I feel like all I do on this blog is complain, but I suppose the point is to let people considering this surgery know what they’re in for, and I would definitely want to know all of these little things that happen during recovery. I think I’ve mentioned my mother-in-law’s cousin who is having this exact same surgery in May – it’s people like her who are really my audience. So I’m not really meaning to complain so much as (1) chronicle my experience for myself and (2) let others know what to expect.
So, I have four concerns right now, none of them too major, but all on my mind.
(1) I still have the leaky spot on the right side of my abdominal incision. It only drips a bit each day – I keep a gauze pad in the binder to keep the area clean, and each night and in the morning when I change it there is always a bit of discharge on the gauze.
(2) I still have the pain on the left side of my abdominal incision where the doctor says I have a strained muscle. Today I didn’t do much and it definitely feels better. I think I will spend a couple more days laying low and staying rather inactive to perhaps let that heal a bit more.
(3) The spot under my left breast is still bleeding a tiny bit. I keep a piece of gauze taped under there too, and when I change it, there’s always a bit of blood.
(4) This is new. Toward the top left side of my left breast, there is a small bruise that has been there since the surgery. Now, I haven’t spent a lot of time feeling my breasts – they’re a bit sore and also a bit numb, so it’s an uncomfortable feeling to squeeze them or really press on them too much. But now that I’m back to wearing a normal bra, and I have to do a lot of “adjustment” to get the gals into the cups properly, I’ve had to feel them a bit more. I’ve noticed under that bruise a small lump. My husband described it as a knot. It feels exactly like I always imagined a breast tumor would feel like: a bit larger than a pea, solid yet tender, and it hurts to press on it. Even though I’m told that tumors don’t hurt and I just had a mastectomy three weeks ago, of course it’s making me quite nervous. But, I know there’s still a lot of swelling and who knows what could really be under there.
My plan is to wait until the end of this week, and then send Dr. Gimbel an email about all four of these concerns. This way I can say that I waited it out a bit to see if anything got better, and it didn’t. If #4 really is a tumor (which seems incredibly unlikely), I don’t think it’s going to kill me over the next four or five days. But if it hasn’t gone away and doesn’t seem to be getting smaller, then I will definitely want him to look at it.