June 16, 2017. Friday. After yesterday’s longggg day of walking I was going to stay inside all day, duh. Woke up and made an egg and cheese on a defrosted everything bagel. Shit, those bagels are difficult to defrost well after being frozen, sigh. I was going to go to the local bagel place but then, it was 10:30 am and I was starving. Made my bagel, couch, relaxation. Mama came up around 1 pm. She asked if I needed anything, DONUTS I said. Sigh, I’m becoming a chunky monkey and I just don’t care right now. Before she came I made some coffee to enjoy with my donut. She came in with half a dozen, yum. I went to get some milk for my coffee, it was bad, or was it? The date was still nearly a week off but, ugh, do you smell those types of things whenever you take it out of the fridge?? I do, even if it was purchased yesterday. I’m not sure why, spoiled milk is just GROSS. I made mom smell it against her will, she said it was bad too. (Later that day while telling Kim… “I put that in my coffee this morning! And quite a lot!”… awkward). I had some black coffee with my donut, still delicious. We hung out for a few hours gabbing about life. She left and Angie was on her way up with dinner, with the makings of a perfect chicken caeser salad; grilled chicken, lettuce, dressing, croutons, parm, tomatoes AND some cheddar cheese from her recent trip to Vermont, with wheat thins and triscuits, YUM. I used to not like triscuits, the texture was weird but dang, there’s something quite enjoyable about them now, oh aging.
Angie stayed for a while enjoying some cheese and crackers with me. The book she lent me was on the coffee table, The Handmaids Tale. I obviously didn’t read it because I don’t read, yes, one of my few flaws, my mind just RACES. I literally went to read a book my dad gave me right before writing this blog and then, stopped to write this blog. Anyway, they have made the book into a Hulu series, we watched an episode. Shit is crazy, recommended if you like weird stuff as I do. Angie left around 7:30 pm when Kim was on his way home, Stires Stires everywhere. Kim came home, showered, drains, sleeps.
June 17, 2017. Saturday. Ummm sleeps. Side note. The other night when I was changing my drains, I had to change the bandage to the hole left over from pulling the drain out on my left side. My range of motion isn’t great but I wanted to do it myself, I tried, and tried and tried. Kim was sitting downstairs. I started crying… “Kim” … “yes honey” … tears really flowing … “I need your help”. He rushed upstairs probably thinking something was extremely wrong based on my bellows. “What’s wrong??” … “I need help”. It took him about 30 seconds, looked at me, “all done!” and kissed me. Oh, that was easy. Feeling helpless is a hard, hard feeling.
June 18, 2017. Sunday. Ed and Nate came over for Father’s Day brunch around 9:30 am. Coffee, bagels, chat, good morning. We were going to Kim’s parents for a BBQ. Kim wasn’t feeling well but felt good enough to go to dinner. It was the first time I was putting a wig, lashes and make up on since surgery! Kim was at a wake until late so Pat came to get me as I still can’t drive. Kim came in the house and I said, “do you even recognize me??” … nope, he said. So used to me being bald and make up-less. We had ribs, corn salad and rice for dinner, YUM. Home, drains, sleep.
June 19, 2017. Monday. Kim was off from work, YAY. I thought he would sleep in like he did last week. Nope, up by 8:30 am, pancakes on the stove by 9 am, yum. Aunt Cathy was making us dinner tonight; short ribs with polenta and a chocolate peanut butter cake. YUM. Today was a tough day. I am not sure if it was because of the rain or because I am 12 days post op and everything is kind of sinking in. I could not get comfortable for the life of me. I tried laying on the floor, NOPE. Eventually went upstairs to lay down. Kim knew I wasn’t doing too well, “honey, dinner is on the table”. Everything set, it was yummyyyyyy (Thanks Cath!!). I ate and went back up to bed, drain and sleep.
