Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dead Hair Walking ...

Just a Quick Tip: If you know that someone is about to lose their hair to chemotherapy, find another subject for your compliment.  I love the thought but, "Your hair looks so good!!" just reminds me of what I'll be without in the near future. 

Yes, I know it will be temporary.

Yes, I've heard it grows back thicker and curly, and smells of rainbows and sunshine. 

Sure, I'm certain bald will make my "eyes pop."  If I get Dr. App's approval next Tuesday, I'll be sheering my hair Wednesday evening in preparation for chemo later that week.  Bye bye perfect length hair and hello Sméagol.

I don't need other compliments.  Just don't tell my "dead hair walking" how good it looks on its way to the gallows for a respite.


Current Schedule:

  • Monday - Genetics appointment and BACK TO WORK, y'all! 
  • Tuesday - Dr. App appointment and hopefully chemotherapy approval then chemo class
  • Wednesday - Hair be gone
  • Thursday -  Port placement
  • Friday - Official start to chemotherapy 
  • Saturday - First shot of Neulasta to help jump start my white blood cells and minimize my immunity issues due to chemotherapy. 

And while searching for a link for Neulasta, I happened upon some suggestions from patients to take Claritin when taking the Neulasta shots.  Neulasta will help increase my white blood cell production but it is known to cause some unpleasant, i.e., just knock me out, pain in my bones.  The suggestion is that taking a Claritin a day around the time of the shots will help this pain.  Hmm ... I'll certainly ask Dr. V about that before chemo begins.  And here I was just passing along a minor tip to all of you and I'm leaving with a new tip for myself.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

When An Allergy is a Good Thing

When last I left you, I was hopped up on narcotics, trying to ignore my post (2nd) surgery pain by writing.  Something about cleaning out infection and then washing my innards with saline and antibiotic wash left my body feeling a bit ... oh ... bitchy. 

Bitchy as in "just breathe and sit, no, stand, no walk, no sit" bitchy.  I kept focusing on just getting through the next hour and, roughly 24 hours after surgery, I finally felt relief.  That's the beauty of the phrase "nothing lasts forever."  For as many times as it signals the end of something that gave us happiness, it also signals the end or a change in something that makes our life painful.

As I explained before, my doctor sent off my "lots of stuff" to the lab to be cultured.  Rather than picturing Julie Roberts being taught which fork to use, picture your favorite hero smacking the shit out of a bad guy while yelling, "Tell me where she is!" or "Give me the antidote!" or "Where's the bomb!" I spoke with Dr. App on Friday long enough to be assured that the preliminary results of the lab interrogation meant at least that I wasn't infected with MRSA - a particularly nasty form of staph infection that is resistant to commonly used antibiotics. 

[It's the bugs that'll get us in the end, people!]

*insert heavy sigh of relief*

So when I received a call from Dr. App the next day - on Saturday - I ... well, honestly, I immediately wondered what the hell my doctor was calling me for on a Saturday.  I didn't expect good news.  And I certainly didn't get great news.

The good news was I had an infection of a type of bacteria that really does live all around us: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a very common type of bacteria that can be found in the soil, in water, on our skin - really generally in our environment.  In healthy people, it might cause an ear infection or skin rash (think of that nasty rash you got in a sketchy hot tub).  Great, right!  Common is good.  Oh, but, see, when you get this bacteria in the setting of a hospital, it can be particularly nasty.  1) You're immune system is already under attack from either an illness or wound, i.e., surgery and 2) the strains of this bacteria found in medical settings are - you guessed it - becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics

Dr. App was letting me know that while the culture showed this to be the culprit of my infection, she was having the lab perform sensitivity testing on my particular strain to see if the antibiotic (Levaquin) she'd put me on back on February 12th - five days before my surgery - would be effective against it.  Obviously, if not, I'd need to switch to something else and any leftover bacteria would likely be recuperating after the surgery battle of February 17th.  I still had five pills left and I continued to take the rest of them.

Now, normally, she would have given me a drug related more to Amoxicillin to battle this infection.  But, see, this one time in Law School, during finals, I got struck with Strep.  Yep.  Because Tax Law isn't nasty enough.  [I can't actually remember which year, which final, or which stress-inducing subject I was studying at the time but it totally could have been tax.]  I also had a skin rash at the time (law school is completely bad for your health) and noticed that it was getting much worse after the Amoxicillin doses began.  My doctor switched my antibiotic, the rash went away, and I now have to list Amoxicillin as an allergy every time I encounter a new doctor.

