Rachel’s almost three weeks out of the mastectomy and she’s almost out of the woods. Rachel’s pain is about 10 times better than it was this time last week and she’s way more independent (besides having to keep her arms below her shoulders – think arm positioning like John McCain & a t-rex, but in the most rockstar way imaginable). She (and I) are now getting somewhat full nights of rest. #blessed #hallelujah
It seems like everyday now we’re celebrating new little milestones. Like when Rachel put on her shirt & seatbelt for the first time since the surgery. She can also now get settled on our couches and bed without help. Rachel’s 2 hour excursions have spiced up too. On Tuesday (less than 2 weeks out from the mastectomy), Rachel went to UCLA School of Nursing to meet with a faculty member. She wore regular clothes and much to my surprise, put on a blazer for the meeting. If I was her at this point, I would be a cross between a helpless puppy and Gollum. Barely able to move out of bed – let alone planning the next academic years work as the Co-President of my graduate student association. And Rachel’s boobs are looking super healthy and, besides a sorta lumpy looking temporary expansion implants, barely look operated on.
The whole ‘2 steps forward 1 step back’ thing is still holding up unfortunately. The other night Rachel’s skin started to get really irritated around the tape that’s still on her from the surgery. The next day it got way itchier and once I got home from work had broken out into full-on hives across her stomach and back. Immediately after the itchiness started, Rachel began doses of Benadryl, which needed to be upped once the urge to scratch become too much.
What happened then (because Benadryl + other post-surgery meds = sleepy time), was Rachel getting totally zonked out. Even after the tape came off yesterday at the surgeons office, the itchiness has persisted. The good news is that the Dr.’s appointment was for her 2nd expansion. That was super successful and the tape being gone has brought the irritation down, albeit very slowly. As I write this, the incredible Rachel is now on her 16th hour of sleep out of the last 24 hrs. Which is why you’re hearing from me again 🙂 Although if you are following FunkyGenes on twitter you’ve seen that she’s still tweeting away in the few hours she’s been up today.
The bottom line is I’m married to a beautiful superhero. She’s done something remarkably difficult and extremely brave, yet in the most public way possible. By sharing her story and engaging with a tremendous community of other previvors & survivors, and other storytellers she’s doing all she can for the cause of cancer prevention, education and advocacy. #mywifeismyhero