|Simple Things: A Thought Beyond||
Breast Cancer 2013
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in April 2013. I was shocked and in denial even though the tumor was as big as a golf ball or tangerine and had been there quite a while. It began growing years ago and had stopped growing 2 years back . Early 2013 the knot began getting hard and hurting. I have other health issues I thought this was attributed to, it was my own form of sad denial.. When it began hurting and hardening then it began to be an issue I could no longer deny. Other knots from myofacial pain syndrome had just went away over the years. Making a scapegoat for the knot was my way of coping.
It rang in my ears like a church bell thru the hillside - breast cancer. I could not get out of the hospital fast enough. The doctor and others were ready to start treatment on a diagnosis I was not ready to face. The staff would not let me leave until the doctor came in to talk to me - even blocking the door so I could not leave. I felt like a corned a wild animal.
I went home and did not tell my family. I told a friend that was dear to me. I found that acclimation would take time. The summer came. My daughter came for a visit and stayed for four months. I never said a word and neither did my friend. I did learn that I needed to try to get treatment if not for myself for her. After she went home to start college I checked in and began treatment.
October 30th, 2013 I had a mastectomy of the right breast. This was a terrible fiasco. They cut the muscle and let it go - it retracts and has no where to go thus lacking a purpose. I am allergic to silicon. The JP drains were made of silicon. My face and chest broke out. My face became so raw and swollen my eyes were nearly swollen shut. Once the drains were changed to rubber like folded space tubing the severe reaction abated. I was in the hospital for 3 to 4 days for that. Then I fell in in the shower and ripped my chest open a few days later. The surgeon could not understand why they ripped. The stitches were also silicon based. The skin around them had deteriorated. I had to be resown. I spent another few days in the hospital. After all was said and done I asked my surgeon "did you not see ALLERGIES: Silicon on my file?" She said "oh yeah I seen it but I had no idea what that meant." I would be afraid to be a penicillin patient who could die of a reaction to penicillin when given.
I was in the hospital from 10/30 to 11/31 every day but eleven - and those days were spaced out two here and three there. December I spent resting. I am presently preparing for chemo. My breast surgery has been an ordeal and a half. My choices have been what they needed to be for survival according to the "medical staff" at hand. Along the way I have caught the medical staff in a couple of misconstrued facts. I was told by the surgeon all my lymph nodes returned cancerous and the oncologist told me it was actually three out of eight. (I was under the impression she took all of them out and then they all tested positive for cancer.) The most important thing is to get the best treatment one possibly can.
Below is some pictures of my breast post surgery. The JP drains were not explained to me and I ended up with them after surgery by surprise. Fluid has to be drained thru them. I had it leak all down my side thru my bandages. I would bend down and fluid the width of my pinky finger would shoot three feet from my arm pit. I had the idea of buying baby diapers to catch it and keep me dry and clean. It was a great idea. I used a rib binder to keep the diaper in place.
This is the first glimpse I suppose of a journey into a dreadful battle. I have went from denial to acceptance to treading the river of treatment choices. I hope this helps those who need to know what it is like.