Cue the nurses in Dr. App's office trying to decide what to prescribe me on February 12th when it was apparent that the hole in Frankenboob had become a condominium to millions of bacterial foreigners.  "What about ______."  No, she's allergic.  "How about ______?"  I think that's related to Amoxicillin.  "Let's call Dr. App."

Levaquin shouldn't trigger my allergy to Amoxicillin and it is good for skin infections, i.e., wound infections.   And thus my antibiotic selection was made and my single-handed monetary support of the yogurt business was born. 


FYI:  Yasso makes a kick ASS frozen yogurt bar with live cultures to replace that good bacteria that your antibiotic is mass murdering.  Try the Sea Salt Caramel.  And you're welcome.


I saw Dr. App for my 1st post op appointment this Tuesday and *knock on wood* everything seems to be healing well again.  Granted, my 1st post op after my 1st surgery seemed okay, too, so I'm being overly careful this time around.  Plus, the sensitivity testing was complete and my infection is "sensitive" to my current antibiotic, i.e., Levaquin is kicking ass. 

I see Dr. App again next Tuesday and, barring any setbacks, she'll give her approval for my chemotherapy to begin March 4th.  That's just one of the crazy things about cancer:  It has me hoping for something that will cause me pain and the loss of all of my hair because of the further hope that it will kill every cancer cell and I'll not have to do this over again later in life.

So, again, the odd part?  I asked and, had I not been allergic to Amoxicillin, Dr. App would have put me on a different antibiotic ... and it would not have worked on my version of pseudomonas.  Who knows if the infection would have taken hold again, if I'd be looking at another clean-up procedure, and another delay from chemotherapy.  But now I have a better chance that such a delay won't happen again.

All because of an allergy.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I Preferred "A Bit"

As I've mentioned, I have "a bit" of cancer.  In the world of cancer, I'm a Stage 1 - a "relatively" small amount, in one location, and immensely treatable (knock on wood with me).  And I went into my 2nd surgery late yesterday afternoon believing I had a bit of an infection.


My dynamo doc explained after my surgery that there was "a lot" of "stuff" in there.  A lot as in more than certainly could be seen in my Frankenboob hole.  And stuff as in ... infection of some unknown bacteria.  But my dynamo doc cleared all of that out of me, washed the area first with saline and then washed it again with an antibiotic wash. 


Now, knowing how tough my little doc is, I envision a lot of tough love going on between she and Frankenboob before she stitched me back up.  And I'm certainly feeling the aftermath today.  Let me set the scene ...


My surgery took place at Blodgett Hospital this time rather than the surgical center I was at for my initial lumpectomy on January 29, 2016.  Again, kudos to the Spectrum team of nurses and doctors; everyone was wonderful for my time there. 

I started out in a hospital room where I first had to pee in a cup because I've never had a hysterectomy and, well, am probably carrying the second coming of Christ, don't you know. Yes, they have to give me a pregnancy test.  Yes, even though they just did that on January 29.  Yes, yes, even though it would mean an immaculate conception. 

I again donned the gown with built-in air conditioning/heating and tried to convince the nurses that I did not purposefully match my purple nail polish to the gown.  Or my glasses.  I again had an IV placed in the back of my hand; it's never my favorite but the nurses have been excellent in trying to minimize any discomfort (Ha - PAIN! - it's called sticking a needle into ....good gracious, I'm a wuss) I felt and I appreciate it.  I met my nurse, my anesthesiologist (so wait ... I might remember what?), and, of course, saw Dr. App before being wheeled on my bed into the surgery room.

Each person introduced themselves and explained their part in the process.  My anesthesiologist, who could have been brothers with one of our local Grand Rapids comedians (Stu McCallister), explained that I would not be under general anesthesia this time but would be kept comfortable and sleeping for most of the procedure.  He assured me that if I did remember anything, it would not be something that was painful.  [And he was correct.]

I helped transfer myself from the hospital bed to the surgery table (those things are so narrow) and then separate side holders were placed to support both arms out away from the body, a bit like a cross honestly.  Eventually, my arms were secured and I went to sleep as everyone was busy getting ready. 

