Cancer Fabulous Diaries: My Mastectomy

mastectomy

Date: April 24

I’m feeling: Not too shabby

Yesterday morning, after four hours of sleep, I woke up, showered and checked in at the Miseracordia Hospital at 7:15 am. I was feeling great. When the nurses told me that they were ready to bring me to the operating room I got a little teary-eyed, but soon enough I was cracking jokes with the lovely nurse who cracked them back at me all the way down to the operating room. Sabrina followed behind, snapping picture after picture like the paparazzi, except I wasn’t famous, just her big sister.

In the surgery room, the anaesthetist was gentle. I woke up, what felt like two minutes later, in a groggy faze with my whole family standing before me. It was already 9 pm! I experienced a few dizzy spells that were quickly fixed by the drugs my nurse gave me. Thankfully, mom stayed overnight to make sure I was ok and to help me go to the bathroom.

I woke up feeling fantastic and was discharged at 10 am. Taking a shower that night was interesting. I undressed and looked at my naked body. In the mirror, a robot stared back at me. Drains and tubes stuck out of my body, and an array of gauze, bandages and dressings lay on the counter before me. The left side of my chest, where my breast was taken, was sunken and bruised, in its place a thunderbolt scar zigzagging across my chest. I had Googled enough pictures of mastectomies to not be weirded out by my own body. Showering took twice as long as normal.

I have to empty the JP drains and I can’t wait to get them out. I don’t find them that disgusting, although I am lugging around miniature cannon balls of my own blood as it is suctioned from tubes extending from my body. It’s more of an inconvenience than anything.

The pain is tolerable. There’s just a slight tightness in my chest and my armpit (where the lymph nodes were taken) looks a bit strange. However, in time I should be good as new. Now I pray for good news when the results from the biopsy come back. – Sylvia Soo


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