Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Foob tube... well, a foob story anyway!
I had my surgery Feb 19th. It was supposed to be a 'quick' 6 hour surgery, but it turned into a 9 1/2 hour surgery w/ lots of time in the recovery room. I had a bilateral mastectomy (BM) w/ sentinel node mapping in the left w/ expander reconstruction. I was terribly nauseated immediately after surgery & I think that may have contributed to increased pain since I had dry heaves for a *long* time after surgery. I got out of the hospital Sunday, went shopping at Whole Foods on Monday & have been miserable all day today (Tuesday).
My franken-boobs/foobs are pretty scary looking to me. My left axillary (arm-pit) area is really scary b/c they did a re-dissection of my tumor site to clean up the margins & such (I think). I have 'wings' in the crease of my arm-pit where I'm swollen & such. I got to keep my nipples & they're doing well so far. They're dark & bruised, but the capillary refill time is good. The incisions that I have are in my axillary/arm-pit area & I can't really see it. The plastic surgeon (Sacks) filled my expanders about 75% (I think) with 300 ccs of saline during surgery. To me my foobs look really flat & funky. My husband says they don't look bad. I guess he'd know since he definitely spent more time looking at my boobs naked that I have! ;-) Really, I guess my biggest 'problem' area is my arm-pit area. The way I was built I had a lot of arm-pit boob. Now w/ all that tissue gone & the only thing in its place in the front I feel like my sides look funny. Of course, I'm still really swollen & bruised, so I'm sure it will change (hopefully for the better). I'm still not entirely pleased that I have to have implants, but considering how I feel vs. what I saw my mom go through for her TRAM reconstruction, I guess I got the better deal. Now I just hope they look normal & I don't have crazy complications. I've been known to have absolutely *crazy* scar tissue formation, so I'm really quite worried about capsular contraction.
I have 4 drains right now. One of them on the right causes a terrible burning sensation across my whole boob when I'm in some position (I'm not sure exactly what position it is until I'm in it & in pain). My drain output is pretty low - the biggest one is about 100 ccs already - the smallest is about 30 ccs. I'm hoping to get rid of at least 2 of them Friday. I have an appointment w/ my breast surgeon (Meric) tomorrow. Although I don't think she has any say about my drains I may ask her anyway. I'm also going to tell her about the peculiar sensation I have in the left breast. It feels like bubbles in my breast. I call the left one "Bubbles" & the right one "Burns". I don't mind Bubbles so much - except for her (his?) looks. However, Burns can just chill - please!
I'm still in Houston, TX (MD Anderson) b/c I live 900 miles away & needed to have my follow-up appointments. I'm hoping to have all that taken care of by Friday. I'm also hoping that I get some *good* medicine for the trip home! Highway 59 going North through TX is not the easiest to ride! I'm probably going to ask for extra pain meds & some anti-nausea meds just in case!
Overall, I guess I'm glad I had the surgery. I have a whole lot of respect for you gals that are doing this BEFORE a cancer diagnosis. I don't know that I'd be willing to put myself through this even w/ a *really* high percentage chance of breast cancer. I watched my mom recover from a TRAM BM after her cancer diagnosis 4-5 years ago. I thought I was ready for the pain & recovery... I'm not so sure I was. My surgery wasn't even as involved as hers since I don't have the huge abdominal insult, but I'm definitely not a real happy camper. I can't image doing this on a whim (ie for cosmetic reasons) or even just b/c I was afraid I'd get cancer. You gals that have the PBMs are now my heros! You go girls!