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Welcome to 2013!

Happy New Year, Everyone!! It has been way too long since my last blog, but in my defense, I did post a few guest blogs for a wonderful lady who is gracious enough to love my writing. With the new year, I would love to make a resolution to write at least one blog per week, but that is probably not realistic. However, I will aim for one blog every other week. Boring weeks will be skipped, and the not-so-boring weeks may include multiple rants. Deal?

So, back to the resolution business. My resolution this year (the same as last year) is to lose about 20 pounds. And to those who know me personally…no groans about me not having 20 pounds to lose. They are there, trust me. Last year I started at a higher number, which is a good thing…but not MUCH higher. I did well last year until I had my infamous surgery on March 16th. Cutting calories is not good for recovery, so I quit cutting them. And my first surgery and recovery period turned into my second surgery on August 9th. More recovery…more good excuses to eat what I want. And then came the holidays shortly after, and here I sit with the same 20 pounds I wanted to lose last year.

Yes, I have excuses. No, they are not all valid ones. Therefore, for 2013…there are no surgeries on the horizon, nothing to place diet speed bumps in my way and only my will power to tangle with. So far today I have resisted snacking, warded off the offer of ice cream at my in-laws house and I will not be eating another thing before I go to bed. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to turn this blog into my weight loss journey…it’s just fresh in my mind today since this is probably the biggest dieting day of the year for just about anyone wanting to shed a few pounds.

What a year this has been. One thing I am so happy I can say about 2012 is that I don’t regret my surgery decision one bit. I am so passionate about the choice I made one year ago, and I am thrilled with the results. Something tells me that if I lose some of this belly fat I will be even more thrilled…HA! But in all seriousness, I would love to be the spokesperson for this procedure. I want to shout it from the rooftops…BRCA gene carriers!! Chart your own course by becoming informed about your options! Don’t be scared…more women are having this surgery every day! I am excited about prevention, when I have seen first hand what it can do when it catches a woman by surprise. As I have said all along, I know I did not completely eliminate my risk, but I feel that God led me to make this decision. I know it was all part of His plan for my life.

Another year gone by…I recently celebrated my 34th birthday. They seem to be coming so quickly, and the term “thirtysomething” is really starting to make sense. My girls are half way through Kindergarten, which is probably the biggest eye-opener for me. They are such amazing little creatures. I can’t pull anything over on them anymore, which makes life completely exhausting. Sometimes I will speak my thoughts, they hear me, and I find myself trying to explain something even I don’t fully understand. As parents we must come to terms with the fact that we really don’t know everything. Even more alarming for me to discover is that I really don’t WANT to know everything. I just wish my kids felt the same way. 🙂

Anyways, welcome to 2013! A brand new 365 days. Plenty of days for love, hugs, tears, trials, joy, excitement, memories, experiences, firsts, lasts and everything in between. I hope to spend more time with my family and friends, and less time worrying about the things beyond my control. I controlled enough in 2012…it’s time for me to put my faith in God and take the year off!

Blessings to you all, and thanks for reading!! ❤

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Life of a 9-Volt Battery

So last night while it was still a reasonable hour, I was digging through all my scrapbook materials to locate some decorative letter stickers. I was standing in my closet working on a gift for a friend, since sitting down is for sissies, and I heard a very distinctive chirp come from the other room. I immediately knew what it was. It was a warning that the battery was dying in one of our smoke alarms. Which one? I had no idea, and I never heard it again before going to bed.

Why is it that these things never happen in the middle of the day? It’s like the onset of the stomach bug, or something tripping the burglar alarm…there is some unspoken rule that they must occur no earlier than 2 a.m. So at roughly 1:45 a.m. I was slowly woken from a dream as the chirps were getting closer and closer together. I knew which smoke alarm it was now…the one about 10 feet from my side of the bed. So, I began the process of waking my husband. I told him the smoke alarm was chirping and I did not want to listen to it for 4 more hours. And since he did not want to listen to me for 4 more hours, he got right out of bed to take care of things.

He sent me looking for a new 9 volt battery. Much to my delight, I found one immediately upon opening the kitchen junk drawer. I brought it to him like some prized possession. There he was at 2 a.m. climbing onto the top of our chest of drawers like an agile mountain cat. Not really, he looked more like a clumsy platypus, but for the moment he was my hero…so mountain cat it is. He took the smoke alarm down and we argued about how to get the new battery in. After we both agreed it was in right and he got it back on the ceiling, the chirping continued. There was no way I was looking for another battery, dumb luck usually only happens once at 2 a.m. So we decided to just take it down for the night.

