I am reminded that recovery is slow. Although I was happy to announce the end of active treatment, I still need to recover from that treatment.
I was lucky in that I only had two surgeries. Many women go through this process with a lot more surgeries a lot further spread out – such that they are in treatment for 2-3 years. The nipple sparing mastectomy saved me at least one surgery (or tattoo) – one to recreate nipples. Doing the reconstruction at the same time as the double mastectomy also saved me surgeries – as the combined surgery is not an option for many women.
I will likely have one more surgery, but there will be no rush for it. There will be no worries of cancer growing or spreading, so the surgery can be scheduled after I’ve gained my strength – at a time when I feel strong going into it.
With each day I make a few more steps towards recovery. Today was a 3.2 km walk – just shy of 5000 steps (for my first walk – we will do a second walk over to Safeway later today).
I’ve also started to reduce my pain meds. I’d like to reduce them further, so that I can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, but alas, healing takes time. Pain needs to remain managed otherwise the healing process will go slower.
On the good news, I got clearance from my plastic surgery nurse to have a small cup of coffee! I enjoyed a very nice cup of Kauai peabody coffee that we bought when we were in Hawaii in November. I stopped all caffeine (coffee and chocolate) a week and a half before surgery. Since the surgery involved microscopically connecting blood vessels, I needed to stop eating/drinking anything that made those vessels smaller. Now that I’m two weeks out from surgery and healing nicely, I’ve received clearance for a little coffee. This actually goes a long way to reducing the pain meds, as caffeine makes some of the pain meds more effective. So, my one small cup of coffee (and perhaps a little regular chocolate) will go a long way to helping me heal.
I am thankful for all the walking and biking I did before surgery. When I took my first steps, my legs were strong. It made a huge difference to how quickly I was able to move, and how quickly I’m now able to walk (not that I walk quickly, I’m at about 2.5km/hr). I should really say how soon I’ve been able to walk.
Today I am thankful for my one cup for coffee 🙂