I have been to the pediatrician twice this week, had a follow-up with the plastic surgeon and an endometrial biopsy all while the hubby has been out-of-town for work.
It could always be worse!
So, I had my little one home sick today with fever and sore throat. Thankfully does not seem to be strep so just keeping her loaded up with Motrin and we will wait it out. Megan continues to have sinus issues, an ENT visit is probably in the near future. I need to get both of them healthy in the next 35 days…that is the official Disney countdown! Tomorrow is my nieces birthday and the girls have been looking forward to it since we found out the date. It is to be a bowling party. I will evaluate everyone’s condition in the morning. I hope to be able to go for at least a little while. FIngers crossed.
My visit with the plastic surgeon was uneventful. I am still not fully finished with him. I still have some discomfort from the scare line on the right side. We agreed to one more appointment in 3 months to make sure that scare settles.
The biopsy was also pretty uneventful. I do not know if I have a high pain threshold or after the experiences of the last years surgeries, the many years of breast biopsies or child birth but it was really nothing. It seems that they schedule for at least 30 minutes and often get a bunch of whining, squirming and requests for breaks. Since we did not have any of that we finished pretty quickly so with the extra time the doctor drew the blood work for the CA-125. That saves me a trip to the lab! We did discuss the lack of reliability of the blood work and she explained that it is just part of the puzzle. I get it and agree. The blood results should be back next week, 10-14 days on the biopsy. Until then, I have plenty of other things to think about.
Well I just made what I hope will be the last appointment involved in this “medical” chapter in my life. I will ring in the New Year with a follow-up pelvic ultrasound to check on the complex cyst that was found a few weeks ago. Doesn’t that sound fun? Everyone says “oh no problem” and I hope that is the case. It is none the less nerve racking after a year and a half of appointments, scans, blood work and three surgeries. I can not actually fully wrap my head around the thoughts of it all being over. One can only hope!
I have my follow-up with the plastic surgeon tomorrow. Things have healed nicely since last weeks revision. All new incisions were made on the older scare lines and other than the revision on the left breast, the incisions are almost healed. I do still have some pain from the left breast. After the second surgery, I was not happy with the size of the new breasts. He made incisions all the way under my arms to correct. The left side did not heal well. It left a wedge looking area. That was corrected and looks great but it was probably the largest of the revision areas this round.
I still feel that the newpples are not fully level BUT I am accepting the fact that they probably were not before the surgery. I can’t say that before hand I ever spent much time in front of a mirror staring at them which has become a past time recently. I am sure that it is just something that only I would notice and it is nothing worth undergoing another surgery to correct.
This all started for my family. As it has played out it has changed my life in so many ways. The most important is the way I view my family. I enjoy every minute, every smile and I do not take them for granted.
My baby waiting for the bus this morning in the rain.
Interesting when I see it broken down into days, 141 days since I made the radical life changing decision to take charge of my life and have the bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. Three surgeries, lots of pain and some whining later I am almost through the tunnel.
Yesterdays surgery went well. Although I had to arrive at the hospital at 5:30, I was bumped due to an emergency before me. I was not taken back until about 9am. Although I was a bit frustrated due to having to arrange for care for the girls etc, I took it in stride remembering my time in the ICU and the possibility that I could have been that emergency. I breezed through recovery with no issues at all, thankfully! The last time was a real issue! Because things went so well there we were home and laying in my own bed by 1:30. Not too bad!
I am pleased with what we did yesterday. The Newpple issue seems to be corrected and the girls seem to be much more even. I do not think they are perfect but then again I do not think any woman’s are so I am pleased with them. He did revise some of the scares that were really off which was a negotiated middle ground between what I proposed and where he was so again I am pleased. He also did a minor cut along the abdominal scare where I have had an irritating lump. He thought it may have been a suture that did not desolve but instead turned out to be an area of scare tissue that had formed. Although the incision point is sore, I already feel better having the lump out!
So with all of that said, barring some strange outcome from the healing I have to go through over the next days, I have achieved a level of peace with the “girls” and see no reason why I would need to have any further surgeries on them! I follow up with the Surgeon on Wednesday.
Tomorrow is the day. Hopefully the last of the surgeries. So what have I been doing this weekend? What else…cleaning, preparing and making sure everything is taken care of for the next few days without much assistance from me. I have washed, folded and put away 4-5 loads of laundry, changed sheets, cleaned bathrooms and the kitchen and vacuumed every carpet.
The first surgery, the bilateral prophylactic mastectomy was July 2. I did it then because the girls were out of school. I never expected to be preparing to go once again under a knife right before Thanksgiving. I have to be at the hospital tomorrow by 5:30 am. Thankfully we have a wonderful neighbor who will come to my house at 5am so the girls do not have to wake up so early. They will be able to get up at normal time, get dressed and will then head over to the neighbor’s house.
