Fight or Flight…

 

The fight or flight response, also known as the acute stress response, refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically. The response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety. fight-or-flight.jpg(http://psychology.about.com/od/findex/g/fight-or-flight-response.htm) is a real thing.

Since December 4, 2015, my body has been on fight mode. I have been fighting reality. I have been fighting the disfigurement of my body. I have been fighting a nightmare. I have been fighting for my boys, for my husband, for my parents, for my family, for my friends/co-workers and for my patients. I don’t want anyone to worry about me because in reality I AM  okay and lucky.  I AM lucky for so many reasons. I have not been diagnosed with breast cancer, I had a HUGE amount of people around me that have shown so much love to me and my boys by visiting, bringing food, watching the boys and more…the love came from family, to people I have not seen in years to people I have not even met. THANK YOU…

People told me that I was crazy for going back to work 12 days post op but for my emotional health, I NEEDED to get out and do what I do best. I don’t like being center of attention, I just want to talk with people, do my job and hang out with patients going through their journey. There are many more things I can talk to patients about, not just about them but I can relate to them on a certain level to help build their trust.  Going through cancer treatments is one of the scariest things a person can go through and I think it would be nice to have a smiling  gal come say hi to me while receiving treatment and talk aboutreason shoes, purses or sports, instead of the patients diagnosis.  They don’t want their whole world to be cancer. Of course the disease dictates some of your life but while you are there, you can talk about so many other things and that is what I really try to, which has brought me some amazing new people in my life.  You ALL know who you are and I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016 I had surgery to have tissue expanders placed.  Again, tissue expanders were supposed to be placed at the mastectomy surgery but Dr. Scott (who’s amazing), saw that my skin was not responding well to the mastectomy and there was too high of a chance to have complications.  So I was a very compliant patient and waited.  I am so happy that I waited.  I have learned so much from this, I know I am a control freak that people judge or criticize but, I like to be in control of my life (always driving, planning of things ect…), well this was out of my control and I gave the control to Dr. Scott and I sat back and rode the rollercoaster.  I remember waking up in recovery in a ton of pain and the nurses were on it and they got me comfortable but, I got the news that I had to have drains placed again.

tissue_expander
Example of the process of tissue expanders.

As much of a pain in the ass drains are, Dr. Scott placed them for a reason and I had to believe it.  Well, within the first 12 hours of being home both drains put out over 115cc= 230cc of fluid (normally to have drains removed, there has to be 30cc or less in a 24 hour period). I am quite sure that there are not a lot of people that have thanked their surgeon for placing drains because they are very uncomfortable but, I knew he doesn’t want to place them if he doesn’t have to.  He told me that he was going to pull the drains Monday morning even if they are draining over the 30cc because the drains increase the risk of infection. Getting infections are not good in any situation but it can get really complicated if an infection enters when there are expanders placed. The expanders would have to be removed and heal up and then placed again. I am on the Dr. Scott ride and going to make the best of it.

Lastly, having boobs is kinda bizarre. I have not had anything, I have had indents for the last 3.5 months. I now have temporary water balloons in my chest! I’m officially apologizing now if I tell you to feel them. They are just cool. I feel so fortunate to have the medical technology and amazing doctors to make me “whole” again. Here is to quick and happy healing.

-L-

Rachel

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One thought on “Fight or Flight…

  1. You are so right. When a cancer patient is going thru treatment, all that is wanted is to feel normal for a little bit. Having a normal conversation is one way to do that. Thank you for being you

    Like

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