25 March 2011

Step two is official over!

If step one in cancer treatment is to irradiate the patient by every means possible, step two is to remove all the offending cells. In my case, this consisted of the tumor in my left boob and an icecream scoop worth of lymph nodes in my left armpit. Then, instead of giving it to me take to the bomb range, the tumor is cut into cross sections, placed on slides, and further tormented by a trained pathologist. Though my method of examination is more satisfying, the pathologist's report is more useful.

Meanwhile, after a night in the hospital with loyal Matt by my side, I was left with two incisions and a drain dangling from my inside my armpit. Both incisions were closed with dissolving stitches and steri-strips, while the superfluous drain hole merely had a drain sewn into it. Normally, the steri-strips, which are basically strips of medical-grade packing tape, come off on their own. However, due to a certain drain, I wasn't allowed to shower, bathe, or look at a picture of a pool. Without water or normal activity, the steri-strips stayed attached as I became stinky.

In case the lack of proper hygiene wasn't bad enough, the drain was annoying and painful. And that doesn't even take into account having to constantly measure and dispose of that which was draining out of me. When asked how I was feeling, I came up with quite a few colorful descriptions to impress the proper level of horror upon unsuspecting individuals. But that is no longer the case as, after seventeen days of pure agony, the drain was removed this morning!

After snipping the stitches holding the evil tube in place, she yoinked it out. I would like to point out that I did not scream at all during the procedure; I patiently held it in until the surgeon's underling finished yoinking. She also removed the steri-strips, allowing the world a first look at the damage. My underarm is still a bit swollen (thank you stupid drain), so I can't guess as to the final result there. The dumb boob is looking fairly decent, though slightly misshapen. While definitely not its original shape, it is certainly within the natural epsilon.

If I was excited going into the hospital, then I must have been skipping on my way out. Or at least as close to skipping as I could get without causing any boob bouncing. Not only was the dreadful drain but a distant memory, a proper shower with soap and everything was in the near future!

That shower was pure bliss. At least, it was pure bliss until the hot water heater stopped providing deliciously hot water. Then, after drying off, I put on my first clean bra in forever. My skin in the bra coverage area will require some more time to completely recover, but I don't care. I'm clean!

1 comment:

photonsrain said...

A day without a drain is a day of bliss! Enjoy being clean :)