Swelling goes down, so Becky goes for a bike ride …

After my weekend writing spree, I haven’t been into writing so far this week. In part I’m struggling with motivation. Although I had started walking again on Sunday, I was still struggling with achy joints and swollen body parts. Now it is just plain motivation to sit in front of my computer. I’m not just interested right now.

It struck me that one of my issues was that my breasts were swollen. In addition to the swelling, they were really heavy. You see, with the lumpectomies, the doctors had taken out about a golf ball sized lump of tissue from each breast. The space that was once occupied by breast fat has now been occupied by fluid. In addition, my breasts were about 20% larger – also filled with fluid. This fluid was a lot heavier than breast tissue – so I was hauling around very heavy breasts – it was no wonder I was uncomfortable anytime I wasn’t wearing a sports bra – and most of my bras were too tight! This was the case right up until yesterday – yesterday morning (Tuesday) I woke up and for the first time my breasts didn’t feel swollen. They seem to be almost my normal pre-surgery size. They are still heavy, but much more reasonable.

I attribute this sudden change in swelling to the antibiotics I’ve been taking since Thursday. I had several doctors state that I had various signs of infection (breast scars, toes, swelling ankles) – so they all agreed on the same antibiotics I had during my breast surgery. After a few days, they seem to be working!

I’ve been so craving a bike ride on a two wheel bike. Now that I’m not experiencing the visual dissonance issues I had with taxol, I can balance on a two wheels. The question was whether or not I’d healed enough from surgery in order to ride. Yesterday, in addition to the reduced swelling in my breasts, I no longer felt like I had golf ball sized melons under my arm pits. So, my axial node dissection wounds are also healing well. With that in mind, I emailed my surgeon about approval for a bike ride and received a very supportive statement that I “must” go for a bike ride. And with that, I went for a 30 minute (10 km) ride on my foldie bike. I might get Scott to dig out my recumbent on the weekend. We’ll see. I have about a weeks worth of riding before my next surgery.

And that is how this whole process goes. Every time I feel like I’m finally starting to gain some ground, I’m hit again with the next phase of treatment. I’m optimistic that this upcoming surgery will be my last big knock down – after which I’ll begin the long journey through recovery. Unfortunately, this won’t be my last surgery. There will be at least one more surgery at least three months later (probably longer – as there is no rush, I’ll want to ensure I’m feeling strong before that one). That one is called a revision surgery, where the plastic surgeon goes in and re-adjusts things and cleans up any fat pockets and scar tissue.

In other news my hairs is growing back at a nice steady pace. I now have a head of peach fuzz with dark roots, making it look a little like I have a short dusting of grey hair.

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And now, I shall go out for another bike ride before the storm hits … we are expecting 3.5 inches of rain tomorrow. To put this in perspective, we had 1.53 inches of rain in November, and 2.44 inches from June – November (November had more rain than all last year – and now we are expecting that make rain in a single day) … It will be interesting to see how this affects the Guadalupe river, which is currently looking twice as full as I’ve ever seen it (which is still pretty empty). I’m only hope that a bunch of this rain falls as snow up in the high Sierra’s, as California really needs the snowpack to keep the rivers flowing next summer.

  • Becky

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