Archive for November, 2012

November 30, 2012

Big boob, bigger boob!

I had the final top-up to my implant yesterday…another 20ml. My surgeon was pleased again which pleases me. He’s pencilled me in his diary to be seen in three months, after my radiotherapy and hysterectomy, to reconstruct
the nipple and work on the other breast.

I was unable to come home with a prosthesis to wear over the smaller breast as the clinic didn’t have quite the right shape. I shall be collecting it next week. Now I have to shop for bras! Yay!!

last_beforelast_after

Here I am before and after             

Again, the muscle feels tight but the pain is far less than last week. Actually, most of the pain is now under and on the inside of my upper arm but I’ve been assured this is normal. I no longer need to wear the compression bra so the implant will begin to drop and look more natural. At the moment, the profile is a little strange!

S1270008

I feel I’ve put a big part of my treatment behind me now. Radiotherapy, whilst inconvenient isn’t too bad. Then I have two more operations, which again, aren’t too bad…they just take some time for recovery but it’s not gruelling like chemotherapy was. All is still on schedule to be completed and healed by next summer although total healing will take a further year and repairing chemo damage even longer and some not at all. My hair is growing back…I’ve even had to whip it off my legs, underarms and lady bits! Eyebrows and eyelashes are taking their time though…sod’s law, huh?

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November 27, 2012

Radiotherapy planning and yet more surgery…

I have a CT Scan next week in preparation for my radiotherapy. (Golly, radiotherapy, another new experience headed my way)

I’ve been told I’ll have 15 sessions over three weeks (but these things have a habit of changing) and then I shall be back in hospital for a hysterectomy. Yep…more surgery. I feel a little steamrollered but hey!

I knew I would need one some day soon due to a large fibroid but the gynaecologist would like me have it as soon as possible so he can remove my ovaries as I am now slightly more at risk of developing ovarian cancer and also to stop the production of estrogen as my cancer is ER+, which means it feeds on the stuff.

Then, I shall have the second mastectomy and reconstruction.

Jeez…it seems like an awful lot but when it’s all done I shall be a new woman!
I’m hoping all will be sorted by next summer and I can put everything behind me and get back to some sort of normality.

I have a wonderful husband who has been working so hard and looking after me and I can’t wait to reverse that.

November 26, 2012

Happy Anniversary, TB xx

Today is our first wedding anniversary.

Here we are a year ago in our wedding finery

It hasn’t been quite the year we’d imagined, not that we’d planned anything spectacular, just a quiet, content year, sharing everything together. Well, we’ve shared everything…ups (TB triathloning again) and some major downs and I know that without ToyBoy at my side, holding me up (literally, sometimes) I would not have been able to get through it.

So thank you, darling. I love you with all my heart, always and only
xxx

We gave each other matching beads (his is the blokey black one)
and next year we’re planning matching leisure wear…

November 24, 2012

Sans Nipple…

Here it is…the moment I’ve been waiting for…the first sight of my scar and I am so pleased.

This is the first time my surgeon has seen it, too and he was very pleased.
There’s no fluid, very little bruising, the implant hasn’t moved. the port hasn’t moved
and the scar is wonderfully smooth. Some of the areola has been saved and this will be used to make the new nipple and a new areola will be tattooed around it. Good, huh?

This photograph was taken after I’d had another 40ml of saline injected into the implant.
The breast will settle in time and look less like a football!
The injection and fill-up didn’t hurt at all; in fact, we were all laughing about it. However, by the evening, the tightness and stretching of the muscle was very painful but this has now eased and the painkillers helped.
Next week, I’m having the final top up…not 40ml, I don’t want to poke TB in the eye.

EDIT: Just in case you were wondering, I will be having the other breast worked on so it will match!

November 20, 2012

Two weeks on…

Here I am two weeks after my mastectomy. The dressings are off but the steristrips are still on…they will be removed in a couple of days and I will get my first glimpse of my scar and nipple free zone!

Having an immediate implant, although painful and uncomfortable (with more of that to come as it is inflated gradually once the swelling has gone) has, for me, been wonderful. My implant is under the muscle so is causing a fair bit of pain but this will eventually subside. A delay in reconstruction would have made it a longer, more painful process as the skin would need to be stretched and I’m not good with pain.

Hmmm…I’ve mentioned pain four times in the paragraph above.
Lord, I am such a wimp!

November 11, 2012

New boobage!

Wehey…back home and out of bed! Time for a catch up, too.

The view from my hospital window…perdy, no?

Right, the more serious stuff…

My surgeon has a neat set of different coloured pens and I assume he simply cut along the dotted lines. Actually, the blue line around the nipple and down and then the one under  my arm is where he cut. He was able to cut within the line around the areola so will be able to use it to reconstruct the nipple, lessening the amount of tattooing needed. The red outline is the implant and the little red box is the port for inflating with saline. The blue Xs are where the drains exit and I had a third one but cannot remember where it exited.

Here I am two days after surgery. Two of the drains have been removed. All I can see in this photograph is the tummy which has mysteriously appeared. It can’t possibly be anything to do with Mssrs Green & Black, can it?

Here are the drain bags. I had to take these everywhere with me. It was good to come home with only one left. ToyBoy is emptying it each morning for me as it is quite tricky to do with my numb fingertips.

I also had to wear, and continue to wear, these super sexy surgical stockings…

Trust me…this is a lentil bake with swede and mashed potato. YUM!

I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. There’s a tightness across my chest, which I guess is the muscle being stretched by the implant underneath it and a soreness inside as well as where the incisions have been made. I have antibiotics, iron, paracetamol, tramadol, ibuprofen and in the hospital I also had oramorph and man, do I need it all!

But so far, I’m happy. The shape looks good. The implant has already had saline put in it and will have one or two more inflations. I have a Becker Implant, which acts as a stretcher too so will not need replacing unless my radiotherapy causes the muscle to tighten uncomfortably around it. When all the swelling has gone it will be about twice the size of my other breast so I will need a prosthesis for two or three months until I can have an implant to even them up.

Having an immediate implant has been such a good thing. I wish I’d known this was possible right from the start as it would have saved some anguish…I’d been told it couldn’t be done until after radiotherapy. My one criticism of this whole process is that the members of my team don’t always talk to each other.

Now the only thing playing on my mind is whether or not I should opt for a mastectomy on the other side, too. At the moment, I think it would be easier than maybe having to go through chemotherapy ever again.

November 7, 2012

Update

Hi everyone, it’s me again. ToyBoy, Mr T, The Husband Fellow.

Firstly the operation, in the opinion of the surgeon (and he’d know, right?) went exactly as planned.  Upon further inspection today there was minimal bruising (which is a good thing) and two of the three drains are almost redundant even before they actually fulfilled their purpose (which again is a good thing).

I’ll let my wife give you the full story but surgery was unavoidably delayed by a couple of hours (as these things can be) and whilst I fully expected her on a ward around 6 p.m. she didn’t come up from Recovery until 8:30. Even then she never really came around before I left at half ten.  The poor dog was crossing his legs when I arrived home, I can tell you.

I was able to see her for the whole of visiting today and she was feeling much better, apart from the slight niggle which she describes as being slammed in the chest with a sledgehammer.  She can be SO dramatic. ;o)

All being well she’ll be home by Friday with pictures, postings and fewer drains.

Once again let me just say a big thank you to everyone for your continued support.

November 5, 2012

Thunderbirds are go!

Today’s blood test was fine and surgery is tomorrow!

All packed and ready to go. Yikes…

November 1, 2012

World Vegan Day

The clue’s in the title!

Today’s lunch

Today’s lunch topless!

See how good being vegan can be?