The Cranky to Pain Ratio

Life in a surgical top and surgical drains.

Today I started that little white pill Tamoxifen again. I stopped taking it in October when we were trying to determine what was making me crazy dizzy. It was decided that I would just wait until after my final breast reconstruction to start taking it again so I wasn’t starting and stopping and starting and stopping. I need to be on Tamoxifen for the long term for it to be effective.

If you are unfamiliar with how Tamoxifen works. It “looks” like estrogen to cells that use estrogen to reproduce. They pick up the Tamoxifen in place of estrogen and it inhibits their growth. I found this chart that shows how it works vs. cells that do not have an estrogen receptor (triple negative is a type of breast cancer that does not have estrogen, progesterone of HER2/nue receptors – this is a scary type of breast cancer to me because you have less targeted treatment options in your arsenal). Her2/nue receptive is also considered to be a more aggressive type (I didn’t have this, my aunt did), Herceptin has really helped in the fight against that particular type of breast cancer cell.

What Tamoxifen does in breast cancer with estrogen receptors.

This also means your normal cells that would use estrogen are also blocked from using it, so you have side effects like menopause, because your body is not getting and using the estrogen it may be accustomed to (so nothing is done to slow down estrogen production that I am aware of, just how your body uses it).

I am having good days and bad days as I heal. I keep trying not to push it, but it is hard to sit through life with your arms behind your back and do nothing. Mike has been home with me since surgery and went back to work today. I am resting most of the time and have my surgical follow up with my plastic surgeon on Friday. I am going to have to play “where did you stick that muscle” because the last time I had this surgery I could see and feel exactly where the latissimus flap was placed (plus it was still attached to some of the skin – sounds gross…). This time he didn’t use the skin and he did something with it differently for aesthetic reasons (I can see where it is under my arm, but once it hits the implant, BAM hidden). He told me he did something different, but now I am just deathly curious just what that means.

My fever calmed down Saturday and I haven’t had a fever since. So hopefully we cleared the infection before it got very far.

My back has been the area that has been giving me trouble this time (last time it was my front, but I remembered that last time they had to get the skin separated from my chest wall to get the expander in, and this surgery the space was already there). I think that the funky white top has been helping keep swelling down and has been adding a bit of pressure that helps with pain. I stopped pain medication Saturday and I was back on them Sunday. I am back off of them today. My level of cranky goes up at rate that I am in pain, this graph illustrates the cranky to pain ratio we have going on here (the rate at which my pain increases the cranky increases):

The cranky to pain ratio

Just be glad Mike hasn’t murdered me… yet….

Author: Mandi

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