He unplugged it from the ceiling which I was sure would shut the thing up. Wrong! The chirping continued with no power and a dead battery. What is this thing? Some type of zombie smoke alarm? Anyway, I ended up wrapping it in a towel and stuffing it in the bottom of our hamper. I then closed the two doors between our bed and the hamper, and finally, we achieved sweet silence. They always say to check the batteries in your smoke alarms when you change your clocks for daylight savings…well…my smoke alarms are taking the task seriously this year. We plan to change the battery in all of them at once, so we avoid any more 2 a.m. wake-up calls.

I’ll never forget the first time this happened to us. It was the one in Brooke’s room, and we kept hearing the chirp over the baby monitor. And you guessed it, it was around 2 a.m. My husband had the ladder in her room and was fighting to get the thing off the ceiling. But she never even woke up. Have you ever tried to open up a full-sized ladder in a sleeping baby’s room in the middle of the night? It sounds like you are tearing the house apart. But that was another time when I wrapped the thing up and buried it under something to avoid the noise until the morning. It was about 3 years ago, so I suppose that is about the life span of a 9 volt battery. Just in case you were wondering.

p.s. for those wondering about my progress in healing, the rashes go away with the medication, but after I stop using it for about a week…the rash comes back. My plastic surgeon wants to do a biopsy, but instead I am thinking of going to see my dermatologist. Surely she has seen something like this, right? And if not, at least skin problems are her specialty. I don’t plan to keep using anti-fungal cream for the rest of my life, but you know what usually happens to my plans. Thanks for keeping up with my journey!!

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Rashes and White Patches

I’m a firm believer in never saying, “What next?!” Because I am also a firm believer in jinxing myself with Murphy’s Law. However, if any few weeks call for it…it’s these past few weeks. Specifically this week, or today even. So yes, my rashes are back. And the funky spot on my nipple that was scaring me, yup, that’s a rash too. The nurse told me last week at my appointment that it is probably from me having to wear a bra 24/7 in the Florida summer. Well, yes…I am often hot and feel sweaty. Simply because after being pregnant with twins I am NEVER cold anymore. And more so because I have this hot cotton bra on, and I have allowed myself to gain some extra padding (not the good kind…the kind around my waist). So, these factors are all welcoming to the random fungal rash. Which I have also spread to my lips and parts of my legs. What the heck???

Then, last night I wasn’t feeling all that great. I drank the usual Airborne concoction that usually knocks it right out of me. Well, in the middle of the night I woke with horrible throat pain. And when I say horrible, I mean it felt like I was trying to swallow knives. So, I slept off and on after that. Once I was up, nothing made the pain any better. Not hot drinks, not cold drinks, and certainly not eating anything. And do you think a Mom ever gets a sick day? You Moms out there know the answer to that. Nope…I had to suck it up and get the kids ready for school since it was picture day. Usually Johnny takes the girls to school on Tuesday, but not on picture day. He knows nothing about doing hair. And I would be worried about him if he did. So, I took everything on this morning, and even made it to work with a smile on my face and a helpful attitude.

Mid-morning I called the walk-in clinic that’s only 5 minutes from the office. There was no one in the waiting room, so I made a bee line over there. I was in and out in 30 minutes. My strep test came back negative, but I’m very skeptical. I have not had throat pain like this since….well…um, the last time I had strep. He mentioned I may have Mono and I couldn’t suppress the eye roll. I am not a teenager, I don’t eat or drink after anyone (not even my husband and especially not my kids) and I haven’t been kissing anyone either. I decided to silence this inner monologue since he was a doc-in-the-box and not a therapist. So he gives me these options on how I want him to treat me. Um, aren’t you the Doctor? But if it’s my choice, give me the antibiotic. It can’t hurt, and something has to give.

Out the door I went with my prescription, and I returned to work to finish out my day. When I arrived at home (after stopping at Publix to fill my Rx), I realized today is the girls’ first day of cheer practice. So, I had approximately 45 minutes before we had to leave the house for that.  Then I got a bomb dropped on me. Brooke’s frog made it to the 3rd log in school today. And this is NOT a good thing. Allow me to explain the way discipline works at Trinity Christian. Each student begins each day with their personal frog on a lily pad. The first time they do something wrong, they get a warning. The second time, the frog hops on the 1st log, and they get 5 minutes against the fence at recess. The third time, the frog hops on the 2nd log, and they get 10 minutes against the fence at recess. The FOURTH time, the frog hops on the 3rd log, and they get 15 minutes against the fence at recess and a note sent home. One more time and Brooke would have been in the principal’s office. I sign their behavior charts daily. If the frog stays on the lily pad, they get a frog sticker on the chart. If their frog gets on a log, they get the corresponding number written in place of the frog sticker.

