Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Surgery Tomorrow

I am having more surgery tomorrow. Of course I am pretty stressed out about it because it is causing me to go back to zero again. They are going to replace the tissue expander with an implant. They are also going to take some fat out of my hip and add it to the right breast to give it a more breast like shape. He told me it wouldn't be enough fat removal to make any noticeable difference. I advised Dr. Keller that I was ok with him taking out more and wasting it was fine with me. He laughed about that but I don't think he is going to do it. Bummer.

There is a big dent in the top of the right breast. That is because they used fat from my abdomen. That fat has a breast like feel but it is not shaped like a breast. It is not supposed to be. They have to do revisions to make it more normal. They would have had to do that and it is not due to error.

The left side is an expander because of the errors. The expander has to come out because it is not made to be in there long term. The other problem with it is that the fill has metal components and it is blocking my MUGA (heart) scan. They have to do the heart scans on me every three months because the herceptin I get every three weeks can be cardio toxic. They want to make sure the drug is not having toxic effects. When I had the MUGA scan with the expander in they had a great deal of difficulty because the metal fill is directly above my left ventricle. The left ventricle is the area they need to see because that is what would thicken if the herceptin is causing congestive heart failure. The expander needs to come out because that scan is essential.

As much as I would like reconstructive success I would almost leave it for now because I am so sick of surgery and treatment in general. I can't because of the scans.

I am biting the bullet and putting some pictures on here. I am doing it because I have received a lot of email from other women who have done theses procedures or are about to do it and they want an honest account of what its like. It is not so great but I wish I had some real honesty when I was getting ready to go there.
This is how it looks right now. There is about a four inch difference in height. Its hard to really see it in the picture. I have looked this way since October.

This is how it looked after the second surgery when they had to remove the transplanted tissue.
I would never put these pictures on here if I actually felt like they were breasts. I don't feel like they are. The tissue feels essentially dead. There is really no sensation because they cut the nerves when they do the mastectomies. I can feel pain to the area but the skin itself really has no sensation. They say that may change but they are not sure. It is different for everyone.
I am hoping that I will have more symmetry after surgery tomorrow. I am hoping that I will not have drains. Dr. Keller said I am not likely to need drains but he couldn't guarantee it.
Julianna is going to Grandma and Pop-Pop's house until Friday morning. After that she is going to go to the O'Brien's house and on Sunday my friend Vanna is going to take her. I am really lucky that she can go be with people she loves and is comfortable with. I am truly grateful to have so many awesome people in my life. Thanks for all the good thoughts, prayers and positive vibes!!!!

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