BRCA Surgeries: 11 Days Post-Op and the Bitch is Back

Once a crab, always a crab.

Being cranky is not one of my finer attributes, but like my crappy BRCA genes, it is part of me. Following my initial mastectomy/reconstruction surgery the plastic surgeon counseled my husband and mother that I would likely be very irritable over the course of the next 48 hours. Jim and Mom broke into uncontrolled laughter. The surgeon, who has never seen crabby Lee in action was mystified by their reaction. Me irritable? Baby, I was born to be a crab.

It has been eleven days since Stage II breast revisions and BSO surgery and while I’m so pleased not be a total wreck like I was last time, I’m peeved to be caught in no man’s land, somewhere between sick and well.

James is in Salt Lake City today. Lucky man. The cats are the only critters in my orbit and like all cats, they do not give a rat’s ass about human problems unless it interferes with their food.

I guess my biggest gripe is not that I’m still fatigued and need frequent naps. Nor is is it the pain level, which no longer requires my friend Vicodin. I even drove for the first time yesterday and that was no problem. No, my biggest complaint is the stupid Spanx. I HATE SPANX!

Not to disparage this fine product. It is helping my liposuctioned, bruised, scarred midsection heal nicely. Two weeks the doctor said. I’m counting the minutes until I can be rid of these things. Twenty-four hours a day is a long time to wear any garment, particularly one that squashes one’s guts. Shapewear is meant to be worn for an evening under something slinky, not ’round the clock. So what is so horrid about a pancake flat tummy and a nicely lifted fanny?

Let’s just call it digestive disturbances of a volcanic nature and leave it at that. No wonder I’m crabby.

BRCA Surgeries: Stage II is History

Fair warning. I am drugged and this is a very good thing.

Ovaries and tubes are toast. Various boob defects repaired, scars revised and I’m sandwiched into the compression garment. They took fat from my hips and upper belly to graft. Yanking up those Spanx over the bruising hurts like hell, but that is why aforementioned drugs are so good.

Had the usual IV nightmare. Chemo left me without much to stick. At least I did not have to get a central line.

Oddly enough I wound up on the same ward in the exact same room that I spent most of my twelve days in last time. Everyone recognized me, right down to the cleaning lady. They were glad to see me do so well this time and that was very nice.

Now we wait a few days on the path report. I’m keeping my fingers crossed there’s no sign of ovarian cancer. In the mean time I’ll keep popping pills and enjoy Jim fussing over me.

Thank you to everyone who phoned, e-mailed, texted or stopped by. I am a happy camper.

BRCA Surgeries: Stage II and a Clean Garage

Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean. So goes the old nursery rhyme. They are often depicted something like this:

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Sprat

I sold Jack Sprat an old file cabinet for seven dollars this morning at my neighborhood garage sale. His wife bought a graphic calculator, a cookbook holder and a toy.

Grizzly Adams was next. Turns out the legendary California mountain man is actually a car restoration buff who snapped up my husband’s model cars. Studebakers and Model T in hand, he ambled off with his catch. He looked like an older version of the seventies TV character albeit with less perfect dental work.

Grizzly Adams

The stream of humanity that passed through my garage this morning included an elderly woman pushing a baby in a shopping cart. She was looking for a stroller. Another woman yelled out her car window to see if I had a sewing machine. She gave me a friendly wave from her Mercedes as she pulled away. I had no sewing machine and she was on a mission. A neighbor who I seldom see came by to say he was still using an ancient television he purchased at our garage sale more than a decade ago. He left with a perfectly hideous $3 lamp for his wife. Sweet.

At the end of the morning I was some $75 richer, my junk was someone else’s treasure and the garage was neat as a pin. The best part was I could participate in this everyday, ordinary activity without assistance. Three months earlier I could barely pick up a cat and there I was, moving furniture, cleaning the garage and haggling with a plump Hispanic gentleman who spoke no English but coveted my spiffy backpack designed to hold a Playstation 3 gaming system. This post-mastectomy body, so fragile and weak a short time ago, is doing just fine, thank you very much.

Must be time for more surgery.

Yesterday the plastic surgeon snapped a few photos, asked questions and typed notes in my electronic chart. The date isn’t set but it won’t be long before Stage II breast reconstruction revisions and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy will have me back in that baby-poop brown recliner in the family room once again.

I plan to spend my garage sale loot stocking up on dark chocolate to combat the inevitable post-surgery blues.