Welcome! I'm Chiara, triple negative breast cancer survivor; here is my journey, I hope it helps you!

DRAINING

DRAINING

These horrible drains are coming out of my left side, i.e. three long plastic tubes with pouches at the end that capture the excess fluid from my breast. Every day I have to empty them into a measuring cup and record the amount and color of the fluid. I've told the fluid would look like kool-aid. It started out red and now, nearly two weeks later, it's a smelly, light orange. My plastic surgeon, Dr. Ross Cooperman, recently removed one drain, leaving the other two for a couple more weeks. I texted the photos to Dr. Cooperman because I was concerned with the leakage. He reassured me it's normal and reminded me that I have to pinch the tubes as I drain them so they won't clot and back up. I am wearing button down shirts, because I can't lift my left arm over my head after the lymph nodes were removed. The only loose, inexpensive shirts I could find were pajama tops at H&M. I pin my drains to the inside of the top hoping no one will notice the large lump on my side. Having drains is not sexy; I feel like a circus freak - I have one regular breast, one non-breast, and a lump on my side that looks like a breast. Seeing plastic tubing coming out of me is dreadful. I feel invaded by this beast - plastic should not be coming out of my body! Yet it is a surreal reminder of what has just happened to me. Showering is difficult and humiliating, I have to bend myself in awkward positions, holding the tubing in one hand, making sure the site doesn't get wet, while washing myself with the other hand. Shaving is impossible - I am happy to see growth but I can't do anything about the hair on my legs, not yet. Here I am: hairy-legged, bloody-tubed, pajama-wearing, lopsided-breast-circus-freak for a few more weeks; what a low point of my life. 

THE KINDNESS OF OTHERS

THE KINDNESS OF OTHERS

MY FIVE NIGHT STAY IN THE HOSPITAL

MY FIVE NIGHT STAY IN THE HOSPITAL