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Dec 15, 2020 11:05PM
I created an account just to reply to you! I had the outpatient double mastectomy + reconstruction on December 3 also because the surgeons wanted to minimize potential exposure to Covid. It was absolutely fine and considering that the hospital was on lock down and I had to be there completely alone, trust me you'll be much happier to go home. The first three days after, I felt a lot of anxiety and restlessness but everything was fine and normal (I think that might have been because they gave me dexamethasone which also wrecked me during chemo).
I had to arrive at 8am and I went home around 8pm so you're there pretty much all day. After the surgery you're on enough pain medication and still loopy from the anesthesia that you are capable of walking around etc and then they just wheeled me out to my partner when it was time to go. Curbside delivery lol
I was very afraid and told the nurse that and the anesthesiologist just hung out with me for like 30 minutes before the surgery just talking about random stuff. Then my surgeons came in (they had a surgeon for each side plus the plastic surgeon) and it was like a party we all just talked and laughed. Wonderful people.
The only weird/uncomfortable thing that happened to me was I could not stop crying when they woke me up. I was triggered because they did an axillary dissection and took out 10 lymph nodes and I wasn't expecting that would happen (I was told it was a possibility just didn't think it would happen). It was all fine nothing had spread it was just a caution but the anesthesia made me super emotional.
My procedure was nipple/skin sparing and honestly I look pretty much the same just a bit flatter and like someone beat me up. That's all. A helpful Instagram account if anyone wants to see some real mastectomy photos that are empowering is @mastectomyandsexy it's particularly great if you're on the young end like me (I'm 35).
If anyone still needs shopping recs, the bra I woke up in was from Masthead Pink and it is way better than the bras I purchased ahead of time. It has loops attached that hold your drains up so there's less tension on the surgical sites. Cocoon Styles on Etsy has great velcro shirts that are the easiest to get on an off and they're soft jersey. The Renova Recovery shirt on Amazon is also really good. I also recommend a wedge pillow and a tiny pillow to put under your arm if you have lymph involvement like me (they gave me the tiny pillow at the hospital). Last, my surgeon said no showers while I have drains in and they're having me keep the drains for three weeks, I still have one more week ugh. I got Scrubzz Disposable Bathing Wipes on Amazon to stay clean in the meantime.
For anyone that is worried about pain, don't worry too much. I did not get any "good" pain medications, it's mostly been managed with Tylenol and Gabapentin. The only pain I've had is in my armpit from the axillary dissection, the breasts don't hurt at all. Same with numbness, it's not your entire chest cavity that is numb after, it is just the center of the breast - you can still feel all around and in between. I have some numbness in my arm and armpit as well but I think that's temporary. The pain for that got worse in the first week and then an assistant at the doctor's office showed me the pendulum arm exercise and now I've been improving ever since and think I'll be totally pain free within another week.
I say all of this as a person with generalized anxiety disorder. Cancer was definitely not my love language lol
YOU WILL BE FINE. I promise.
5/2020, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
6/12/2020 AC + T (Taxol)
12/3/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
1/27/2021 Breast, Lymph nodes
Femara (letrozole), Zoladex (goserelin)