STORIES Breast Cancer Awareness Yankee Doodle dandee One week post surgery it’s time to head back to my chez away from chez for a wound check. While I haven’t had many bandages on my boobs, only 2 strips really, today dressings are being changed so we can have a good gawp! So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised. They’re not playboy worthy yet but they don’t look anywhere near as bad as I expected. Nurses and doctors are always assuring me this is so far removed from what they will eventually look like. When the bandages come off you can see the full extent of the bruising. But all in all I’m quite pleased with stage one. I did think the cosmetic side of the boobs would affect me more than it has. I had prepared myself for being emotionally unhinged at the change in physical appearance but actually it hasn’t bothered me at all. Even the day after surgery when they did look really rough!! I thought I’d be hiding my flatter chest under chiffon scarves and using the ‘softies’ to give shape under high neck tops. Instead I am embracing my post surgery boobs and making the most of my new straighter frame. Once my boobs are filled they will be the same size FOREVER!! Whether I put on or lose weight my boobs will remain the trusty constant. So I figure I may as well try out some different shapes and sizes now! One of the other things about today was having the drains checked. I had been recording how much was coming out in the drains every day. I handed over my little chart and was told I was allowed 3 drains out, woohoo! Or at least I thought it was a good thing….. This is what can only be described as yet another horrific part of breast surgery. First there was cutting the stitch. The drains come from inside the chest wall and where they exit my body (around my ribs) they are stitched in to keep them in place. The nurse starts trying to cut the stitch. But there’s not enough space to get the scissors in between! Think sticking along the hem of jeans. Much rooting around takes place before eventually the stitch is out! (I should mention at this point there is NO anaesthetic, local or otherwise!) Thank goodness that’s over! I’m not a wimp with things like this but my word!!! Relief, however, is short lived. Time to remove a drain. Deep breath in, deep breath out, deep breath in, deep breath out…. She told me to get into a rhythm. Then on one of the out breaths….YANK!!! She pulls the drain! The tube that has for the last week been nestled uncomfortably in my chest wall was now being yanked from my body! It’s like something out of a horror film! Just thinking about it makes my teeth itch. The worst part was, that was only one, there were three coming out! The second was worst! I had only taken 2 in breaths and 2 out breaths before the almighty tug! This time I screamed while it came out! My mum was on the other side of the curtain and said it sounded like I was giving birth! I wish….at least with birth I could’ve had gas and air! Then it was time for the third…give me strength! This is barbaric!! The nurse was saying “sorry, sorry, sorry”‘ the whole time! Its another one of those awful dilemmas, drains in are so uncomfortable and debilitating, but having them out is like medieval torture! Anyway its 3 down, 2 to go. When we arrive home, the pain has started to subside (or pain killers have started to kick in!) and with only 2 drains in I can give my kids their first proper cuddle since the surgery. They still both approach me with extreme caution, but that could be the personality rather than the wounds! I now have 3 days to mentally prepare for the removal of the last 2 drains…not sure I’ll be getting much in the way of sleep!