Progress report with photos

Things have been quite strange here in the hospital. I’m assuming it’s the medications but I have a really hard time focusing and especially typing. Mom is doing the honors of typing this for me. I didn’t expect to be in the hospital this long. I’ve had some not too serious complications. One is pain. They don’t want to let me go home until they can control my pain with oral medications. Second is oxygen. Whenever they take me off the O2, my stats “plummet”. Third, my blood pressure has been low. They think that they can fix all of these things with oral pain meds, or so we hope. I also get really dizzy when I try to walk the halls and they keep having to wheel me back into my room. They’ve ordered a bunch of labs to see if they see anything wrong. As of now, the doctor gave me a 50/50 shot of going home tomorrow.

A surgeon that works with my general surgeon came to visit me this morning and wanted to talk about pathology results. She told me again that all 5 nodes had tested negatively and that there were apparently some concerns before surgery regarding what they would find, but none of those things happened which is good. When they examined my right breast tissue (the one without cancer), the tissue was extremely fibrous (can’t remember the fancy name) and looked to be pre-cancerous. She said that could have caused extra complications in finding tumors on that side because of being so fibrous and stressed to me that we had done the right thing in doing both sides. I don’t have doubts about my decision, but I do think it helps me to know that it really was the only option for me.

Here are some pics from yesterday to give you a glimpse of my everyday in the hospital:

My new wristband for my left wrist. It is now considered compromised and at risk for Lymphedema so no pokes or squeezes (blood pressure or needles). This condition is permanent.


This is where I had two vials of blood drawn from my knuckle yesterday. I was’t lying!


This is one of my scars – where the lymph nodes were removed. This is a close up so you can’t see where my boobs were. I’m still in discussion about what pictures are appropriate to show the mastectomy scars.


Here I am going on an adventure out of my bed. Lots of people helping me and just ignore that pee bag. Seriously though I can’t even tell you how wonderful all the nurses here have been, not a single bit of attitude from anyone, nothing but love!


I had no clue what the drains would look like before surgery. I knew there would be 4 of them but I didn’t know much else. Here is a shot of the drains coming out of my skin – there are two on each side and they are pretty close to the bottom of my ribcage. The drains work by creating a gentle vacuum and suctioning the fluid out of the wound. Several times a day, we will empty the drains, measure the liquid and dump it. Here are the tubes from my right side:


Here are the bulbs that catch the fluid. At first it looks like blood but as time goes by they will get to be almost water-y. The cap pops off the top of the bulb and just gets tipped over and squeezed out. Once it’s all squeezed out, the cap gets replaced while it’s compressed to create the suction.


Once again, I am overwhelmed by all the support from our friends and family. I feel like we are very fortunate to have the support that we do and I don’t know how we would be getting through this without it. Personally, I feel like I am coping with everything really well. I looked in the mirror yesterday for the first time and didn’t even feel like crying. My pain is a lot worse on the left side than the right, but the cancer was on the left so it makes sense that they would have to be more aggressive there. I asked my surgeon when someone officially becomes a survivor and if I could call myself one. She said you become a survivor the day you’re diagnosed. So I am a survivor – hear me roar!

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3 Responses to Progress report with photos

  1. stephanie harris says:

    You go girl!! Damn, you make me proud!!!

  2. Lara says:

    Thanks for the updates Jenn and Family! You are amazing.

  3. Ron Manchester says:

    What a trooper! Lets keep our fingers crossed, but It sounds like the hard part is over. Ps. keep some of those pain killers for later 🙂

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