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Friday, July 26, 2013

Bad News About the Re-Con Boob

...and just like a balloon, except it didn't fly around the room, my beautifully rounded saline filled boob went flat overnight.

For those not keeping up, I am a breast cancer survivor in the process of breast reconstruction. An expander with a fillable bag was inserted into my right breast through surgery and now it is to be gradually filled week-by-week until it matches the healthy breast's dimensions. Then this is removed and a solid silicone implant replaces it and I will be finished with the surgeries.

I was in for the third re-fill last week. It was a struggle to find the metal port the needle was to be inserted into on the aerola so that Dr. V could push more saline into the soft gelled bag recently sewn into my breast. As we were slowly having to expand the breast tissue, adding another 50 cc's every three weeks, I had been watching my breast swell larger and larger as the wrinkled lines in my skin and bra disappeared. I was loving the results!

But a mishap during insertion missed the portal and the needle plunged through the bag. "It's quite common, I'm afraid," the receptionist told me.
"We'll get your usual doctor to try again with 100 ccs of saline (when she returns from holidays) and if that doesn't hold, you'll have to be booked for another surgery to replace the expander and bag. I am so sorry..."
She's sorry? I'm sorry about how sorry my doctor is going to feel That's the worst of it.Really. To me it's more time, more healing, more learning the role of patience to get the things we want in life. Like becoming an author, a mother, a mother-in-law and one day a grandmother. It's all worth the wait, as this will be I imagine.

I am wearing a thumb splint as we speak on my left hand as I managed to give myself tendonitis by over-compensating for the post-surgical right arm's soreness. And I get to go through that again. More surgery, another four weeks to repair, another ten weeks of filling before a third surgery to remove the hardware and replace it with a permanent bag filled with silicone.

And like the balloon and my boob...I have to admit for a few minutes I was deflated once again.

SO... realizing the symptoms, I gathered myself and went shopping. First to the Farmers market for fresh kale and beet tops, to the A&W for a twister soft ice cream, to Field's to buy a relaxing pair of exercise pants before a long walk to clear my head.

It's working, although I'm determined not to look down or in a mirror again for quite some time.

In the meantime, I'll have to wait another month or so to continue with the breast recon saga.
Maybe I will start blogging about another part of my body.
 How about the burn on my butt from too much skin and not enough bathing suit material?