Finally today I was able to rid myself of that blasted drain. I have had drain before and this one was no different. They pinch and pull and are a general nuisance just like you might imagine a piece of tubing sticking out of your body might be.
I stopped into Dr. Wagner's office (surgeon extraordinaire) and he had the drain pulled out in less time than it took me to take off my shirt. Admittedly, I am moving slowly these days with my shirt since both arms are still stiff and tender from surgery but it was still quick. And the best part was that I didn't even feel him pull it out! I guess the drain was not set very deeply into my armpit.
So, Dr. Wagner's part in my Melanoma adventures is over for the time being. He said he didn't want to see me until it was time to remove the Mediport. No word on the pathology of the lymph nodes yet but he said that he was going to try to have the report for tomorrow when I sat down to meet with Dr. Butler (my oncologist). So for now, the "Clean Nodes" mantra that I have been saying is still in effect.
As soon as the drain was out of lower arm pit, all immediate pain stopped. It is still tender and sore and I still can't raise either arm above my head but I already found myself thinking, "I wonder if I could recover enough to do the Columbia Triathlon in two weeks?" Funny how simply removing a tube made me reevaluate just how "triathlon" capable I really am.
Tomorrow's appointment with Dr. Butler will solidify the reality of what comes next so I am trying to shush the crazy triathlete in my head who still wants to finish up the spring season she was on track for.
The Columbia Triathlon holds a special place in my heart because it was my first Triathlon. It is a challenging course with lots of hills on the bike and run and it would do me good to remind myself that even with the great base that I have this season a .9 mile swim, a hilly 25 mile bike and a hilly 10K run is a challenging day without surgery under your belt 3 weeks prior.
Oh well, it makes me happy just to imagine the possibility of keeping that race on my calendar. That counts for something!
I have not had the courage to tell Dr. Butler that I have plans to still do the Marine Corps Marathon in the late Fall (October 2005) but Coach Debi and Jim know that I am still holding onto that race with hope. I don't hold grandiose notions of setting a PR in the Marathon but with a smart training plan and hope that the Interferon doesn't knock me on my butt during the low-dose phase, it is certainly worth a try. I'd have between 5.5 - 6 hours to get to the 14th Street Bridge and the 20 mile mark before the Sweep Bus catches me, so what is the harm in having a goal? No harm that I can see at this point!
As Lance Armstrong says: "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."