Tag Archives: Surgery

Finally…reconstruction and nipples are here! HORRAY!!

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Finally…reconstruction and nipples are here! HORRAY!!

Well, it’s finally here!! My consultation for my mastectomy reconstruction and nipple reconstruction is tomorrow. Yes, once again more surgery. At this point I’ve stopped counting lol. It’s been well over a year I had my implants placed, now it’s time to tune them up!

  
I approach this with joy, excitement and fear. Excitement to be “complete”, joy to be moving on with this and fear of the unknown. How will I look? Will I be happy? And of course how much will it hurt? All I know there is something in me that says now is the right time. I want to feel whole again. I know the fear of cancer will always linger  but finishing this process will help me have some closure to the cancer chapter in my life, and allow me to open a new chapter…life after cancer, being a survivor! 

 

2014 I can feel it, its gonna be good!

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Happy New Year! May 2014 be better then 2013 for all! May we come closer to a cure in the up coming year and may there be less of us diagnosed!

I’m looking forward to hopefully a calmer year. With that being said I am confident my next surgery will go well!! And this will be the last of it!

Adios 2013!! Here comes a better 2014!!

Xo Heather

A list of Mastectomy Must Haves to Prepare for Surgery REBLOGGED by popular demand! Enjoy

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I have compiled a list of things I found very useful in my first few weeks of my recovery from my bilateral mastectomy. I Hope someone else will also find my list useful. Enjoy!
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1) When i was first diagnosed i got a nurse case manager. I really had two. One through my insurance co. and one from the hospital, both at no cost to me. The one from the ins co. helped with authorizations for things. If I had a question about the surgery or my diagnosis I could call her. I would get names of doctors, she got me a list of physical therapists that do lymphatic massage. So they are a great tool to have. The one in the hospital helped locate my next helpful item a recliner chair.

2) Medical recliner chair. I lived in this for the first three weeks after surgery. It has the ability to push your butt up to almost a standing position. And then helps you slowly go down to sitting or reclining position. You wont have the ability to push or pull anything with your arms. Out of all my tips this is THE must have. Mine ran about $150. You can try to submit to your medical insurance. I would like to thank my PS Dr. A for this one.

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Bottems up!

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3) Also, small table or card table for next to the recliner. I actually taped a bag to the end of the table because I kept knocking everything over. At night I would put the remote for the chair in it so I could find it in the middle of the night when I would make a bathroom run.

4) The pouchroo. I LOVE, LOVE this item! This thing is great. Its a apron that holds up to four drains. You wear it like those old butt bags from the 80’s, just a little higher on the waist .And no matter what your size is this will fit. It came with three elastic belts and a cute little bag. It feels so much better then just having them pinned to you gown. Check out the website it was money well spent in my opinion.
http://www.poucharoo.com

5) Colace (stool softner). My surgery was on a Monday. I actually took one on Saturday and Sunday before the surgery and drank a TON of water. Anesthesia can back you up pretty bad. The last thing you need is a pain in the ass to go with the rest of the pain. But seriously, I can’t express important of drinking water at this time. I learned the hard way with my lumpectomy two years ago it was not fun! So, drink as much as you can! This is my newly added must have…whole prunes! Good fiber and help things along in the bathroom area. TRUST me these are two things you really need to pay attention two because the pain killers after have the same effect as the anesthesia does on your bowels.

6) Speaking of drinking, bendy straws. Bring them to the hospital with you. Your range of motion is down to nothing so this us a huge help. Also those big cups that have the screw on lid with straws are perfect for when you get home.
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7) ChapStick or lip gloss .
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Your lips are going to be horribly dry when you come out of surgery. Pucker up!

8) When you get to your room your gonna feel like you where in the desert. I pretty much peeled my tongue off the roof of my mouth, I was so thirsty. You can’t drink anything, so you will need some thing to suck on ( get your mind out of the gutter). You can have ice chips. My suggestion bring hard candy with you.
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This is something I wish someone would have told me. The next day my mother-in-law saved me and brought some treats. She got me winter green life savers :). And a bag of Jolly Ranchers, but everyone kept eating them on me.

