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“The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.”
– C.C. Scott


The new word of the week.

noun: debridement; plural noun: debridements
The removal of damaged tissue or foreign objects from a wound.


Last week Thursday when I saw Plastics, we collectively determined that the lack of change in the hole’s healing process was disconcerting and the time had come to force this gap closed. We agreed that sooner was better, and to not wait to combine the ovary removal.

Yesterday afternoon, Monday, I had surgery at Rush. Dr. K removed all scar tissue associated with the original mastectomy, cleaned out the cavity, removed as much radiation damaged skin as possible and forced my arm through exercises to break up some of the constricted muscles and give me better range of motion. He used the skin in my arm pit to cover the area, and sutured it flat to my muscle, so there would be no room for fluid to gather. There are no more holes. I have 2 drains to allow fluid out. Will probably have them for 2-3 weeks.

Today, Tuesday, I woke up in a world of pain. Scale of 1 to 10 I was a solid 8 for hours. Morphine made no dent. Norco did nothing. They gave me an IV of Toradol, an anti inflammatory that worked immediately. You can only get one dose, though, as it causes bleeding issues. So, next up will be a rotation of Norco 10 and Valium to keep the aches and pains at bay. Plus IV antibiotics.

I can go home tomorrow, Wednesday. I’m not to do anything for two weeks. No driving, no walking the dog, no laundry, no dishes, no lifting of any kind. I’m to sit and heal, sleep and heal, repeat. I’m sealed up so well now that there’s even glue to keep the skin together. Only stitches on the inside, a thin strip of glue on the outside.

This has to work. I have to be a model patient, and be patient with it. There’s no more skin to use to close up a hole. Dr. K would have to graph skin from somewhere else. That could compromise my options of building a flap breast later on. It really has to work so options aren’t taken away from me.

I’m exhausted but I’m in good hands.

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