Two Good Appointments

A great week so far.

Dr. Woods
It’s official – I’m a big fan.  Tuesday, I felt much less like a blow-up doll.  I had a ton of questions and Dr. Woods gave me all of the time I needed.  He was also the right combination of sympathetic (“you have been very violated and I’m not sure we appreciate yet the effects of this kind of surgery”) and encouraging (“you’re really doing great for 3-1/2 weeks after surgery”).  Exactly what I needed.

He explained that the cords under my arm are backed-up lymphatic vessels.  My lymphatic system has been interrupted and the lymphatic fluid can’t go the same route it once did – lots of traffic analogies.  He also said the numbness I still have and the extreme sensitivity of the skin on my upper chest is nerve damage and could take 6-9 months to resolve.  And he heartily endorsed Turning Point.

By the way, did you know that implants come in 3 shapes?  Round, flat and in between.  Most customers want round.  But if you’re having reconstruction after a single mastectomy and want to match the unaffected breast, or if you’re just partial to saggy breasts, you might choose flat.  Who knew?

Turning Point
My first impression is that this place is a godsend for breast cancer survivors.  Well-worth the 45-minute drive.

I met with a physical therapist for an hour.  She measured my range of motion, confirmed I had cords, or axillary web syndrome, down to my left wrist, swelling on both sides and “angry” pectoral muscles.  After some gentle massage and a few exercises, she measured my range of motion again – amazing how much it had improved (although it tightened back up again this afternoon).

Anyway, she was terrific and I’m sold.  She also reassured me that I’ll eventually get back to normal – Zumba, mountain biking or whatever else I want to do.  I’ll see her twice a week for at least the next few weeks.

Thank you for checking in!  Onward!

Nicole

10 Days Post-Op

I am drain-free!

I also have quite a bit more feeling in one side than I did a week ago, so when Dr. Woods pulled the drain out on the right, I cursed like a sailor.

Before that fun was my first expansion.  My male doctor inserted a huge syringe into the middle of each of my boobs and pumped saltwater into them to make them bigger.  While my husband watched.

What?!

Yes.  It’s like medieval torture.  For feminists.

Then there’s my new eyebrow stubble.  If I have a uni-brow in a month, it’s because I can’t bring myself to wax away the new hairs.

In the meantime, I’m taking walks, trying to keep my upper body still and learning to live without Hydrocodone.

Thank you for checking in!

Nicole