If you follow me on Twitter or read my other blog AH Addict, you may have seen me mention that I'm going into hospital next week. I've had a few messages asking if I'm ok and wishing me well so I thought I'd just let y'all know what's happening.
If you don't like medical or personal stuff, you may want to skip the rest of this post - it kinda got away from me! Just know that I'm ok and not gonna stop blogging anytime soon!
If you're a relatively new reader/follower, you may not know that I had Breast Cancer last year. I was incredibly lucky not to need chemotherapy or radiation treatment but due to the possible aggressiveness of the tumour type, I did have to have a full mastectomy. That all went very smoothly and I like to think I coped well with losing a breast. My gold blogging friends were really supportive and I'm sure I'd have been more of a mess without them cheering me on.
Due to the type of tumour, I wasn't offered an immediate reconstruction, just in case they needed to go back in & fix something else. Also chemotherapy & radiation therapy can change the skin texture and affect reconstructions adversely so I was offered delayed reconstruction instead. If you watch the news, you may have seen it reported that Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy - well yes, she did but she had immediate reconstruction too. That meant only one operation to remove the breast tissue and replace it with implants - they saved her skin & probably nipples too so she went through a lot but all in one go.
Delayed reconstruction is a whole different ball game. For starters, I have no 'spare' skin under which to put an implant so one option is to have a tiny inflatable implant inserted which is then slowly expanded over time to stretch the skin I do have. Once there is enough skin, then a normal size implant is put in place and hopefully, that would be the end of the story.
The other option is much more involved - taking a chunk of your own flesh (usually belly fat or lower back, just above bum cheeks) and using microsurgery, attach it and all the related blood vessels to your chest. If everything goes well, you can have a nipple tattooed in later. But this option is a 10 hour surgery followed by a week in an Intensive Nursing ward. Immobilised to prevent the tiny blood vessel stitches from tearing, catheterised because you can't get up for 3 days at least and special leg things to keep the blood moving and prevent blood clots!
My local Breast Care Unit are fantastic. They have a regular 'show & tell' type evening for ladies in my situation. It's all very impersonal to be told how reconstruction works but to see other ladies who have had all the various procedures and to hear their stories makes it so much more real. That was probably the most upsetting evening of the whole experience. The ladies were great but I reacted badly to the scars and as I'd already half decided to refuse reconstruction, that evening just hardened my resolve.
Not only did I refuse reconstruction, I decided I didn't want to spend the rest of my life worrying about my falsie showing through my blouses or even worse, falling out of my bra. I like to scuba dive and swim but I didn't want a falsie in a swimsuit! I started going to the gym too and I want to run. Again, can you imagine my falsie falling out onto the treadmill whilst I'm running there? It would be hysterically funny but I don't want that either!
So I opted for a second mastectomy. I've had to fight to get them to remove healthy tissue though. Apparently it's not a normal reaction so I've had some counselling and numerous Doctors asking me for my reasons and am I sure, over and over again. I finally convinced them that this is what I want so next week, I'm having a second mastectomy. It's a relatively simple 2 hour procedure and I may even be home the same day although it's more likely to be an overnight stay if I need a drain put in.
If it goes as well as last time, you probably won't even miss me! Once I was out of the recovery room and back on the ward, I paid for internet time and was back online within about 7 hours of arriving at the hospital! I came home the following day at lunchtime and was back in WoW within 2 or 3 hours of getting back!
I'm sorry if this is too much information but I have some wonderful online friends who seem to be worried about me and this is my way of letting everyone know I'm ok, really, I am. I promise :)
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