PREVIVOR: A person who is not diagnosed with cancer, but has survived the predisposition, or higher risk, of cancer due to a genetic mutation and/or strong family history. After being armed with this information, a previvor can make informed choices prior to a cancer diagnosis.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now"

I actually heard that song on the way home from my PS appointment today. But I thought it fit my mood, and honestly it's too hot here right now to put a lot of thought into a clever, witty title so there you go :)

My PS appointment.....BIG SIGH. I didn't get another fill like I thought I would. I have 910 CC's in my expander and she said with a 800 CC implant that leaves enough of a skin pocket for the implant. I also have excess skin under my arms (hey I was a big chested girl) that she said she could lipo off when I had my exchange.I'm pretty happy I get a break from fills for awhile.

We also discussed my other surgery. She had said they had discussed latissmissus flap vs. tissue expander...but the general consensus is that I'd be better off doing the lat flap for my right breast. I had always thought that I'd leave it up to my PS..that I knew what I wanted to do but she knew what was better for me medically. She said that she would like both of them to be the same (so would I) but if I want to get back to school and back to LIFE in general, that the lat is the best way to go. She said that they will divide the sensory nerves and there really isn't much pain involved in the surgery. She said at worst that it'll feel like I had a really rough workout (oh boy). She said she's had patients tell her that the lat flap is less painful than the TE placement.. So hopefully, it won't be a big production for me to go through...just wham, bam, thank you ma'am and I'm back to normal. Another good thing is that the fills will be quicker, because the TE doesn't have to get as full since there's the lat muscle there as well. So that's DEFINITELY a good thing.

So those are the pros- here are the cons. I'll have to stay overnight in the hospital...pretty sucky but it's doable. Since I'll have one implant and one latissmissus recon, the appearance of both breasts (in clothes) will be the same..not perfectly symmetrical but what real breasts are? However, the scar pattern will be different on the two breasts. I know that those fade with time, but it's still in the con category. Also, the two breasts feel different. The implant side will feel...well like an implant. The lat flap side will  feel a lot more natural. On the left side, the only thing standing between me and the TE is a layer of skin and some pec muscle. I'll have a nice big hunk of lat muscle on the right side, which will give it a softer, more natural feel. She said that I would be able to tell the difference and whoever I was with would be able to tell the difference. Uh-oh. Now granted Mike knows about everything...but a girl wants to feel and look normal, you know? When I'm with someone, I don't want to be thinking "Ugh, I'm all scarred and funky looking..and of course they feel different so it's obvious they're not real." This is probably a dumb thing for me to be thinking about, but I can't help it. This surgery as a whole does a real number on your self-esteem and body image. Just something I'll have to deal with I guess. And I'll have drains again...not sure how many. I'm hoping for one but I'm betting on two realistically. And they do SUCK. Literally and figuratively. They're uncomfortable, hard to carry around, and someone has to help you empty and record the output. Trust me, it's very hard to feel attractive when someone is holding a cup of bloody drainage from your surgical site. Also, I feel like I'm reaching the end of people's patience with this whole process. I'm scared I'll end up driving myself to the hospital next month.

Since I had my expander removed on 5/18, the doctor says I can have the lat flap surgery on 8/18, or around that time. That should give me plenty of time to get well before school starts on 9/7. So if you'll notice, I changed the date on my countdown clock to 8/18. I'll change it again once I get the firm date set. And then the waiting begins again.... I feel like my whole LIFE is governed by countdown clocks!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You are so brave going through all of that! I couldn't imagine!

    P.S. I love that song!