I can’t believe I am saying this… but it has been FOUR WHOLE WEEKS since my first surgery… and I feel GREAT!! I can hardly believe that my body has made so much progress in such a short amount of time.
As far as how I feel physically, I am no longer in a lot of pain… just super tight across my chest. As I told someone earlier, I now feel like I just finished a hard workout as opposed to feeling like I’d been thrown down a flight of stairs. Ha! In all seriousness, I really do feel good. I haven’t needed to take any pain medication in 3 days now… not even a Tylenol! The only pain I’ve had the last few days are these super weird zings that run through my incision on the left side for about 5 seconds before they are gone. The zing doesn’t happen often though.. thank goodness… and mostly happens when I lay down.
There is one thing that continues to happen that is driving me crazy… phantom itches. Not sure if it’s because the skin is healing or what, but I keep having these crazy itches across my chest. When I go to scratch the itch, I can’t scratch it because I have NO FEELING anywhere. Super bizarre.
My activity level is not back up to pre-surgery levels, but I have been driving short distances, walking around my neighborhood, and keeping up with laundry and light cleaning around my house. I had hoped that I would be going back to school soon since I felt good, but my doctor advised me to wait until after Thanksgiving break.
Speaking of my sweet, precious 3rd graders… I got a card from them in the mail today!!! It was super sweet and all the kiddos signed their name. It all looked pretty normal until I saw this…
Bahaha… Poor Kamiah. From what I understand, she and my sub had a rough start after I left school. Looks like my absence is really starting to take a toll on the poor girl! Ha.
Anyway, in the event that you are a little more curious about what life is like 4 weeks-post mastectomy, I can tell you that it is much easier to than the first couple of weeks. In the beginning, the drains REALLY make things difficult, but once they are gone, everything just gets so much better. This week, this has been of my go to treatments:
About a week ago, my skin started having a hard time stretching during expansions and I started developing some not so fabulous stretch marks. When I asked my doctor, he explained that post-surgery skin has a hard time adjusting to changes and, with the cold weather, my skin was probably drier than usual. Both of these things had contributed to my new, unwanted marks. So, my doctor recommended that I put Eucerin on 2 times a day to help my skin stay moisturized as it stretched to accommodate the expansions. Even though Dr. Noel said to only put it on twice a day… I’ve been putting it on more frequently because I’ve been walking outside and it really has been cold around here! I hope that’s ok…
In addition to using the Eucerin, I’ve also been using a cool product to help reduce the redness and bumpiness of my scars. My scars didn’t end up looking as bad as I thought they might. However, I am still on the fence about having nipple reconstruction and, in the event that I choose to forgo that surgery, I need these scars to look good. My doctor recommended that I use these handy dandy strips to help the appearance of my scars.
I got this box of silicone scar sheets at Walgreens and it cost around $16. In the box, you get 8 scar sheets. I cut each sheet into two strips that cover each of my scars. Each strip can be worn for up to 7 days and they even give you this lovely little white case to use when you take off your strips before showering. Maybe its all in my head, but I feel like I can already tell a small difference in my scars. The informational pamphlet in the box says it takes 6-8 weeks to see good results. We shall see!
By the way, I am in the middle of adding a new page at the top of my blog’s front page. If you have a family history of breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer you may want to read the information located on the Genetic Testing page.
Knowledge is power!!!!