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  • Writer's pictureAja McDonald

Phase 2

An outline of my day two, first day after surgery

  1. Woke up at 6am after having a couple moments throughout the night where I had slept then woke up and then went back to sleep to wake up again. I have to say, the squishy Sally friend my bestie gifted me was the best thing ever to cushion the space between my arm and removed breast and lymph nodes.

  2. My surgeon then came in to check on me to have a look at the area and said everything is looking really good and suggested trying to move around and go for a wee walk outside if I felt like it. Movement is important during this time in order to keep circulation going but also to help gauge how the body is coping with recovery. Much better to monitor if anything happens as laying in bed doesn’t challenge the body or get things back in order the same.

  3. After getting up my overnight nurse, John, had set me up for the morning and I was moved onto Nurse Cassie and got assisted with the help of nurse Hannah by taking my first shower after I had breakfast.

  4. Taking a shower was not as bad as I expected but it was still awkward manoeuvring around and trying to not get my drain and surgical tape too wet. It felt so nice to have a shower after being so warm yesterday and still a bit warm today.

  5. After showering, I had a good look in the mirror at the newly flattened area that once housed my cancerous left breast. Now all stitched up and covered with surgical tape, I felt very proud to see the threat of cancer removed, framed by unaffected tattoo work. If anything, getting used to a drain hanging out of me and knowing that fluid build up is expected, is way more disturbing than not having a breast there for the time being.

  6. Just before lunchtime, I started to feel a light sensitive migraine coming on. I have been drinking so much water over this time and knew I had been well hydrated, I figured fatigue and the heat were most likely the source.

  7. Around noon I was visited by a physio, Timothy, that went over three simple exercises I must do in order to start recovery and have better control over my left side. I appreciate the timing of these visits and meeting these new faces when they appear.

  8. After the physio visit, husband and best friend showed up and we got some coffee at the cafe. I felt a bit nervous carrying my metal basket in which my drain bottle hangs out, but heck we are at a hospital and that is the norm around these parts.

  9. After our coffee and snacks, we walked around to find a spot outside to sit. It was so sunny outside we really could not find many areas not triggered by the sun, so we found a picnic table by a tree and sat for a few minutes. My legs felt a bit like jelly so I decided I had enough and was glad I went back to my room. I may have over done it by 10 minutes, but I am very happy to have had some time outside.

  10. Friend departed and hubby and I went back to my room and was then visited by another friend who brought me the cutest wee variegated baby jade plant in a Dino pot cover. Was so nice to have time to finally catch up with people, even thou it takes me having surgery to actually have the time to get to catch up with people!

  11. My breast care nurse, Mary Grant, paid us a visit and went over the things she had left for me last week. From a pillow to help cushion my arm and wound area to a purse-like-bag that can hold my drain bottle, I was so happy to have these things on hand.

  12. After all the visits and catch ups, I was happy just to sit in my room with my amazingly supportive husband. While working on a cross-stitch I never had the time to complete in the past, we watched movies and documentaries on the hospital room tv.

  13. We had a visit from the anaesthesiologist and I was made aware that my blood results from today showed low potassium. He suggested I have a banana just to help that out a bit. So hubby brought me back a couple bananas after he went home to feed the fur kids.

  14. A wave of fatigue came over me around 6pm. My legs felt like jelly and I felt a touch dizzy from it. I mentioned this to my nurse and we made sure any time I got up, I had assistance just to be safe. This was the first wave of strong fatigue I had encountered since the surgery and I know that all the movement, visitors and adjustment to it all would have knocked me back a bit.

  15. I felt a bit better after I had some dinner, but the best part was later on before I went to bed nurse William came by and offered me some gelato. I immediately felt good again and got comfy on my bed. Gelato for the win!

  16. Not bad for a first day after surgery.

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