Monday, April 11, 2011

Introducing Ms. Neck Scar

It has been 17 days since my most recent surgery! Although my energy level is still extremely low, I am healing! I figure it is time to introduce my latest neck incision. I have not shared it before because it was covered in a bandage for the first week and a half after surgery.

Looks pretty good, huh? I mean...all things considered.... It could totally be worse. I imagined it would be worse.

In regards to the "sunken" appearance Dr. Adorable warned me about, it is not too terribe. As Mom said, it just looks like I am REALLY skinny on one side of my body! Mr. Spots claims he does not notice it, but I do...I still have a hard time touching that area. It gives me the jeebies.

More great news--I have almost regained full feeling in my right ear and the right side of my face! It still feels a little tingly, especially if someone else touches it, but it is improving. I have even worn earrings! Three times!

It is all about the little things...

My left arm is still causing me some issues. The swelling is back. The rash is hanging around but finally starting to clear. The pain is intense at times. All normal symptoms to a full lymph node dissection. I am definitely looking forward to the day I can drive without cringing and opening a door without feeling like it's 100 pounds.

The mood swings are record breaking. It is almost comical...except it is not. If given enough time, I will cry over spilled milk. I will yell over an alarm. I will ache for my old life. But if you are patient with me, I pull myself together and I am back with a smile on my face. Sometimes I just need a few minutes alone.

Someone told me that adjusting back to my "real life" would be difficult. She was not lying. I have not even returned to my normal day to day life and I am struggling. It is always the little things, too.... Things that used to bother me a little bit bother me a heck of a lot more...

Hey, "C" friends, when will I get my energy back? I miss it.


Tina Sullivan said...

Hang in there Miss Survivor, you're doing great!

You are young, independent and a forward thinker, so you are thinking "I should be fine by now. I need to get back to my life". I was the same after each of my surgeries, so I get it! Just try to remember that your body & mind/soul went through quite the trama and needs extra TLC. Get good rest at night and take a nap each day. Also, make sure you are eating plenty of good food. Keep going, you will soon find yourself not irritated with the little things and your energy will increase.

For your arm, are you propping it up? After my double lymph dissections I propped both arms when I was sleeping. It helped.

Andrea W. said...

It was nice to meet you at the benefit. Love your blog....this post in particular reminded me of a passage from a book I recently read.

On the girl's brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.

-from Little Bee by Chris Cleave

You are doing a great service by sharing your experiences. Keep writing, it will keep you sane!

Chelsea said...

Andrea, it was so nice meeting YOU Sunday! I am so glad you decided to share a little of your story with me.

I think I need to buy this book. Thank you so much for sharing that appropriate. Please email me when you get a chance--would love to chit chat with you again! (

Tina, You are right. My body needs some TLC. I am heading back to NY on Friday for my check up...Surgeon wants to see if the swelling I keep discussing is normal or if I am retaining fluid. I do sleep with my arms propped up...And my chin! My boyfriend says it looks like I am choking myself but it is the only way I am comfortable. Oh, the joys of this... ;-) Thank you for always offering advice. I need as much help as I can get!

Unknown said...

Andrea- thank you so much for the book exerpt!!! From someone who sometimes looks in the mirror and sees two face, this passage meant the world to me. I will carry its words with me always and know that I wear the marks of a fighter!!!

p said...

I wish I had your scar. It looks good. I had melanoma 30 yrs ago at age 26 and the surgery they did on my back was a wide surgical excision about 5 in in diameter. They took skin from my thigh. It never really matched so it is very obvious.
I was googling melanoma scars and I came across your blog. I wanted to find other melanoma survivors from 30 yrs ago with scars like mine, but have not found any.
I love your blog and will follow you.
Pat in southern calif.