Picking up where we left off

Finally, after what seems like quite a while, I am back. I won’t be able to post every day for a while yet, but I’ll do my best to get posts up as much as I can.

Here, today, I have returned from my family vacation and am happy to say that I have finally seen cancer from its best angle….in the rear view mirror! This trip to Turkey was the first time that I’d meet lots of new people and it wouldn’t even occur to me hypothetically to mention cancer when telling about myself. Finally, it feels like something that just happened to me once. In the past. Just one boring story among many that one accumulates with age. Cool.

Yesterday I had an appointment for an abdominal sonogram so they can chart the blood vessels that will be used in my reconstruction surgery. It’s 2 months away today!

The sonogram was generally like any other, except that they mark me up, it took about 15-20 minutes and I fell asleep on the table. You can see where he put a sort of ruler on my belly and marked off belly marks

intervals down to the crotch (see photo). I’ll be getting the DIEP procedure, which means they’ll take a football shaped bit of my stomach fat, along with the blood vessels, and reattach it all up top. I’m a little nervous about such a big surgery, but hey, whatever. I’ll be over before I know it.

For the sonogram the lab technician said I just needed to loosen my pants. It turned out he needed more access to the area, so he tried to tug them down a few inches. Well, I have worked quite hard to put on extra fat so that I have enough for the surgery, so all my pants are quite tight. He hemmed and hawed about how tight they were. I was slightly embarrassed, but because of being “fat” but because of him thinking I was purposefully wearing such terribly tight jeans – as if I’m a 20 year old going to the disco. It was quite funny.

This ties in nicely with where the story left off – post mastectomy in the hospital. This is because I chose not to get reconstruction at that time. I’ll tell you, a large part of me wishes I had gotten reconstruction immediately. I mean, I’m not going to dwell on it. One never knows, it could have been terrible to do at the time. But I chose not to do it immediately for 3 reasons:

1-the counselor said that they recommend waiting so that one can adjust to the mastectomy first. Psychologically, it is preferable. 2-I wanted a bit of an “upgrade” and to do it immediately that would not be possible (so what’s the point if I wouldn’t end up with what I wanted?) . 3-I just didn’t have the information necessary to know in what ways it would really be preferable. I had so much other more important information to be researching/processing.

The upsides however? Most importantly, at the time of my mastectomy I was dead set against taking the right one as well. Now I am more than happy to do it and am volunteering for the procedure. The other pros/cons are little in comparison to that. And for the moment I figure that’s most important for me. Anyway, I can’t change it so no point in dwelling. I’m on my way to surgery in September and that’s plenty to think about!

Tomorrow: back to the story of mastectomy recovery….

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Filed under breast cancer, if I'd known than what I know now, life, reconstruction ("upgrade"!), recovery, surgery, this time THIS year

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