It’s day 3 post surgery and I feel a-ok. I mean I am not ready to dance the boogie but the pain is manageable.

As the operation was a little more invasive than when I had my sentinel biopsy, I have more numbness associated with it and I think I am developing a little bit of cording. The physio has given me some exercises to do and day one, it was easy peasy to do them but since day 2, I can feel that the first exercise – the one where you put your hands on your shoulders and bring you elbow up in front of you – is a little tougher and I feel a twinge on the inside of my arm when I do. It’s a weird sensation as I still have surface numbness of that area.

You know me, I am not big on taking painkillers in general and I have been given some strong ones to complement the paracetamol but as the day go by and the exercise gets harder (I have to do 4 sets of exercises 4 times a day) I have to take the painkillers before and I always take one before going to bed so I can sleep ok. And I have been sleeping ok. Longer than I would normally do but I suppose that is my body’s way of coping with the trauma.

This morning I woke up feeling a little groggy and with muscle pains all over my back. Like I had been doing some LATS pulls at the gym…which of course I haven’t. Today is also the day I can start taking showers again. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me 🙂 I didn’t think I would be saying this this early but my hair feels a mess 🙂

My first facebook post after the surgery was “Awake and bit sore but otherwise in good shape with a couple of new battle scars”…this is where I show you the battle scars so if you are squeemish, look away now!


It’s a weird feeling actually around this scar. I expected to see a hole or a caving in but I supposed it is full of fluids for now. If I tap lightly on the surface, it sounds hollow. The scar starts roughly where a T with a generous cleavage would start so I think it will be quite discreet once the swelling and the discoloration have disappeared. I will of course use the magical Bio Oil to help it fade as soon as I can.

They have also removed more of the sentinel nodes under my armpit and Ms M tried to use the previous scar site for it to limit the cosmetic damage. She just extended it a bit.

Sentinel Node biopsy (November 2012)
Sentinel Node biopsy (November 2012)
Sentinel nodes dissection (May 2013)
Sentinel nodes dissection (May 2013)

As you can see the scar is a little longer but should heal nicely and not be to ugly.

It’s the loss of feeling in that area which is the weirder. I was speaking to Shelley from New Zealand, another fellow breast cancer goddess (A is for Anteater) and she was telling me how she didn’t dare shave her armpits for months because she was too worried she would cut herself and not realise it and the thought had just occurred to me too…I will finally match the British stereotype of a French woman with bushy armpits!! Well at least one of them 🙂 She recommended to use some Veet! hair removal cream but those never really worked for me as my hairs are quite thick and strong unfortunately. Nevermind. It’s not like I will be exposing myself to the public much…oh wait, summer is coming (one can only hope) and I will want to wear a swim suits…sometimes. Oh well, people will have to deal with it.

Now something that gave me a smile the day after surgery… I received this from my work colleagues. It is customary for one’s department to send flowers when a colleague is going through surgery or a particularly bad illness and is home bound for a while.

From my ladies at work
From my ladies at work

My ladies, knowing so well, thought that I would love having the balloon on top…and I did!

I  have to say that although I started this job only 5 months before I was diagnosed, I couldn’t have hoped for better support from people who in reality didn’t know me so well.

Everyone from the CEO to my peers have been really supportive during my treatments and never made me feel pressurised to go back to work. I was always given the right amount of time and help that I needed. So although they may not read this, I am very grateful to them as work was the one constant that kept me going.

Now what’s next you may ask…well I have a post surgery appointment next Thursday where they will tell me the results of the sentinel node analysis and whether or not they have removed all the cancerous cells and if I can move on to the next stage: radiotherapy. Radiotherapy won’t start before 3-4 weeks after the surgery though as they need for the scars to have healed a bit. There is always the possibility that they tell me that they couldn’t remove all or that more of the nodes were infected but I’d rather not think about that. I will go in on Thursday expecting good news and being told that the cancer is out of my body…all of it. My glass is always half full…especially if it is a glass of Pouilly Fuisse!