Tuesday, 7 April 2015

7 Weeks Post Mastectomy and Reconstruction

I didn't think I would be sitting here with a drain at my side as I am right now.

Seven weeks ago I went in for a double mastectomy and reconstruction in the hope that not only would I be cancer free but I would at least be left with breasts.

Sadly it wasn't my destiny.

Having had one implant removed 2 weeks ago due to an abcess and infection, I was hoping that the other one would be saved.

Everything was going really well up until Thursday of last week when it started to seep a little then by Good Friday it was really discharging, so much so that we had to change the dressings at home.

Thank goodness my surgeon had given me her mobile number so we were able to text her with photographs of the discharge and where it was leaking from.  It was the first time I had ever seen the site and as my son said it was rather like zombie flesh.

I was told to go to the womens ward for 2pm on Saturday but that morning I received a text asking me not to eat or drink that day "just in case".

To be honest with you at that point I knew that excision was inevitable.

She was held up all day so it was gone 5 by the time I saw her but at least I had a hospital bed and J was with me.

She squeezed the breast and nothing seemed to track from the other side but the source was deep seated so behind the implant.

I was taken into surgery at about 6.30.

Putting me to sleep was hell. They tried to canulate my left arm because the op was being done on my right side but the veins are ravaged and honestly it was as though they were driving nails into my veins. My surgeon tried her best to distract me, bless her, but it was horrid and took me right back to the days of chemo. I began to shake with fear, couldn't stop myself at which point she called a halt and told them to canulate the other side and they would work around me.

The cannula went in the other side straight away with nothing more than a pin prick sensation.

When I came around from the anaesthetic I had the shakes but the nurses stayed with me giving me pain relief until it subsided and my pain was managed. 

I even managed to chat about autism and helped a grandma whose 4 year old grandson had just been diagnosed with aspergers. It was nice to know that even at such a bad time for me I was able to help somebody.

The pain this time was incredible stinging.

The surgeon explained that when she opened me up she found a track from the original infection on the other side to this side. She hadn't removed both implants because she thought that there was a bit of hope for me and didn't want me to wake up to the shock of both being taken. I totally "get" that and I am so grateful that she showed humanity and care in that way because there is always hope.

There was no abscess this time but the infection was deep seated so she had to really scrub me out. I had been on antibiotics for over 6 weeks so she wanted me off them.

The next day when she visited me, she was able to flush the wounds out with a local anaesthetic which really did help while the initial healing took place.

2ish days post surgery and each day is better.

I have a drain attached which will be removed tomorrow (with hope) and the stitches will be taken out on Monday.

There is still a bit of damaged tissue remaining which she wasn't able to remove so hopefully that will heal now but there is the possibility of having a VAC fitted to that in order to speed up the healing process. I really hope I don't need one!!!

There IS a purpose to all of this, I just don't know what it is yet.

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