Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Foob terminology

Its come to my attention that some of the info I've put on here is a little sketchy as far as true info. I'm assuming that you guys know what I'm talking about, but we ALL know what ASSuming does! ;-) Anyway, here's a quick rundown of stuff I may talk about and probably already have as far as this battle goes...

Foob = fake boob. Some BC survivors/pre-vivors use this term for their new breasts whether using a flap or implants. I think its slightly more common for those of us with implants.
BC = breast cancer
Pre-vivors = individuals who have a high risk of BC that are undergoing prophylatactic treatment whether with chemo, PBMs, or increased screenings.
PBM = prophylactic bilateral mastectomy
BM = bilateral mastectomy; removal of both breasts
Saline implants = prosthetic for breasts that is composed of a thin silicone shell filled w/ saline. Saline is considered a safer option for implants b/c it can be readily absorbed by the body if a rupture occurs. Saline is basically salt water.
Silicone implants = prosthetic for breasts that is composed entirely a silicone gel. Silicone is generally considered a more asthetically pleasing option for implants b/c it has a more similar feel to regular breast tissue. It is generally considered a bit more dangerous in the case of a rupture b/c it is recognized as a foreign body by your body.
Expanders = temporary prosthetic for breasts that is composed of a thin silicone shell that can be filled with saline in stages. They're used primarily for my type of reconstruction because unlike breast augmentation, my implants will go *under* the muscle to provide more tissue/skin coverage for the implants. This is important to protect the implants from rupturing.
Lymph nodes/system = a bodily system that basically filters your blood in various areas of the body before it enters your trunk/heart to prevent infection from spreading to this vital area. Most of your lymph nodes are located in your arm-pits and groin area. There are also some in your chest, throat, and a few other places. I think everyone has a slightly different number of lymph nodes in each spot. Your spleen is also a large part of the lymph system.
Lymphendema = a syndrome that is caused by even a slight insult/injury/infection of a limb or body part that has had its lymph system disturbed. I think its most common in arms after injury to the lymph nodes under your arms. I have to worry about this (like my mom does) b/c they dissected out at least 3 lymph nodes during my surgery to check them for cancer. I'm not entirely sure how life-threatening this is, but its pretty serious. So much so that I can't have my blood pressure or injections/blood draws on my left side where my sentinel lymph nodes were removed.
Sentinal lymph nodes = the lymph nodes that are closest and/or drain from the area of injury and/or tumor. The 3 lymph nodes they tested of mine were sentinel nodes from my left arm-pit area b/c that's where my tumor was.

Drains = instruments of torture! No seriously, they're hollow reservoirs that are attached by tubing to the surgery site. They allow fluids to empty from the surgery site and not interfere with healing. I think initially the fluid is primarily blood, some tissue, and some lymph fluid. As healing progresses, the amount of fluid decreases. The amount of blood in the fluid also decreases as healing progresses. Most doctors require that each drain produce less than 30 ccs of fluid for 2 days in a row before removal. I have one that is already at that point & another that should be there by Friday! I can't wait!
BRCA1/2 = 2 genes that are commonly (10% I think) the genetic cause of breast cancer. These genes are also responsible for increased risk of ovarian cancer. I am BRCA1+ which means that my BRCA1 gene is mutated - my lifetime risk of breast cancer (b/4 I was diagnosed) could have been as high as 80% (I think) more than the average woman. My lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is anywhere from 40 - 60% higher than the average woman (I think).
Ooph = oophorectomy; removal of the ovaries
Hyst = hysterectomy; removal of the uterus

Please let me know if you have any terms I've used or use in the future that are unfamiliar. I can easily look them up if I don't already know about them. I thoroughly enjoy researching things!

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My Chemo-Jane hair-style

My Chemo-Jane hair-style
I just had to have my mom buzz my hair because it was falling out so badly.

Pre-op wearing my hand-crocheted cap with my prayer shawl.

Pre-op wearing my hand-crocheted cap with my prayer shawl.
My loving husband is watching me distract myself with a game on his iPhone.

2 days after my BMX w/ 100ccs in the TEs

2 days after my BMX w/ 100ccs in the TEs
I even have a fashionable belt to hold up my drains.

3 weeks post-op w/ 400ccs in each TE

3 weeks post-op w/ 400ccs in each TE
The smile is fake because the TEs were irritating!