9) A back scratcher, this is for your sanity! You are not gonna be able to reach your itches lol. I used a chop stick lol I got so desperate! Knitting needles will work quite well to!
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10) Dry shampoo. Your not gonna be able to wash your hair for a while. I lived on this. I got mine at Walgreens and Ultra. Truthfully, I love this stuff I still used it!

11) Baby wipes are a must. Since you can’t shower these are perfect for you to freshen yourself up. I also purchased some really great smelling hand and face wipes at Bath and Body Works. I am obsessed with smells! So I also got coconut vanilla moisture body wipes by ELF. They where great for my arms and legs. Hey, I deserved anything at this point that made me feel good!

12) Finally when you get the thumbs up to shower you need something to hang your drains on. I used a badge lanyard ( I can’t take credit for this one).
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The safty pins get hooked onto the loop.


You can purchase one at Staples, Office depot. I think they are about two dollar’s. You don’t want those baby’s getting pulled on, they are in a very tender area. Again Dr. A gave me one they had made at his practice. Thanks!

13) A sponge on a stick. Your first shower is gonna be rough and heavenly at the same time. I found this to be a HUGE help so I could wash myself a bit without asking for help. ( forget any modesty,that went out the door a long, long time ago)I got this at Ulta as well. I’m sure Target and other pharmacy’s have them to.

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Sponge on a stick

14) Two small pillows for under your arms. These came in handy in many ways. I used them in the recliner, in the car and again when I was able to move to my bed. I even had my husband bring them to the hospital. I got ones that have memory foam, they are a little firm, I loved them, but that’s just my preference. These I purchased at Kmart. You can also use them when you are able to drive as a buffer between the seatbelt and your chest.

15) Tank tops with a built in shelf bra. I had a HUGE crying jag when none of my surgical bras, sports fit. And truthfully I was not gonna spend $70 on a mastectomy bra if in a few month I was gonna fill it out!! Your size is going to be constantly changing over the next few months. My friend got her tanks that had the shelf bra at Target and I found mine Amazon for $9.99. Not bad considering I looked at a similar one on mastectomy website and it was over $70, no thanks! Oh and these tanks will hold your bra stuffers.

16) Prosthetic boobs. My personal theory on this is if I’m going through reconstruction I’m not gonna waste money on this. For ONE prosthesis they start at $300. Yes, insurance will cover them, again to me its not necessity. What I did was went on Amazon (I’m a online shopper lol) looked up silicone bra enhancers (aka the chicken cutlets lol)and $10.99 my bra was stuffed lol.

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I got the clear.

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Also, Kohls carries them, you really have to search through the bra section to find them. I needed to get three lmao, I was over a D cup before. They are very soft and comfertable. But check with your Doc before using, you don’t want to put too much pressure on your new incisions.

17) Spray on deodorant. There is no way your gonna get a stick any where near your pits for a while.

18) And speaking of arm pits. An electric shaver would come in handy. Not just your arm pits but legs. You really are going to need help with your legs. Unless your lucky enough to have your surgery in the winter, then I would just go around looking like a yetti, your the only one who will know! I also had some one suggest waxing before the surgery especially your arm pits.

19) Button downs shirts. I would recommend maybe three or four. Also button down sweaters or sweatshirts. I layer my tanks with a light sweater or shirt and they look fine. I do have to confess I laugh to myself that I’m public without a real bra on!!! Its very liberating lol. I have NEVER been able to do that before!

20) While we are on the subject of clothing. Button down night shirts are a huge help. I actually got two terry cloth zip up ones. Those two where the best. They looked like a beach cover up so I wore it home from the hospital and to my dr appointments. They had pockets, so I ran the morphine line out the one arm and put the ball with the meds in it into the pocket. That made things so easy! Again, Kohls to the rescue for the pj’s. So if you are able to find some pj’s that are button down /zippered and have pockets you are golden!

I think that about covers all the bases. Well I know it at least covered second base!
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( I think I should get some kind of a kick back from giving Kohls for the shout outs lol).

Just remember the more prepared you are the easier it will be on you and your care giver. And don’t be afraid to ask for help, people wouldn’t offer it if they didn’t mean it!

Mastectomy day is TODAY!!!! Goodbye girls!

