Antibiotics for staph infection: Life with my PICC line

by Sunday, April 20th, 2014Breast Cancer14 comments

It’s been two weeks since my emergency surgery and things seem to be going along okay. I have learned to live with this PICC line and IV pump attached to me pretty much 24/7. Mark has become quite the expert on changing out the medicine bag each day. So in addition to him helping me with my two remaining drains, he has this to deal with. I will be hooked up to this IV pump until the 19th of May. So far, from the outside, it appears that my staph infection is clearing up. Once a week we have a nurse come to the house to draw blood to send to the lab, and to change the dressing on my PICC line.

On a positive note, my hair has really started to come back. I have loved being bald but it feels so good to have things turn around, and not have to wear a wig anymore. My eyebrows and lashes are back. I thought those would be the last to come in, seeing that they were the last to fall out. Now I just need to be patient with these drains. I can’t wait until I am able to put on something other than a zip-up top and stretch pants. I tried putting on a dress the other day to wear for Easter, and I got so frustrated because the bulbs from the drains kept sticking out, and it really didn’t look very flattering. I know, I know — this is only temporary.

My radiation is still on hold until I have the drains removed. I also need to have my breast fully filled before I can start radiation. I got an additional 100 cc’s of saline in my right breast, the side that needs to be radiated. My doctor is holding off filling my newer left breast.

I have been doing much better with the range of motion in my arms. I was really scared that I was going to have a major setback because of the second surgery. I had to refrain from doing any of my physical therapy exercises while I was in the hospital, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I actually gained some more movement.

I am still not able to drive or go to the gym. The only little bit of freedom I have is going out for a walk. As the weather has been getting better, I have been able to get out nearly every day. I have worked my way up to just over 2.5 miles each day.

Friends of mine drove me up to the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee on Friday.  When we went to the healing mass at Holy Hill back on March 23, we met a woman who told us about St. Josaphat and their Good Friday service.  She told us that at the end of the service, the whole church goes black except for one candle the priest carries down the aisle. Then all the parishioners start banging on the church pews to imitate the sound of the earth quaking at the time of Christ’s death. The church is really something to see, and the end of the service was pretty cool to be a part of.  If you ever have a chance to visit St. Josaphat, I think you would really find it fascinating.

Happy spring everyone!

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