So, my sneaky Brooke took one of her old frog stickers and put it over the number 3 on her chart. And since I also reinforce punishment at home and take away their prized Biddy Baby and crib when they get a log, she had pushed her baby’s crib into Haley’s room and hid it behind a chair. She is something else, isn’t she? So, I am trying to scold her and reason with her. She is hysterical because by that time I had found Biddy Baby and taken her to my bedroom where she will stay until Brooke brings a frog sticker home (the right way). So, by this time I am angry and disappointed with her, and then I open her bring home folder. Inside it is this beautiful picture that Brooke drew of our family, and it clearly says, “Love You Mom and Dad” in big letters. Now I am in quite the predicament. I want her to know how much I love it, without negating any of the punishment she just experienced. Sometimes being parent is impossible.

You may be curious to know why Brooke gets her frog on a log practically every other day. She honestly has come home with more logs than frogs. It is mainly from talking out of turn. She is a complete chatter box. She gets it honestly. But today she made it to the 3rd log, which has never happened, and that is because not only was she talking but she also refused to lay down at rest time. This is not the child I know. Brooke has always been the conformist, and Haley is the free spirit. However, in 3 weeks of school, Haley’s frog has only been on a log twice. It’s always what you least expect as a parent. Who knew Brooke would be the rebel? I can just look at her and she snaps back in line…apparently Mrs. Thurston doesn’t quite have this effect on her. Hopefully with me working with Mrs. Thurston, we can get Brooke on track.

Cheer practice was interesting. From the progress made, I can see that I will have to be the stand-in cheer instructor during the week. This will be interesting. They had fun though…until the very end when Brooke started complaining about a sore throat. And sure enough, right before bed her temperature was climbing. I gave her some Motrin, and Haley is planning to go to school by herself tomorrow. There’s that urge again…are you saying it with me yet?

What next?!

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Implant Allergy?

Really? Is this the way the world works? I don’t have a single allergy…except for possibly Cipro, oh, and that one incident with the skin of a mango. And now I get breast implants and break out into hives. If I could only tell my body, “Um, no, please. This is NOT the thing to be allergic to. Especially since we no longer have any breast tissue. SOMETHING has to take its place!” Apparently my body doesn’t care about all that. And the nurse doesn’t believe it. Beautiful.

So, it all started with my last post about the rash on my incisions. That was one week post-op. Here I am over three weeks post-op and although the original rash has diminished thanks to the prescription cream, more little hive-like bumps have migrated to other parts of my body. Mainly my legs and upper arms. And thanks to my itching and subsequent scratching, I now have larger sore-like bumps in random places. Some are even appearing on my forehead?!

My plan of attack? Search the symptoms online. Is this EVER a good idea? No, it’s not. But….I found this forum of women (most posts are over a year old) who claim to be allergic to their breast implants. They note the itching and scratching and hives. Oh, and some even have swollen lips that feel like they are constantly chapped. This is another one of my symptoms. The only thing that helps is Carmex. And usually, for regular chapped lips, I could apply once and overnight my lips were fine. Not this time. It burns like crazy at first, and eventually gets better. However, as soon as I wipe my lips after eating, the burn comes right back. This is nuts! Another thing all these women had in common…their plastic surgeons do not believe them and will never admit it’s the implants. Regardless of this being the only thing different about them, and it’s something they ALL have in common. I thought, “(insert high-and-mighty scoff here) We’ll see about that! I will call my plastic surgeon to make an appointment, and surely they won’t tell me I’m crazy.”

Wrong! I haven’t even made it to my appointment yet, and the nurse already called me in an attempt to dissolve my suspicions. I told the receptionist that I have a stitch hanging out, I itch all over and my nipple is leaking fluid. I figured that at three weeks post-op, that ought to be enough to get an appointment. So, she scheduled me to come in tomorrow morning. However, this evening I received a phone call from the nurse. She asked me what was going on. First she addressed the stitch. She will not remove any stitch until I’m at least six weeks out, so I will have to live with the fishing line sticking out of me for a couple more weeks. Secondly, there is NO way I can be allergic to my implants. I must be having a reaction to something else. The antibiotics sometimes take a few days to get out of my system. (But I have been off the antibiotics for about two weeks now.) Well, maybe you are taking a generic form of Advil. (No, I’m not taking a generic or non-generic form of anything.) Maybe you ate something you are allergic to. (I don’t have any food allergies – or at least I’ve had no contact with mango skin.) Well, maybe you need to see your general practitioner. (UGH! I see where this is going.)

