Doctor’s Appointments

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.

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5 thoughts on “Doctor’s Appointments

  1. Dear Michelle, the challenges just keep coming, don’t they? It’s just amazing to me that you’re meeting every challenge and making the best decisions with such grace and dignity. Many, maybe even most, would have just given up but not you! God truly is guiding you through all this and I think when you have to go back to the doctor He’ll be holding that hand. Imagine your hand in His as you have to maintain that position. He promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you and I know that means in that exam room too.

    We love you, Shelly.

    The Kupkas

  2. Know that I am praying for you daily. The decisions just keep coming and as I know you have been told you are one tough lady! I know there are times you feel like laying down and crying but you just keep plugging along, and you have 3 beautiful reasons to do so! I pray for peace and comfort for you, Wilma

  3. Hey I hope you all had a nice Christmas! Wow the things doctors can do. I would of thought they would just put an implant in and that would be that. But with you exercising you got your body in shape. Always think positive don’t let the devil put negative thoughts in your head. Put your faith and trust in God and He will never let you down. You should get one of the Bible study quarterlies. This one is called Jesus wept. But the funny thing with those studies what ever you are going through in life you seem to read a Bible scripture that goes along with your life. Ain’t it funny how God works? One time I messed up and read and studied the wrong week, and it was still things I was going through. Not the lesson itself, but the scriptures you read. Put God first and the rest will follow. Keep up your faith and I will keep praying for you and your family. I hope you all have a Healthy Happy New Year!!!! Lisa

  4. Know that I am praying for you daily. The decisions just keep coming and as I know you have been told you are one tough lady! I know there are times you feel like laying down and crying but you just keep plugging along, and you have 3 beautiful reasons to do so! I pray for peace and comfort for you, Wilma 7 brb

  5. Machille, since I’ve gone thru this let me share some things with you. I had a double mastectomy, followed by reconstuctive surgery where they put in silicone implants which became hard as rocks, so I had them replaced and had saline put in only to have that become hard – seems my body simply rejected anything in there. When the surgeon suggestioned a third tried I said I’d had enough, just let me be flat. One gets tired of pain after awhile. I was then fitted for a mastectomy bra with silicone prothesis which are inserted in the bra. That’s what I’ve worn ever since. Frankly, I don’t bother with wearing them at home, but I always do in public as I feel they make clothes fit better. I’ve always been warm naturally and have found the thicker bra and prothesis make me feel hotter.
    There are some men some who can’t seem accept their wives this way, but my opinion isn’t very high of them. After all our bodies all have issues as we age – sag and sink, etc.
    Remember in the new earth we’ll have perfect bodies. Until then remember we keep you in our prayers daily and will continue.
    In the Blessed Hope.
    Love, Doris

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