Four weeks ago today I had my surgery and during my third follow-up appointment earlier, it was also time to remove the plaster that had been in the centre of my left breast. A weird sensation. The area has stitching and some skin glue, quite a lot of skin glue it seems. It’s also strange to see the area where my nipple once used to be. Something I will need to get used to until more cosmetic changes are made. It seemed somehow easier to manage when it was covered up.
Everything is healing well and the bruising has now disappeared. As always, I had a few questions during the consultation. I noticed something like a tendon sticking out and being quite sore under my left arm, starting from the armpit towards the elbow. Mrs Hogben said that it looks like Axillary Web Syndrome, also called cording. Actually yes, it very much looks and feels like a cord. According to literature on this, cords tend to be painful and tight, making it difficult for you to lift your arm any higher than your shoulder or extend the elbow fully. In my case, it is slightly sore and definitely tight but hasn’t limited my arm movement. Apparently cording can occur a few weeks after surgery so this fits. Researchers don’t quite know yet what makes cording happen but it’ll pass. I was told to massage it quite hard for a few minutes twice a day or so. All good.
I started massaging the cord this evening and heard a cracking noise,- scary but I suppose probably a good thing. Hopefully it’s starting to soften already. A couple of weeks ago, I managed to massage an area away that seemed to have collected fluids so this cord is my new project.
We also discussed further treatments around the breast area in terms of the shape, size etc. and timelines are all dependent on decisions regarding next steps, e.g. chemo or not. On that note she mentioned that she had a copy of the letter from Dr Cleator about my last conversation with her on the topic. I reiterated that I’m still gathering information and waiting on a test. I asked her whether she thought it was an urgent decision to make and she said no. It’s interesting how one can feel so rushed into things, processing through on a conveyor belt with a strong sense of urgency when in actual fact there is no need for that. She gave me the all clear on starting some gentle upper body exercise and has no objection to me exercising otherwise (spin class etc.).
After the appointment and the usual visit to Whole Foods for green juice and salad, I went back to see Danira for more reiki healing. It really must be the slowest and gentlest form of medicine. We started the session with deep breathing exercises, followed by visual meditation and then the actual reiki. Danira started channeling energy by moving her hands above and across different parts of my body. The experience was such a warm, safe and nurturing one. I again saw bits of blue light and my left breast area started reacting by pulsating with slight stabbing pain. All good signs and reactions. I probably fell asleep for a few seconds at least twice, it’s so deeply relaxing.
After 40 minutes, I got up and felt completely wiped out. Danira recommended lots of rest for the rest of the evening so my body can absorb some of the energy shifts which will take place over the next few hours/ days. Of course I ask myself questions about the healing capabilities of this exercise but if nothing else, with this and other things I’m managing to manifest a quiet and deep place in myself, away from anxiety and pressures. I found myself traveling home on the tube with a level of stillness I haven’t yet managed to achieve in all the various meditations.