I tried to blog about my VAC machine a few days ago but I just couldn't access it. Not sure what the problem was, maybe it was the links I had put on there but I ended up having to delete it which is a shame because I put alot of effort into that particular post.
When it comes to healing post surgery I have discovered that things can change in a day. This time last week I saw my surgeon and things were going really well but by Thursday my left breast had "exploded" - ok, slight over reaction there. It had a build up of seroma which leaked out of a hole in the wound. There was "slough" which is a medical term for dead and dieing skin (gosh on this cancer journey its amazing what you learn).
This isn't mine by the way!!
So the surgeon debrided the area and decided to fit a VAC machine to help pump away the seroma. If a seroma is left to accumulate it CAN turn into an abcess which apparently isn't a good thing when you have implants.
I couldn't feel anything apart from pushing etc because the nerves in the breast area are damaged. It still didn't stop me from pulling a few faces just at the thought of what she was doing. Yikes!!
The leaking hole is made slightly larger in order to accommodate the foam and machine which is then pressed firmly down and sealed so that its air tight. The seroma is then drained into the machine which is supposed to increase the healing time.
I certainly hope so because I have had too many set backs.
How do I feel 5 weeks post mastectomy and reconstruction?
I feel itchy, sore, swollen. The pain isn't as bad as it was initially and at least it doesn't keep me awake at night but its not comfortable. The added weight of the VAC machine doesn't help along with its FARTING noise!!
I am totally fed up because I didn't expect to be as I am right now, I thought I would be virtually back to normal but for whatever reason be it the infection, the seroma, whatever its been delayed and I think it will be quite some time before I am pain free.
The other thing which shocked me was the size of the black scab on the breast. The right side is covered by a pad and is healing very nicely but the side with the pump attached is covered by a see through dressing.
The radiotherapy damaged skin has died and left behind the scab but as the surgeon debrided the area she checked and could see that the second layer of skin was healthy and when the scab goes it will leave behind healthy skin.
I missed volunteering on the Love Hope Strength Foundation stand at last weeks Mike Peters gig in Central Station, Wrexham. Gutted to say the least!
I get so frustrated at missing out on life so much by recovering from surgeries and treatment. Lets hope that this is the end of my tussle with cancer.
I do feel that I have been living my life with a monkey on my back.
Lets hope this monkey is well and truly jogging on.