Behind? Get catch up here –
Ready for Episode 10? Great! Let’s hit play on this sucker.
This week I want to talk about some of the physical side affects of my breast cancer surgery.
The obvious would be the scars, right? They’re bigger than I thought they’d be and not where I thought they’d be, but considering the alternative I’m not upset by them.
Actually, I’m kind of proud of them. Every time I see them I’m reminded of the fact that I’m here. That in spite of what my own body attempted to do to me I’ve taken steps to stop it.
It’s a weird feeling to be proud of a couple of two inch scars, but that’s how it is.
Speaking of weird feelings.
Ever since the surgery my nipple, the side of my left boob and the area under my arm has been numb and yet hypersensitive.
It’s super weird to not feel something brush against the skin and yet feel like I’ve been hit with a bolt of electricity. I don’t understand how it can be numb and yet so sensitive.
As I said. Super weird.
I was warned about the numbness but nobody said anything about the sensitivity. It’s taken some getting used to. Especially when it comes to wearing a bra. Good thing I don’t wear one most days. 😀
And the scar under my arm (and that general area actually) sometimes has a stinging pain. Oh, and don’t get me started about trying to shave under my arm with the scar there. It runs right through the hair. In the beginning I had to get Mr.C to shave my armpit because, 1- I can’t see well without my glasses, and 2- the scar was still raised and I was terrified I’d slice it right off!
I’m no longer subjecting Mr.C to the trauma of me flinching every time the razor touched me, not that he complained about doing it, but still, one likes to take care of personal grooming personally, right?
Oh! And the other thing about this super sensitive thing. I can’t shower. Well, I can, but I can’t stand directly under the spray on that side. Even the water running over the area is sometimes too much sensation. I tell you, it’s the weirdest feeling ever! Also, totally can’t stand to wash the area. The slightest pressure has my nerves standing on end. Showering is proving to be an interesting endeavour. One that makes me cringe because I know I’m in for a few minutes of discomfort, if not out right pain.
Every thing I’ve read and been told says the nerves in that area will settle down over time. But how much time?
I’m coming up to the three month mark after surgery (I can’t believe it’s been that long, then again, it feels like forever ago too) and I’m beginning to wonder if this is the new norm.
It’s also nearly two months since I had radiation and the other physical side affect I’ve noticed in recent weeks is in the area where they zapped me with that radiation beam.
It’s like leather. Or dry scales. I can’t decide which. (Maybe a cross between the two?) And it wasn’t like that to begin with. It adds to the numbness in that area (which is the other side of my nipple to the other weird numbness/sensitivity). And it’s more leathery/scaly in some places too.
Oh, and that whole area is at least four shades darker in color than the rest of my boob. Which I knew was a possibility but it’s still strange to see. And feel. Not that I feel it in my boob, it’s my fingers that feel it when I touch the leathery/scaly skin. Again, super weird.
Other than those things I haven’t had many physical side affects.
Although now I’ve re-read all that I’m thinking I don’t want any more.
In fact I’d rather there be none.
But alas, there was no way I was getting out of some side affects.
You can’t hack into a body and pull bits out without something showing. Scars being the minimum. I’m just glad I’m here and relatively healthy and getting on with life.
Now if I could just get my head in the right space.
Don’t worry, it’s not in the wrong space, it’s just……I don’t know. Some days I don’t think about having breast cancer at all.
Others it’s ALL I think about.
Those all days are still outweighing the others.
Maybe once the non-thinking days outweigh the all days things will be more normal.
Then again, who the hell knows what normal is anymore.
(Quick update on Mr.C. He had his post surgery doctor’s visit yesterday. They removed the stitches (I don’t know how many he had but he has four incisions) and gave him a thumbs up in regard to healing. He’s still not allowed to do strenuous exercise for a few more weeks but he can walk so he’ll be getting back on the treadmill and binge watching his latest fave show on Netflix.)