recovery

Four weeks post mastectomy

Hi! I just realized I never followed up on the BRCA FAQs! Blurg! Sorry, that's me sometimes... most of the time.. completely forgetful. For example, towards the end of the school year when things were ramping up for end of the year activities, I forgot to pick my kids. Yes plural. Kids up from school. Twice in one week. Don't worry, they forgave me. 

Just like I eventually remembered to drive the 2 blocks to get my kids, I will remember to answer all of your BRCA questions! 

But for now I will update you on my progress! Today I am four weeks recovered from my preventative double mastectomy! Some new developments are 

 

1- I am back at work!

I am a stay-at-home mom of four kids ages 2-7. They spent three weeks in Dallas with the grands, and last Sunday they were released to come home! The Dude went back to work on Monday, so I was back to work as well. I was super ready to have them home, but maybe not so ready for their noise and mess. Isn't that just how it goes.

 

I'm like, please bring the hugs and kisses and cute drawings but go ahead and leave behind the wet clothes on the floor and dumped out shampoo bottles and the newfound freedom to tell me 'no' back a grandma's house. mkay? 

But they really have been pretty good and very helpful and not at all whiney about not getting to go anywhere all week. Probably because the grandmas kept them very busy! {I keep saying 'the grandmas' because both my mom and my mother-in-law live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and were able to split up the three weeks amongst themselves. Plus, they are friends, so I didn't have to coordinate where and when the kids would be at each house. I basically just dropped them in Dallas and let them figure out the rest!} 

2- I tried out driving!

The doctor cleared me to drive at my last appointment, but we just hadn't gotten around to it yet. So this weekend I drove to the mattress store. Random, I know. And then I took two kids with me to small group with my church on Sunday night. Monday I drove quite a bit. To the doctor's office and back, and to my daughter's softball game and back, and today my arms were pretty sore, so I tried to take it a little easy.

3- I cooked dinner!

I have been unbelievably spoiled by my church family. They brought us meals clear up until last Friday. That is almost four straight weeks of homemade deliciousness. Seriously, the women at my church can cook. It was fun to be surprised every night as to what we were eating. I especially loved all the variety of dessert! At one point my counter looked like an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet. And so we did. 

Which explains the need for #4.

4- I started walking! 

I have a lovely walking trail about a block from my house, so Monday I got up early and walked the whole thing. It took me about 30 minutes and my back was pretty sore afterwards and I nearly lost an eye swatting off all the mosquitos, but I did it!! However, this extra activity contributed to my fatigue today I believe, so no walking today, just resting mostly.

So that's wat I can do, now I will talk about how I am healing up. This would be the point in the blog post where fathers, sons, and the especially squeamish might want to exit. Thanks for coming!!


Okay- now we can get into the real girl talk. haha. I have had several people ask me if I have any chest at all, or if I am completely flat. I will address this in the FAQs, but just to set the record straight, I do have a chest right now, similar in size to what I had before, but so much different. Right now I have implant expanders installed which help stretch out my pectoral muscle which is now on the outer edge of my chest as opposed to under it. The expanders sit really high, are rock, and don't move at all. I feel slightly like an engorged robot. 


My scars are healing up nicely. They are still quite dark, but I'm sure that will go away with time. My stitches has dissolved. I was gifted some frankincense essential oils which I have been using on the scars, and actually my entire breast to encourage healing. I'm pretty new to oils but I have some really knowledgeable and generous gals in my corner and they gave me several leading up the this surgery. 

My energy level is super low right now, not at all what it was before the hysterectomy. But I trying to remember that I have had two major surgeries in two months and I need to be patient and give myself time to heal. 


Thank you all for coming along on the journey with me - it means so much to me that you are here. I can't wait to see what 6 weeks post-op will look like!





index card a day #icad

I love Instagram. 

 

There, glad I got that out in the open. 

 

I follow a community of artists that challenge and inspire me. 

Last week I came across a fun new project. {Artists like projects}.

Take an index card every day and decorate it. It is called ICAD {index card a day}.

 

 

Simple, right? 

Sure! {As long as you have use of your arms}

 

The trouble with this 30 day challenge is that it starts June 1. June 1 is known lovingly around here as BOOB Day. It is the day of my double mastectomy after which I will have very little function in my arms for about a week. I have heard it described as "the worst muscle pull/strain you have every had x1000." Sounds fun, huh? 

 

So I immediately dismissed he ICAD challenge and filed it away in the maybe next year file. 

 

I laughed at myself thinking of what it would look like for me to decorate an index card on Day 1 post-op. 

 

Then the thought came to me that this would be fun way to visualize my progress! Even if I just streak a big black line across the card on days 1-10, but then maybe add a little color on day 14, and some design elements on day 19, I think it will be a great way to focus on where I have come from and where I am headed. 

I have also heard that it is helpful during the recovery following this surgery to be hopeful and look to the next milestone. I think the cards with reflect the milestones. And now I have something to look forward to post-surgery come Monday!! 

And that is really good because the recovery is the hardest part and there is nothing really fun about it at all, especially the first few weeks, except the index cards. 

The index cards are fun. 

And I hope that looking back I will appreciate the mercies that each morning brings, whether in the form of challenges and pain or healing an strength, His mercies are new every morning. 

 

Check out some #icad feeds on Instagram come June 1st. I will tag mine #icad and #gracefullhomeicad and #brcaicad

 

 Official ICAD guidelines and FAQ 

Photos above are from the following IG feeds, give them a follow! 

Top left: @artsyville Top right: @hemlockandheather Bottom left: @laracasey Bottom right: @forgivenfruit

Big ICAD pic: @artsyville

Thanks for following along on this journey friends!