That’s One Stubborn Drain

Last week was my first post-chemo appointment with my oncologist. I am happy to report I am healthy and cancer-free. Below is an excerpt from my journal, The Journey of My Jugs. This piece illustrates the difficulty I had with my drain removal soon after surgery.


My days began to run into each other. I continued doing arm wall walking exercises and strolled through my neighborhood every day. My mom taught me how to empty my right drain before she left.  I did laundry and a few chores around the house. I took naps and made myself food, and I wondered how long Righty, my right drain, was going to stay with me.

By day 12 I was concerned, but I kept draining the fluid and asking for patience and healing from the universe. In my head, I apologized for telling the nurse I wanted to leave the right drain securely attached because of the excruciating pain I felt when the left one was removed. I felt like I had jinxed ole Righty.

Day 15 arrived. I was angry. I was still producing about 30 ml of fluid, and I needed to be below that for at least two straight days. The first drain did not come out without a fight. She thrashed and yelled and screamed and cried—oh, wait a minute…that was me. The eight inch cord that came out of my left breast was extremely painful to remove, and I wholeheartedly believe she scared the living shit out of Righty.

Righty was now hanging on for dear life. No matter what I told her, she didn’t want to come out. I promised I would take pain pills and a Valium for the removal, so it would be painless. She insisted on producing fluid and staying comfortably wrapped inside my chest cavity.


I’m looking forward to working with Editor, Allison Roe. She will be consulting with me as I piece together journal entries and begin writing a manuscript.


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