Tag Archives: Mastectomy

TMI Thursday, Update…

explosion-1246507_1280

I know you’ve been anxiously awaiting a medical boob update and this just made me laugh. Seriously, I think you’ll see the humor in this.

When I first had the mastectomy, the plastic surgeon said he thought he could put in a silicone implant, one step, we’re done, and that’s what he did.  Some women need expanders put in, which are filled with air to allow the skin on your chest to stretch a little until the final surgery, when the correct size silicone implants replace the expander.

However, five days after the first surgery I developed a hematoma near the implant, probably because of my blood clotting disorder.  So off the blood thinners again and another surgery at the original site to remove the hematoma and the original implant and to replace it with an air-filled expander to fill the space and prevent further problems.

We have a big family trip planned for hubby’s milestone birthday in late January and now that I’m having chemo, I won’t have the final surgery until early spring.  But you cannot fly with an air-filled expander because the pressure changes in the cabin could cause it to, well, explode.  In your chest.  On the airplane.  A fun way to meet the people around you on the plane, right?

So Nicole, the plastic surgeon’s nurse practitioner, deflated my boob, yep, just sucked the air out of the expander with a big syringe and whoosh, it was flat.  Then she refilled it with saline so I’ll be able to fly.  I get another refill every week or so until it kind of matches the other side.  It sloshes a little, but what are you gonna do?  I’m not exactly sure what happens with airport security because the port in the expander is metal, but I’m sure that will be a fun conversation!

Monday Musings, Making Lemonade…

I’ve gotten a great assortment of cute and heartfelt wishes already from friends and family about my mastectomy tomorrow.  I appreciate all the thoughts, prayers and good wishes more than I could ever tell you!

And then I got this from Laura, at Fountain Pen Follies, a dear friend who truly shares my sense of humor 😀  (Hoping the reconstruction is a little better than this!)

 

How My Right Breast Became the Wrong One…

 

vintage-1501577_1280
You came and boys they did fawn
You grew and men they were drawn
Then a spot was detected
It seems you’d defected
You suckered me, boob, now you’re gawn!

I am relieved and just a little apprehensive that surgery has been scheduled for Tuesday, September 20.  It has taken a little time to coordinate the doctors’ schedules and OR availability.  It will be a right sided skin saving mastectomy followed by immediate reconstruction.  I know, who looks forward to that?  But I need to get this taken care of and I feel good about my choice.

I had another venous duplex ultrasound of the lower extremities yesterday and it’s clear of any clots.  So I may not need the filter placed after all.  The interventional radiologist will discuss the results with my hemotologist and they will come to a decision.   There’s time to do an outpatient surgery before the 20th if they decide I need to have the filter.

And just an aside, both my breast surgeon and plastic surgeon are gorgeous!  A little eye candy never hurts, right? 😉

TMI Thursday, Fighting Like a Girl…

20160822_102208What do you think of my lovely MRI outfit and my selfie attempt?  It was the biggest robe and drawstring waist pants I’ve seen!  Truly one size fits no one…

I’m just starting my fight against breast cancer, hence the title fighting like a girl.  I was at the doctor’s office and they had a wall that people signed with personal messages about their cancer experiences and there was one quote that was my favorite.  It said “I fought breast cancer like a girl and I won!”  So that’s my new motto…

I’ve finished meeting with the surgeons (general and plastic), the genetic counselor, the oncologist and had the MRI — an experience I don’t care to repeat.  That is the noisiest thing, even though they give you earplugs.  But it did show that we’re just dealing with the one area on the right side and it appears to be small.  So it was well worth the annoying experience to get such detailed pictures!

I think I’ve also shared before that I have a genetic blood clotting disorder that makes me more prone to develop blood clots.  It’s something I share with one brother and its called Factor V Leiden.  It’s fairly common and not usually a huge worry, but wouldn’t you know it, my case is more difficult!

I found out I had Factor V because two years ago I developed a very large blood clot in my left leg from my knee into my stomach area and spent ten days in the hospital where they had to do a procedure called trellising to mechanically break up and remove the clot.  They also put in a filter, threading it in through an incision near my collarbone into the vena cava.  It temporarily protects you from a clot moving into your lungs and after your blood thinner starts working well they retrieve the filter.  I was part of a study group for the B Braun filter that is now available.

So the thing is, because I had that really big clot and will have to go off the blood thinners again for surgery for several days, they will have to reinsert a filter before they do my surgery.  Oh, and the best part is you get to inject yourself in your stomach twice a day with a drug to prevent clots up until and after surgery!  And then later, usually within weeks, they will surgically retrieve the filter.

I’ve had a lot of decisions to make about a lumpectomy versus mastectomy, reconstruction if it is a mastectomy, the pros and cons of doing just one side or both sides, the worries about cancer reoccurring, etc.  But as my oncologist pointed out, the fact that I can choose means I have many good options!

And one of the most exciting things I’ve found out about is genetic testing of the cancerous tumor that they will do after surgery which helps you and your doctor’s determine if chemotherapy is necessary and helpful.  Here’s a link to info from The New York Times about the testing that my dear friend Laura from Fountain Pen Follies sent me that explains a fascinating study that’s been going on that will help thousands of women make good decisions about treatment now and in the future.

Thanks for reading, for all your thoughts, prayers and lovely good wishes, and for riding along with me on this sometimes bumpy journey.  I will let you all know when surgery will be and how everything goes.  I may not be writing as much for a little bit, but I will be reading your blogs ❤