These picture are tough for me to look at. In a time where we select pictures for Instagram or Facebook out of the multiple we took or by adding filters to make us look our best, posting photos where I frankly look my worst is difficult But these are the ones that show exactly how extreme this procedure is. Me in the hospital bed, disheveled, drugged up to stop my body from feeling the pain you can see in my face. My parents holding my hands as the reality set in. One of my nurses trying to alleviate the horrible, debilitating itch I felt after having an allergic reaction to the pain medication. My mom attempting to help me with the itch when the ice packs weren’t working. My first trip to the restroom after surgery with my nurse giving me some well intentioned tough-love and telling me “Don’t shuffle like an old woman. You’re young. EYES OPEN!” My disgruntled look when the process of emptying my drains was explained.
The Itch happened three times before we determined it was the Percocet and not the antibiotics I was allergic too. I can’t describe it any other way than I wanted to itch through my skin to the bone. I used anyone I could. Nurses, my mom, even my friend Alyssa. At one point I used a plastic spoon. I sat up and wrapped my arms around pillows, not caring that it made my breast pain significantly worse. No shame of how I looked or how I sounded to those around me. I’m so thankful for the nurse (who I share a connection with that I will explain in a later post!) who wouldn’t stop until I tried Norco (Vicodin) again and it worked. Pictures of my drains which made me feel like a science experiment by themselves, let alone combined with the bandages and markings left from surgery.
These are the pictures that make me stop and say, “Did this really all happen?” The ones that make me accept that I was the patient in all of this and that I had breast cancer.