I DID wake up while things were still happening but felt no pain.  There was something over my head, which makes sense because they are working in a sterile environment, but at the time, I recall saying something like, "Can you move this from my face?" and "So how's it going?" and trying to - like a drugged idiot - catch the cover with part of my face to move it so I could see.  Because THAT would have turned out well.  I wonder how often a surgical team gets to laugh afterwards about the antics of their patients.  I know I would.

I was awake enough to remember sitting up so that Dr. App could wrap my wound, wrap, wrap, wrap, then wrap some more with an ace bandage, then put another stylish surgical bra on top.  Picture a heavy duty weight lifter.  No, wait, picture this:

THE snowsuit from A Christmas Story

Yep.  My arms aren't touching my sides naturally at the moment.  Which is fine because I'm pretty sure my sides what NOTHING to do with me right now, particularly the left side. The pain will probably be the worst today but should get better by tomorrow.  It did last time anyway.  *fingers crossed* 

I was awake and able to get back onto the hospital bed before being rolled into the recovery area where I'm pretty sure I was a star patient.  I was in very little if any pain, was able to use the restroom on my own, and was fairly quickly wheeled back to a hospital room to finish all the pre-release tests.  I was given a double chocolate muffin, heated up, which was a heavenly beginning to my food for the day at about 6 p.m. after a day of clear liquids only.  I left between 30-45 minutes later.


Dr. App has sent a sample of the "lot of stuff" off to be identified in case a different antibiotic would be more effective.  I'll be interested in hearing what nefarious microorganisms has been colonizing my body and knowing that we are using the most effective means of eradicating them.  Damn immigrants. 

[Can I make that joke in this political climate even when I'm talking about my body?  Before making an assumption as to my views on the subject in our country, don't.  My joke above in no way reflects my thoughts on the subject.  And no, I'm not inclined to share them.  And you'll likely be blocked or unfriended if you push the subject with me.  This has been a public service announcement of the Justa-Blog-System.]

Monday, February 15, 2016

A "Revisioning" of Frankenboob

That's what she called it: "A revisioning..."

Granted, Dr. App said, "of the left breast," but she did chuckle when I called it Frankenboob.
Revision: "a change or a set of changes that corrects or improves something."

In other words, I won't be starting chemotherapy this Friday. 
          Or next Friday.

Instead, after starting back to work today, I'll be there the next day and a half and then head to Blodgett Hospital to have a bit of outpatient surgery.  Just a bit.  Let's call it a procedure.  A sedated procedure to fix a hole or two.  But hopefully without a stick or a hatchet. 

And then I'll be back out of work for about a week and a half.  And then we'll see. 

I did ask, as I did Friday, whether this complication is due to something that I did or did not do; I had the irritating feeling that I'd failed somehow.  But, just like Friday, I was told, no, that this can happen after surgery, it wasn't something I did wrong.

I think that's important to remember if you're reading this down the line after your own surgery.  Yes, rest, eat plenty of protein, follow the doctor's instructions, but you're still left waiting for your body to heal.  And sometimes a stitch doesn't hold. 

Cue people suggesting all sorts of other nefarious reasons why my body didn't heal as ordered.  Someone didn't do as they were supposed to do - the quality of materials was faulty - yada yada yada.  Wow.  We really do seem to live in a time when someone has to be blamed for everything.

But, really, sometimes a stitch doesn't hold.

And sometimes cells don't do what they're supposed to do.  After all, I'm sitting here because of an 18 mm ball of cells that refused to do what they're supposed to do.   
Good thoughts/vibes are much appreciated later this week.  Please and thank you all.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Slightly Wrong Children's Song

You know that feeling when you can't get a melody out of your head?  One's been twirling around my brain since last night ... when I changed the dressing on my Frankenboob wound.

See if you can hear it, too.


There's a hole in my boob, dear doctor, dear doctor,
There's a hole in my boob, dear doctor, a hole!

Then fix it, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie,
Then fix it, dear Kimmie, dear  Kimmie, fix it.

With what shall I fix it, dear doctor, dear doctor,
With what shall I fix it, dear doctor, with what?

With wet/dry dressing, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie,
With wet/dry dressing dear Kimmie, use saline solution.

It's not working, dear doctor, dear doctor, dear doctor,
It's not working dear doctor, dear doctor, now what?