I suddenly felt sympathy and camaraderie with that forum of women. Please God, don’t let this be my complication that doesn’t go away. The nurse suggested that I take Benedryl. What? For the rest of my life? No, my body just needs to get used to these things. I hope. Anyway, then it was time to address my third concern regarding my nipple leakage. And I don’t mean like how a nipple leaks when breast feeding. It is coming out of what I swear is a small cut on the side of the nipple. I noticed it after my surgery, and I didn’t think anything of it until it started leaking much like my incision leaked last time. So, she tells me that maybe it’s a stitch. I really don’t see how. And I know the object of her phone call was probably to cancel my appointment, but that didn’t happen. I said I would feel much better if I came into the office, even if she just looks at me. Fine, whatever. Give me the once over, call me crazy and send me on my way. But I need a medical opinion to shut my conscience up this time. A phone call and a dose of Benedryl just isn’t going to cut it.

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Kindergarten, oh Kindergarten…

Today my babies started going to school every day for the next…oh…18 years or so. Bittersweet? Oh yes!  However, we had a great morning. I woke up two excited girls at 7 a.m. Then our schedule even worked out where we were leaving the house at 7:30 as planned. Beginning on Wednesday, this will strictly be Johnny’s job, so good luck to him! 🙂  As a mother, I am somewhat used to it. This will be new territory for Daddy. I think he is dreading it. However, this is the way it has to be if I’m going to be off work in time to pick them up everyday.

Johnny and I both took the girls to school today. We walked them in, helped them put their lunch boxes and backpacks away, and showed them to their seats. At first, Brooke’s seat was blocked by an upset little boy who was sitting on the floor. He saw us coming, and fearfully moved out of the way. He sits next to Brooke, and he was not happy to be there. I surely hope his day got better. As soon as Casper moved aside, Brooke pulled out her chair and sat right down. There was a coloring page, so she grabbed her pencil box to fetch her crayons and got right to work.

Haley was busy doing the same thing on the other side of the room. She sits next to a little girl who she already calls her “best friend at school.” I snapped a few pictures of the girls and then they were telling us “good-bye” and sending us on our way. I never expected any issues…after all, they go to Sunday School in the room next door.

Why is it that the cute, happy, put-together children you drop off in the morning are not the same children you pick up? The children you pick up are mad, hot, thirsty, sweating and on the verge of tears. Or is that just my children? You see, my girls HATE being hot. They also don’t really like the sun since that is what MAKES them hot. And apparently the last 1/2 hour of their day is spent on the playground, and then they have to wait for me in the car line. This is NOT a good equation. Haley barely made it into the car before having a complete meltdown because she left Ducky in the classroom. This realization in turn made Brooke’s tears start to flow. A NIGHT WITHOUT DUCKY??? Um, no, never going to happen. However, my assurances that I was going to park and we were going to go get him were not doing anything.

But, that is just what we did. I pulled out of the car line and parked. Luckily their teacher was on the ramp still, so I explained the situation and she said to follow her. She was nice enough to take us back to the classroom so we could rescue the twin Ducks. This definitely helped matters, but I could tell it was still going to be a long drive home. I took one look at my kids and my mind screamed, “Give them juice and a snack before the chaos ensues!!” However, coming from work, I had no drink or snack. I was just going to have to drive on eggshells the whole way home.

We proceeded out of the parking lot, and I gingerly asked about their day. Brooke’s first comment was, “If we had to stay there ANY longer, I was not going to be happy.” To which a sullen Haley chimed in with, “Why do we have to be there so long?” She was on the verge of tears the whole way home. And it didn’t help that Johnny had turned the A/C up to 80 degrees in the house before we left this morning. He will NOT do that again. I warned him that it is difficult to appease the hot, cranky children when the house feels like a sauna. We agreed on 78 from now on…and I will promptly turn it down to 76 when I walk in the door.

