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Surgery update

Things get better day by day.

I'm sick and TIRED of the five drains I have left, so I'm going to call in the morning and see if maybe one or two can come out. I've been doing my arm exercises, but don't quite have full motion back in my arms. The right arm, where I had the pic line and the problems from the surgery, hurts more under my arm than the other side. At the office, I will also have him check to make sure there isn't a clot or some other problem from the pic line. Maybe this is just what it is supposed to feel like after they thread a foot or so of cable through a deep vein towards your heart.

Outside of the issues around pain and healing, I'm getting in better spirits. This evening, I went to take a shower and stopped to look at myself in the mirror. I tried to imagine having a second breast like the one I have. I looked past all of the bruising and incisions. Looking straight on, I have an actual waist. I don't look so saggy, because I no longer have huge deflated breasts hanging down. Instead I have a full and perky breast with the promise of another one. Turning sideways, I can see something I have never seen in my LIFE. A flat stomach. Even as a scrawny 6' teen weighing only 135 pounds, I still had a round lower abdomen. Now - it's gone. Flat, flat, flat.

I may feel low, low, low with the surgeries, complications and medications. I have four weeks before I go back to work, and I'm sure I'll be seeing the doctor a lot until then. However, I'm beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It's a light with no future of breast cancer. It's a light with no future of ovarian cancer. It's a light where I can focus on my family without worrying constantly when the sword will fall.

As a silver lining (which you can tell I try to keep myself focused on to stay away from the bad), I plan on absolutely ROCKING this body when it is healed up. Skirts I couldn't wear because my belly made the front poof out a little strange. button-down shirts I couldn't wear in the past because my breasts stretched the front out and open. Halter tops I could never wear because they were too dainty for the big tanker support bras I had to wear. Maybe even something other than a one piece in the summer with a towel wrapped around me.

I think when I start feeling a bit better about myself (and can stay awake for more than a few hours a day), I can start building myself up more and more. I've been weaning myself off of the pain killers, so that maybe by next weekend the pain will be bearable without them. Next weekend, I may take small car trips to the drug store or somewhere close just to practice driving. I have two weeks to whip myself into some semblence of a self-sufficient mother and I plan to make it. I also want to build my strength back up as quickly as possible so that I could possibly start getting back in shape. It will help me heal and make things easier on me for the March surgery.

Getting my second breast is my end goal right now. I know there are steps that could come after that, such as nipple reconstruction and tattooing the color around it. Really? What is the purpose other than cosmetically? When wearing clothes, don't you usually try to NOT have your nipple showing? What would be the difference in getting the area tattooed to LOOK like a nipple, or something else totally cool (like pink ribbons, or a star or something). I'm just not so hot on going through another surgery to reconstruct a nipple. Getting me a second breast, that's a given. Nipples for the end of them?

Do you have any arguments FOR getting the nipple reconstruction?


( 3 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 2nd, 2007 07:00 am (UTC)
I would love to see the pictures (and NOBODY else will see them). I don't know what skin they would make mine out of since they already used my stomach for the flaps (and got rid of all of my twin skin and stretch marks! I actually have a stretch mark from my boys across the front of my boob now *laugh*)

That is strange that the tattooing hurt. While I can feel my breast everywhere down to that circle where they put in the flap and sealed it with belly skin, I can't feel a THING there. It was to the point that the surgeon came in one day to make the decision on whether to take out the flap on the right, and his 'test' was to just slice it several times with a scalpel and 'see if it bleeds'. I didn't feel the scalpel at all.

Was the nipple reconstruction a day surgery? How long did it take for you to feel normal after it? When were you back working and taking care of the kids?
Jan. 2nd, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
I am dead envious of your flat stomach.

I recommend taking a photo of your chest and try different things on it in Photoshop -- nipples, different tattoos, etc..

I've never been particularly attached to my nipples so I would much rather have something interesting tattooed there, like definitions of Euler's number or cunning little book illustrations.
Jan. 2nd, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
P.S. I have washable felt-tip markers designed for use on the skin (they're sold as temporary tattoo markers) that you're welcome to borrow.
( 3 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )