Milestones

Well, I feel like I can finally exhale. I had my swap out surgery earlier this week, and am on the mend from it. For me, the swap out truly signified the beginning of the end of this journey for me. I can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can start to rebuild my strength and life! Words cannot express the sense of relief I feel right now.

My chest is pretty soar and swollen at the moment, so I don’t really know what my new rack looks like. I have to wear a big, supportive post-surgical bra for the next three weeks. Only time I can take it off is to shower and launder it. But, that’s fine by me. I’d rather follow instructions than risk having one of the implants float or twist into a funny position. So, for the near future, I will be sleeping a propped up on my back (no side or stomach sleeping for me).

Dr. Hong did quite a bit of liposuction around both of my armpits as well as my side boob. The tissue expanders caused a lump to form near my armpit (ladies, you know what I’m talking about — the armpit flab!). The expanders also caused a pretty sever fold of skin along the side of my boob. As a result, I am pretty soar and swollen from all the lipo. I haven’t noticed any significant bruising yet, but then again, I always have my surgical bra on — so who really knows what’s going on under there. The front of my right breast is pretty ache-y. I can feel the outline of the gummy implant a bit. But I’m sure that’ll settle in soon enough.

For any of you reading this out there who still are living with your tissue expanders, take it from me, the day WILL come when those pieces of cr** will be removed. Those hard edges that poke at you 24/7 will be replaced by soft. mushy material. I lived with my expanders for 8 months. 8 months! It felt like a lifetime. But the day came and they are gone! I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to write this post!

It is going to be a banner weekend here in SF. Not only does Pride weekend kick off this afternoon (on the heels of the SCOTUS rulings earlier this week) at 3pm at Dolores Park (which is just a few blocks from our house), but we are throwing my “I kicked cancer’s a**” party on Saturday. I can’t wait to gather with my friends and family and celebrate.

I can’t wait to reminisce about how damn far I’ve come in the past 9 months and how much further I’m still going to go. Nothing is going to stop me!

Pre-Op Day

We are heading down to PAMF in about 30 minutes for my surgical pre-op appointment. Tomorrow I go under the knife yet again. This time I’ll be having my tissue expanders swapped out for permanent implants.

I’m not going to lie to you — I have been really, really nervous about this surgery for the past week or so.  I’ve been feeling sick and want to be sure I’m going into this operation with as much health and strength as I can muster.  Obviously, when I had my bi-lateral, I hadn’t just endured 6 months of grueling chemo. So I felt pretty confident about my recovery.

This time around, my body is so weakened from the chemo.  Case in point is this damn virus I’ve been fighting for over a week. At first we just thought it was a cold. Then when I saw Garrett, he put me on strong antibiotics to get me as healthy as possible before surgery.  Only problem was — 4 days into the antibiotic course, I felt even worse.  My bones ached more than ever, the muscles in my arms felt like I had bench pressed 500 pounds, my entire body was itchy and swelling up (I had to take off my wedding rings b/c they were so tight), I had sever GI issues and was throwing up for a couple days straight. NOT FUN. (Here’s something to ponder: I wonder how much of my illness was actually nerves about the surgery versus true virus….)

We decided to switch me over to tylenol, benadryl and gas x (yup, gas x!).  After another few days — I’m starting to feel human again! But now I’m even more scared about this surgery. I feel like I just went through hell — how can I put my body through even more trauma?

I’m actually really looking forward to seeing Dr. Hong today. I know he’ll be able to put my mind at ease and get me to relax leading up to this surgery. I also know that if, for some reason, it’s unsafe to perform the surgery, he’ll reschedule me (I hope it doesn’t come to this though b/c I HATE my tissue expanders and want them out).

Alrighty, well we have to run. I’ll update you on next steps later today!

xo