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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Limp" the Boob Along

Quick up-date for anyone new. I have been going through breast reconstruction with the use of a surgically implanted breast expander in my breast. This expander has a bag which is filled gradually over the weeks until the anticipated size is reached. It is then left inside for two months for the skin to fully stretch to the desired size. A second surgery removes the expander and a silicone replacement that resembles the constituency of a gum drop, is then sewn in and voila- a full boob.I get back what cancer took from me!

 My exisitng nipple, although pointed to the far right will come a bit more left, but not enough to point in the proper direction. I figured that appropriate for someone that gets lost in a paper bag. Like a tattoo or street sign bearing my name, I now have my own individualized body part!

  A recent mishap caused a tweak in "the plan." A small leak has occurred which is exacerbated by sleeping on my stomach or any pressure on my chest.

My surgeon called it "limping the boob along," meaning a  rush operation will be requested, pending date September 6 but until then, we need to keep the breast with the expander inside filled to capacity as much as possible. This is instead of facing a second surgery to replace the expander and saline filled bag. We're going to try and make what we have work. Whew! Two more surgeries would have been hard to take. My right side is down for the count for 4-6 weeks. Hard to ski with one arm.

SO...I go to the Kelowna emergency on Monday morning (whatever was I thinking. What a line-up!) to eventually face a very handsome, super cheerful 13 year-old (?) doctor that said, "really?" Once I explained the technique required, he had the needle into the appropriate docking spot in one try and filled me with another 100 cc's of saline. It felt super large, jutting beneath my arm slightly. It felt wonderfully full and almost larger than my left breast. Definitely firmer, higher younger looking. Oh joy, oh JOY!

I will have to have it re-filled on Friday, the day before our daughter's wedding, to better fit my dress. Another emergency ward, another doctor who will most likely repeat the word..."really?"

Who else gets to go on a holiday having to limp their boob, instead of their spare tire, along? It is so typically me. Sigh.

The Boob is Staying Afloat

What welcome news I have for a change. I am pleased as punch to announce that when my doctor returned from holidays and re-filled the flattened bag inside my cancer-operated right breast, it managed to stay afloat over the weekend. Being careful to avoid sleeping on my stomach, or diving chest first into water from up high on the two storey lake raft seemed to help and on Monday there was still roundness to the bottom half of the breast. A call to my surgeon's office said to get in and get it filled to capacity- another 100 cc's. Total 200 cc's over a week, which is maximum for the bag I was given. If it continues to seep out (being only saline right now, it is never a problem. It will keep me hydrated if nothing else.One less glass of water I have to force down!) then I can keep getting it refilled at various emergency hospital areas. It is to stay inflated for 2 months before surgery removes it and the skin will have been considered stretched enough for the permanent real (I use that term loosely) implant which will be filled with silicone.

For now, the excitement of looking down at a filled bra is such a great feeling. I never dreamed or dared hope that this moment would ever come and here it is. I feel whole again! What a perfect day (except for the argument that I'm spending too much needlessly towards the book publishing. It sucks having a husband as your accountant. One I paid for would never talk to me like that-ha. Yes, I tried to fire him but it didn't work. Actually, if it weren't for Barry, I'd be in trouble with the tax people and it's only been three months in the Biz!He makes sure the eyes are dotted and the tees are crossed. I have to account for every frigging nickle. Excrutiating!)

Nothing compares to having your body back in one piece again.