Madison will miss school tomorrow for a few reasons. First our district only has half day Kindergarten. She basically is only there for 3 hours. My neighbors are being nice enough I do not feel right asking them to spend their entire day at bus stops with my kids. Probably more important is my babies fragile state of mind. I put her to bed in tears. She has been through so much with me since such and early age that she worries about me. One of the women she will be spending the day with tomorrow is like and adoptive grandmother to her. I think she will be much calmer even feel safer staying home with her.
Megan on the other hand does not seem worried at all which is good. She goes to school with my neighbor’s little boy so they will go to the bus stop together and she will go about a normal day and if all goes well we will be home before she is from school. If not she will head back to his house until we arrive.
I am not sure what to expect tomorrow. Having already been through the nipple reconstruction and breast revision, this is a revision to that revision. The newpples did not heal the same. From the beginning the surgeon said they had to be large to start with in order to shrink down to size. They did not shrink the same, not even close. So that needs to be addressed. Another issue is the “pitch” of the girls. So one needs to be lifted to match the other. On top of those issues I am pushing to have some of the scares revised a bit but he seems reluctant to do anything there. He says it takes up to a year for scares to heal. We will negotiate that more in the morning.
Barring any major issues…I plan on this being the end of the breast chapter. I guess we just have to stay tuned to see how this chapter ends.
We have a date for the next round of surgery, November 19th. I am referring to it as either “tieing up loose ends” or “the clean up”. My surgeons scheduler chuckled a little but I don’t think either of us thought it would be a good idea to refer to it in such a way to him. The consent is calling it, “revision of bilateral reconstructed breasts and revision of abdominal scar”. I think it should really say revision to the revision but hey who am I?
It has been over 3 months now since the Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy and DIEP flap surgery and almost 2 months since the nipple reconstruction. This has been a long process.
SO more blood work, another early morning arrival at the hospital, more anesthesia. I wonder if I will miss all of the coordination, tests, scheduling and recovery once all of the procedures are over? (KIDDING!) I am glad that we have this scheduled, one step closer to finished, I hope!
ON a different note, Madison lost another tooth today and it happened at school. She was so excited when she got off the bus wearing the tooth necklace given to her to secure the tooth. It was almost like she knew it was going to be a special day. When she woke up she requested to wear a “pretty” dress and “high heels”. I see a visit from the tooth fairy this evening!
I started this blog when Frank bought me the MacBook that I have fallen in love with and use daily! I had never been a fan of Apple, that is until I broke down and bought an iPhone. Even after the phone purchase, I was very resistant to leave my comfort level with Windows until the frustration level with viruses boiled over. We had spyware and antivirus programs on every computer yet we killed several in a rather short period of time, the blue screen of death.
So with my love of my laptop and the last of our PC’s crashing last week, the trip to the apple store was inevitable. The newest addition to the house is the iMac which I set up in the family room so I can keep and eye on what the girls are searching. We had a Netflix account where we received the DVD as one was sent back. Now we are streaming…I feel so high tech! My husband and I were like little kids playing with the TV watching you tube videos, the kids looked at us like we old. It is amazing, I watch my 5-year-old and she can work any gadget you put in front of her. I did not even touch a computer until a keyboarding class in high school. In college we all sat in the computer lab fighting over the one crappy dot matrix printer and now we sit streaming personal videos on TV…cool and scary at the same time!
Anyway, busy week of doctors appointments this week. The long awaited follow-up with the plastic surgeon is first followed by the dreaded yearly at the GYN. I am still trying to connect with my doc about the blood work I had done last week. Message was that my cholesterol was high, not unexpected.
Still trying to finish up any and all procedures needed before the end of the year. The window is closing, Guess time flies when you’re having fun….
As I was recovering from my surgery and the bills were coming in, I wrote a post that we all needed to get to the doctors since we had reached our out-of-pocket maximums. Last night I was “refocused” by my daughters pediatrician to get back on track on this goal. Years ago, I was on meds for high triglycerides, another trait passed on from my mother. When Frank and I decided to have another child I went off of the medication. I also have made dietary and lifestyle changes.
Last year both of my daughters had blood work done and both came back with elevated levels of triglycerides. I was so upset. We reduced their fat and carb intake, went to skim milks and low-fat cheeses, and made sure to increase their physical activity. Last night was Megan’s yearly well visit. The doctor suggested that we had her checked to see if there has been improvement. She then asked me if I was currently on medications. So, here I am so proud of myself for having a Bilateral Prophylactic MAstectomy to hopefully avoid cancer and I had to look this doctor in the eye and admit that I had not even had my levels checked in a few years. Sounds stupid right? I am like a stroke risk just wandering through the day.
I took Megan for her blood work this morning and came right home and scheduled myself an appointment for next week. I will have my blood work completed before the end of the week!
