A couple of days ago nurse Bonnie took out my staples. I had to lay on the bed while she took them out. No standing allowed since some people pass out. (Oh great. Isn’t that foreshadowing??) She seemed to be struggling a bit with the disposable staple removal device … I think mainly because she had baggy rubber gloves on. I was close to asking her to take them off, but she looked so determined. She took out one or two staples that didn’t hurt at all and then the digging began. Now that was not so pleasant. “Oh this one is hard to get a hold of. We’ll come back to that later.” Oh great.
When it was all said and done, 53 staples were out and 12 steri-strips were put on. Why? Well, “just in case the incision doesn’t hold”. Oh, ok. Great.
Any special instructions about the steri-strips? (I’ve learned to ask this.) Oh yes, says Bonnie…
- no lifting anything over 5 lbs
- no pushing
- no pulling
- no reaching over your head
- anytime you are doing exercises, stop when it hurts – don’t push past that (read: no shampooing the top of your head)
- no baths
Piece of cake. I’ll just go ahead and do NOTHING.
She didn’t say no knitting, so I knit up this cowl (thanks to Dana for the wool).
It’s a basic pattern except that I added in a little triangular part on the bottom edge so that the wind doesn’t whistle into my coat above the top button. I HATE that about cowls! They are just a bit too short for coats that you don’t button right up to your chin.
Next up – go to see the surgeon. I plan to ask him a whole lot about the surgery itself, such as:
- Where exactly were the lymph nodes taken from … that really swollen and painful spot or is that something else?
- How many were taken?
- And do you realize that the left side of my chest looks a LOT different from the right?
- Did the resident do one side and you did the other?
- And what did you do with my gorgeous nipples? I should have donated them. Or bronzed them.
Of course I will also get the first set of results from the surgery – information about the lymph nodes. Big question – was there any cancer in them? If there was, then they will likely want to take out more nodes … but not necessarily. Or they may want to radiate the lymph node area … but not necessarily. If there is no cancer (obviously a good thing), they won’t take more nodes, but it doesn’t mean I’m done with treatment. That will depend on what the breast tissue says … and that’s another 2 – 3 weeks. Could be radiation, could be chemo.
One step at a time.
In the meantime, knit. And make a plan for physio and massage therapy. (This surgery does quite the number on your shoulders and back.) And watch a little Netflix. Recommended last night are: Ozark, Shameless and Lion. Oh and Melissa implores me to watch Coronation Street, but then I’d drive people bonkers with my British accent.