I’m hesitant to post this one. It’s been a long while. I used to post about everything, then somehow it turned into just posts about the good and the bad. Not the in between. Trust me, life’s been a lot of “just the in-between” lately. Just normal life with normal issues.
I know a lot of readers out there are fellow TNBC’rs and look to my blog as a sense of hope. I hope my latest set back doesn’t deter or scare you — just shows you that everyone’s road is different — and complicated…..
Just the facts ma’am:
10 days ago I came down with a low-grade fever of unknown origin. It came complete with teeth chattering chills. After a day and half and lots of Tylenol and rest, I seemed to be back to normal. Whether or not I was, I just went back to living life normally!
A few days later I could tell I had another low grade fever, but didn’t bother to take my temp. Just went to bed early and got rest. All seemed fine in the morning. So, on with life I went.
Then, on Wednesday afternoon my chest wall next to my right foob was incredibly painful. Trust me, I experience some level of pain and discomfort on the daily with my implants — but I’m used to it now.
This pain was different. Was real. Was intense. Was new. By evening, I could tell I had another full blown fever – but had to put Nora to bed. After she was down I hopped in the shower to warm myself up and noticed that my right foob was slightly swollen, warm to the touch (which is very unusual for reconstructed breasts — they’re normally cool and clay to the touch) and there was a visible redness along the side.
I decided I needed to see a doctor the next day. Garrett got me in at 1:30 and confirmed that something was going on – by then my right foob was visibly larger than the left. He prescribed antibiotics and said if I’m not feeling any better right away to call him and we’d take next steps. He also mentioned that some folks like to involve their plastic surgeons in discussions since an implant is such special property.
As I left G’ office I called my plastic surgeon, Roy Hong. He texted me back asking for pictures.
He called me 30 mins later telling me to go to the ER and have the on-call doctor call him.
After I got Nora home from school. I uber’d to the ER. After a chest X-ray and breast ultrasound, I received a high dose IV push of an antibiotic called DAPTOmycin. That medicine will cover me for 24 hours so that I can go down to Los Altos this afternoon to see my surgeon. (I also took Levofloxacin when I got home from the ER and again this morning.)
It appears that there’s fluid in the capsule surrounding my implant which is causing an infection. There’s no way to fix this issue other than complete implant removal. The pocket will remain empty as it heals for at least 3 months. If all looks good, I’ll have a spacer placed back into the pocket and we’ll start stretching the skin that will have inevitably shrunk over 3 months. It’ll take another 3 months to stretch my skin. If all looks good at that point, I’ll do a swap out of the spacer for a new gen implant and I’ll remove and replace the left implant with a matching new gen implant.
So basically, a shitty 6 months with one fake boob and one nothing, flat side.
I will say that this morning I woke up and had a good response to the antibiotics. The swelling and redness have subsided slightly, but it’s definitely not fixed altogether. Dr. Hong called me at 7am and asked how I was doing. I reported this positive news to him. He said, he’d keep an open mind and maybe my good response to the medicine could buy me a couple days to wait and see before surgery. His main concern is what happens after the antibiotics are done. Will I be up shits creek again? This came on so damn fast it’s scary. I went from normal to in the ER being tested for sepsis within one day.
I suspect he was just being kind this morning when we talked. If there’s fluid in the capsule, he’s already told me in no uncertain terms there’s no cure for it other than removal. And my U/S showed fluid.
So I mentally prepared for surgery. I’ve taken a shower, shaved my legs, put some make-up on (look good to feel good, right) and said extra long goodbyes to the kiddos.
Paul and I are off to Los Altos now. Dr. Hong is booked with pre-existing surgeries but I’ll be seeing his right hand man. I confirmed this isn’t the guys first solo surgery and that he does indeed know what he’s doing ;)!!!! Dr. Hong will be in the OR next door and will see me in-between surgeries to confirm our decision to go ahead or wait and see. (My gut is telling me, we’re a go for removal)
As fucking shitty as this is. And is much as it leaves me asking “why me?” and “I was *just* getting comfortable in this new body and getting my confidence back — why now?” I’m forcing myself to look on the bright side — I’m not being told its lymphoma of the implant, a recurrence or mets. So I’m forever grateful for that.
See you on the other side!
Pic of me just now — I’m all “are you F’ing kidding me with this?” Got my post op button up on. This ain’t my first rodeo….