Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Feeling "penguin-like"

Anniversary! Three months since I was diagnosed, four months since everything started. 

It's a week after my second surgery when I was cleared off the lymph nodes in my right armpit. It was done as a day surgery. Op on Wednesday at 10am and I was discharged at 5pm with the drain still in. That one could only be taken out on Saturday. I had never thought I could go without a shower for three days but I actually did it (because of the drain). Cream was enough to keep my skin happy but I'm glad to be back to normal pattern of the skin care. 
And how do I feel? Still in a bit of pain, resting a lot but managed church on Sunday, a little croissant&coffee outing on Monday and went to my office for a couple of hours today. It might have been a smaller surgery than the first one but I would say that the recovery might take longer and side effects are worst. So I keep watching my arm and hand anxiously trying to guess whether the swelling is just "normal" post-op swelling or actually starting lymphoedema. The most freaky thing is that my whole armpit, the great area of my side, my shoulder blade and back part of my arm up to the elbow is totally numb. It's been getting better but I already found out through some FB support groups that part of it will just stay like it. It's soooo weird to be putting my daily cream on those numb parts... 

Getting better slowly :-) This is me two days ago on my first "post-op recovery" walk through the village. 
Spring is coming! (...excuse Maria's finger)
Although I noticed now some swelling even in my forearm breast care nurse didn't seem to be alarmed at all when I phoned her about it so I'm trying not to be alarmed either. I'm waiting now for the next appointment on 16th to see when my next treatment starts. 
My arm and shoulder seem to come alive, at least partially, but I noticed an interesting thing. Skin in those areas that are/were numb is significantly worst than anywhere else. 
I know anxiety doesn't help at all but my question is: I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer but how do we know it's not stage IV already? Will ask the doctor... 

Two weeks after the surgery and all I can say is that I feel penguin-like not being able to press my arm to the side of my body properly due to the swelling. 

Yet all in all I'm getting better I just need more patience.