- Pain in breast area – it’s not really pain, more of discomfort esp when you move or walk. It feels like there’s a heavy weight strapped to your chest. Sometimes you feel currents running – the doc said due to nerves that were cut but still sending electric signals. Sometimes the wound feels itchy. But don’t worry, it is all very manageable.
- Mild cough/ itchy throat – i had occasional cough and my throats felt itchy and doc said this was because they put a tube down my throat during surgery (To breathe) and it may have been irritated.
- Headache/overall weakness – I guess it’s normal to feel weak and I got a few minor headaches after walking a lot (relatively a lot) but it’s very manageable . I did not get any fever .
- Medicines – I was prescribed an antibiotic 2x a day for 7 days upon discharge and a pain reliever , Arcoxia, if there is pain. I haven’t taken Arcoxia because the pain is very little and upon further research, I’m glad I didn’t . Apparently this drug is not even FDA approved in the US and has a long list of side effects including risk of heart attack. So, do not take it unless you really need it. I was thinking I would just take biogesic or Advil if there was minor pain or headache.
- Appetite – I had a normal appetite even while still confined. Doc said I could eat anything. However, if you read about cancer, it always says to eat more fruits and veggies and avoid meats, processed food, fatty foods, sugar/sweets. But I still need protein so I eat a little meat and a lot of fish when I can. Believe or not, I have given up desserts and chocolates (my old favorites). It’s all in the mind, we can do it if we just set our mind to it.
- Walking/physical activity – in the hospital I would walk to the bathroom and around the room. At home, I would walk around the house a bit and recently , I started going downstairs for meals. However, you are not allowed to lift your left arm over 30degrees nor carry heavy things with it. So I can’t do things like shampoo myself or blow dry my hair.
- Tube / drain – there is a tube connected to my side/ chest which drains blood / body fluids to a plastic container. In the hospital , I started with draining 70cc a day (must not exceed 200) and it has gone down to 50 then yesterday 35cc (day 6 after surgery) . At home it must be cleaned 3x a day by squeezing the liquid off the tube into the container then out to the measuring cup. It must not exceed 30 an hour or you must call the doctor. At first the liquid is red then it turns yellow. Here’s how it looks like :
Finally, your urine will be green due to the ink they used but back to normal in a few days. So drink lots of water to flush out this ink. Drink a lot also to replenish the lost body fluids.
All in all, recovery is not too bad. It’s almost like a CS recovery. Just don’t overexert yourself. Everyone has their own pace of healing 🙂