It seems as my life for the next couple of months is going to be spent in the doctors office. It will either be Dr. Soriano’s office or Dr. Scott’s office, for pre-op appointments, surgery, or post-op appointments. On 11/18/2015, I had my post-op appointment with Dr. Soriano, everything looked great and pathology came back negative! That was great news!
On November 23, 2015, I had a pre-op appointment with Dr. Scott. He went over the main surgery again and what they are going to be doing on December 4, 2015. Dr. Soriano will perform the mastectomy portion and then Dr. Scott will place the tissue expanders under the pectoralis muscle. Dr. Scott said that it is the same are he places implants during a breast augmentation.
The differences between a breast augmentation (boob job) and breast reconstruction after mastectomy with tissue expanders are:
- There is NO breast tissue to let the breast look and feel natural.
- A tissue expander is a temporary device that (stays in for around 3 months) will stretch out the muscle and skin to make a pocket for the implant to be placed. Once the breast area is to the size desired, tissue expanders will come out and permanent implants will be exchanged.
- Tissue expanders are part of the process in reconstruction.
- Tissue expanders are put in empty (empty water balloons that will be filled weekly). So when I wake up I will not have breasts. That is the weirdest part for me. I will hopefully have both tissue expanders in but he said if he feels that it is unsafe because of something, like an infection or the tissue is not healthy enough at the time, he will not put the expanders in (which is rare but could happen).
- The reconstruction process is like building a house, you need:
Step 1- A good team to help build the house (doctors, nurses, family and friends that support and help you through the process)
Step 2- foundation (nipple delay procedure)
Step 3- walls (mastectomy with tissue expander placement)
Step 4- Roof (Tissue expander fills)
Step 5- Sheetrock and siding placement-(Exchange of Tissue expanders for permanent breast implants)
This is the first appointment that I have had Jason come to. There have been a few people that have told me that they think it is weird that I have not had Jason at all of my appointments. I am the type to protect others. I don’t want him to worry anymore than he needs to. The medical field is a whole different world and working within the medical field I understand when the providers give all the risks, they are rare but they can happen. I don’t want him to hear all of that and have him worry. I knew that I wanted this surgery, had my mind set and wanted his support, did not want him to worry. I wanted Jason with me at this appointment, first to meet Dr. Scott so he knew who was going to be working on me and second to learn the post-op care for incisions and drains. I loved that Dr. Scott used the analogy regarding the process of a preventative bilateral mastectomy with immediate tissue expander placement to building a house. You have to have a good solid foundation and things need to be done the proper way to get a well built home. If you skip critical steps, there will be complications and he wants the best possible outcome.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I have so much to be thankful for:
- My family, my uncles (Garry and Kevin), my aunt (Mary) and cousins (Blake and Davis) laughs and love throughout
- My mom for the amazing support throughout my whole life
- My dad for ALWAYS making me laugh til I cry
- My husband for always taking care of me and the boys, doing the laundry (even though I know how much he despises laundry)
- My boys that love their mama even when I am grumpy. Lucas keeps asking me, “Mama when are you getting your new boobs?” He makes me smile. Hunter has the biggest, sweetest heart and loves his mama
- My grandma for always making sure there are gluten free goodies for me at family get togethers
- My Katie/Kinsey duo, you guys seriously are my rocks, making me smile and laugh and support my craziness
- My long time friend Malia, we have been through so much in the 33 years of life, bitchy girls throughout school, boyfriends, marriages, husbands, kids, surgeries ect…You have been there through it all, you told me the last time I saw you, “We are good at surgery and you are going to do great.” That has stayed with me.
- My sister-friend Heather, I don’t talk to her every day or even every month but I know that she is there for me no matter what. She is coming to stay with me after surgery (she lives in Idaho), even though she runs two restaurants and has two boys to take care of, so thank you to her mama, Vicki, for watching the boys.
- Lucas’ teachers, teaching him now how to hug me after surgery, he knows that he can hug me tight
- Hunter’s principal that wrote me an email letting me know the school is there to support our family and to let her know if we needed anything
- My co-workers that keep me on my toes and make me laugh even when I am not in the mood
- My patients that enjoy me as much as I enjoy them.
My life is full of things to be thankful for, I am not sure I can even name them all. I find people rolling their eyes when they start complaining, I end up trying to turn it into something positive. I know it is human nature to complain, we all do it but I have tried to think positive about everything. We are truly lucky to wake up every single day. So I apologize in advance (NOT REALLY) for trying to be positive. It is good for the soul and good for every one around us.