Tag Archives: surgery

Pushing Through A Tough Week

Standard

This week has not been fun at all. Still reeling from this chest cold that has kicked my ass has made me yearn for how I felt before.  I can honestly say I have never been this sick. You find a new respect for Oxygen when you cannot breathe. Every move I make or step I take leaves me winded and sucking for air.  Lung x-rays are clear, but Doctor hears wheezing. The Albuterol helps keep airways open, but the side effects of shaking, even in your legs, weakness, and racing pulse are not too fun. Then for a while I feel fine, but then the ,chest tightness moves in and I realize that not coughing for hours isn’t good because as soon as those airways are operational, the coughing jags start and the wheezing comes forward.  I cant even sleep because the weird sounds of the wheezing upon exhale, wake me up!

I think the hardest part of this  entire experience since the implant rupture in December, has been keeping my spirits up and my faith unwavering.  It’s been really hard for me to deal with the roller coaster of emotions and health problems all together.  I get bad news, then I get great news and just as I am feeling happy and safe, bam! I get hit with something bad again. It wears me down and then the mental stress makes my body weak immune wise which is likely how I got this damn chest cold.

I am now on a very strong antibiotic which is slowly working.  Each day I am a tiny bit better, but the weakness  in my legs is going to take a while to build back up. I will continue to push through this as I start my Herceptin and Perjeta for the cancer next Wednesday and want to be healthy enough to start treatment.

Pleases keep me in your prayers, positive thoughts, healing white light, whatever you believe in.  I could use all the good health vibes I can get!

Much love,

Barb xo

 

The Road to Recovery

Standard

Some of you may know that for the last few months I had been dealing with some medical issues.  The silicone implant I got when my reconstruction surgery was done 5 years ago, ruptured and was causing me pain.  I had it removed in December, but then I was lucky enough to get a staph infection which left me in the hospital for a week.   It hasn’t been a very nice start to 2016, but I am finally drain free, and IV through my port free!  It feels great to be able to sleep on both sides, shower normally, and wear my normal clothes.

I am also excited to get back to posting everyday.  Currently I am reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  It’s a big book at 973 pages and I am only on page 304.  I am enjoying the story line, but it is wordy at times which annoys me.  I want to scream “Get to the point!” when reading those areas.  It also doesn’t help that because I still have to be on pain medicine, I get sleepy, and reading those small words tends to relax me after 10-15 pages.

I have many books on my ‘To Read’ list that excite me.  I love the feeling of having so many options of new adventures, new characters to meet, and new topics to think about. I feel that is the best part of being a true book lover. The anticipation as you hold your next book. The questions that swirl through your head such as ‘Will I like this book, Will I grow to love this main character?, Will this be a journey I will always remember?’ All of these things and more make reading such a fantastic way to relax, unwind and unplug from today’s world with all its problems.  In a good book, you can escape to a better time, or immerse yourself in an adventure you wouldn’t have the courage for here in reality.   I love the escapism reading gives me.  While I am in the story world I don’t have cancer, I am not in pain, and all my fears go away.  That is the best part of reading.

I have learned to be patient with my recovery process.  The Dr. told me it would take 6-8 weeks to feel myself again, and another 6 months for my skin to look and feel good over my chest wall. I have had three major procedures to the area and it is going to take some time for my body to heal, especially with my weakened immune system.  Reading this long, chewy, book is helping me recover and teaching me patience at the same time.  I hope you are all reading something for yourself.  Not anything work related.  Something for pure enjoyment.  Let me know what you’re reading in the comment section.  I am always looking for new titles!

Barb

Rolling With the Punches

Standard

The battle against my staph infection rages on.  This morning at 8am I was wheeled into surgery once again to remove another abscess and remove every last bit of infection remaining in the pocket.  This time I have stitches, not just glue, but I have another drain to deal with.

Drains are the bane of my existence.  When I had my original mastectomy, I had a latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction.  They removed a large piece of muscle from my back and used it to support the side of the implant. I had 3 drains that time. One was on my left breast which was healthy but made smaller and lifted.  That was out in 2 days.  Then I had one for the right breast which was now just a saline spacer.  This was removed in 8 days.  The one in my back was the stinker.  I made a new record because that sucker was in for 11 weeks!  Not days, mind you, WEEKS. Talk about a nightmare.  In July of 2011, the silicone implant was inserted and again I had another drain.  This was only or 5 days or so.

