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.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One step at a time

Well I went in Friday for my first revision. It was local anesthetic so I did get to eat and have my coffee (thank the Lord). I'd had to file FMLA paperwork for my job (and I'm still anxiously waiting to see if my doctor's office gets it sent back on time). so I felt like a big fat pain. Apparently my PS's office is in the midst of converting to electronic medical records, so they were all frazzled. I hated to bother them with my paperwork, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

Dr. Cooper came in and looked over my foobs, took pictures and marked me. Her nurse brought me some Valium and Lortab and took me in the surgery suite to lay down. They came in and started working and soon it became apparent that I have very sensitive skin under my arms. When Dr. Cooper got to stitching up under my arms I felt a stick and said "OW" She immediately stopped what she was doing, looked up and said "Ow?" When I told her I could feel it, she gave me more local. And then more, because I was still feeling a little bit. She finally asked if I could stand it because she wanted to save local to go on my left side.
Needless to say, with the cutting of the dog ear (she literally cut a big hunk of loose skin. I saw the was gross and fascinating at the same time) I needed LOTS of local and could STILL feel the pain.

After she was done with the dog ear, she looked at me and said, "Why don't we stop and finish up later?" when I started to protest, her nurse chimed in "Well, if we give you too much local, we could stop your heart." *They are very considerate* Then I hesitantly asked the question that was weighing on my mind. "Can I get tattoos next time?" She looked at me for a second and said "Ok, we can do that" SCORE! We agreed that I'd call when I was ready and get the other side finished and tattoos. YES YES YES! So now I just have to schedule that. I was hoping to have it done before the FORCE Conference in October, but now I'll just be happy to have it done before the end of the year.

For those that are interested, besides trimming the dog ear, she basically lifted my implant. She used heavy-duty stitches (p something cutaneous) and stitched it to the covering of my rib cage. And I was thrilled that she said "And luckily on you I can feel your ribs" YAY I'm not morbidly obese after all :)

After they finished up she sent me on my way with a Lortab prescription (sadly no Valium). And I was back in the world of struggling to find a comfortable position in bed that didn't make me feel like I was being stabbed in the side. *sigh* I mentioned to Mike that I couldn't get comfortable and he suggested I sleep in the recliner again for a few nights. I shuddered, forcefully said "NO" and that it would be a cold day in hell before that happened.

Oh and there's one tidbit I forgot to mention: I have to wear a bra.



So that means that unless I only sleep an hour, I'm stuck in this torture device all the time. What's the big deal? you may be thinking. Well, I haven't worn a bra regularly since my mastectomy. Yes, my mastectomy. That's over a glorious year with no vise like contraption slung over my shoulders.

How long does this torture last you ask? 6 LONG weeks!


The reasoning for this is not to make me curse my doctor's very existence, but to make sure my implants stay in place. Apparently if they are not supported initially, they could sag and have to be lifted up again.

Thankfully, the initial pain is subsiding and I did get to rest on my sides last night for awhile. So maybe this whole over the shoulder, boulder holder thing won't be too bad *knock on wood*

I just need to get past the fear lurking inside me of having something go wrong. I'm checking all the time, making sure things don't get infected, pulled, or otherwise messed up. It's not that I'm a glass half empty kind of person, but I've been around this block a few times.

Things aren't all Lortab and torture devices though. The FORCE group is starting to take off AND Irene and I will be attending conference soon. I'm very excited about that!

There are some major work/school related stressors, but I'm trying to get through them one step at a time. One foot in front of the other..because that's all you can really do right?


  1. Are you heavily involved in FORCE? Did they welcome you with open arms because of CS or are you BRCA+ too? (I don't know if you've disclosed that here...sorry. Please edit this comment as needed.)

    1. Yes FORCE was good too me and yes I am only CS not BRCa. Isn't that enough? Lol.

      I am co-coordinator of the new local outreach group

    2. FORCE is not just for people with BRCA but ANY hereditary/genetic risk