Kicking Breast Cancer's Butt

November 30, 2014

What a difference a day, or even a few hours, can make.

Last night I was just about at the end of my rope with the drainage from my left boob.  It seemed like for days all I did was change the dressing, worry about changing my dressing, or washing clothing because my dressing failed to catch all the drainage.  Then it seemed like I had another drainage site open up on the underside of my boob, and stuff was starting to drip out of that site, too.  WTF!

This morning I go to take a shower, and gunk is coming out all over the place.  I get out of the shower, and hold some gauze over both sites while I get a robe on.  I see that the site on the underside of my boob actually has a huge freaking clot trying to work its way out, so I grab some more gauze and try to palpate around the site, and pull out one, two giant clumps of jellied, old blood.  Looks to be about 2 ounces, perhaps.  I don’t know what to do.  Do I pack both sites, just the top, just the bottom, what the hell?  I slap a surgical pad over both and call the after-hours line – again.  He says do what you’ve been doing – for both sites – then call the clinic in the morning.

I go back to pack both sites, and I notice that the original site has closed up.  Yay.  The new site is still draining, so I do my best to pack it, and cover it all again with surgical dressing.

Tonight, I go to change the dressing, and it’s a lot less fluid, and the gauze wicking is sort of mauve, and so is the drainage on the surgical dressing.  I think maybe things are improving.  Yay, again.

The thing I’m not so happy about is the fact that the new site is big enough I can stuff the wicking in with my fingers.  Ugh.

Good news again – it seems like I can’t get very much wicking into the new site.  Maybe that’s because it doesn’t really stay, or at least I don’t feel like it does.  I guess we’ll see what they say at the clinic when I call again tomorrow.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Called the clinic this morning, spoke to Ellen in Dr. Said’s office.  She told me that Dr. Said’s magic potion for promoting wound healing is protein, protein, protein, and vitamins, especially vitamin C, A, and Zinc.  Otherwise, she said keep doing what I’m doing, including packing the gauze tape in the new wound, and they will see me in the clinic at my follow-up appointment.

I feel pretty comfortable with how things are progressing – yesterday was obviously the “getting worse before it gets a crap ton better” stage.  The drainage smells better, and the color is lighter, sort of a pinkish tan instead of the gruesome purple-black jelly I’d gotten used to.  It’s still “ew” but taken in perspective, I’ll take this week’s “ew” over last weeks “ew.”

Plus I’m back to changing the dressing twice a day, instead of 4-5 times a day, and changing my clothes three times regardless because the dressing couldn’t keep up with the drainage.  And now it seems as if I can shortly put this messy chapter behind me.

I’m hopeful, at any rate.

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