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

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Post Breast Recon Update

It has been a year since my breast reconstruction surgery in Prince George. One year of a full cup on both sides of my brassiere. Over 365 days of looking at the normalcy beneath my shirt. Cancer took half of my breast away as the surgeon had to remove not only the tumor but enough around the tumor to try and get any spread tentacles or wisps of cancerous tissue.And now I have it back!

I have been on the post cancer treatment drugs of Tamoxifen and now Letrizole for three years now and I must tell you that the intensity of the hot flashes and the aching joints DOES wane. Either that or I don't notice them as much? No, I am sure they are less frequent and less intense. I also know what brings them on, like drinking hot beverages, red wine, spicy foods and stress. So sometimes I know when I am going to get one but do it to myself anyways. Sometimes it's worth it.

A hot flash acts like a choke collar for me. If my temper starts to rise, my heart speeds up, my face goes purple and water descends down from arm pits, my back, my neck, my brow. The act of trying to cool myself down before brain matter is boiled always defuses the stressful situation. At that moment I only want to survive the heat. Thank good ness my children have grown up. Now if I could get my husband to do things more my way, we could lessen the fanning.

But back to the boobs! My recon started with an expander on my right side to make room for the permanent silicone bag that would fill out my chest to past measurements. The left side was surgically gathered and raised, reducing it's size only marginally to resemble the right one. My scars have healed around the left nipple, cut so close to the darker brown line as to be almost invisible. All that remains is a slight pink line beneath the breast from the nipple to the chest.Two inches. It's nothing! The right side looks like I have a bruise which will possibly fade with more time.

The side of my chest where the lymph node surgery was done is still tight and felt with every movement of my right arm.It doesn't stop me from using it, especially where there is good food involved.I don't jig for halibut anymore though.

To sum things up, if you are sitting on the fence about whether or not to endure yet another surgery, I highly recommend you think about how wonderful it would feel to thumb your nose at your cancer and say, Ha! You didn't ruin MY life. I got my body back, better than ever. I have before and after pictures that are amazing! We're talking about changing zucchinis to grapefruits again.

 Breast recon isn't for everyone. For me,  it made a huge difference in my morale, self-confidence, and determination to keep the newly adjusted ones from ever getting operated on again.

Methods are changing for the better. There is less downtime, better results.Check into it. You can always decide NOT to do it once you hear all the facts.It's your body and your time.

 Please send me a note if you want to know more about my experience with this.