Healers and the Spoken Word

We had my one-week post op appointment last night at 7pm. We drove to the Buckhead office of Dr. Ma for a checkup. I was totally nervous about making the trip because it was late at night (usually, I’m OUT FOR THE COUNT at 8pm).. and I knew there were several speed bumps between my house and the doc’s office (OUCH), and I was hoping to have a few of the 5 drains I’d had inserted after surgery removed… and I knew it was going to hurt.

We got to the office with minimum bumps (Yay, for my little Leaf.. it’s such a smooth ride). The doctors and nurses were so impressed with my recovery.  My healing looked great. Each and every person told me how beautiful I am.  They decided I could have THREE drains removed!! This is huge because the drains are really disgusting… there is a hole in your body (for the three that were removed Friday, the hole was under my arm for the breasts to drain fluid and blood). Any time you remove tissue, you have to insert a drain so the body can readjust to the space that’s left. Some people make more fluid than others. There is a long tube coming out of the hole in your body that allows your fluid to move into a bulb. The bulb fills up with fluid and has to be drained three times a day. The rest of the time, they’re pinned to your shirt front. So you walk around with tons of tubes and bulbs flapping around on your body. It is EXTREMELY uncomfortable and beyond yucky.

So now, I’m down to only two drains.. these two come out of my hips and allow my abdomen to drain. There’s more fluid in these because of gravity, and they took a lot of abdominal tissue out. The doctors are pretty optimistic I’ll have the abdominal drains out by Monday!!! They had told me to expect the breast drains for 2 weeks and the abdominal drains for 3-4 weeks.. so this progress is HUGE.

Hearing the doctors say my healing was amazing and that my drains were coming out in record time did so much to boost my spirits. The spoken word is so powerful. I was floating on air last night and slept soundly and comfortably. I’ve felt great today.

first walk

I went for my first long walk today with Mom and Hayley and Sofi and visited neighbors Patty and Daniel and their grandson Charlie.  Charlie is 19 months old and was super tickled to see blue-haired Sofi and did a little dance of excitement for her and offered her one of the cars he was clutching to hold. He figured out he could run and slide on the wood floors and laughed a big belly laugh. It was the sweetest sound ever.

My neighbors have put pink ribbons in their yards to show support for me and my family. It’s absolutely humbling to experience all the love of my neighborhood.

pink ribbon shea pink ribbon harry pink bow

I am so unbelievably grateful for the support of my family. My sister, Hayley, is a nurse and flew in from Seattle to spend 2 weeks with me, emptying my drains and giving me my meds and shots. I don’t know how people handle this without someone with medical expertise.  Her confidence and tireless care has been incredible and really calming too.


Jay has been oh so wonderful in administering back rubs, foot rubs and getting in the shower with me and washing my hair. I just read all his updates he made to the blog while I was unable to do anything but try to make it to the next hour. Such sweet missives. He’s such a great man.

Sofi just returned from the Waldorf Festival with a natural deodorant that she spent her own money on. She wanted us both to try it out. She continues to do thoughtful things every day that astound me.

And lastly, my Mom and Dad. When you go through serious surgery, you always want your Mommy and Daddy nearby. They have been patient and loving and have assured me constantly that they’ll be here for as long as we need.  Gulp. That’s so incredible to have that worry alleviated.

clare and mom

A year ago, I was finishing my first half marathon in Savannah. I’d trained with some girlfriends I work out with during the week. Today, they ran the half again, and each wore a pin with my initial on it to so I could be there with them. It’s pretty amazing to have such special friends.

pins savannah 2015

All of these people: doctors, family, neighbors, friends are my healers.  They help me stay positive and strong.  I’m so blessed. Thanks for being there for me.




10 thoughts on “Healers and the Spoken Word”

  1. Earlier today I was thinking that while I cried fairly often when I was younger, tears are a rare phenomenon. But when I read your post Clare, they came rushing down my face. Such a poignant post highlighting the importance of a having loving people around you in the face of awfulness. Hugs all around. You are going to be well soon.

  2. Your and Jay’s posts have been wonderful. It has brought back memories, good and bad, of my husband, Rod’s mastectomy and recovery. Your description of the drains took me right back to his post-op days when I was the lucky one who got to empty his! Yukky doesn’t even begin to describe it!!! It’s so wonderful that you’ve been able to get rid of three of yours!! Whoo hoo!

    Your recovery is spectacular and you look so good in all the pictures you’ve posted! What a sweet thing for your running buddies to keep you with them during the race. You are incredibly lucky to have such great friends and such a wonderful family! That will make your recovery so much faster!!!


  3. Clare I am so happy you are doing so well. I know it must be a hoot to have your family around you. Hugs and kisses.

  4. Thank you for sharing your journey Clare- you are teaching me a lot which I am passing on to lots of others. I think about you and talk about you every day. Xxx

  5. Clare, it is truly heartwarming to read all this. You are a testament to positive thinking, faith in your medical team and the huge importance of being surrounding by your loving family and friends and neighbors!!! Blessings abound and healing progresses! Makes me want to share with you a Unity affirmation for healing. Repeat to yourself, ” Mighty currents of healing life are flowing through me now and all is well!!!” Others, including me can repeat it for you!!! Onward!

  6. Clare, you are so eloquent. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us. Please call on me if I can do anything to help you or your family.

  7. Clare, I am so happy for you and thank you for the blessing of documenting for us. Your strength and courage are such an inspiration. Will keep sending you positive thoughts and prayers and hope you continue to recover swiftly! XOXO

Comments are closed.