Here's some medicine, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie,
Here's some medicine, dear Kimmie, take one a day, start now!

But this medicine can cause nerve pain and extra heartbeats, dear doctor,
But this medicine can hurt tendons, dear doctor, WTF?!

Come and see me, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie,
Come and see me, dear Kimmie, on Monday afternoon next.

But what in the meantime, dear doctor, dear doctor,
But what in the meantime, dear doctor, there's a hole!

Take your medicine, change your dressings, and don't move, dear Kimmie,
Take your medicine, dear Kimmie, and watch a show on Netflix.

There's a hole in my boob, dear people, dear people,
There's a hole in my boob, dear people, a freakin' HOLE!

Oh, and watch out for mood swings, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie,
Watch out for paranoia, dear Kimmie, dear Kimmie, watch out.



This hole is seriously damaging my calm.

Meanwhile, here's a happier version from my childhood.  You know, back when my boobs were tiny and cancer-free:

Oh, Henry.  How you're not smacked over the head is beyond me.  The hole is half-way up the damn bucket, Henry.  It can hold enough to sharpen the stone. 

Logic and children's songs don't always mix. 

Excuse me while I go see if I have any worsening nightmares (another possible side effect).  I'm sure death is listed there as well.  I swear the warnings on medicine are enough to make you fear the medicine more than the disease.

Nope. Not paranoid AT ALL. 


Friday, February 12, 2016


You've most likely heard the phrase, "It's all relative."  I was reminded of the truth of this today along with the sentiment, "Everyone is fighting their own battle." 

I had my 2nd post-op appointment at my surgeon's office and had the hope to have lots of sutures removed and a green light for my chemotherapy to begin next Friday.  I know, it's odd to think of someone wanting that fright-fest to begin, but I have the dates (including the end date) in my head and have been trying to mentally prepare myself for next Friday so ... I'd like to proceed as planned. 

The appointment did not go as planned.

See, this thing called gravity (Ah, Sir Newton), has been pulling Frankenboob down despite my alternating between a mega-supportive sports bra and corset-tight wrap.  The result is that one of the sutures pulled open and ... well .... open wounds are not good things.  I'm now on an antibiotic with instructions to use wet/dry dressings (a square wet with saline solution on the wound with a dry dressing on top), and have a follow-up appointment with Dr. App on Monday afternoon.  It will really be up to her at that appointment as to whether I proceed as planned next Friday.

Meanwhile, my lymph node incision site is doing beautifully and the sutures were removed today.  Odd to think that a location that had much more movement (and next to my armpit) is fine yet the underside of Frankenboob is toxic.

With my perfectly planned next steps and appointments in jeopardy, I picked up the antibiotic prescription and decided to cheer myself up with a protein rich and delicious omelet at Real Food Café (pretty much my second home these days).  I sat down, grumbling internally over the doctor's visit, my toxic tit, and my possible delay in treatment.  I was frustrated and feeling pretty sorry for myself overall.

I glanced next to me and saw two women having lunch.  The younger of the two was talking nonstop and it was easy to tell that this was a young adult daughter talking to her mother.  I also noticed pretty quickly that the mother had some difficulty in speaking and moving.  After making sure that the server understood her mother's order, the daughter continued telling her mother about her plans for the future - school, work, living arrangements, etc.  It did not appear that the mother's condition was recent although I certainly don't know that for sure. 

The two left before I was finished and three men took their place.  One of the men, pulled the table out so that his friend/son/brother could easily sit down.  It was apparent that the man had both difficulty speaking and a physical disability.  Once seated, the table was replaced and the two men joined the third and proceeded to ensure that the server understood all of their lunch orders.

Honestly, I felt ashamed.  I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself because of a completely treatable medical condition when, in the course of 30 minutes or so, here were two individuals who are living with what appear to be lifelong conditions.  Now, please don't misunderstand me.  I have no idea what either of these individuals think or feel about their conditions ... or even if they think of them as conditions.  But it reminded me that everything is relative. 

Having a "bit" of cancer is a pain in my ass - or, rather, a pain in my breast.  But the tumor was relatively small, it was caught relatively early, and my treatment is expected to be relatively manageable with an actual end date.  In the grand scheme of things, in the many ways in which life and health can smack us upside the head, when I could just as easily live in a place where medical treatments are not as advanced, are too expensive, where even clean water is a luxury, my life is still relatively freakin' spectacular. 

