Hi Julia and Alene,
Alene, in reviewing your signature it looks like you had several months of chemo before your surgery. I'm sure that made a big difference in how fast you bounced back from surgery. Those drainage bags are a challenge aren't they? I kept mine 5 days after each of my surgeries. I was lucky in that respect.
I had my surgeries a couple of weeks after my diagnosis and then my chemo. Surgeries June 15 & 22, 2006. Chemo (adromician and cytoxin began August 8, 2006) This gave me a few weeks between surgery and treatments.
I did not drive for about 3 months after I started my chemo. I had dose dense chemo every 2 weeks for 4 months. My oncologist explained that the chemo was all I would have and I needed to stay as strong as possible so I wouldn't have to miss a treatment or get one of lesser strength. I stayed pretty confined during my treatments because i did not want to get a virus or pick up an unwanted "bug". A couple of times my counts were low, but not too low for my regular treatment.
I was lucky that my husband and son were available to take me for treatments, lab work, etc. I shopped for hats and some pieces of clothing out of the TLC catalog. I bought a wig a few weeks after I found out I would have to have chemo. My church friends and people from my work place were so generous with food.
I know ladies that played cards, went shopping, went out to eat, etc throughout their treatment. I would see them at the support group meetings and they though I was crazy. All of them knew that there was tamaxofin and herceptin or some other drugs for them after treatment. I know these drugs are not the answer to everything, but it sounded better than knowing there was nothing beyond my chemo.
I guess you can call this being strong, but believe me I didn't feel strong. I just want to live. I have found out that virtually none of my acquaintenances know "squat" about trip-negative. I was so excited on July 9, 2009 when my oncologist told me there was still very little out there for us trip-negatives, but he knew about the tnbcfoundation.org site. For three years I feel as though I have been in the dark, but now I can see the light. I have read so many of the posts on this site and no longer feel so alone.
Julie, I'm sorry if my first post mislead you about driving, but this truly is NOT a "one size fits all" disease. I'm also glad you can ask for guidance at the beginning of this journey, instead of three years later, as was my experience.
Love and may God hold both of you in the palm of His hand.