Here’s some of what’s happened since August 28:
- After Nita left, my son’s girlfriend, Kortnie, volunteered to be my driver and helper, along with Mekkah who was a helper. What angels! She would spend the night on the night before my doctor visits and also take me on any errands that I had to run. And she would bring my 17-month-old, delightful granddaughter, Medina, with her! So, Mekkah, Kortnie, Medina, and I had a really good time-cooking, eating, watching movies, playing cards. I was thrilled to have both my son’s daughters AND his girlfriend with me!
Pap joined in the eating and playing cards, but he didn’t too much like our choices in movies, and there’s only so much estrogen he can take in one dose. LOL! So, on some days, he would seek out testosterone, knowing that I was doing very well and in good hands.
- At the end of my surgery on August 15, Dr. Hills inserted a drain in me to collect the lymph fluid that flowed as a result of having seven lymph nodes removed (only one contained cancer cells-a real good thing).
The drain did not cause any pain or discomfort, but had to be emptied, and the contents measured, three times each day. This ingenious contraption had a tube that was about 10 inches long by 1/8 inch wide, connected to a small vacuum bulb that gently sucked out the lymph fluid. It fit comfortably inside my bra.
Pap was very diligent about helping me to do this. (This was not as gory as it may sound! It was exciting to watch the fluid level go down and to watch the odorless fluid get clearer and clearer.) The measurement started out at 40cc total for the day on August 16, went as high as 87cc total for the day on August 26. The goal was to have less than a total of 30cc on two consecutive days! That happened on September 2 (27cc) and September 3 (22cc)-yippeee!!! It dwindled down to 7cc on September 5, but, unfortunately, it was a weekend, so I had to wait for my appointment on Tuesday, September 6 (my late father’s birthday!).
On September 6, Dr. Hills removed the bandages and the drain. It was a painless procedure-just a very slight pinch when she snipped the one stitch that held the drainage tube in place. She applied a small bandage over the opening where the drainage tube had been and told me to come back on September 9 (my late grandmother’s birthday! Family birthdays always bring me blessings!).
I felt liberated!!!
I went back to see Dr. Hills on September 9.
She removed the small bandage that covered the opening where the drainage tube had been, examined the incision where she removed the tumor and the incision where she removed the lymph nodes. She told me that I was healing-her word was, “perfectly.” Yay!!
Naturally, scar tissue had formed on both incisions, but I didn’t feel any tightness on my breast. I could, however, feel the tightness on the lymph node incision (that was right at the base of my right armpit)-I could not lift my arm straight up and stretch it out completely without some discomfort.