Everything is relative. 

I also found myself remembering that everyone is fighting their own battle.  If you saw me today, you would have no idea that I have cancer, or that I'm ill in any way.  You certainly wouldn't know that I have an infected hole in my breast, or would be grabbing yogurt on my way home to re-stock the good bacteria in my body after the antibiotic kills the good, the bad, and the ugly indiscriminately.  I looked around that diner and started wondering what other people were going through.  What hidden battles waited for them at home, or never left them alone.  Medical conditions, mental conditions, the loss of loved ones, financial difficulties, heartbreak ... the potential list is endless. 

It's so easy to be caught up in our own lives that we assume a nice car means the person that just cut us off did so because he's an asshole, not because he's racing to the hospital to be with a loved one.  The woman taking too long to decide what she wants (IT'S MCDONALD'S - DO YOU NOT KNOW THE MENU?!) is simply an idiot, not completely emotionally bent over a breakup or job loss.

One late breakfast humbled me.  I hope I do better in remembering both how blessed I am and that I've no idea what battles are being faced all around me. 

Now, excuse me while I go replace my soaked dressing - WTH! - with a new one.

Stupid toxic tit! 

Still ... relatively ... not that big of a deal.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Full Steam AHead!

It's difficult to believe that just one month ago, I was impatiently awaiting confirmation of whether or not I had cancer.  I wouldn't get that confirmation until January 11th over lunch hour.  Less than three weeks later I would go under the knife and Frankenboob would be born.  She's coming along nicely, by the way.

Now, it seems, just three more weeks later, I'll be starting two rounds of chemotherapy followed by radiation that will end with the end of summer 2016.  The MST at Spectrum do NOT mess around (which is, ultimately, a fabulous thing - it's just a bit .... at a loss for a word here ... overwhelming).

Dr. Vander Woude is my Oncologist just as Dr. App is/was my surgeon.  Dr. V plans for my chemotherapy to begin next week Friday, February 19th.  So by next week Friday, I'll be sporting a Charlize Theron buzz-cut a la Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), and hopefully an attitude to match.

I say this having not actually watched the movie yet (I KNOW!) but anticipating that her character is a bad-ass.  I SWEAR I'll see this before next Friday.  It's on HBO on demand after all.

I'm opting for the buzz before the first session even though the timeline for losing my hair is two weeks after that; this is why:  If I'm likely to feel remotely like shit after that first session - and possibly nauseous for the first couple days - why deal with hair on top of that? 

Now, I've had multiple people suggest that I look into the recently FDA approved cool caps from  Dignitana AB called "DigniCap" that is meant to reduce hair loss due to chemotherapy.  I have looked into them and I also spoke with Dr. Vander Woude about them.  I will not be donning them during chemotherapy.  My doctor would absolutely be supportive of me if I wanted to try them; however, the cost would end up being between $1,500 to $3,000, and it is not guaranteed to work.  I don't have that kind of money to spend on the chance that my hair won't fall out or on the chance that only part of my hair will fall out.  I also question the naming of this product; I think its crap to imply that I'll somehow lose my dignity when I lose my hair.  But to each their own.  This is my personal decision on the matter and others might absolutely feel that the cost is well worth the possibility that they will not lose their hair.  I get it.  Chemotherapy is traumatic enough and to be able to look as healthy as possible can certainly help you feel healthier as well.  Every person is different and everyone's choice on this topic is valid for them.

My chemo schedule (barring changes) should look something like this:  I'll be getting two specific drugs - Doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide - on February 19, March 4, March 18, and April 1.  The day after each of those infusions, I'll stop back into the office to get an injection of medication meant to ramp up my white blood cell count and minimize any lowered immunity.  Then, on April 15, I'll begin receiving Paclitaxel each Friday for 12 weeks.  I've opted to receive my infusions on Fridays in the hope that this will lessen my time from work since it will be on the first couple of days after treatment that I feel the worst. 

No, it is not lost on me that I'll end one set of drugs on April's Fool Day and begin the other drug on Tax Day.  Actually, I think it's completely appropriate. 

This all means that I should finish chemotherapy on July 1, 2016. 

Oh, but wait, there's more.  Roughly two weeks later, I'll begin up to six weeks of Monday-Friday, daily radiation treatment, which should then end no later than August 26, 2016.