I assure you that after the first few sips of cool apple juice and bites of sandwich, these were completely different children. They actually DID have a good day, and they love their Mom again. It is amazing what heat and hunger can do to a child, well, to any of us for that matter. I sat at the table with them and they happily chatted about their day. I went through their backpacks and pulled out the first two take-home papers of the year. Then I noticed a beautiful cookie the teacher had baked for them that was shaped like a hand with a heart in it. Attached to the cookie bag was a laminated card that said, “On my first day of Kindergarten, we read “The Kissing Hand.” Ask me to tell you all about it!” It was the neatest thing, and the girls had so much fun telling me about the story. I noticed on the daily behavior chart that they both had a good day. This is something I have to initial each day, so this ought to get interesting throughout the year.

Probably the best thing about today was when I asked the girls if they like their teacher. Brooke said, “We love her.” What better thing to hear from your child on the first day of school? I look forward to this school year. I know it will bring sickness and maybe a sometimes inconvenient routine, but nothing compares to what they will get out of it. After day one, I am thrilled with our choice in schools. It is hard to choose a private school…it is hard to decide to PAY to send your children to school.  However, when the school Administrator gets up in front of the church congregation on Sunday morning and asks us to pray for not only our school, but all the schools in our country….I can’t help but think we made a great choice, and the right choice for our family.

Already looking forward to another day at Trinity! 🙂

p.s. tomorrow I will come equipped with apple juice when I pick them up, and Ducky is staying at home…even Mommy can learn new things!

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New boobs and a rash

Today was my post-op visit with my plastic surgeon. The good news is that I’m ready to return to work. The bad news is that my incisions have some type of rash on them. And boy does this rash itch. I knew it itched before, but the nurse just saying the word “rash” made me want to take a rake to my chest. They called in some cream and hopefully this will clear up soon.

Other than that, I am healing fine. However, I must admit, my first view of myself in the mirror was kind of a let down. My porn star cleavage left with my expanders…much to my initial dismay. But I am growing fonder of my natural looking breasts. As my husband told me, “You’ve still traded a Pinto for a Mercedes.” Um, thanks, I guess. What does that say about what he thought of my original breasts? Who can blame him? I didn’t like them either.

It doesn’t help when my nurse has augmented breasts which are double D’s, and she is whispering to me, “If you want bigger ones, we can give them to you…we can just swap them out.” Oh really?! Don’t encourage me! She has also told me the exact Victoria’s Secret bra to purchase in order to maximize my cleavage.

It really is amazing to me how great I feel after only one week. I took one percocet the first day, and I haven’t had a pain pill since. I don’t even think I took Advil today. However, I can’t help but think the anesthesia is still having some residual hazy effects. I just have not felt like myself mentally. I have no idea how long it took the anesthesia to wear off last time because I was in a perpetual hydrocodone haze. But here I am one week later, and I can’t seem to completely clear my head yet. I’m getting closer every day though. If only this itching would stop!

They don’t know what caused the rash. It can’t be the antibiotic since it’s the same one I took after my first surgery with no incident. The only thing that is different this time is the scent of Dial Antibacterial soap. So, while picking up my prescription this evening, I got some of the horrible standard gold Dial soap. It’s what I used last time, and I absolutely hate it and the way it dries out my skin. However, if it helps clear up this rash then bring it on!!

All in all, if a rash on my incision is the greatest complication so far, bring that on as well. It is treatable and does not require further surgery. I have now been instructed on the proper way to massage my breasts (to avoid capsular contracture – which I will spare you the details on), and I have the green light to move “the girls” around. In 4 weeks I see the Dr. again for him to check my progress. Until then, no underwire bras and no heavy lifting. Otherwise, I am good to go!

I’m praising God over here for bringing me through this journey. And knowing I will eventually need additional surgery is no longer a scary thought. This time around was completely different, and extremely easy to bounce back from. I know who I owe that to, and I thank each of you who asked this of Him along with me.

I can now focus on this coming Monday…the day my babies enter Kindergarten. I am so excited for them and for the journey they are about to begin. You know what they say…as one chapter ends, so begins another.

 

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Far Cry From Last Time

Good morning, everyone! I am already blogging the day after my surgery. Amazing! For some reason I was expecting to feel the same way I did last time, but this time around has been so much easier. So far. Complications can crop up at anytime, so please keep the prayers coming! They have moved mountains so far.

I woke yesterday morning and felt very nervous. I was expecting the worst, to the point where I could feel my heart beating at times. I quickly got up and started busying myself with getting everything together. Staying busy always works for me. Therefore, I decided to drive as usual. Since I knew I would not be driving myself home.