June 20, 2017. Tuesday. It was that time again for herceptin treatment, with 3 drains in. This is probably my low of this entire thing. I am bald, I have no eyelashes, no eyebrows, have three drains coming from my body, have no boobs and am getting a treatment. Sigh. I said to Kim one night, “this is literally the ugliest I will ever be”, he laughed. I mean it’s true, it’s not a, wahhh I’m so uglyyyyy (although, 2% of the time, maybe it is like that honestly). I can literally only go up from here, “you will think I’m reallyyyyyy pretty when I get all my hair back”, he laughed again. I mean it’s true?
Kim dropped me off at treatment on his way to work, dad was picking me up. Got my port accessed, got blood drawn and went upstairs to wait to see the doctor. I was called in quite fast. I saw the NP and then the doctor. They are all very happy with my pathology report of course and are very happy for me that surgery is over. I had treatment and it wasn’t too bad, although it was freezing. The warm blankets came in handy. I said to the nurse, “it’s freezing in here but ya know what, no hard nipples, silver lining!”. You have to find the humor in this shit, but really, it is pretty nice. I was done around 11 am and sat outside on a rocking chair waiting for dad, quite nice. We went back to my house, I was tired so went upstairs for an hour to nap while dad did some work. I had an appointment at 3 pm in the city to meet with Dr. Cordeiro, the plastic surgeon. We left around 1:30 pm, dad driving in. Parked, checked in around quarter of 3 and got called in at 3:05 pm.
The nurse came in and she said, so are we ready to take those drains out? I told her how much they were draining and she said, yup, they’re ready, YAHOO (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). We were also going to “pump” my boobs up again. I think I have said before, the expanders/implants they put in have a magnet where they will poke through to push saline in to expand. So the nurse uses some contraption to find the magnet then puts dots around it so they know where to poke. They take a small needle and, poke, in.
She wanted to remove the drains first but then said, “no, let’s fill them up so any extra fluid moves into the drains”. Eek, I thought she would definitely take the drains out first, messing with my mind here. She lifted the chair a decent amount. I was pretty nervous for this. I was tired as we were driving into the city however this pepped me up. She made the dots and poke, we were in. Not bad at all, I am still pretty numb. I looked away as she filled it, I didn’t want to see it get bigger, kind of creepy. She said it is unnoticeable because it is so slow, she was right. However, when I looked down at the end, it did look bigger! Bigger boobies in 30 seconds or less y’all. On to the next one, the left one. This one hurt a little more because I have more sensation in this boob as the lymph nodes were not taken out. Done with both sides, now to take the drains out, UGHDKFJDLKFASHFLKDJFLKAJDSFKHLDKFJLKDJSFLAJFKAJDFLKA. I was really freakin’ nervous. Yes, I did get one drain out however now 3 more. Ugh. Honestly, how I get through pain these days; “nothing will be as bad as the day after having your boobs removed Kate, you can do this” end of conversation in my head. Also, TO BE DRAIN FREE WILL BE AMAZING. She went to the right side where there were two; deep breath, out, deep breath, out, deep breath, out. All drains OUT. Holy shit it was an amazing feeling.
I am thankful for these hard times as they make me appreciate life. Not many people in the world will know what it feels like to have 4 drains coming out of your body and the freedom you get when they get taken out. Not many people will know what it is like to get quite an important part of your sexual identity taken off and continue to live life (I mean, I could have lived without this but I am learning from it). After surgery I once said to Kim, “ya know what, I have thought about what it would be like if you got your penis (but probably said weiner) taken off and replaced with an implant” … “I don’t think they can do that” … “oh no, they can, and I would love you just the same”.
The plastic surgeon came in and said everything looked good. Stated I need to continue my stretches to get prepared for radiation and I can now go above 90 degrees, yahoo! However can still only lift 5 pounds or less. While I try to do this a lot of the time, it is quite difficult. Doors weight more than that, and my Brita and so many other things you wouldn’t even imagine. We were off, back home. Up to bed for me, long, tiring day. NOTHING TO DRAIN, thank goodness.
WARNING: picture below is not graphic but interesting (lol). So this is the picture I would text my friends and say, “look at my boobies!”. This is the bra that opened in the front that I wore for two weeks after surgery. I could finally stop wearing it the day the drains came out. You can see the drains hanging on the pink loops. This is real life y’all.