First of all - let me say to all of you who have kept up with my diary - thank you and I'm sorry I haven't written more frequently. It's amazing how emotional I become when I write these entries. I never really anticipated this reaction. As I get further away from the surgery and the recovery, it becomes more difficult to revisit it! I am healed and happy and now just living my life! When I write these entries, it takes me back to the experience and I fight myself on it! I don't regret it, not even for an instant! But I am happy to have it behind me. I've decided to write shorter entries - more often - instead of such in depth ones infrequently. That will make it easier on me to write, and hopefully better for you to read! Please know I believe the decision I made was absolutely the right one and I don't want any of you to think I have had second thoughts! I know how important this diary is to each of you who are considering the surgery. I wish I could have had one to read when I went through it! So please be patient with me, and know that while this DIEP flap procedure was a big decision, it was certainly the right one for me!
Friday March 9th, 2007:
I awoke so excited! Today I was finally going home! Even more exciting, today I was finally going to take a shower! God bless Gabby and her sponge baths, but I really needed a good cleaning! My hair felt so dirty and gross, I couldn't wait to scrub it! Gabby walked into my room around 8:00 a.m. "Are you ready to take a shower" she asked? "What are you doing here?" I asked indignantly. "I don't need any help!" She raised an eyebrow as she spoke to me, with that tone a mother uses to speak to her unruly child. "Oh yes you do. You aren't as strong as you think, and besides, it's doctor's orders. I'm here to help you. Now do you want that shower or not?" Of course the answer was YES I wanted the shower. Besides, I knew she was right. I had trouble getting around on my own with an IV pole to hold on to and I still couldn't stand up straight. My stomach was so tight, I was afraid if I tried to stand up straight I would pop the stitches deep inside my stomach.
Gabby helped me up and guided me to the bathroom. The shower was wide open, with nothing to step over. It was just a large plastic square with a drain directly on the floor and a shower curtain to close for privacy. In the center of the shower was a big plastic chair. "What's that for" I asked suspiciously. "That's for you," Gabby answered. She gently slipped off my robe and helped me sit in the chair. I looked down around my neck - where drains from my stomach and breasts were pinned to a string. I suddenly felt a rush run through my body. I got queasy and dizzy. I felt like I was going to pass out! Gabby steadied me and held on to me as she started the water. She was absolutely right to be there with me. I probably would have passed out cold if she hadn't been there. I took a deep breath and began to feel the trickle of warm water run down my back and over my head. OOOHHH, it felt so comforting! Gabby took her time and really scrubbed my hair for me. I realized I couldn't have done that either. I still couldn't raise my hands over my head, so washing my hair would have been impossible!
When she finished, Gabby turned off the water, and wrapped a towel around me. "Thank you Gabby," I said softly. "You are an angel!" "Just doing my job," she answered, a smile on her face. She helped me dry off and put on my robe, and then guided me back to bed. I was exhausted. I don't know why, because I didn't do much, but I was really exhausted. I lay down on the bed, Gabby combed my hair out, and I dozed off! I knew as I slipped off to sleep that the next time I did so, it would be at my own home! That made me smile!