The surgery itself went well, although I did have some triggering problems coming out of anesthesia. I was supposed to be in recovery for about an hour. I was there for 3 hours. But the staff was wonderful and Martha was patient, and the lingering anxiety has dissipated.
Just for the record, this is what my chest looked like before surgery. I don't think I would have considered reconstruction if my chest was flat. But all the lumps and bumps and concave areas made it really hard to wear most clothing.
This is what I came home looking like. At first I thought, wow, I really don't need to be any bigger than that, I'll be done with the stretching in no time. Unfortunately though, this is mostly bandages.
Today I was able to take the bandages off. Well, Martha did. I have already fainted twice looking at this mess. The expanders have been inserted through my existing scars and some fluid added to them. It doesn't show well in the picture but all that redness is bruising and it feels like an elephant stepped on my chest. But overall, not too bad and I am already pleased with the reduction of weirdness.
After this, I will go every week of so to have more fluid inserted to continue to stretch the skin and muscle until a pocket the size I would like to be is formed. Then I will have another surgery to remove the expanders and replace them with the permanent implants.
I hemmed and hawed about doing this for almost two years. I have tried socks in a bra, prosthetic boobs, and just going without. But the bottom line is this - I had a very aggressive grade of cancer and early detection literally saved my life. Please take care of your girls and get them checked regularly. Breasts can be reconstructed, your life cannot.