post-surgery day 12 update

Just a short update, mostly so I can remember what was going on at this point in recovery.

Feeling good.  Lots of weird tingly, pins-and-needles sensations in the chest and underarm area–very similar to back a million years ago when I was nursing Scout, feels like when milk lets down.  Kinda cool.  I hadn’t felt that in like 17 years or whatever and never thought I’d feel it again.

The odd thing is on my right arm, side that had the lymph node biopsy, I’ve got some pain and stiffness in the inside-elbow area.  It feels like I had a bunch of blood drawn there yesterday, by someone who had a hard time finding a vein.  But there is no bruising, no needle mark from surgery or otherwise.  I first noticed it a few days after surgery and it has persisted for at least a week.  I’m sure it has something to do with nerves being fucked with during surgery and it’s normal and all that.  But tomorrow, unless Norton Pavilion is having a bomb scare or something, I’m going in to have the last drain removed (PRAISE JEEBUS) and I’ll mention to whichever nurse is doing it that I’ve got weird inner arm soreness.

I should be able to start physical therapy exercises on Wednesday, and I hope that will return more strength and range of motion to my arms, especially the right.  I can’t raise my right arm higher than shoulder height, which I discovered today at Kroger parking lot while trying to shut my trunk.  Thankfully the left arm is picking up the slack, cause it was not happening on the right side.

So physically good.  A week ago I was still unable to even straighten my back all the way because my chest was so tight.  Much improvement.

Mentally, I think I’m good.  But every once in a while, I take a step back go “woah what the fuck just happened”.  It was only a month ago I was told I have cancer, 4 May.  I made the decision to take aggressive surgical steps, one that felt like a no-brainer but I’m still a little tripped out that it happened at all.

I don’t feel like a cancer patient.  Maybe I need to spend more time looking at my chest.  LOL no mistaking me for a normal person.  Maybe meeting the medical oncologist (appointment is 12 June) and talking about treatment will make it more real.  I don’t know why taking hormone-blocking drugs would do that where cutting off my chest didn’t, but…who knows.  Maybe if recovery from surgery were slower, if I were feeling shittier, I would feel like someone who has cancer.  Because right now I just feel like a boob-less version of myself who can’t reach things, not someone who has a deadly disease, even if the prognosis is good.

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