I’ve been out of radiation for just over 10 days. I have contracted some sort of infection in my tissue from the radiation treatment and have been on antibiotics for almost a week now, with little improvement. A week ago I went back in to show the radiologist the expanded tissue mass on the right, and she prescribed an antibiotic treatment for 10 days. The following day I went to see my plastic surgeon to show him what was going on, to make certain the expander hadn’t been compromised. He was glad to see me, but told me this was tissue damage and edema related to the radiation, and doesn’t have anything to do with the expanders. He suggested I just continue to follow up with the radiologist. That was last Thursday.
Today, Tuesday after Labor Day, I sent a text message with a picture of my grossly deformed and swollen breast mound to my primary surgeon, Dr. M. I asked her if she was in on Thursday, infusion day, and would care to see it in person. She called me right back, asked about fever (none), pain (no sensation at all) and what type of ointments I was using. What I feel is bloated and off balance. Very warm to the touch, but only if I touch it. My breast mound is essential numb to me. But the skin is so taught its shiny. Slick almost. An now there is what looks like a hematoma projecting out from the side, where the expander isn’t – very near to the original diseased lymphnode.
She ordered an ultrasound, and raised the alerts at Rush for my infusion visit so that a wound specialist will see me and help figure out what to do next. My dad suggested it is something called “fat necrosis” which can happen after breast surgery, and would not cause fever. Dr. M agreed, it might be that. She wants to rule out an abscess with the ultrasound. If it were an abscess, they’d drain it. But if it’s fat necrosis, not sure what the action is. Might just work itself out.
The good news is I’m not in any real pain. And unless I look at it, I don’t feel sick. I’m uncomfortable and a little anxious because of how it looks and if I’m leaking through my clothing, but I know they’ll figure it out.
So, if you see me and I look a little cattywampus, no worries. I’m on it.