I have an appointment with the Gyn the second week of October, one day after my follow-up with Dr. Liu (my plastic surgeon). I am getting a cavity filled tomorrow. Madison is scheduled for her yearly well visit in November and Frank had already been.
64 days wow! In the months leading up to the mastectomy, there were points where I never thought the actual surgery day would come. Now I look back and am amazed, it seems like forever ago. So how am I feeling?
My abdomen has healed nicely. I have a small lump which is probably scare tissue in the front which I will point out to the doctor tomorrow. It is still tight in the area but it is a good tight. I need to keep it that way! The Surgeon has mentioned that I can have a scar revision done, I will have to think about that possibility.
The boobs are coming along. I still have one ugly bruise on the left side that causes some minor pain. The incisions are healing. I have my first follow-up appointment with the plastic surgeon tomorrow. The newpples are different sizes, one of which way too big. When I spoke with his nurse last weeks she said not to worry. They have to be big to allow for shrinking and anything that does not shrink can be taken care of in the office easily. I still think one is higher than the other but not as bad as it was since some of the swelling has gone down. I guess it will just take more time to determine what the final appearance will be.
I have not been allowed to stand and take a “full” shower since the nipple reconstruction. They did not want the steri strips around the newpples to get wet. It has been a bit of a pain, washing in the shower with the hand-held then washing my hair in the kitchen sink. I remember when I was a kid my mother would freak out if you even brushed your hair in the kitchen. Good thing she is not around to see this!
Big day tomorrow. After the doctor Madison and I will head to the Kindergarten for meet the teacher. I am happy that the district does this. Allows the kids to not only meet the teacher, but see where the classroom is and in which building. Our Kindergarten is separated from any of the other schools and has 3 buildings. They are color codes. Tomorrow Madi will get a lanyard to wear on Thursday that will match a colored set of foot prints that shows which building to go to. This visit helps to relieve some of the first day stress.
I am a little down at the moment. I was allowed to take the dressing off yesterday and although I intended to leave them on longer, I changed my mind. I did it mainly because I wanted to change them. Now, I fully realized that this process was not a breast augmentation and that we were not going to have perfect boobies once complete. I fully realize that I am only 4 days out of surgery. I fully realize that I am swollen and that I have fresh incisions from the nips to under my arms on both sides.
Now, fully realizing these things does not mean I was not a bit taken back when I looked into the mirror. I feel like the nipples are huge and one is larger than the other, maybe they will reduce in size as swelling goes down. I am happy with the size and the air bags are gone…happy things. I feel like one points up and one points down and that there is a significant difference in the center points between the two. I know normal healthy breasts are not prefect but I feel like these issues are really glaring.
Frank says to relax, step back. Let the swelling go down, let the healing take place for a few days at least before I get upset. I see the doctor on Wednesday…for the first time it hit me that maybe I am not finished with surgery…oh god. I will do my best to push it to the back of my head until Wednesday.
So a snapshot for how my week is going…I wake up early to get the days Disney dinning reservations booked. The on-line system seemed to be having issues so I go old school and pick up the phone and call. After a few minutes the lovely woman on the other end informs that Disney prides itself on having one of the best IT systems in the world and with that said the system seemed to be down. I wonder how often this happens..the Bailey’s broke the Disney Reservation system!
On a happier note, it is now a few hours later and meals are mostly booked!! I am glad I have this to distract me for a bit each day. Today is highlighted by Chef Mickey for breakfast and dinner with Chip and Dale at The Garden Grill. We want to have some steaks in Canada for lunch but for some reason Le Cellier has not opened up that week yet. It is never easy . At least we have the others booked. There is always tomorrow!
for thinking of me
and then wondering
how you could help.
for doing what you did,
instead of being too busy,
or just forgetting about it.
For inking me
on your priority to-do list,
when you have
so many other things to do;
I am honored;
It meant a lot to me.
By Joanna Fuchs
Anyone who has read a few of my posts can probably draw the conclusion that I am not a wordsmith. My writings are not polished but they are real and from the heart. There are so many people who I wanted to thank. I found this and I think it fits perfectly.
From delivering meals to watching the kids, from stopping by, making a call, sending and e-mail, card, blog comment, text or even Facebook post. Goodies and flowers all thoughts from special people who have helped myself and my family work our way through this experience just a bit smoother. All appreciated!
There is one person who I have known for years who did none of these things. I know that I should not let things bother me but after oh, 25+ years of “friendship” to not warrant a few words even via text? I am thankful for this also. This experience has opened up a world of new friends and shown a light on those that were a bit more shallow. Life is too short to get bogged down.
Anyway, still very sore but at least the pain pills can keep up now, thankfully! The Disney reservations continued today with the highlight being dinner at the new Be our Guest restaurant. I am honestly not in love with the menu but that is not the point of eating there for the girls. It is all about the dream!