Thursday, December 30, 2010

A bump in the road of progress

While the initial results of my surgery were good, I managed to overdo shortly afterward. (Hey, you're alive, you feel pretty good so you start trying to catch up with all the tasks you’ve neglected.) The result was half a dozen small hematomas (lumps under the top layers of skin where clotted blood collects in hard, painful lumps.) They are the reason you don’t want to take aspirin before surgery or even very soon afterward as aspirin stops up blood vessels, forcing more blood to pool in the injured area causing the hematoma to grow and grow and grow. (A fine example is at : Most of mine were small, but there was one walnut-sized lump in my armpit. It underlay the incision for the sentinel node biopsy and every kind of bra sat right on top of the incision and every movement of my arm chafed and irritated the lump even more. Can you say %$&@$#?

Nonetheless, on December 13, I flew to Colorado. With the wonderfully generous help and support of my (and Mom’s friend) Jean Gray, who left her home in Haxtun to come to Fort Morgan and help me sort and box belongings, we got through the sad activities of closing Mom’s life.

As I was getting ready for bed the evening after Jean had returned home, I took off my shirt and saw a hematoma the size of a lemon that had turned a mottled streaky red. I freaked. I got in the rental car and raced to the emergency room at the Ft. Morgan Medical Center. There, three lovely women (two nurses and the night shift doctor) calmed me down, wrapped my breasts and my hematoma in 12 feet of Ace bandages, and assured me I would live.

And I did.

As of this writing, the hematoma is the size of a marble.

Yesterday was the one month anniversary of my surgery and I had an appointment with my surgeon who had performed the partial mastectomy. He examined me for about 30 seconds, nodded positively and OK'd my moving on to the oncology doctors.

Soon will be decisions on radiation, drugs and possible chemotherapy. But that’s then -- for now, I am grateful for feeling as well as I do.

Thank you for your cards and messages and loving support and encouragement. The kindness of so many this past month has kept me afloat.


P.S. More good news: My eye is healing from the retinal tear repair. The white is still a rabbity tint and I get peripheral flashing lights in darkness, but I have lost only a modest amount of visual acuity.

1 comment:

  1. Rose, I had no idea what was going on with you. I don't even see Jean very often to ask. This is huge! Thinking of you and glad you're fighting through all of this.