Monday, March 19, 2012

Facing my SEVENTH surgery.....

After my surgery last Monday I never really started feeling better.  By the end of the week I started hurting really bad on my left side and just felt really crappy.  On Thursday night I decided it was time to make a trip to the ER just to make sure everything was ok.  They got me right back into a bed and gave me pain medication to help me get comfortable.  When the doctor came back to talk to me he said that he was going to call down to Madigan and see what they suggested we do.  He came back not to long after with the answer......they wanted to have me transferred down to them because of my history of complications.  So that is what happened, I was transfered by ambulance and admitted.

Friday morning the plastic surgery team, minus my doc, came in to talk to me.  I guess my doc was on leave so the head of Plastics was the one that came by to see me.  That wasn't so bad!  They sent me to have an ultrasound done so that they could get a better idea of what was going on inside my left breast.  During the ultrasound they found a small pocket of fluid which they decided to aspirate so they could test the fluid.  They could also see that the tissue around my expander was all very inflamed.

Lucky me, I have been in the hospital all weekend basically because my doctor wasn't around.  They came in today and told me that they have put me on the schedule for Wednesday to take the expander out.  I pushed for the surgery because 1) There is no reason for it to be in there because  it will have to come out for the DIEP anyways, and 2) I didn't want to risk going home and having to come back in a week or two because things have gotten worse.  So Wednesday afternoon I will have my 7th surgery, my 3rd in the last six weeks.  Crazy!  The good news though is that my body will be free of everything and I can heal and repair for the next several months before my big surgery.

So, thats my update for now!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Disappointing news.....

Surgery went well, I guess.  I went to sleep and I woke up.....without a boob!  Of course, when he opened me up and took out the expander, the fluid in the pocket was cloudy/murky.  They are testing the fluid but he had to assume that there was lingering infection and could not put a new expander in.  So, once again I am lopsided and if I thought my right breast looked crazy before it looks even more disturbing now!

I was too groggy after the surgery to carry on a conversation with my surgeon but Josh spoke to him and passed on the information.  What he relayed to me was something I wasn't prepared to hear.  Basically he said it sounds like Dr. P has kind of thrown up his hands.  I guess that he is starting to think that this form of reconstruction is not going to work because it looks like my body is rejecting the expander's.  He is suggesting that I go with The DIEP flap (deep inferior epigastric perforator) procedure.  The DIEP is a tissue flap procedure that uses fat and skin from your tummy to create a new breast mound after a mastectomy. This procedure takes its name from the deep inferior epigastric perforator artery in your tummy area and is a form of autologous reconstruction -- a surgery that uses your own tissue. The surgery will take about 6-8 hours, will require a probably 5 day hospital stay and will be about a 4-6 week recovery.  This is a MUCH bigger surgery than I had ever imagined having to endure during this journey.  My doctor will  be sending me to University of Washington Medical Center for this surgery.  They are among the few places in the Northwest able to offer surgeons with DIEP flap expertise; patients come to the hospital specifically for this procedure. So at least I know that I am going to be in VERY good hands.

Thank you to everyone once again for your continued prayer and support!  Love you all!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Another surgery tomorrow.......

Yes, you read that right!  Over the last week or so I have been experiencing a lot of pain on my right side and the tissue expander feels like it has rotated or something.  I can feel a hard edge across the front of my breasts along the incision scar.  I have NO clue what is going on under there but when I lay on my back, it seriously looks like an alien boob!  I am not joking!   This afternoon I was laying on my back watching TV and was feeling around on my breast when I discovered the odd misshaped mess that was going on.  LOL

I saw Dr. P on Tuesday and he agreed that it did feel and look a little strange but he didn't really know what could be causing it.  He suggested that we do an expansion to see if adding some saline solution into the expander would help the shape normalize.  Right after he finished the expansion it did look a little better and I went home hoping that we were on the right road and that the alien boob was just a temporary thing.

Unfortunately the way the hard edge was pushing up against my breast it felt like it had bruised the tissue inside and having the stupid expander moving against it really hurts.  I emailed Dr. P and he decided that he will take the right tissue expander out tomorrow morning. He told me that if everything looks pristine when they open me up, he will replace the tissue expander.  But, if there is any sign that there is a lingering infection he will not be putting anything else in there. Of course I am frustrated.  I don't understand why things are not improving.  I just want to start feeling better. :(

I will update you after the surgery, see you on the other side!!!