Thursday, February 23, 2012


Superstition Mountains, Arizona
It's been almost exactly a week since I woke up in the recovery room after my operation.

Thanks to modern pharmaceuticals and good friends, my recovery has been going well.

When they chop off a goodly amount of tissue, it takes your body a bit to realize it no longer needs to send the lymph and blood required to nourish the tissue.  So, the medical team puts in drainage tubes to prevent the excess liquid from hanging about under the skin, making unsightly squishy lumps.  Unfortunately, the drainage tubes come with their own pain, and can't be removed until they quit draining their stuff.  Fortunately, the fine medical staff at St. Luke's forsaw this, and sent me home with quite the pack of drugs. 

The drugs - a combination of Percocet and Valium - work great, but as you can imagine, don't leave much space for clear-headed thinking.  It amazes me how much energy my body is sending into healing.  A simple shower has now turned into a three hour ordeal - one to shower, two to sleep it off.

For someone who is normally quite active, it's frustrating, to say the least.  I'm not used to asking for help - but now I must.  For the next week or two yet, the best I am capable of doing is heating food in the microwave.  I do not have the focus or energy to actually fix any food - or even scrub up the dirtier dishes.  This is where my friends have come in - the fridge has magically filled itself with good things to eat; food that doesn't upset a stomach already in turmoil by drug cocktails.  Thank you.

The last week was as good as it could have been.  Kate came down with the baby, and while she more than had her hands full taking care of me and Lexi, little Lexi was the best medicine they could have prescribed.  What better to take your mind off a little pain than to watch an 8-month old figure out that she can motor about in the direction of her choice!  It did make footing a bit precarious, since her toy of choice was empty Perrier bottles, but I think I'm supposed to be working on balance anyhow.

Yesterday, one of the three drainage tubes came out; taking with it about 80% of the associated pain.  **whew**  I think I'm even feeling brave enough to venture out to see some friends for an hour or so later tonight.  I'm not used to never venturing out at all.

The best news for last:  The pathology report is in, and while I need to pull out my medical dictionary to make sense of much of it, the lymph nodes are completely clear - not just under the frozen slice they do during the actual surgery, but after the close analysis they do with the final tissue sample.  This SHOULD make my treatment down the road much easier.

No comments:

Post a Comment