Ten months today since my first surgery and yes, I do feel like I am getting better and coming to the end of this chapter. Bring it on! I want to finish being a breast patient and move on to being an artist. I don’t want to be “that poor woman who lost her sisters and her business and her breasts”. I want to be “that successful artist with an amazing global art business, inspired by her beautiful sisters in heaven”. Just putting it out there – that’s my big, hairy, audacious goal!
Monthly Archives: June 2014
I am very happy to let you know that I left hospital on Saturday, 48 hours after my surgery, and am now happily ensconced at home, focusing on my #1 priority: REST! I think every cell in my body is heaving a sigh of relief that the surgery is over at last. I’ve been feeling like I was wandering around with a dark heavy blanket over me for so long and now it has lifted – thank you God!
In the end, the surgery took almost four hours. Fat was transferred from my hips to round out my breasts and the scars on my breasts were neatened up. I haven’t seen the end result yet, as everything is still under bandages, but I feel like the final outcome is going to be really good! The diagram shows you what was done (from what I can gather!) and I will get the bandages off on Thursday for the big reveal. I am looking forward to it! Continue reading
Just reporting in that all is well! I’m sitting up in my “airy, light filled room”, just as requested. Thank you God!
It was confronting going through each step of the pre surgery procedure early yesterday morning. Funny how your brain just blocks traumatic experiences out, and then gets triggered as each little reminder turns up! So I was a bit teary when I came round the corner & saw those pre op beds. And again when those pre med lines were being inserted (“Ohhhhh no! Not again!), but on the whole kept it together okay. Plenty of deep breaths!
This hospital is so much quieter & brighter again than St V’s so I am loving that. Didn’t sleep much last night, just dozed, so I will be resting most of today.
James has just been in to see me this morning and he’s happy with everything. I’ve had my drip & oxygen tubes removed – yeah! Then a quick sponge bath and into my own nightshirt – superb. Dosed up with pain killers and am feeling fine, all things considered!
Thanks so much for all the love and prayers sent my way – they are working! 😊
After weeks of count down, the big day for my follow up surgery arrives tomorrow. I have to say it has been a bit of a struggle to keep my anxious mind calm as I head into it. I think last time I was worried about the unknown (“will they find cancer?”) and this time it is dreading the known downsides of my last surgery – needles, blood, pain, bandages, scars – all things I hate!
I know that this surgery is WAY less invasive than last time, but I’m really not looking forward to revisiting ANY of the trauma of it again. So I have been piling on the soothing rituals, speaking gently to myself and visualizing a positive outcome – a smooth surgery and a quick and easy recovery.
I just read this on a breast cancer website: “In Australia, around 5,000 women have a mastectomy every year, but only 6% to 12% of these go on to have reconstructions. This compares with 42% of women in the US and 16.5% in England.” It is thought that this is because when diagnosed with breast cancer, Australian women are not being as well informed and empowered about all of their treatment options.
I suppose that means I’m one of only 500 Australian women in the past year that have had a mastectomy and reconstruction. A much smaller proportion had bilateral surgeries (on both breasts). And most reconstructions are done with implants, not a tissue transplant (TRAM or DIEP) as I have had so I am a rare breed! That being said, when you see the low rates of breast reconstruction in Australia, it makes sense that this rate is rising fast, as information and awareness improves, especially with the “Angelina effect” on preventative mastectomies.
Tags: abdominal stiffness TRAM surgery, breast reconstruction, breast surgery recovery, DIEP flap transplant, LCIS, muscle sparing TRAM reconstruction, preventative double mastectomy, prophylactic mastectomy