There was no lump -- a Breast Cancer blog

This blog is about my experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
You can learn more about Inflammatory Breast Cancer at or

The names of my Doctors have been changed.



Contact me at Liane58 at gmail dot com
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Location: United States

Friday, October 15, 2004

After Surgery

I am very, very relieved to have the surgery behind me. Everything seems to have gone very well, and Dr. Jones is enthusiastic and positive; she did not find anything unexpected. When I see her on the 22nd, she'll have the pathology report back so we'll know all the results in detail.

I am feeling very energetic, and I was happy to leave the hospital after one day. It's nice to be home. I got great care at the hospital, but it can be a noisy place to try and sleep. An intern came to check on me at 5 AM, and after that I was awake to see quite a remarkable sunrise over the river.

I'm surprised at how clear-headed I am, not groggy or muddled (although I do tire easily) And am feeling almost no pain, I just have to move carefully. Am taking no pain killers. The one negative after-effect was the nausea. I woke up from surgery feeling hungry, and as I lay there in post-op, I started asking if I could order a pizza. This is about as funny as my craving Indian food after my first chemo treatment. When I did finally get into my hospital room, and ordered something to eat (chicken soup), it did not stay down very long.

Rosie and my Mom were there at the hospital all day, going with me into pre-op, and Rosie putting on surgical robes and going with me into the holding area. This was certainly full of activity: several nurses, the anesthesiologist, Dr. Jones, and another doctor (an intern). Every health care professional who worked with me had to ask me my name, birth date, and what treatment I was going to receive. The first two are fine, but I couldn't say "mastectomy" without blubbering. The anesthesiologist finally had to find some nose spray for me to try and clear out the congestion generated by the crying.

I went under easily, and as I woke up I remember at first thinking I was at home in my own bed. Even first waking up, I was surprised at how clearly I could think. I got wheeled to my hospital room (with a beautiful view of the Charles Rivers) and then was reunited with my Mom and Rosie.

I'm not upset at all to see my chest minus one breast, so I guess my apprehension was mostly about the surgery itself. It is strange to feel the concave area, the big drop-off from the sternum on the right side of my chest. But perhaps strangely, I'm not upset by this. The scar, underneath the plastic sutures, looks very neat. I do have two drains attached, little bulbs that fill up with blood and fluid, that need to be drained a few times a day. I'm OK with all this and am mostly feeling very relieved, and really happy with all the support I am getting from friends and family.