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 book, The Journey of My Jugs. This piece illustrates the difficulty I had with my drain removal soon after surgery.

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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.

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I’m looking forward to receiving more comments from my Editor, Allison Roe. She is currently working on the chemo portion of the book, while I am doing my own edits on the radiation portion of the book.

~Nicole

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