Year 1, Month 6, Day 21: Cautiously Optimistic

keep-calm-and-remain-cautiously-optimisticYear 1, Month 6, Day 21: Cautiously Optimistic

Typing post-op and while on pain meds… so please forgive any glaring typos or grammatical mistakes.  Talked with my surgeon just before surgery about the adhesion again. She same up with a plan to insert a piece of Alloderm in that area to pad it and also create space between the skin and muscle.  Alloderm is a regenerative tissue matrix made from cadaver skin. It is also used in the nipple reconstruction.  I did not get the lasers I requested, but still ended up with an element of FrankenBoobs.

As they prepped me in OR, they asked me Continue reading

Day 296: Good news, bad news, the night nurse…

Day 296: Good news, bad news, the night nurse…

Ferry BoatWell, I guess I will start with the night nurse.  Let’s just say I couldn’t wait for shift change in the morning.  So, something new this time was incredible itching from the narcotics… or the generic hibiclense that was made by Clorox (seemed like a bad idea when I picked it up from the pharmacy)… no matter what the cause, I was itching like crazy and this started about the time of shift change.  The IV Benadryl seemed to take care of it pretty quickly but I knew Continue reading

Day 210: Break a Legwarmer… a commitment to tomorrow

Day 210: Break a Legwarmer… a commitment to tomorrow…

leg-warmers-on-9th-and-ElmSo… tonight I broke out the nail polish… a gunmetal grey color called “Break a Legwarmer.”  If you are a guy, you probably won’t have a clue and if you are a gal, you may not either unless you have gone under general anesthesia.  Seems that those serious anesthetist that are charged with breathing for you while they take your body to brink of death ceasing your ability to do so for yourself positively demand to Continue reading

Day 15: It’s a long one… about construction…

Under ConstructionDay 15: It’s a long one… about construction…

Met with the plastic surgeon yesterday about options and recommendations. He is now the 2nd doctor to recommend a delayed reconstruction and the mastectomy surgeon deferred to the plastics guy. Apparently I am considered high risk for a few reasons… I gotta tell ya, these doctors… I am young, healthy, high-risk and have breast cancer. Ok, I will roll with that.

If you are wondering why I would be high risk, it’s because of two things. 1) Until pathology has a good look at that sentinel lymph node we can’t be certain on a treatment plan and more than likely radiation will be part of my treatment regardless, which increases risk in reconstruction (more on that later). 2) I have this silly little blood condition called cryofibrinogenemia (A rare condition where a blood protein precipitates when it cools and then redissolves once it is warmed again.) Yeah yeah… feeling special… doctors seem to get all nervous and have a whack attack when you mention a “clotting condition…”WHATeves…

So… about construction… I have options – keeping in mind that I have one doctor recommending a bilateral, and two a unilateral pending MRI results. MRI could show cancer behind door number 2 or something in the lymph nodes. And I just want to remove chance of having to do this again… so I vote bilateral… we will see…. ok…

Option 1:
Use up that belly fat and get a tummy tuck in the process. Good news, I don’t have enough abdominal fat to rebuild two (YAY!) Bad news, apparently there is enough to possibly rebuild one. (BOO!) Funny, we have talked nipple tattoos and me disclosing my belly fat feels more personal… weird right? But think about this phrase “harvest your belly fat” – yeah… um… EW.

Anyway, I would have to go the UW for this as it is mostly done at Universities, they say it looks more natural and well… there is the tummy tuck benefit. For me, I am not really down with more surgery than I need – which is what this would be… and yeah, I could lose a few pounds, but seriously, I wouldn’t be getting a boob job if it weren’t for this cancer thing… heck I’ve never broken more than a finger nail and avoid the doctor like the plague…but I digress… so darn quickly too…

Option 2:
Implant(s). Now, if the MRI says I have to have both done or I decide I want them both done, this is my only option. So the thing with implants is that there is a 5-10% chance of hard painful scarring that makes the reconstructed breast(s) look unnatural and of course there is the chance the body will reject the foreign object. They wait until after treatment ends because I guess that painful scarring jumps to 30% if you do a simultaneous while receiving radiation. Plus with my complications above they don’t wanna. Pansies.  With this we wait until I am healed from the cancer surgery and have completed treatment. Then I go in for surgery and have an expander put in. Every two weeks they add fluid until I we hit the size I am happy with (if both) or the size that matches the remaining (if one). Once we hit that point, apparently we wait a bit and then we remove the expander and insert the implant. 4 months after that we adjust the natural breast to match the implant side (more surgery) so things balance out. Now I am skipping nipple reconstruction as all’y’all who are keeping up know, but if I were to do that we would wait a few months. And by the way… if you wanna know how they do that… google it on your own.  I am going straight to tattoos. So once I heal I am good to go find myself an fabulous tattoo artist.

Plastics guy is saying reconstruction could start 8-12 weeks after pathology OK’s me and the process will take about 8 months total.

I hate shopping.

‪#‎strongerthancancer‬ ‪#‎embracingtheadventure‬ ‪#‎killerleftboob‬ ‪#‎hawtrightboob‬ ‪#‎breastcancer‬

Day 14: Some good stuff and a little confusion….

Day 14: Some good stuff and a little confusion….

First the good stuff:
Chest x-Ray is clear, cancer antigens were normal, liver function normal, red count, white count, other blood work all normal.

My vitamin D is low. What’s that? LOL So gotta add Vitamin D to the daily list.

Now the confusion:
Saw the Gyno/General yesterday, he recommends unilateral instead of bilateral. More to think about. He said the good plastics people can make things match well and if the natural one err… Shall we say “ages” then we could lift it, assuming it doesn’t get cancer and have to be rebuilt. His point being that it is easier on the body to do a unilateral, and there is no guarantee that I will get cancer in the remaining natural breast just as there is no guarantee that I won’t have cancer appear again in the side I have the mastectomy. He also said that due to the type of cancer a simultaneous reconstruct may not be an option.

I told him to call the surgeon so they could get on the same page. LOL

We are still waiting on MRI approval.

Off to see plastics guy today.

Soon I’ll be looking for a tattoo artist.

‪#‎strongerthancancer‬ ‪#‎embracingtheadventure‬ ‪#‎killerleftboob‬ ‪#‎hawtrightboob‬ ‪#‎breastcancer‬