Cancer log 175: Shower!

I went in for a follow-up this morning with my plastic surgeon, after last Thursday’s fat transfer surgery. It was the first time I’d actually seen the results of his work, and I was impressed — there had been a lot of hard scarring after the lumpectomy (more than expected), and he had taken all of that out, so that now the breast is soft all over again, which I’m really happy about. Even if it didn’t change the breast’s appearance at all, this alone would have been worth it, I think.

The fat transfer has also added some volume, but it’s hard to assess how much right now, since there’s likely still post-procedure swelling. We’ll give it a few weeks to get a better sense. I think my lower belly (where he extracted the fat) might actually be noticeably a bit smaller, but that’s hard to tell too. I follow-up again with him in a week, but the next big procedure will be in three months, when we do the fat transfer part again. I think that’ll be an even more low-key procedure, since he won’t have to release any scar tissue.

Recovery has been going reasonably well. I took the pain meds on Thursday (and also quite a few prunes, as I am familiar with the constipation effect of the pain meds, and wanted to avoid that difficulty as much as possible — if you don’t like prunes, I’d recommend an actual stool softener like Dulcolax, which you can get over-the-counter). The pain meds make me woozy / drowsy, so I spent much of the day half-asleep. Friday I switched to just ibuprofen, taking perhaps half a dozen over the course of the day, which was fine for keeping the pain to mild discomfort level.

I actually didn’t want to blot the pain out completely, because the discomfort helps me remember not to overdo. In theory, I’m not supposed to lift anything heavier than a glass of milk for two weeks, but c’mon — I’m a mom. That is just not feasible, even with Kevin and Jed leaping to help out. Also, I have a garden in dire need of weeding. I have mostly been good about not overdoing, though by Saturday I was getting really restless about the restrictions, and have tried hard to only use my right arm to do things, and to squat down to weed, rather than bending at the waist. The doc says that within a week, the discomfort should be gone, and I can be back to fairly normal activity levels, though I think I’m not allowed to exercise yet (aside from walking). No yoga, swimming, weights, etc.

The most annoying thing has been wearing a compression garment (to keep fluid from building up) — I just hate ’em. I will, on occasion, wear Spanx for a wedding, but that’s about it — after a few hours, I want to peel them off me intensely. So wearing them for four days (and nights) straight was pretty annoying. Very glad we had air conditioning, because doing that in serious heat would have been miserable. The doc told me today that I don’t have to wear them for sleeping anymore (though I do need to keep wearing a supportive non-underwire bra with a bit of absorbent padding), so hooray for that! Another week of wearing them during the day, though. Oh well.

And now, I am finally allowed to shower. HOORAY! You may take it as a sign of my affection for you all that I delayed the shower long enough to write this post. Kevin very kindly helped me with a sponge bath last night because I just couldn’t stand being so grubby anymore, but while a sponge bath is better than nothing, it simply does not compare to a hot shower.

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