I wake up after 7 hours, to Mr Kristjen at the end of my bed (Mr Gorgeous as mum later nicknamed him 🤔), he explained all had gone well, and that he had seen Mark to tell him I was okay and in recovery, I awake again on the hospital ward, I have my own room. I decide – not that I really remember, that this would be a great time to take a selfie and post on Facebook, I had, had the operation and I was okay…..mmmmm was it a good idea? I am not sure, it did let people know I was fine, and all in one go, instead of loads of messages, so was quick, but many people didn’t know that I had cancer, so was a shock for a few people, I apologise for that. But I was ready to let people know, and hoped to be able to raise some awareness, maybe I felt I was on the road to recovery as the operation was over and I had 2 breasts and was alive? (or maybe it was the morphine!). Whatever it was, I think it was the right thing to do, I received some amazing messages of support, and from people who had been through a similar experience, either themselves or relatives….this has led to old friends and family being in touch, and hopefully after I am better we can meet up 😀 a positive, thank you cancer.
I am not in any pain but I do feel sick, and I am sick, stronger anti-sickness tablets given. I am on oxygen, morphine, paracetamol, ibuprofen and I have a local anaesthetic going into my back, I can control this myself if I need more, this will be why no pain. I am uncomfortable, they have taken a muscle, some fat and tissue from my back to create a new breast, so there is no wonder I am uncomfortable. I also have 4 drains coming out of me, 1 from each breast and 2 from my back, plus the tube for the local anaesthetic, this will be interesting when I need to go to the toilet, but yay they removed the catheter before I woke up, which was such a relief to me, but the nurses were very surprised, as getting out of bed would be a challenge. I also had a duvet, well it felt like a thick duvet, it was wadding, over both breasts, and an extra heater in the room, this is to keep my breasts very warm, increasing the blood supply to the area aiding healing, I hate being hot!!! I will admit that when the nurse were not around and I had visitors I was naughty and had the window open a little. My legs were also attached to a machine that created air into bags around my legs, I found the noise comforting, in fact on the first night I thought it was Lucy dog curled up on my legs sighing every so often (Morphine induced maybe) sad when realised it wasn’t her 😔
For the first 24 hours I was on hourly observations, they woke me every hour to take my blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and checked wounds on breasts (who hasn’t seen my boobs now?), interestingly they can now only do observations on my left side, due to the removal of my lymph nodes. So from now on I can only have blood taken from my left arm, or if checking my blood pressure this has to be left arm. (not sure if this is forever or just for a while, maybe need to check this when at hospital next) On day 2 they went to every 2 hours, then luckily as I was doing really well they went to every 4 hours, finally some sleep maybe.
My bottles from the drains needed to be emptied everyday and measured, once below a certain level the drains could be removed, after the first day in hospital I had the 2 from the breasts removed, so now only had 3 tubes coming out of me. During my 1st day I was not allowed to walk anywhere, bed rest, unless needed the toilet, then I was allowed out of bed onto a commode, oh the dignity of it! It was a struggle with tubes and bottles, and my right arm, being affected from having lymph nodes removed, but we managed. Day 2 and I am offered a shower, yay I thought, but its not great having to have 2 people assist you with this, they needed to walk with me as well as actually shower me, the student nurse was amazing, it was only her 3rd day on the ward and to nursing in a hospital, she had never seen an operation like mine, she will make a great nurse, as will the other 2 student nurses I came to know, they were great they had patience and empathy in bundles. I survived my shower experience, but if honest didn’t want to experience it again, I struggled to strip wash myself after this, as I had a sink in my room. The big issue I had from day 2/3 was each time I needed the toilet I had to ring the bell, for help out of bed and then back in, I could walk to the toilet fine, but couldn’t manage the bedside which kept my drains from falling and pulling on me. But sat in bed I had a brain wave, if we left the left bedside down (all my tubes were in my right side now) I could get in and out of bed when I wanted. oh the freedom and independence, wow it was liberating!
Unfortunately because I was in Nottingham City hospital and visiting was 2pm – 8pm only, I didnt have many visitors, Mark and Emelia came everyday after school, and mum and my stepdad came on the Friday, although not having too many visitors meant I rested, but being in a room on my own, made me a little lonely, I could hear what was going on at the nurses station, and with a lady who had dementia, but was also having chemo. The staff struggled with her mood slings etc, I did offer to have her in my room and we could chat, but the staff didn’t take me up on this, think they thought I was sort of criticising, which I wasn’t, just wanted to help her and them, and pass some time. They were doing great with her, they moved her to a side room near the nurses station, so she always had someone to talk to. Maybe they felt I needed my rest too. I worry too much about others, time to switch off, and stop working, time for me to concentrate on me, as some wise ladies kept telling me!
Mr Kristjen came everyday to check on me, he came 3 times the 1st day, twice on the Friday, and once Saturday and Sunday, wow he is dedicated to his work, he is pleased with his work as well, which is reassuring. On the Sunday morning he came, and asked how I was, I said I was good but wanted to go home, my boy hadn’t felt he could visit me in hospital (I didn’t want to pressure him, we all cope in our own way) and I wanted to see him, Mr Kristjen said “well lets make that happen then”, the best words I had heard for a while. Before I could be discharged I need my big bag of meds, and I needed to be fitted for a bra, the nurse did this, she explained that I would need a different size, once all the swelling went down (my new boobs were bigger than before 😂). So that was me free from hospital, with only 1 drain in, and a very uncomfortable journey home, my poor back it will never be the same again, but at least no pain from breast….just got to keep physio up on my right arm ….