Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction: Surgery #4

Just wanted to say that the argument for a mastectomy because of easier reconstruction is faulty.  If I had it to do over again I would have gone for chemo, which hopefully would have shrunk the invasive tumor and then a lumpectomy to get out the remaining DCIS.  However, the mastectomy was what was right for me at the time.  Wow, was that really 5 years ago?

In 2010 I had reconstruction where the surgeon took fat from my belly and made a really nice breast mound out of it.  But he made it too big, and it took 2 adjustment surgeries to get it right.  And now my belly has the classic post-Tram flap bulge.  Eeeks.  (And no, I didn’t mean to get a tram, had signed up for a DIEP but a tram was what was doable given my tiny veins.)  The mesh failed and I have to get it repaired.  So that makes 4 reconstruction surgeries.  Five if you count the mastectomy.

Also, at the mastectomy time Kaiser told me they couldn’t coordinate the schedules of the plastic surgeon with the mastectomy surgeon.  I get that.  However, again, if I had it to do over I would insist on the scheduling so I’d just have one surgery.

Am very happy not to have hard or uncomfortable implants.  No pain in the reconstructed breast.  Excited to get the failed mesh fixed.  Onwards!

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Guess I’ve been having too much fun to blog

…can it be true that a whole year has gone by since I posted?!  Oh my.  This summer, spent a lot of time with a 6 yr old who is pretty fantastic.  We have a mutual admiration society going on.  And her single dad isn’t too bad either. ;)  Played a lot -kayaked, played frisbee, played ping pong; went to concerts, made a lot of dinners, gardened, exercised, lost weight, got rid of a lot of too-big clothes, got a tattoo of a fake nipple on the reconstructed boob, worked hard during the week, slept in on weekends, and spent some quality time with family and dear friends.  All in all a pretty darn good year, despite various crises.  Fun breaks are where it’s at.

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update – reconstruction rocks :)

Quick update – still here, had reconstruction and am SO happy I did it.  I just hadn’t realized how much it fundamentally distressed me to look down and see a prosthesis and not cleavage.  So now I have cleavage.   And a flatter tummy, thanks to the tummy tuck.  Also, 30 inches or so of scars, but it’s all dealable.  Funny the deals we’re willing to make to feel whole.  Which is the most important part.  I’m exercising more than I have in years, and feel great.

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arimidex meltdown

Took 5 arimidex pills over 2 weeks.  (Was working up to the normal 1/day).  Walloped by the joint pain.  A shocking amount of discomfort for such little pills.  Plan is to switch to aromasin.  Here’s hoping that works, because it’s my last aromatase inhibitor to try.  Fingers crossed.

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catkins

All of a sudden there are catkins on the trees here. And little green shoots. And a little bit more light each day. Almost 3 yrs out from diagnosis, and life is pretty darn good. I am so grateful. So far, so good. Oh, and bone scan on the last day of 09? All clear! Pretty darn happy here.

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progress

The weight loss ticker at the right is malfunctioning, but I just had to share: I just weighed in at night at the same morning weight I had last week. And my night weight is 2 – 3 lbs heavier than my morning weight, which means that the 2 lb weight loss from last week is sticking. My goal was only 1 – 1.5 lbs per week, but it seems to be going faster than that. I’ll take it!

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My daily plate

Am really thankful for the LiveStrong Foundation’s “My Daily Plate” nutrient counter: today I had 1530 calories, and 51 grams of fat. And that was a day with what I felt like was a lot of food. Was bummed that there was dairy in my chicken tandoori. And who knew that the salt content of prawns was sky high? Overall, digestion felt pretty good though. Onwards.

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