Sunday, May 6, 2012

Double Mastectomy FAQ

I've had a handful of friends ask me similar questions, so I figured, "Hey, why not make a post, explaining what's about to happen."

When is your surgery and how long are you going to be in the hospital?

My mastectomy is scheduled for May 22nd, a Tuesday, and I don't know how long I'll be in the hospital.  I was told it could be two days or six days.  My stay all depends on how I react and recover after the surgery.  If I'm having a hard time, then I'm going to stay longer because they're not going to send me home in bad shape.

Are you immediately going to have a new set of knockers?

The answer to that is no.  "Immediate reconstruction" is a tad misleading because it's not like I'm trading my real ones for a set of fake ones.  Instead of tram flaps (since I don't have much fat in my belly), I opted to do expanders with fake boobs.  It's a process that will take several months.  After my mastectomy, my plastic surgeon is going to insert expanders into a pocket in my chest wall.  You see, when they take your boobies, they also take the skin that came with said boobs.  The doctors have to expand (hence, expanders) the remaining skin so that a fake boob can eventually be inserted.  Each week, I'll go into my surgeon's office and he'll work his magic and increase the expanders, thus stretching out the skin ever so much.  I want to try and recreate the boobs I have now, but I understand that when my skin says "No mas!" then that's the size boobs I'll end up with.

Are you ready?

You know, I don't think I'll ever be ready to have a double mastectomy.  I don't want to have this surgery, but I feel like I have no choice.  Since my one-year mark showed pre-cancerous cells, the surgery feels like my only way to tell breast cancer to eff off once and for all.  I wish it didn't have to come to this, but I don't want to have to go through cancer treatment again.

Is there anything I can do?

For my local Pittsburgh people, I would love to have company when I'm recuperating.  As long as you don't mind that visiting me means dealing with my crazy dog, I would love to have visitors!  If you want to help me in other ways, like driving me to the store or anywhere just so I get out of the house, masel tov!   I'll take it.  I should be off work approximately four to six weeks, and I'll be prohibited from anything strenuous, like walking Boomer, exercise or anything really.  Heh.  One thing that my first go-around with cancer taught me, screw your pride.  I'll ask for help when I need it.  Cooking, cleaning or dog walking.  If you can help, then I will be very very grateful.

As for my loved ones who don't live near Pittsburgh, I will do my best to answer the phone if you want to call me to check up on me. I'll probably be on some good drugs so I apologize in advance for any slurring.  Ha.

I'll update this if more questions come my way.

1 comment:

  1. I know it's not time yet, but my thoughts are with you. They took my Mom's left breast and she recovered really well. We're unsure what's next at this point. Good luck lady! Stay strong!