[Originally posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012]
I feel a bit like the ball that’s bounced around the pin ball machine this morning. I must have spent about four hours talking to plastic surgeons yesterday…..FOUR HOURS! You try so hard to take in everything and ask reasonable questions but after a while I found I was writing my address wrong and couldn’t remember my social security number…..system overload! Believe me it doesn’t take too much for my little brain to become confused. So, what I did learn is that this is not going to be any walk in the park, not by a long shot. I will be able to have the START of my reconstructed boobs done immediately following my mastectomy and I mean during the same operation and that may take up to two hours a boob, so I’m looking at about six hours of surgery total. Then I am ordered to take a month off work …..A BLOODY MONTH! I will be having bi-monthly visits to hospital to fill up the expander thingies that stretch the skin to give me realistic looking breasts( not covinced) This is done with a needle through the skin into a special port that is part of the expander ….eeek! Supposedly I won’t feel a thing….sure. Right , now get this, I will be having pieces of cadaver skin put in to my boobs, er, yes you read that right, skin from a DEAD person! How creepy is that? It’s to provide extra support where there is no muscle. Now, this filling up procedure takes about three months in all so I figure I should look as if I’ve got two half filled water balloons slung over my shoulders for most of that time, won’t that be pretty? Oh not to mention I will have drainage tubes sticking out from both armpits for the first 2-3 weeks, and I can’t do any activity that brings my heart rate up. They show you picture after picture of women before and after and most of them turn out pretty well.
OK, after three months it’s back into the’ operating theatre’ ,as we call it back home, we love theatrics you know, to get proper implants put in, I held a number of these yesterday and they feel a bit like those squishy balls people use to relieve stress only way bigger. I’m told they hold the cold in the winter so that should be great for the hot flashes. Two more weeks off work for this.
New boobs in place (hopefully they won’t look like my sketch, although that waist would be nice) and I wait three ,more months, then I can have nipples. Dr V, who is going to be my surgeon, likened this to skin origami (I love origami) must be really hard to do with skin though. She cuts little petal shapes and somehow folds them up and together and voila….nipple! I don’t have to have to have them but it might look a bit like a face with no expression if I don’t so I think I will. Anyway, three months after that I complete the picture with a bit of tattooing for color etc…..That all being said I am looking at another year of treatment and trying oh so hard not to freak out.
Because this blog has been such a tremendous source of help for me I am going to try to move it to an “open to the world” blog now I’ve got the hang of it. I know when I started this whole business I could find very little in the way of positive writing from people going through it and I think this blog could help with that so stay tuned for the next adventure in my saga…As Tina’s World Turns Upside Down…..Again