Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reconstruction complete

I was a little bummed when the hospital called to tell me my surgery time was 12:45, and to be there at 11:30.  I already have problems with nausea and dehydration so not being able to eat or drink since the night before, and then all morning, had me feeling very anxious.  When I got dressed, I found yet another dime in my pocket.  Being a skeptic, I accused Martha of putting it there, but she denies it, so maybe my mom was telling me that she would be with me.

When I arrived at the surgical center at 11:30 they took me right back to the prep room, the nurse got an IV started with just one easy attempt in the back of my hand (usually my tiny,scared veins roll away or just collapse) and I took this as a good omen.  The anesthesiologist came in and promised me he would pour the entire anti-nausea cocktail in me and then my doctor came in and started drawing all over my chest and back with magic marker.

I was rolled into the OR at noon, ahead of scheduled and with no time to think about it. I scooched over onto the operating table and that’s all I remember.

I woke up at 3:00 gently and without any problems.  No anxiety, no triggers, no freaking out.  So much different than my usual recovery experiences.  It was amazingly relaxed.  Then they put me in a chair and wheeled me to the next room and told me that they would go get Martha.  But the first person in the room was Peachie who had driven 4 hours to surprise me.   That girl does make me smile.

So surgery at 12:00.  Home by 4:30.  Not bad at all.

Today, 48 hours later, I am sore and itchy but not in pain.  I went to work for an hour, just to return phone calls.  The tumor they took off my back was apparently deep in the muscle, so that is more sore than the my newly sliced open boobs.   And I am tired.  It is difficult to sleep when you’ve had surgery on both your chest and back, but I can manage to find a moderately comfortable position to nap in.   It’s only when I move that I wake myself up.  

Other than that, I am feeling great.  It will take a few months for the new girls to settle in and be a more realistic shape, but I think I will be very happy.  Especially because they have already made such a big difference in being able to wear clothes.

Before any reconstruction surgeries.
After the tissue expanders were surgically placed.

Expanders filled with 430 cc of saline.
These were hard as a rock.

After final implant surgery.
The implants are still taking the shape of the expanders but will settle
into a more natural position in a few months.  

Next week the stitches will come out and then in 3 to 4 months, when everything settles, I will be re-evaluated to see if any adjustments need to be made.    I am so glad this is over.

Thank you for all your good thoughts, prayers and kindnesses.   I am truly blessed.


  1. I am so glad this is over, too. Whew! Big sigh of relief that you came out of the surgery so easily this time. That alone will make the recovery smoother. I hope that you never have to see your surgeon again!

    Congratulations on your new 'girls'. May they bring you joy and style.


  2. Me too, glad for you and the relative ease of this phase. May the shaping commence apace.


  3. Prayers for your continued healing. Blessings for your continued courage. Praise for your body's ability to become whole again.

  4. Glad all went well! Here is to a speedy recovery!