They called me back to prep me shortly after we arrived to the outpatient surgery center. The nurses were all kind and verified what Dr. C was going to do. All these nurses were very familiar with Dr. C which made me very comfortable. The nurse who put my IV in was simply amazing. She used a little lidocaine and I did not feel a thing. She called me her model patient of the morning since everyone else’s veins had been giving her problems. She kept saying “big sting, big sting here” but I never felt anything. Just as they called my husband and mom back to see me, Dr. C arrived to mark me with the purple pen. That really tickled. He had me sit up straight and drew all kinds of lines on me to make sure he got everything as symmetrical as possible. It really is neat to watch him work. He is great at what he does, as many have told me.

I don’t even remember going into the operating room. Shortly after Dr. C marked me up, the anesthesiologist gave me something in my IV. I remember starting to feel loopy and telling the nurse, “Oh yeah, I’m ready now!” And then I woke up in recovery to a kind nurse who I couldn’t see. My husband had my glasses, and he couldn’t bring them until I moved to the next level of recovery. Oh well, blurry will have to do. My first question, as you can imagine, was “Do I have drains?” The answer was a glorious NO! She said everything went very well. I was in and out of resting at this point. It was about 2 p.m. My surgery was at noon, so it hadn’t taken Dr. C very long to get things done. A few minutes later I had another question, “I know I just asked you this, but do I have drains?” She laughed and told me “no” yet again.

After eating 3 packs of saltine crackers and drinking 2 cups of apple juice with no incident, she was ready to move me to where my family could see me. She told me it was a pleasure taking care of me, which I thought was really nice. Let me assure you that I do not ever complain at the hospital. I may complain about a lot of things, but I don’t bitch at the people with the needles who control the pain meds. I remain pleasant and do what I’m told. Doctors and other medical staff are pretty much the only people who have this type of control over me. I am normally an assertive, stubborn, head-strong woman…but they key to true assertiveness is knowing when to draw the line. My line is drawn when I walk into a hospital.

I remember the recovery nurse wheeling me under a door with a big clock that glowed with large red numbers…it was 2:25 p.m. By 2:30 p.m. I had my glasses on and was sending a few text messages to concerned family and friends. No need for morphine this time, and I was already preparing to go home. The nurse told me to get my clothes on and she would get my discharge papers. I was amazed when I could throw back my own covers, swing my own legs around and get dressed with just a little help from my Mom. It was amazingly different! I walked over to the bathroom with little to no pain and had no issue taking care of myself. I could hardly believe how right they had been! In that moment, I was and still am so very grateful for all the wonderful people praying me through this process. I have jumped the last hurdle, and the finish line is within sight…once my last wounds heal. My dearly loved Cousin Dona said, “The end is in sight!” She knew just what I was feeling in that moment. Relief that my body was already on the road to recovery.

This morning I feel about like I did two weeks after the first surgery. I can already sit up on my own from a laying position, and I can bend down without much pain if I’m careful. When I woke up, I could tell the swelling had set in. The familiar tightness in my chest was back, but under ice my chest muscles calm right back down. The fact that my muscles have already been cut and healed is what made this surgery so much easier. They were shifted around yesterday in the transfer, so they are a little sore, but nothing like what I went through the last time. And there is no longer an elephant sitting on my chest. Breathing is easier, and I am feeling rather well after only taking 3 Advil this morning…a-ma-zing!

I plan to avoid the Percocet if I can. I took one at 10:30 last night since I was afraid to wake in the middle of the night with pain. Well instead, I woke at 2:30 a.m. to insomnia! I didn’t get back to sleep until 4 a.m. My kids sleep through the night now, so why can’t I?? No more Percocet before bed. Hopefully no more Percocet at all.

This evening I can take my first shower. I will get the first look at my new boobs. I am excited and nervous to see them. Last time I knew I was only in transition, so it softened the blow. This time, what is there is there. So, we shall see. I can never thank my family and friends enough for helping me through this. While I know I am still recovering, my faith is strong that God will continue to see me through this journey. I hope one day to be an inspiration to others in my situation and to be able to support them through knowledge, faith and understanding. The preventive mastectomy may be somewhat rare now, but I imagine if a cure is not found soon…prevention will be the new cure. I am faithful that it was my cure.

God bless…more to come!

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Ready, Set, Go…I guess

Tomorrow is my second phase surgery. Right now is the first moment today that I have sat down and thought about that. I welcomed being busy at work today. It was also the girls’ first day of ballet class this season. So, after a late dinner, baths and my own shower…here I sit…reflecting on what’s to come. Tomorrow I will meet my implants. I am excited, relieved, anxious, worried, scared, uh oh. This is going south very fast.

