So, if any of you have seen my last post on social, the scar from my lumpectomy had sprung a leak and a doctor told me, not to worry, it will stop on its own, and to go live my life. Well that was a week ago and turned out to be some horse shit advice!
**WARNING, if you are squeamish at all DO NOT READ ON. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! And yes there is a pic.
Let me paint the picture for you . . .
It’s Thursday morning and I wake up to a soaked bra full of blood, but no pain. I’m nervous for sure, but think it’s ok. The doctor said as long as the blood is dark in color it’s old blood and it’s nothing to be concerned about. She said it was probably a Hematoma, and it would heal on its own in most cases . . . I had also done some googling on my own, just to put my mind at ease:
Hematoma (Blood Build-up): Like a bruise, a hematoma is a mark on your skin because blood is trapped under the surface. A hematoma usually refers to the mark created when blood builds up in a surgical wound where tissue has been removed and in some cases, the blood may need to be surgically drained, usually by reopening the incision made during breast cancer surgery.
So, prior to this blood bath sitting in my bra I wasn’t too worried. I nervously removed the soaked bandage and from there it wouldn’t stop. It just oozed slowly and consistently for hours. I started to panic. I was deep breathing, then pacing, then cursing. The gauze wasn’t doing shit so I was scrambling with bounty paper towels (they are supposed to be super absorbent, right?). I let out a scream and started to cry and thought, WTF?? I am not OK with this, what is happening? Why do they keep telling me it is ok when there is clearly something not right?! WHY IS THERE SO MUCH BLOOD??” I called my surgeon’s office (who was finally back from vacation, who goes on vacation after cutting people open anyway?) and let his assistant know what was happening and I wanted to come in. She called me back saying he was in surgery, but to meet his at the office in the hospital at 3pm. I called Corey and told him the situation and he came home to check it out right away. By the time he arrived I had already gone through half a roll of the bounty paper towels (which were working great by the way), and was standing at the top of the stairs topless holding the paper towel under my boob to catch the blood. Luckily, he is not squeamish at all, he just looked at it and said, “It’s ok, we will see what the doctor says.”
We wrapped up the oozing boob and hit the road. When we arrived, I changed into my oh too familiar surgery gown, and waiting in one of the rooms for the doctor to arrive. When he does I explained the situation. Since his face never changes I didn’t know what he was going to say next.
Doctor: “OK, Monique we have two options; option one, let the hematoma drain on its own, but it could take up to two months, or option two, I can open it up and drain it right now. But the scar will not end up as pretty.”
I looked at Corey wide eyed, my head was spinning. I thought, open me up, again? No anesthetic? The scar was healing so well, what did you mean by not so pretty? This wasn’t an operating room; do you even have the tools to do this right here and now? Is this woman next to you even a nurse, she wasn’t wearing nurse like attire? Me: “Doc. what caused this, is it something I did?”
Doctor: “No, it was nothing you did, unless you were doing jumping jacks, which I highly doubt, this happens in 1 out of 6 patients. It could be from the chemo and the medications you have been on, really, it’s hard to say. I would prefer not to have to wait two months though, because that would delay your radiation.”
Me: “I don’t care about the scar, I just want this to end, so drain it.”
He started right away, the nurse (she was in fact a nurse so I take back what I said before), pulled out all the tools, and set him up. I could have sworn this was an examination room, but they had kit ready to go! He used local anesthetic so it didn’t hurt, however I could feel it all. I could feel him squeezing, and although he had put some cloths around the wound to catch all the blood that was being spilt, I could still see the gauze was being changed every few seconds. Worst of all I could smell the blood, it smelled like raw meat, and it made me sick. If I didn’t think I was going to eat meat before I definitely couldn’t eat it now. I kept my eyes closed for the most part, and tried to go to a happy place and block out what was happening. Why oh, why did I decide to sneak a peek, right at the moment he was using tweezers to pull out a blood clot and slap it on the towel beside my face? Ugh! I didn’t open my eyes again until it was over.
Then came the stitching, I could feel him tugging on my skin, it was horrible! Then the doctor said something that disturbed me, “I wish we had used a contrast color thread, the lighting in here is not great.” WTF does that mean? Nurse replies with, “I’ll go get a flash light.” What kind of make shift operation is this? I am trying to remain calm, especially when she came back unable to find a flashlight. Me: “I have a flashlight on my iPhone, would that work?” Corey pulls out my phone and the nurse tries to shine the light for the doctor to see . . . it doesn’t do shit. Doctor: “It’s ok, I’m about done.” Now I am panicking that he can’t see what the hell he is doing and that not so pretty scar he had warned about, may be even worse! Now I know why they put you to sleep during surgery, it’s not just for the pain, it’s to protect you from the possible mental anguish. I am clear blood and gore isn’t for everybody. I haven’t had any major surgeries in my life, so for some people this may have been a cake walk, but for me it was traumatizing and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.
When it was finally over my boob was half the size it was before, all the swelling was gone, but the scar was gross to look at, thank-fully they covered it with gauze so I wouldn’t have to. Corey came over kissed my head and said, “I’m proud of you.” I replied with, “That was horrible, let’s get the hell out of here please.” We went home still reeling from what had just happened. At least it was over . . . or so I thought. 4 days post open boob surgery and I am still in pain and feels like I had surgery all over again. Maybe everything is fine, maybe a new hematoma is taking shape, who the hell knows?! There is no way to really prevent it after all. How frustrating is that? I am super angry, frustrated and sad. All this laying around (although necessary), is making the rest of my body stiff like a grandma; my radiation will have to be pushed until I am healed (date is TBD), and I am so scared the hematoma will return because my boob is swollen again! I am really in my feelings these last few days, which I hate! All I want to do is eat ice cream, chips and pizza (when I know my body needs greens juice, salads and healthy shit!)
Yes, I know it could be worse, it always could be worse, but not addressing how I am feeling would make me even crazier then I feel right now, and who needs crazier, I sure as hell don’t! I am sure Corey would agree.
I meet again with the doctor on Thursday, we will see what the next steps are. The journey continues.