Monday, March 22, 2010

MANism Monday & Project 365 (Days 74-79)

WOW, I can't believe its been another week already!

This past week has been pretty hard for me.
It was my Spring Break from college and I was preparing to have my surgery TODAY. So it should have been a great week - but it wasn't :(

If you didn't already know, in Dec of 08, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer
I had a mastectomy around that time and since then have been doing chemo, radiation and some study drugs (called HER2). Fast forward about a year and a half later, till now. I am finally done with all of that and ready to have reconstruction! (check out my archives for more info on all that)
Since that time, I have only had one breast and wear a prosthetic - which is great - don't get me wrong - I don't know how emotionally I would have made it this far if I did not have the prosthetic to make me look whole - you really can't tell looking at me which boob is fake! But still, I KNOW its fake and its quite emotional for me at times.
Over the past few months, I have been seeing Drs. like crazy. ~ General surgeons, plastic surgeons, residents, tests and procedures all leading up to the big day of getting put all back together.

So the problem is that every time I go to the dr, I see a new dr and they want to do something completely different. I'm not against any of the options but it makes me nervous that they can't seem to agree on what to do.

The main discrepancies are on whether to do both sides or one at a time and on what type of incision to make (and who decides that)

Because I am so young and because the mass they removed was so large originally, I really want to have the other breast removed as well. Also, it will help in the reconstruction process to make them "match" if they are both fake!
I feel I'm entitled to a little bit of selfishness in all of this - why not get a boob job out of it :) The original drs (in NC) didn't feel that was necessary for some reason I never understood. But now that I am here,(in UT) it has never been a question. They call it a Prophylactic Mastectomy

Prophylactic: A preventive measure. The word comes from the Greek for "an advance guard," an apt term for a measure taken to fend off a disease or another unwanted consequence.

The plan is to remove the "good" breast and place a tissue expander under the pectoral muscle - on the other side, we will also place a tissue expander. then over the next 3 months or so, they will slowly inject saline to "expand" and stretch the skin. Once the new breast tissue is the size we want it to be -( I'm going up a cup size). Then I will have another surgery where the expanders will be removed and implants put it. During this surgery, we will also have to get additional skin from somewhere else - we are still deciding if we want to use my stomach tissue or take it from my back. Followed by additional surgeries for nipple construction. Its not by any means and easy process and while I'm looking forward to it, I'm dreading it as well.

Back to the discrepancies, I've been told that they are going to do both sides at once and that they want to do one side then have me come back in 3 weeks to do the other side. Reasoning being that, doing both sides, I would be under anesthesia too long and have a greater risk of complications and infection to do both at once. As for the incision, when I asked the Plastic Surgeon what type of incision they were going to make, she said that was up to the General Surgeon and when I asked him, he said it was up to her and then said that the plastic surgeon would mark where she wanted the incision before surgery and he would basically just cut there.

This left me feeling very uneasy about the whole process. Plus the fact that I'm looking at having 4 surgeries soon and would most likely have 4 different surgeons. So, we decided to postpone for now and are trying to get the head of the surgery department to be my surgeon that what there would be continuity and I would have someone experienced and have the same surgeon for all 4 surgeries.

WOOOOO - So, that has been the big mess this week - lots of dr consults and trying to figure out what to do. I'm really bummed that I have to wait even longer now but feel confident that we made the right decision!

All THAT to say, I didn't put too much effort or energy into this weeks "assignment" for this blog post so once again, the MANisms and photos are limited.

On a Positive note, I DID get a new camera - a small one that I can carry in my purse and always have with me to take photos - so I don't have an excuse :)

Alright On with it - here is Day 1 (or 74 in this case)

March 16th (Day 74)

March 17th (Day 75)
Gryphyn why aren't you listening to me today?
Cuz I just want to do what I want to do!
~ At least he is honest!

March 18th (Day 76)
March 18th
The Men LOVE to play with this train table at the gym. I usually let them stop and play for a few minutes when I'm done working out.

G~"Mom, I don't like your kind of chapstick cuz its like aliens!"
M~"Like Aliens?"
G~"Yeah, it smells like aliens"
M~"Aliens smell bad? How do you know what they smell like"
G~"I don't know, I just do"

March 19th (Day 77)
March 19th
We stopped at the post office today and Vahn asked for a sticker. They didn't have any but she said she could give them a stamp. So they both got their hands stamped with a "Spoiled" stamp ~ I love it. I also love Vahns expression in this photo that I was taking of Gryphyn.

I pointed out a street sweeper to Gryphyn today and he went off telling us about it and how it was so great - I wish I could remember exactly what he said - it was so funny!

March 20th (Day 78)
March 20th
We went to a friends b-day party and the Men won these glasses on one of the games.
Too cute I love when they are actually willing to "like" each other long enough for me to get a picture of them!

March 21st (Day 79)
I took Mandy Geocaching for the first time today. We didn't have much luck on most of our searches but on our last one, we found THIS! Mandy's first find!
Check out: for more info on Geocaching!

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