Last week I had two doctor’s appointments on Thursday. The first one was with a reconstruction surgeon. The other was with radiation. It was a really long day. I thought I would post about what I learned and did at the doctor’s offices.
The first appointment was with the reconstruction surgeon. First let me say this appointment was a big disappointment. We went in thinking one thing but left think quite another thing! My “understanding” of reconstructive surgery was that they go in and place an expander in to stretch your skin and tissue. Each week this expander gets filled with a little more liquid until it reaches its desired size. At that point they go in and take out the expander and place an implant in. Sounds fairly easy right??? Well that is not what happens!!! Apparently they no longer do it this way because they found you can get some serious infections and scar tissue around the implant. Not an option for me. So let me tell you what my options are: (can’t remember what each is called anymore- Ugh chemo brain!) The first is where they take one of my stomach muscles and flip it up to my breast area- the idea is to keep blood vessels in tack so you have healthy tissue that forms a breast. This would produce an almost tummy tuck effect on my stomach. The other is where they take a back muscle and flip it to the front (across my underarm) to form a breast. Okay now we are talking about more pain than I signed up for!!! I am burnt out on pain! After the doctor examined me he doesn’t think the stomach option is viable. I have no extra fat or skin there to take. In fact he said that my skin doesn’t show that I had 3 kids- it has no stretch (bad for reconstruction but good for my self-esteem!!) So here are my thoughts on this subject: I am tired of pain and this sounds like a lot of pain. There would be at least two surgerys and if they don’t turn out even there would be many more revision surgerys in the future. Ugh!! My other thought is that if I did go through all of this and then in a year my cancer came back I wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy my time with my kids. So surgery is on the back burner for a while.
A funny story. While we were at the surgeon’s office, the surgeon was explaining each procedure and drawing just with a black ball point pen to illustrate, John started wiggling in his seat. I kept wondering why he was so fidgety. I got my answer half way into the appointment. He stood up and announced that he had to leave the room because he was getting sick to his stomach. What??? I guess there is a reason he is a pilot and not a doctor!
My second appointment was with radiation. They just had to mark me all up. I went in thinking it would be an easy appointment. Boy was I wrong. I had to lay on my back with my hand above my head holding onto a bar. I was instructed to let my elbow relax as far as it would. (Not very far without pain!!) They made a mode and then marked me with a pretty blue marker. It took around 30-45 minutes. I had to ask to stop one time because I was in so much pain and I couldn’t feel most of my hand and arm. I was told that my next appointment will be 5-7 days from Thursday and it will be a dry run. (I was also told it would take 45 minutes and to take some pain medication before the appointment)UGH!! Needless to say I have been practicing at home- laying in the same position as long as I can in hopes of stretching out my underarm so it won’t hurt as much as it did. I was also instructed not to scrub the blue marks and just in case I couldn’t remember they placed surgical tape over some of the marks. The marks that weren’t covered have already started to fade so I hope they call soon!
By the time I got home on Thursday I was exhausted and kinda bummed out! Glad Christmas was the next couple of days because that made me feel much better!! I hope to have some Christmas pictures up really soon.