to the vicodin within 48 hours and dropped it. The rash took about 4 days to go away and was highly annoying.
A friend of mine had had a similar surgery and she was up and out in 2 weeks. I fully expected to be able to resume my life in 2 weeks. This was so not going to happen. Got two of the three drains out after one week and the last and most distracting one out the second week. Those were so uncomfortable and very hard to deal with with numb and clumsy hands.
The surgeon gave me some exercises to do to get my arm mobility back and although they hurt like holy hell I did them several times a day and by my month return had better mobility than he thought I would. The right side lagged behind as that's where the major lymph node removal and surgery was. It took a few months to totally regain my arm mobility.
Got a mastectomy camisole with prostheses from an online company and it was very comfortable for a while. Finally after the scars were less sensitive I found bra online into which I could put the foam pads and look like a normal human. All the normal mastectomy bras were just horrible, and a 85 year old would not want to wear the ugly things. So glad I found a normal bra with just enough of pockets to hold the pads or the foam boobs I finally bought.
I thought the weight off my shoulders would be terrific and it was! However, going from a double D and losing 3 lbs or so during surgery from my chest, totally threw off my balance. Its only now, a year later that I feel fairly comfortable with my new A-B no weight chest.
I did NOT go back to the Oncologist as I figured I wasn't going to buy their expensive poison so what was the point.
After 6 months the surgeon commented that I was fine and healed up great and very fast in his opinion and to come back in a year. OK, so ends the cancer part. Oh and I never had a day of any lymphedema! Thanks Dr O!