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Monday, August 8, 2016

Survivor Files: Once Upon a Stubborn Drain

Tired of this look in my bathroom
Not much make-up has been put on lately in my bathroom!

Today marks the one month point post-first-surgery (at least the first surgery this time around). It also marks the one month mark of the lymph node drain coming out from under my arm. It was a rough weekend. I had hovered over the 30 cc limit all last week. I could have gone in on Saturday since I had finally hit below 30 for two 24 hour periods in a row but of course, it was the weekend and no one was there to take it out.

I wasn't sure what to think when Saturday's numbers were back up again and then Sunday's too. I just knew that it was clogging up and some of the fluid was draining out where the tube came out under my arm. Obviously this thing wasn't doing what it needed to do effectively. I called first thing this morning and the nurse said the two days Thursday and Friday were all she needed and I should come in and get it out!

Oh the bliss of not having to carry around this drain. It is my record. Of the eight surgeries I have had, only two did not require drains and many of them required more than one. Never though, until this time did I have a drain in for a full month.

I understand that these are lymph node sites so I know that we are talking about more fluid than other places and so I hope now that the drain is gone that we will not have problems with fluid build up. Lymph node removal was very different than I imagined it would be but as I have been reading up on it now that I am experiencing the aftermath, I find that what I am dealing with is part of the recovery. I just hope that the numbness and the range of motion can be restored. It is quite debilitating to not be able to use your dominant arm like normal.

For now I am going to rejoice in my broadening wardrobe selection now that I am not wearing surgical vests! I am going to have to start replacing all of my regular bras. It is part of the grieving process because I was an underwire girl, they have always been the best for me. Now, there is too much pain with the wires because they dig into the scar in the wrong places so I am on a quest to find good non-underwire. (Feel free to message me if you have suggestions of anything that works for you)!

I have one great sports bra that I have been surprised with. It seems to give me enough support but also helps even things out (you know, since I am not "evenly distributed" on both sides anymore). I am thankful that they didn't have to take out the tram, but there was a big chunk taken out without any type of reconstruction.) 

Oh the things we deal with on the journey of life! Today is a great day...free once again!

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