Breast, cancer, caregiver, drains, expanders, health, lumpectomy, mastectomy, skin, skin-sparing
“Take Care of Your Body means Have a Nice Day”
And on the 15th day, we all sighed relief. This morning we went into the hospital and had the drains removed. They used Hurri-Caine spray to numb the area. The nurse told my wife to breath deeply and as she breathed out the nurse pulled the drains. First the right and then the troublesome left. They were 6 inches in length each inside her and resembled long flat extension cords with little holes that the blood entered. OIn the left side we saw that they were clogged and thus why we had leakage.
My wife said it truly is a relief. She already seems like a new woman. The laughing and giggling have started again. She is still feeling small soreness and discomfort, but when asked to gauge her pain from a 1-10 (high), she said it was a 1. This afternoon we took the first big step. I had her drive to our kid’s school and back to pick up our son. She did it like an old lday with some soreness, but it made me feel good that she was able to accomplish this on her own.
Ironically we ran into her surgeon at Starbucks on our way to the school. She was surprised to see us out of context and glad to hear we were driving again. “Just stay off the highways” she said. Those in our neighborhood including the Principal’s wife were surprised and happy to see my wife behind the wheel again. In fact, we are feeling guilty about all the meas we are still getting from our wonderful class parents. I found that the other family which lost their mother to cancer is also getting meals prepared by the other families in our school. How wonderfully blessed we are to be in such a wonderful community.
One of the funny things we all do is pick up the quirks of our parents and pass them on. As my father was a physician and worked for the Department of Public Health in San Francisco during the height of the AIDs epidemic he used to always write notes and messages to us in our lunch boxes, birthday cards, etc. They never said, “Have a Nice Day” or “We Love you”, or anything like that. They always said, “Take Care of Your body”. These notes continued onto college and even when ending a phone call. It was like the show “Hill St. Blues where the captain would say, “Hey…Let’s Be careful Out There”.
Dring my dad’s final months, we lived with him and I’m fortunate my children really got to know their grandfather. One of the things they picked up was his silly phrase. In honor of him we continue that phrase every morning. The other day as I kissed my daughter and she ran off to class, she yelled “Take care of your body Daddy!” A teacher heard the exchange and laughed. I could only shrug my shoulders and smile. The phrase was still embarrassing, yet so very important to our family.
As i mentioned, our life is one long race over hurdles and so linear that we just focus on the next task. The next task is to deal with the expanders and the discomfort that will come as the expander pushes on the chest muscle over the next 2-3 weeks.
Tomorrow she beigns to spread her wings.
Celebrate the drains being removed! Hurrah! What a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? To think that something would give you that much happiness, is amazing, isn’t it? The simple pleasures of moving without being connected to the dratted drains . . . to not have to worry about rolling over on them while you sleep, and the HEAVEN of not having to LOOK at them anymore. Ah yes, life’s simple pleasures. Be strong. Hang in there. You might check into LIVESTRONG.COM for some extra umph in giving you back your life. Just take it one day at a time, and remember to celebrate life each day with a little momento of kindness to yourself as well as to your loved ones, no matter how simple . . . a loving note, a special cup of favorite tea, your favorite author’s new book, cherishing each other. Make each day count; you’re living each one fully now.
Yes, my wife has the Livestrong journal. On the day of her diagnosis I ordered both youth and adult sized bands (ours were old from wearing them for my mother and my wife didn’t want to just wear pink). All the people who have provided us with meals and help have walked out with Yellow bands to help spread the word!