Dr. Vander Woude encourages patients like me to continue to work during chemotherapy, which is a relief to my bank account and vacation time.  She's had great success in people having little complications during this course of treatment, and I'll be monitored carefully throughout the process. 

During the next two weeks, I'll be getting an echocardiogram to check my heart and make sure it is healthy and ready for the chemotherapy.  I'll also be attending an hour long class on what to expect during chemotherapy.  And ... I'll also be getting a port installed on the upper right side of my chest.  The port will allow easy access to a larger vein for infusions rather than having a nurse attempt to locate one of my evasive veins each time plus, given the rather dangerous-to-skin type of drugs I'll be taking, it ends up being a safer way of giving me the chemotherapy overall. 

Right. So I was going to put an image of a port here to show you all what it will look like but ... yeah .... that started to freak me out so let's just wait and perhaps I'll put one up of my actual port.  Maybe.

Excuse me while I tap that bubbling emotion back down.

Anyway. YAY! for a plan and YAY! for an end date to put on treatment, right!? 


Let's do this.

Friday, February 5, 2016

When "Robust" is a Good Thing

I've heard the word "robust" used to describe one's figure in a not-so-flattering way even though the simple definition is
:strong and healthy
:strongly formed or built
:successful or impressive and not likely to fail or weaken
But when your surgeon tells you that your margins are "robust" - meaning that the area of surrounding cells taken along with the cancer is clear and of a healthy size - that's a very, very good thing.

I finally received the results of the pathology report completed on my tumor and lymph nodes this morning. 
Hello! I've been a bit quiet here this week, mostly 'cause of, you know, drugs, and waiting.  And pain if I'm honest. Frankenboob or "fireboob" is being a real bitch while she heals.  Lots of water, pills, and sleeping sprinkled with TV and a Walking Dead trivia game.  Once I was off the narcotics, I did a solo trip on Wednesday.  Getting lightheaded in TJMaxx will quickly belie your self-proclaimed, "I'm FINE."  Lesson learned.  Now I'm back to being bedeviled, bored, and bitchy at home.

Dr. App quickly told me that it was excellent news.  The report confirms that my lymph nodes were clear - 100% clear - of cancer.  The tumor removed ended up measuring 1.8 cm or 18 mm.  If you recall, the initial ultrasound had this at 11 mm, the MRI had it at 13 mm and a later discussion with Dr. App had it at 15 mm.  Now, I don't know if this change is due to the method of measuring (one being more accurate than another or whatnot) but suffice it to say that I'm glad this monster is out of me before it reached its twenties and started hosting toga parties and generally corrupting the wholesome surrounding cells. 

It had already acquired a mini-me!  They found a small 4 mm second tumor along-side big daddy.  Can you imagine!? How DARE he mess with a child!  [See how the evil tumor suddenly became male and a pedophile?  Nooo, my job doesn't affect me at ALL.]  They also found some DCIS cells hanging around those two.  Think of those as the good kids wanting a taste of the wild side only to find themselves in over their heads and headed to juvy.  Honestly, my boob is quickly becoming an after school special.[ <Don't stop watching that top ten until the end. I needed that laugh.]

In short, my lymph nodes are clear, and they removed everything they need to so that I do not need any further surgery.  Cue the trumpets.  No, I don't get out of chemotherapy (you really WOULD hear me scream at that) or radiation.  I meet with Dr. Vander Woude on Monday to hear more of what will happen when chemo starts late this month or next.

For now, I'm continuing to get caught up on shows I didn't know I needed as I unsuccessfully try to ignore the incision pain.  Ladies, put your bra on and touch the lower left ridge of it.  Now imagine an incision directly underneath of it trying to heal.  And, no, I can't just take it off.  I need to remain wrapped or wearing a sports bra, etc., to keep some pressure on her as she heals or it can result in way too much swelling and even a need for more surgery.  [Honestly, not sure if Dr. App was just trying to scare me with that threat but she's a mighty dynamo and I will not defy her.]

The massive surgical bra monstrosity they sent me home in works a bit better at night with a wrap underneath but even that aggravates the incision.  So ... for now ... before my transformation into Sméagol, just picture me as this little tyrant (with his right hand a bit higher).

A robust little tyrant.  In the successful and not likely to fail way.