How does it feel? – from the inside, looking out

Elle Magazine - USA - June 2015

Elle Magazine – USA – June 2015

This is a post to mark one year since my second reconstructive breast surgery in June last year. I wasn’t going to post anything at all, since there is not much change to report with my body, other than the continuing VERY slow progress of healing. I’m determined that it’s not finished yet, but we will see!

However, today I was reading a great series of articles in the June 2015 USA edition of Elle magazine about women and their breasts and how they feel about them – whether healthy, not healthy, big, small, happy, unhappy or an assortment of other feelings. If you are reading my blog because of your interest in my breast surgery, or someone close to you, then it is worth tracking down the issue.

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The body beautiful – 18 months on

FullSizeRender[1]I said I’d update on where I’m at with my healing progress six months ago, so here’s the latest on my post surgery body, 18 months after my double mastectomy and muscle sparing TRAM reconstruction surgery.

Overall, I’d say I’m progressing well. I’m still really conscious of my tight stomach and numb torso each day, but it is WAY better than it was. The stiffness is less, the discomfort is reduced, my general feeling of well being has much improved. Still a way to go, but I definitely feel like I am “getting there”.

I had my final check up with James, my plastic surgeon last week. He is really pleased with my physical progress. I didn’t expect to, but I cried when he asked me, sincerely and kindly, how I feel about the breast surgery now. It just brings up so much sadness for me. As James says, I’m healing well on the outside, but have a way to go on the inside.

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Eleven months on – lessons learned

photo[9]For those of you wondering, here’s how I’m faring 11 months after the first surgery, and six weeks after the second….

Mainly, I am just so relieved to have the surgeries behind me now, and, best of all, no more ahead of me. I am so grateful that, while this whole experience has not been a pleasant one, at least I’m not unwell, or suffering a progressive, debilitating illness. I am done with surgery! The last of my bandages were removed this week, so that was a great milestone to pass. My breast shape looks really good (thank you James!) although, of course, they are still totally numb to me. But they look good, so that’s a plus! It really is a miracle of modern science and James’ talents to think that I have had every one of my original breast cells removed, and now have my abdominal tissue transplanted to look pretty much like the real deal! I have scars circling each nipple (or where my right nipple used to be anyway) and vertical ones from nipple to under bust, as well as along the base of both breasts. They are fairly clean, fine lines and I know they will fade. All good there. Continue reading

My left breast

be soft JPEGSeven months today and counting since I’ve had my surgery… I’m really looking forward to the time when there is nothing more to report! In the past month my healing progress has continued to inch along in the right direction. I think I am only at about 80% of my usual energy levels, which is an improvement, but still frustrating! On the downside, the whole area is still pretty numb. That’s no fun. It still feels quite stiff and uncomfortable too.

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Postscript – re my lost nipple

photo[50]

I’m slowly coming to terms with this week’s development and loss. I really have been quite sad and rattled by losing my nipple. For the first time I’ve thought “enough already!” I think this is just about my tipping point, so I’m looking after myself so as I don’t go over the edge! I’ve had a number of cathartic long cries, done a bit of colourful drawing and received a few comforting hugs for good measure. I’m not happy about it but I will deal with it.

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HALLELUJAH!!!

Hello my lovely friends.

I have VERY GOOD NEWS!!! Have just received the pathology reports – ALL CLEAR. NO CANCER. NO FURTHER TREATMENT REQUIRED!!! As expected, but I can not tell you how relieved & happy I am to have it officially confirmed. All is well. My husband was with me when we received the news this morning from my surgeon. Hooray for that!!

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DAY 4

Unfortunately, the feel good factor from yesterday didn’t quite carry through to today, Sunday.

Sarah remained washed out and tired.

On the positive side, both doctors came by today to see her and continue to be very pleased with how her recovery is going – so that is very good news.

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SURGERY UPDATE

Sarah checked into pre-op at 630 this morning. Very calm, focused and in the zone. A fair bit of rigmarole prior to surgery, but all taken in her stride. Brave, brave girl. Left her side at 8. Called at 10 by James the plastic surgeon who advised of a delay in starting – admin issues only. So, a couple of hours late, but underway now…

Life, love and loss …

keep-calm-and-send-love

Here’s the background on me, and why I have decided to go ahead with a preventative double mastectomy and breast reconstruction this week.

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DIEP breast reconstruction

This is a bit of a medical lesson for those that are interested …. Just in my own simple language so you will have to rely on google if anyone wants more detail or technical info!

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