On Tuesday of this week I had my pre-op testing appointment. That was rather uneventful, which is a good thing. I did learn that I prefer to see my weight in kilograms as opposed to pounds. The hospital uses kilograms…how thoughtful of them. Shortly after my pre-op appointment, I had an appointment to see my plastic surgeon’s PA. My incision that has always leaked a little was starting to leak some more. Instead of just leaking from the corner, there is about a two inch line that is seeping and irritated looking. I was worried about going into surgery with a possible infection, so they told me to come in.

While in the waiting room, another patient came in for her appointment. She was not getting around very well. The receptionist asked her how she was doing, and the lady proceeded to give her an ear full. Apparently, this poor woman also has expanders, but halfway through her expansion one of them ruptured. So, she just had surgery to remove the damaged expander and replace it with a new one. This also means that the expansions of that side have to start all over again. She was at 500 cc’s and now that side is back to 250 cc’s. I felt even worse for her when she said she has to get to 1000 cc’s, being that they only put in around 60 cc’s every two weeks. I sat right there and silently thanked God for saving me from that experience. My body might be leaking a little bit, but my expanders are just as full as ever. For that I am thankful.

Shortly after that, I was called back by the PA. Once I had removed the pertinent clothing, she came back in with a camera. She told me that Dr. C would want a picture of my incision. Okay, why not, they don’t feel like mine anymore anyway. She started checking me over, and came to the conclusion that my expanders are just ready to come out. I couldn’t agree more. She said it may be that the stitches never closed me completely due to the pressure of the expander. But whatever it is, I am just glad it did not postpone my surgery. She did ask me to start taking my antibiotic just in case. I’m just not supposed to take one tomorrow morning. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight…the usual preparation.

So, tomorrow we are taking the girls to my in-laws house at 9 a.m. I have to be at the outpatient facility at 9:45 a.m. for my 11:45 a.m. surgery. If all goes well, I should be released around dinner time. I have already gone through the worst of this process. Telling myself this is helping to keep me calm. With me, it’s always the fear of the unknown. How am I going to feel when I wake up? Will I really be relieved like they say I will? Will I be happy with the size I decided on? Will I fall into the 0.01% and have those dreadful drains again? Will my incisions heal correctly this time? Will I go back to feeling nothing due to my nerves being damaged again? Will percocets work as well as hydrocodone? Will I be able to go back to work on Tuesday? Will I feel well enough to take the girls to see Ice Age 4 this weekend? Worry, worry, worry. It’s all I do. And worry is what lead me to this decision in the first place. Something I will not worry, worry, worry about…

is cancer. For that I am very thankful.

Thanks for reading and caring…I will write as soon as I’m feeling up to it! 🙂

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On the horizon…

My second surgery is coming up quickly! I am very ready. Today was my pre-op appointment, which of course, presented consent forms. This time they were not nearly as daunting. My first experience with consent forms almost sent me running and screaming in the other direction. This time, my only option is to eventually take these expanders out. So what better day than Thursday, August 9th?

I breezed through the 11 pages of literature and told them I was ready to sign. I only had two questions. There was something in there about a complication involving scar tissue building up around the implant which can eventually make the implant rock hard and in need of replacement. The nurse started explaining that they will teach me to massage my implants in order to keep this from happening. Something tells me I may have a volunteer after I heard Johnny snickering. But anyway, that was not my question. My question had to do with the fact that they said patients often have to take antibiotics prior to going to the dentist since untreated bacterial infections cause the body to fight against anything foreign. Great, so my body will see the implants as imposters. Interesting…is this something I will have to do forever? The answer was no, and as long as I don’t have a dental appointment within a month of surgery, I should be fine.

Second question was just related to the type of sutures they are using. The end of my incision on my left breast has still not completely closed. Just today the scab came off and it was bleeding just a dab. Since they are about to reopen the same incision, they are not too concerned, but I do not want this happening again. But, they are doing the same thing as the first surgery. I will have internal stitches and the outer layer of skin will be glued shut. The right side has healed beautifully…almost to the point where I really don’t want them cutting me back open. However, I have no choice. The nurse assured me my surgeon will pay close attention to the side that never completely closed.

This second procedure will only take about an hour, and is done in an outpatient facility. I should be heading home around 3 hours after surgery. Sounds like a cake walk in comparison to round one. There is a 99.9% chance that I will NOT need drains. Please be praying I do not fall in the 0.1%. While I know what to expect from them, and I know I would get through it, I do NOT want to deal with those again. I would prefer this time to be a completely NEW experience.

