Monday, March 11, 2013

Breast Reconstruction - Part 2

Today I met with a plastic surgeon at Mayo Clinic to discuss some specifics of options available to me for breast reconstruction.  I have researched this quite a bit in the past - kinda keep pulling this package of the shelf to check on, get a little overwhelmed and decide to put it back.

About six months ago I met with my breast surgeon and she actually made the appointment for me, just to answer some questions I had.  You see it is really weird, hard, confusing, and a variety of other descriptive words - you feel like life is moving along, your feeling pretty good about things, thinking you can maybe handle doing this; I mean after all it would be nice to have breasts again, I think. Then you think some more and well me, I talk myself right out of doing anything (maybe not you).  So it was a good thing I just had to show up and ask questions.

My options were for the most part the same, however my radiated skin was looking pretty good and he felt as though it could be successful to do an expander followed by an implant.  This was big news!  Up to this point I didn't have this option.  Of course I was warned that the skin could be difficult, could form an infection, then everything would have to come out, wait to heel up and start all over. So that just sounds super appealing, but compared to 10 hours of surgery, 3-5 days in the hospital, and a lot of scaring - maybe it wasn't sounding awful.

Seriously though, I had a very good surgeon who listened to my concerns, asked me questions about my lifestyle - what I did and didn't do; all to help determine which would be the best option for me.  When I expressed my fear of another major surgery, he completely understood.  I finally feel like I am able to live my life pretty similar to what I had before my cancer - to start over or limit my abilities to do things I enjoy for 8 months or even the rest of my life is really a tough decision. I know it may seem like a no brainer, but not really.  I think the hardest part of the experience is the emotional heeling that has to take place in your life.

Sometimes I feel very frustrated with my options, and then I am reminded like today..."We don't have a lot of women (with my advanced stage of cancer) in your situation, most of them don't make it this far." 

Then I am quickly reminded of just how blessed I am!

Here are a few links that you may find helpful when looking at breast reconstruction as well as what to talk to your plastic surgeon about.

American Cancer Society - Breast Reconstruction
American Society of Plastic Surgeons

1 comment:

  1. Sweet T, You just never cease to amaze me! Praying God will complete your emotional healing and continue to give you clear direction, strength and courage for your health decisions.

    My love and prayers, always...


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