I never had any infections or problems with any of them. Now I get the ruptured implant removed on 12/21/15, deal with another drain, have that removed on 12/31/15 and the bright shiny new year starts with a high fever, aches and pains, and my chest well red and hot.  So here I sit in my hospital bed, in my private room which is very nice, hooked up to another drain.  It feels like a class reunion in a weird way.  Please send up a prayer, a positive thought, healing white light,  or light and love that things go smoothly from now on.  No more infection, fevers, and when this drain is removed that there will be no infection or seromas, and I can move on.

Life throws a lot of punches at you.  It is constantly trying to beat you down. Our job is to fight back.  It’s how we learn, adapt, and become stronger.  The people who fight back the hardest are the strongest.  Those who barely try to fight, become slow, dull, and sickly. The ones who do nothing, die

Learn to roll with the punches.  Don’t be an Oak that never bends, but stands firm;  be the Willow.  It bends and sways and gracefully accepts what life throws its way.  Flexibility is the key to balance and happiness.  Embrace it.

Thanks-

Barb

What I know

Standard

The older I get, the more I realize how much I do not know. When I had the ruptured silicone implant removed on 12/21, I thought I would be sore a few days, and then feel better.  Well, It started out that way and I did feel better.  Right up until the day they took the drain out.  That was on 12/31 and my husband said they took out 3 ft of tubing.  3 feet?  How was that possible?  Where was it?  The tube entrance point was on the side of the breast by the rib.  Where the implant was, was maybe 4 inches away.  Where did all that tubing go?

The next day I woke up with a high fever and in more pain than I had with my original mastectomy and reconstruction surgery in 2010.  I called the surgeon, but since the entrance site of the tube was not oozing, swollen or hot, then I most likely just had a virus.  So I suffered through until I noticed Saturday night that while the small opening from the tube had healed nicely, my entire chest wall where the implant had been was very red and burning to the touch.  Sunday morning I called my surgeon back and he put me on a strong antibiotic 3 times a day for 10 days.  I finally began to notice some improvement at 3am this morning. (Yes I was still awake!)  The infected area was a lighter red, not as widespread, and not as hot.  I had a fever late this afternoon, but they are farther apart.  I am hoping this is a turning point.

Cancer has been an experience in learning.  You learn new words, new treatments, and new things your body can do that you never were aware of before.  I know myself better now.  I know how strong I am because I’ve had to be.  This journey has been so hard and there are times I am ready to just go to sleep….. But I have the love of my husband, my daughters, and my friends to give me support and that is why I keep waking up.

Lots To Do, Little Time

Standard

Happy first day of Winter!  Let me guess, you thought you hibernated and it was the first day of Spring because it’s going to be in the 60’s and 70’s for the next week?  Alas, poor Mother Nature seems to have lost control over Heat Miser and we are being punished with a warm Christmas.

Do not get me wrong, I hate the cold, and winter is my least favorite season.  The only time I actually want it to be cold and for it to snow is at Christmas.  If I wanted it to be 70 on Christmas Eve, I would have moved to Florida. I am so behind.  It doesn’t help that I had surgery yesterday to remove my ruptured breast implant either.  Thankfully, I can report that it went well, and I am in less pain this morning than I have been in 2 months.  What a relief to have that damn thing out. Anyway, I still have stocking stuffers to get for the hubby and 4 kids, bake several different types of cookies and a pecan pie, wrap all the gifts, rustle up the lazy teens to clean the house, make the food shopping list, and finish the laundry. Phew! It will get done, it always does.

This year it is just the 6 of us at home.  Nowhere to visit or people to have over and we are all excited about this.  Instead of a formal dinner, we are getting crab legs, and having all our favorite picky foods like potato skins, shrimp, veggies and dip, and my personal favorite, baked brie and brown sugar walnut crostinis.  I am sharing this amazing recipe to all you lovelies because not only is it easy to make, it is to die for, even if you think you hate Brie cheese.

Grab a bag of pre-made crostini toasts in your bread department.  If your store doesn’t carry these, simply slice up a french baguette and brush with olive oil on both sides.  Place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes, turning half way through, in oven at 400 degrees F.  Leave these on cookie sheet. Keep oven on.

Wheel of Brie cheese/1 half cup finely chopped walnuts/1 half cup melted butter/ 1 half cup dark brown sugar

Slice wheel of brie in half, and slice up the cheese in 1/4″ thick pieces, long enough to fit onto your crostini bread.

Melt butter in microwave, when done, add brown sugar and walnuts and mix with a teaspoon until combined.  The mixture should be on the drier side, rather than runnier.

Top each crostini with some nut mixture.  You can always go back to add more to any sparse ones. Once they are all topped, Place back into the oven for 10 more minutes or until cheese is starting to melt. Place on tray and serve while hot. Enjoy with your favorite sparkling beverage.

Happy Christmas eating,

Barb