Lets back up a bit from last we talked. Emily graduated from high school and we celebrated with Val, Steven and my mother Barbara from out of town. After getting Emily packed off to Pittsburg to Duquesne University, we traveled to New York where Matt was part of the convocation for Brooklyn Law School. We came home to pack up Nick's car and off he went to LMU for his junior year. A few weeks later we were on a flight_to Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice. It was a post cancer treatment, pre reconstruction, Matt's 60th birthday and Jill's Medicare bday. We got to spend time with our good friend Alison Gilligan and her son Penn in Florence and were joined by friends Patrick and Susie for Tuscany. It was a wonderful trip.
We returned home and it was off to Tyler for Jill and Washington DC for Matt. We met up in Pittsburg and got to see Emily for the first time in 2 months. We came home and prepared for my first of three reconstruction surgeries.
I thought I knew everything about the surgery from my discussions with my plastic surgeon and Melissa (who is looking hot!) who had the same procedure done two years earlier. As the song goes tho, there's nothing like the real thing baby! OMG. It was a lot more painful than I had thought and more debilitating. I needed help getting around. Lucky for me, Anne and Allison, my sisters, were on hand to take care of me after my surgery. They also threw out more things that I knew I had. It looked like a 95 year old woman had died and had lived alone only with cats! My house lost 20 pounds! I wish it worked that way on your body!
The surgery is long (about 13 hours for me) and your incision on the abdomen runs hip to hip. I had what is known as the diep where they take your fat from the belly button down and form two new breasts that are attached with blood vessels and even a nerve or two right where the bad girl and her best friend were located. Now if you know me or have seen me recently, I had enough material as Dr. Paige called it to replicate both of the former occupants. It doesn't really work out that way (thank God) and Matt was disappointed with the lack of double Fs on my chest wall. I thought the symmetry was great and they are a good starting size. As painful as the lower area can be, there is nothing on the chest area. It felt and looked weird to me to have bosoms again, but I am glad that I did it.
My incision was open until last week. I had my surgery on November 14 so it has been a long haul. It has been complicated by the fact that I got blood clots in my left leg and that slowed down my healing process. As they struggle to get my blood counts normal again (it is not right as of this writing although diagnosed on December 23), I am finally seeing some light at the end of my tunnel. I am hopeful that the pool has my name on it!
I am back at the plastic surgeon on Feb 1 and we will start planning when phase two will occur. It is shorter, about 3 hours, done in the operating room at his office and requires no hospital stay. We will Mattify to an extent these breasts to be a little larger and they will take care of my E>T> ears left over from the mastectomy. He also has to shape the lower abdomen area, but not the pain associated with the first go round. I am thinking maybe June or July.
So, you are now up to date. Matt wondered why after a year, I decided to dust off this piece. I think that it is because I have entered another area of this gift that keeps on giving. It is helpful to me to share that journey and pause to think about it as well. And of course, it is great to chat lit up...we all know that is one of my strong points!
I will be back when I have a good plan moving forward. Until that time, cheer for the Falcons, still try to fire Darrell Bevel, get Seattle a NHL and NBA team and slow down on the executive orders (censored for content!).