Again, I am super behind on blogging. Sorry! One of these days I will get caught up with typing out the entries that I have written in my paper journal and it will help fill some of these gaps.
My plastic surgeon basically gave up on my reconstruction. He basically said that it looked like my body was yet again rejecting the tissue expanders and he wasn't sure what else to try. He chose to refer me to the University of Washington Medical Center to hopefully have a procedure done called the DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator). The DIEP flap 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. This is a pretty specialized surgery and UWMC is one of the few hospitals in the Northwest that perform this surgery.
There were only a couple surgeons that were recommended to me, one was a male and one was a female. I chose to go with the female surgeon, Dr C, because I felt like she might try a little harder to give me something as normal as possible in the end.....because she is a woman too. I had my initial consultation with my new plastic surgeon on April 27th. I spoke to a resident first. He explained the DIEP surgery in depth and then brought out a binder that had before and after pictures. It's a little different than what I had pictured in my head, but mostly just the scars will be different, and I plan on eventually tattooing over my scars, so it won't matter. At one point he said "After going over your info I can see you have been through ALOT in the past several months. I just want you to know that you are at the right place and are in very capable hands." that was very comforting, for sure. After he went over everything he left the room and then returned with the surgeon. My first impression of her was a good one. She was very sweet and told me that she does the surgery all the time, and not to worry.
The tentative date for the surgery is June 4th. I am scared.....BIG TIME, but I know that the love and support from all my family and friends will carry me through this. The surgery itself will take 4-6 hours and I will be in the hospital for probably 3-5 days. The recovery will be a rough one. Most likely won't be feeling very good for 2-3 weeks and the full recovery will take closer to 4-6 weeks.
I have been through SOOOOO much through this journey and I am hoping and praying that the new surgeon and hospital will be just what I need. I have my pre op appointment on the 22nd so I will have a little more information on exactly what is going to happen.
Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I try to prepare myself emotionally for this next phase.