Whew! A marathon day, but a very successful one at that! I felt like super woman by the time it was over… Complete with a cape! Haha these things crack me up.
Started off the day at my awesome plastic surgeon… he’s just… wow. Amazing. Favorite words: “You’re going to have a great result!” I love hearing that. I talked with his nurse quite a bit about all the process of fills and everything, and feel very good about my decision to have expanders (it was an easy choice!) Our goal is to get to a total of 650 cc’s so I can have 640 cc tear drop gummy bear implants as my final implants. The big question is how long is it going to take to get there. A lot depends on how filled they are when I come out of the OR on the 6th, but he won’t know how much he can fill until he’s in there. Then I can start getting fills when my skin is healed, so hopefully 2-4 weeks later. Then fills are as frequent as every 2 weeks, and the amount is what I can tolerate – the most they usually do is 100 cc per breast per fill. And THEN there is a 2 month waiting period after we reach the goal expansion before the actual exchange surgery happens. So my hope for an exchange over Thanksgiving may be pushing it. Obviously it’s not something I am willing to rush, so we’ll just take it week by week, fill by fill! It’s such a fascinating process to me… yes I’m a nerd I know. But it’s pretty amazing what they can do!!
So I’ll have the expanders placed under my pec muscles along with Alloderm to create a tight “pocket” for the final implants. I will have 4 JP drains coming out of the OR, and those will be pulled once the drainage slows down. Hopefully not terribly long! But I’ve got quite the array of fun toys to hang them/place them/etc . The drains are what everyone I’ve talked to that has had this surgery says are the worst part, but hoping they aren’t too terrible. Kind of like septoplasty splints… they suck, but are short-term!
So we took some more pre-op pictures to be as accurate as possible, and Mom and I got on our way! We just love this guy – he’s so humble, yet so very passionate about his work. I am so glad to have been literally dropped into his care, especially knowing how much I’ll be seeing him the next few months. So we split with a “see you on the 6th!”
Mom and I headed off to lunch, then back to the hospital. I had a CA-125 drawn so we have the result by Thursday when I see the gyn-onc. Also got to meet some very special, amazing people, but more on that later!! Intrigue, right?! We were early so had plenty of time to hang out in the waiting room, and I met a young BRCA+ woman who found out she had cancer while she was pregnant, which is basically my worse fear. Her story really hit home with why I’m doing this, and why I’m doing it now. Like whoa. I can’t stop thinking about her – how do you make the decision to choose your own life, or the life of your unborn child’s? Literally makes me nauseous to think about that.
Anyhow… on to the other “boob dude,” my lovely breast surgeon. Again with the humble and passionate! I can’t say how grateful I am. We had a good discussion about what’s to come. And a bit of an unfortunate discovery (from my MRI) that my VP shunt goes directly through my right boob. So I am the proud owner of a lovely purple “tattoo” that I even got the marker for… to make sure it stays for the next 2 weeks! It tracks the path my shunt goes so there are no surprises. We also looked it up and were relieved to learn my neurosurgeon will actually be operating just a few ORs over that day in case anything goes wrong. What are the chances of that?? My surgeon said it so eloquently and truthfully: “the stars are aligning!”
So I also learned a little bit more about pre-op on the 5th. Obviously it involves all the usual tests and meeting with the nurse, but that afternoon I will also have lymphoscintigraphy done. This is a nuclear test where I’ll get injected with a substance that will light up lymph nodes, so should they find anything cancerous the sentinel node will already be identified and everything can be taken care of at the same time. He said it’s obviously very unlikely that will happen, but I certainly appreciate their caution. The scan isn’t until 3 that day so it will be a long day! And then I have to be there at 8:30 the next morning for surgery.
My breast surgeon’s nurse is also amazeballs. I got heart pillows, drain holders, and tons of info! And… consents are signed! We are official. Craziness!
So yeah… day full of info, and we’re ready to go!! Makes me glad the surgeons think the last 5 months have flown by as well… it’s not just me (and my friends) getting old!! These next 2 weeks will be over in a blink of an eye. I can confidently say though, I’m ready to do this, thanks to all the amazing people I have on my side.
Heading home… with my beautiful comfy pillows!