A year of suck. At times, I think it is going to be longer than a year. In fact, by the time I'm finished with all my herceptin infusions, it will be more like 18 months. I don't even know when I'll start those back up again, and I've only done 6 of the 17 total. I understand, though, that herceptin is a piece of cake compared to everything else, though, so I'm not too concerned.
All that aside, I'm one step closer to finishing the year of suck. Today was my last tissue expander expansion. I actually asked for the last *2* expansions to be done today, which I'm sort of regretting right now as I sit here quite uncomfortable. That was 120 ml of saline injected on both sides. That's about 4 oz. Or enough fluid to make homeland security nervous when carried on a plane, since they've lowered the permitted amount of fluid from 4 oz to 3 oz.
Total amount in expanders=18.25 oz per side. In honor of the Olympics, here is a concrete example of 540 ml. In USAmerican terms, it's more like this. Or, two-three oz more than a pint.
Regardless, it's over. My plastic surgeon is very happy. Very. She took pictures. She brought others in to see. She's excited about doing the final reconstruction(s) and says my immediate reconstruction is maybe her best work. She tried a new technique that, ultimately, should give a much more natural look. By doing vertical incisions, she was able to create a more natural shelf (I guess. I don't have a lot of experience with this), and save a lot more skin. I'm not quite as happy. Right now, I have waaaay more boob than I'm happy with. I wanted itty-bitty titties. Plastic surgeons, though, are very concerned about aesthetics. She wants to give me what is "most ideal" for my body type. Whatever. I can put up with this size until June, but when I have my reconstruction, down they go. My breasts have given me enough difficulty. It's time for them to become something I don't have to think about any more than necessary.
I thought chemo would be finished in November, and was horribly disappointed to find out I needed to do 4 extra rounds. I have two more of those to go.
But the big surgery is finished, and I"m fully recovered.
The expansions are finished and the discomfort will go away in a few days. Truthfully, this is really the first time I've had any significant discomfort. Compared to other treatment induced discomforts, this is nothing.
Chemo this week, and then once more two weeks from now, and that stage will be finished. It had better be finished.
Then radiation, which I am expecting to be nothing more than some discomfort, tiredness, but mostly just something I have to do every day for 6 weeks, give or take, is forthcoming.
I'm trusting my expander will survive radiation.
I'm trusting that I'll survive radiation, and that they won't burn a hole in my heart, lungs, or chest. I'm trusting that I won't develop cancer from the radiation. I'm trusting that this will all be behind me before July 20. Second week of August at the latest.
If all goes as planned, I have my pre-op reconstruction appointment with the plastic on May 18, and surgery would be within the month.
If all goes as planned.
Anyway, I'm one step closer as of today.