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Its finally here. The day of my mastectomy. I am scheduled for 12:30 pm to have my breasts removed and all the pain they had caused. All gone in mear hours. Its been such a long journey to get to this point. There is a end to this long pink tunnel of breast cancer, and tomorrow is the day!!”
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To My Breasts:

Tomorrow comes with mixed emotions, sadness, anxiety but also relief and happiness. Yes, it is the right decision for me and then I can move on with my life! Fighting with you for almost three year has been to long and draining. And for what?? Just for you to come around every six months. You really are like a bad habit you just can’t shake!!

Sorry girls…I have enjoyed you since I was nine. At times you look fantastic all dressed up. And over the years you drew much attention, some wanted and some not ( men can be such creeps lol). Today you are getting your walking papers, don’t be mad if I don’t cry! I have cried enough over you both. I learned you deceived me into thinking you where healthy and a wonderful part of me. You had somehow hid this illness from me for a while and you compromised my life. I lost my hair because of you and the chance to ever have more children. How could you have done this to me!! I took you shopping at Victoria’s Secrets bought you nice things and yet you tried to kill me. And for this I am saying my final goodbye to you ! Actually I take that back…GOOD RIDDANCE once and for all!! Don’t let the door hit yea where the good lord spilt yea!

Sincerely,

Heather

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This is my war paint! Cancer read between the lines, the pink middle finger is for you!!

Save the date!!!

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Today I have the date for my bilateral mastectomy. July 29 th is the big day.

I have mixed emotions. I am happy to have this done, sad to see the girls go, anxious to wait three weeks, worried about complications. I am sure these are all common things that goes through a persons mind with this type of surgery. I am trying to prepare myself as much as possible for it without making me nuts( or making my husband nuts lol)

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I am thinking of having a going away party for them! I would like to have a boob cake and cut them right off! I have also considered sending out announcements saying ” its twins”! Too much??? Nah not with my sense of humor!!

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I know I am strong, but I dont know if I am this strong!

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Yesterday I had the stitches removed from my biopsy site. (Thank god they are out!) However this little stint was not without its trip to the ER.


Here we go again, it’s a roller coaster ride, up,down sharp turns, the whole 9. Saturday my husband and I went to Costco to prepare for the up coming week for when I would be returning back to work (yay how I miss my friends). I kept complaining of a sharp pain in my breast. I pride myself on being a strong person when it comes to pain, I have had more IV’s,injections and blood draws than anyone I know lol. But this pain was sharp and bad. On a scale of 1-10 we where @ a 9. Earlier before we left my steri strips came off the incision area so I cleaned it and covered it didn’t think anything of it. By the time 9 pm rolled around I couldn’t take it anymore and off to the er we went. I looked @ the incision area one more time before we left and it looked like the wound had opened. (These things are par for the course with me, I just roll with it).
We wait in the ER waiting area an hour to be seen by a doctor. She saw me for a total of 30 mins,makes no sense right? They called my surgeon gave me antibiotics and pain meds and sent me on my merry way. No blood cultures,no IV, no culturing the incision (I am not complaining about the fact that I was in and out, but do you ever feel like the doctors just are not listening to you?? )But with the pain pills in my system the pain was at a tolerable level. My surgeon called me sunday morning to check up on me and felt that I possibly have an infection just starting and we caught it in time.
So that brings us to today, stitches removed, we went over my biopsy report again, I was not happy to hear there where more microcalcifications but apparently that is from the radiation. Now the bad news…another mammo in 6 weeks ( ARE YOU F^*#ING KIDDING ME). Apparently the titanium pellet they placed in when I had the stereotactic biopsy was not to be found in the new biopsy tissue, so that means one of two things, 1) it fell out of the tissue when they where doing what they do in the lab or 2) it’s still in me!!! If it’s still in me it means all the tissue that needed to be taken out was not. MORE SURGERY!! You see my dilemma??? This would be my 5th surgery on my right breast. I can’t see myself being cut open again, I know it will be around Thanksgiving, but I am no turkey to be carved up again!!! Why cant I just get the magical breast I have been dreaming of??? This would all be a distant memory!! To tell you the truth I am frustrated and pissed. I think a second opinion is called for with this one…again to be contiuned.

Yea that looks about right, the sharp cutting tool in the breast!!!