Debridement and a rest day
Spell checkers hate the word debride. It seems that ‘debridement of a wound’ is the correct spelling, but debride by itself is not. I also tried debreed – that too does not show up as a word. Too bad it is a real thing!
After finding out that my plastic surgeon would have preferred the wounds to be moist (after explicitly asking and being told to let them dry out for a day – ugh), in the end she only debrided the two breast wounds. We decided that we would allow the abdominal ones to heal naturally on their own (at least for now). They will be left to dry out and at some point the scab will either fall off or be removed by the plastic surgeon.
I was so nervous about the pain going into the appointment that I took a fair bit of my pain killer meds (both my daytime and nighttime meds) – so I was pretty relaxed during the entire process. I was relaxed most of the day really – and slept for a couple of hours – awaking with achy joints (oops, should have taken the ibuprofen before napping) and hungry. Although I did not feel much during the process, I am feeling it now. It is odd how I can have no sensation on a lot of the breast area, but I definitely can feel the insult to the skin.
The good news is that since she didn’t do anything with the abdominal wounds, they will be easier to manage (I also have a lot more feeling in the abdominal area so was much more nervous about debridement of those wounds). I got the OK to go biking on the weekend as long as I promised to monitor swelling. If swelling returns, then I’m to slow down (aka less biking) and rest. I also go the OK for the Life Strong Live Well program, which starts next Wednesday (actually, the exercise portion starts on Monday February 2nd). Live Strong Live Well is a 12-week small-group exercise program that is run in conjunction with Stanford University and the local YMCAs. It is a free program for anyone who has undergone treatment for cancer, to help them gain strength after treatment (perfect for me). With it comes a membership at the YMCA, which I may use for classes outside of the Live Strong, Live Well program – although I’m not sure when I’ll be strong enough to make that worth while.
I did not get the all clear for swimming until all my wounds have healed. I’m not certain that some of them will completely heal before we do a revision surgery – this is the additional plastic surgery to clean up the scar tissue and re-balance fat tissue (that is, lipo some fat from where I don’t want it, and fill in some where I do). I am not planning on scheduling that surgery until I feel strong again. For once, I want to go into surgery feeling totally strong. The surgery itself will be about three-hours (I was surprised at the length) but is typically done on an out-patient-basis – so no hospital stay (yay).
So today is physically a rest day – getting both physically and mentally prepared to start tamoxifen on Monday.