Sorry that it seems like I’ve left some of you in the dark. Just needed some time to process it all.
First, the thoracic and lumbar MRI’s of my spine just show stressed. DUH! But good news is no more cancer in my body other than what they’ve already found.
Second, I met with my plastic surgeon. Dr. Samson, whom Graham loves because he has a scar on his face. Apparently, a plastic surgeon who likes imperfection on his own body is a plus for the G-man. I like him because he was amazing in our consult. The bummer is that I won’t be having the surgery I was hoping for, but the good news is that that the recovery time will be much shorter and I can start chemo much sooner. So no tummy tuck for LBK. DAMN!
Basically, Dr. Samson told me that I didn’t have enough to work with in my stomach or inner thighs to give me anywhere close to 25% of what I have now. I know, he was basically telling my that I’m on the skinny side. While he was trying to give me a compliment I wanted to punch him the face and give him another scar. But, I didn’t. I continued to listen. Apparently, he’s done this before, and there have been women, just like me – big breasted, cancer, mastectomy, turned off of the idea of ‘implants’, opting for tissue transfer, not being satisfied with what the doctors could do, and come back years later to opt for the implant. The tissue transfer surgery lasts 12 hours, minimum of 4 nights in the hospital, and at least 5 weeks to recover. Very invasive, scarring from hip to hip, and painful recovery. The implant surgery – 4 hours long, 2 nights in the hospital and 2 weeks of recovery. They’d put in tissue extenders (TEs) that are full of saline, and I’d most likely have to go in to his office twice to have them inject more saline in order for the tissue and skin to stretch to the size I want. I’d return after chemo for them to put the implant in – out patient, one day surgery, 2 days recovery.
So while I’m pissed that I can’t have what I was hoping for, I’m being realistic that the implants are what I should do. I’d be able to have control over what I get, which I like (since I’ve never had control over these things before, and in more ways than several!) and I can heal much faster to start fighting this bitch inside of me. Dr. Samson also tells us that he has a hybrid procedure that he’s done for larger breast women, in which he takes the excess tissue & skin that is normally discarded and uses it as a ‘pocket’ almost to hold in the implant and makes it feel much more normal than a regular implant, with your own tissue and skin double supporting it. He drew everything out on the table butcher paper (that crap I always hate sitting on at a drs’ office). Showed us where the scarring would be, and showed us pictures of other women’s surgeries – before and after – so that I could have a better idea.
I went home, discussed it with Graham, and called them the next day. I go in for my flu shot on Thursday since I can’t get sick at all throughout this, get tested for the Cancer gene on Friday. My pre-op with Dr. Samson is on 9/13, then I’ll meet with Dr. Estabrook, my breast surgeon to discuss the mastectomy and chemo treatment, then to the hospital to start blood work. The surgery is scheduled for 9/22, 7:30am.
I’ve been making my lists of everything that I need to do between now and then. Know that I still feel perfectly healthy. Still am biking to work, moving massive furniture as we renovate our office (LOOKS BEAUTIFUL!), grocery shopping, schlepping the food up our 3 hills. If it weren’t for the cancer in my tata, I’d think I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.
But I thank each of you. For your kind words, for your encouraging spirits, for your rays of hope, and for the time that it’s taken you to write to me in support. I know that those in NY will be helping out more than I could have ever imagined, and those far away wish that you could. It’s all appreciated more than you know.
All My Love,
PS – I did ask Dr. Samson about the option to gain an extra 20 pounds to give him more to work with. But he said that stomach cells would stay stomach cells. Just because they got transferred to my breast, wouldn’t automatically make them convert. If I lost weight, I’d lose the weight where I gained it, which would then be my boobs. WEIRD! Blasted science hasn’t caught up with my dietary needs!