It’s a good day.
Today’s a good day. The sun is shining. My dishes are clean. Noone can say I have breast cancer.
I even went to the plastic surgeon this morning for my first boob fill. Yes, I have an expandable boob that will get filled with saline every two weeks for a while! It didn’t hurt much, which was a relief. She uses a magnet to find the port in the expander, then inserts a needle into it and injects saline. The needles gave me an uncomfortable pinch for longer than I would have liked, but that was the worst of it. My breast, though, felt like I suddenly had a porn star boob – large and perky. However, when looked down, it barely looked any bigger!
From what I’ve heard, the first few fills don’t hurt. The last few do. As you get more along in the process, the goal is to expand your skin to make room for an appropriately sized implant. Since they took out lots of skin with the mastectomy, there just isn’t any way to pop in an equally sized implant until the skin gets stretched. Fun all around, eh?
I had to drive to Troy’s office and show him my porn star boob. He enjoyed the visit.
Ok, that makes it sound like we made out in the elevator or something. We didn’t. It was more like, “You have to see this boob.” And then he was like, “Yeah, I can tell it is bigger.”
It didn’t get more exciting than that. I didn’t even let him look down my shirt. This was a fully clothed boob exhibit.
In related news, I picked up a piece of mail off the table last night and found some interesting news. One of the casualties of breast cancer in this house is our mail. Before breast cancer, we allowed it to pile up, but we at least looked at it before we threw it on the pile. Now, we just chuck everything in a pile and hope for it to catch fire someday. Anyway, last night, I noticed an insurance envelope that looked slightly different from the others. Opened it. It was my approval for a bilateral mastectomy. Hoorah. (That was a sarcastic hoorah.)
The mail has been there maybe a week, so don’t go thinking this news somehow would have changed the outcome of my surgery one month ago. It wouldn’t have.
In the 18 or so hours since I got the mail, I’ve been thinking about it. What to do? Here is what I’ve decided and my decision is subject to change at ANY moment.
I have decided to postpone the surgery, perhaps forever . I do think I want to do it eventually. However, it would make me really happy if I could have another baby and breastfeed again. Even if I decide not to go that route, I think I would like a break from serious medical procedures. (Since March 27, I have had: lumpectomy surgery, fertility treatments, egg collection surgery, port surgery, chemo and a mastectomy surgery). I will have fills on the implant every two weeks for a few months. Then, I’ll have an exchange surgery. (I may see if I can postpone the exchange until after May 5. We’ll see how that progresses.)
Having the second mastectomy right now would just extend my recovery time that I’m so looking forward to ending. Taking a break gives me a chance to see if the expander (and later the implant) is going to settle down to an acceptable place or not. Acceptable to me would mean that I look relatively even in clothing. It’s probably not going to do that, at least according to my plastic surgeon. So, if not, then I’ll probably go back next summer or fall and get the bilateral mastectomy done – which would be long before I will have the chance to have a baby or breastfeed. But, in the meantime, I really want to get back to working out, get stronger, lose some weight and get ready to walk a mini-marathon on May 5!!! I don’t want to delay my “training” for it any longer.
Or maybe I won’t have it done next summer. Maybe I’ll just deal with the lop-sidedness for a few years, breastfeed, then get it done. I’m just not sure right now. (I started taking Tamoxifen last week. I’ll need to be on it at least two years, but a recommended five years, before I can stop and try to get pregnant.)
There is no urgent medical need to have the second mastectomy. It would be a preventative measure, because my risk of recurrence is very high, and it would be a cosmetic treatment, because there is just no way to make a fake breast match a real one. So, I can postpone it as long as I want.
I discussed it with my doctor today and she is in favor of postponing any decision at all at least until my exchange surgery. She said it would be convenient all around if I wanted to have a lift on my “real” side at that point, but I doubt if I would do a lift. A lift is almost guaranteed to destroy my breastfeeding abilities. I did find out, though, that a lift has only a very slight risk of ruining sensation because the nerves run sort of to the side and under the breast and just won’t be affected. That’s good to know.
So, that’s what’s up in my life. How about you?
Rome pictures … check later
Seriously, they are good. Troy has been writing hilarious captions. I’ll be editing tonight. I think we’ll have them posted tonight! Stay tuned!
This is taking a while because we took over 1,000 photos in Rome. One thousand. I edited them down to about 230 of the very best ones that told the story of our trip. It’s quite a job!