My hilarious nurse told me that I will be so relieved when I wake up from surgery. She said I will finally be able to move “the girls” around. Believe me when I tell you that my breasts are currently rock hard. They do not move at ALL. I have not had soft breasts in 5 months. I won’t know how to act! I have also worn a bra practically 24/7 for the past 5 months, and that won’t change. She said I will wear one all the time for 4 weeks post-op. Showering will be my only break, which is nothing new. Honestly, I have been doing this out of choice. I have always been a small-breasted person. These new-found hooters are a lot to carry around. And right now they are heavier than the implants will be. Hmmmm…maybe that is why the scale has been so evil lately. I will have to research that post-op.

Percocet is my pain pill for this time around. Maybe they were scared to give me my favorite again. But seriously, it must be different so that it’s sure to be effective. I took percocets after my c-section, so I know they work! I was also prescribed a round of antibiotics to begin taking after surgery as a precaution. She asked me if I wanted to use Sprix again. (The super strong ibuprofen that you squirt up your nose.) I respectfully declined. That stuff made my nose raw…among other things that can be read in an earlier blog.

It was strange how I felt like a pro as she was handing me my paperwork and explaining everything. I felt at ease. I know it’s because of what I have already been through, and because I know God and many great people are on my side. What I have put myself through may be amazing to some, but my supporters are amazing to me. I thank each and every one of you who have said a prayer, read a blog, talked to someone else about my experience, encouraged someone to check out their own family history, prompted someone to get a mammogram and any other feel-good scenario that could come out of my experience. I appreciate it, and please know that you are loved.

More to come…keep the prayers coming…no drains or complications!!

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Hello again!

It has really been a while since my last blog. I meant to write about my June 25th appointment sooner, but life has gotten in the way. The girls’ 5th birthday came and went, their birthday party at the house was a success and then we took our family vacation to Sanibel. While the beach was wonderful and the weather was great, my vacation was “dominated” by the fact that I started the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series. And while I would love to expound on my interest in those books, my blog will continue to be PG-rated instead. What I will say is that I often find myself day-dreaming about my life being as interesting and extravagant as Mrs. Anastasia Grey’s.

Anyways, back to MY life. June 25th was the day of my second stage discussion. So on the night of June 24th, I sat down and read the booklet they gave me cover to cover. This was not a short booklet either, more like a 1/2 inch thick spiral notebook. It contained everything I would ever want to (and not want to) know about silicone breast implants. While reading, I picked up on a recurring theme. THIS WILL NOT BE YOUR ONLY SURGERY. They should have just made that the title of the “booklet.” Basically, silicone implants are not lifetime devices. They will need to be replaced every 7 – 20 years. Quite the range, isn’t it? And which end of the range you are on depends on various lovely instances that I don’t care to revisit.

My appointment went well. We met some kind people in the waiting room. One lady was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33 (MY AGE) and she opted for a double mastectomy instead of just removing the infected breast. She is now 40 and is doing great…she is seeing my surgeon to get her former reconstruction re-done. That sure made me feel better. My surgeon seems to be the one who ends up fixing a lot of other surgeon’s work. Better to do it right the first time, I believe. The nurse came in and explained everything to me. She answered my questions and inspected my breasts. When my surgeon came in, we selected the size and type of implant. Then he said I should get about 25 more cc’s of saline put into each expander. I thought, what they heck…why not? So, Johnny got to witness my very last expansion. He had never seen one before and let’s just say he watched with wide eyes.

Well, I thought my surgery would be scheduled very soon, but it turns out my surgeon is always busy. They started by penciling me in for August 1st because they were thinking someone was going to cancel. However, I have plans on August 3rd, and I don’t think I’ll be in concert-mode after only 2 days. So instead my surgery is scheduled for August 9th. Recovery time for this surgery is only 3 – 5 days, and there is only a 15% chance that I will need drains this time around. Please be praying for no drains or complications.

This has truly been an amazing experience, but I am ready for these expanders to come out. They are far from natural feeling, and they are hard and make my chest tight. I have been told that this second surgery is a big relief, and I hope they continue to be correct. My left incision is still slightly draining, so I also pray this does not cause problems during my second procedure. While in Sanibel, the salt water of the Gulf healed the small spot that was draining. However, once I returned home, the scab came off and it is draining again. Who knew the ocean could heal what my body can’t? Maybe I need to plan another beach vacation after my second surgery…hmmmm…

Thanks for reading!!

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