breast cancer, family, kids, life, teaching, Uncategorized

Expect some Discomfort

“Expect some discomfort.” Those are the words of the nurse at my plastic surgeon’s office during today’s follow up. The good news, they removed my remaining drains (thank GOD). Then, the nurse added some saline to my tissue expanders. I asked her if I’ll be able to sleep on my stomach again (finally), and her response was, “Uhhh…maybe? You might find it uncomfortable. The tissue expanders aren’t exactly soft. Maybe get a body pillow.”


So, my mom went to Target and bought me a body pillow. We’ll see how it works. I’m just glad the drains are gone. Yesterday, I lost it over them. I was so tired of the pulling sensation and discomfort from them. I was also exhausted. Frustration and exhaustion are not a good mix for me. I’m hoping I sleep better.

Dr. L told me today that the earliest reconstruction will happen is late June or early July. At least it’s during the summer, and I won’t miss more work. I feel bad for S and AJ, though. We typically spend several days a week at a local waterpark where we have season passes, and I don’t think I’ll be able to take them much. They’ve handled all of this so well, and to me, it’s so unfair they’re going to miss out on one of their favorite summer activities because I’m having more surgery. And, while I may be glad I won’t miss more work, I’m not happy I’ll be limited with what I can do with my kids this summer.

I’m getting nervous about seeing my oncologist on Friday. I really don’t think she’s going to be as positive about the pathology report. I expect her response to be guarded, so I guess I feel like I have to be on guard, too. Now that I feel like there’s some hope, I feel like I have to guard myself against bad news. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she’ll be more positive than I’m expecting. We’ll see.

I have so many doctor appointments over the next week and a half. I saw Dr. L today, and he wants to see me again next Wednesday. I see Dr. O this Friday. I see Dr. H next week, and I see the new doctor, the radiation oncologist next week as well. I’m really hoping the appointments go well, so I can be cleared to go back to work. I miss my job. I miss my coworkers. I miss my students. I miss the work.

I’m not a good stay-at-home person.

There’s been a lot of discomfort the last few weeks, and while I saw a light at the end of this tunnel not that long ago, I don’t see it now. I really don’t. Last night, I told A that I feel like this is never, ever going to be over, and I believe that. Even if everything goes right over the next couple of months, I’m always going to be shadowed by the threat of this cancer coming back. No, I don’t want to live my life in fear, but I’d be stupid if I didn’t recognize it’s going to be there.



1 thought on “Expect some Discomfort”

  1. My wife could not say enough bad things about her four drains. Two of the drains were removed at three weeks post surgery and the remaining two drains were removed the following week. Despite being a merchant marine sailor and a US Navy officer (I joke that she is qualified to swear like two sailors), she was unable to come up with enough bad words to describe the drains. 🙂

    I don’t think the tissue expanders bothered her very much. She had only the initial fill and no others, so that may have helped.

    Also, you may be surprised at how little time you may be restricted from swimming in pool water. For my wife, the surgeon said to wait two weeks for going into a pool.

    Oh, before I forget, I read you are a high school AP English teacher. My wife teaches high school advanced and AP physics.


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