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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One Step Closer to the End

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.

4 comments:

Pancake Goddess said...

it's just incredible, that process. My favorite part is hearing that you have two weeks until chemo ends.

also, your post titles at the left reminded me (bc you used the word polygamy) of something funny. Jamie is spending a lot of time with the two boys in his band and they are getting really close. Someone put up a photo of them all under a blanket in the back of a car on the way home from a show, and he captioned it "brolygamy." It really walks the creepy/clever line. I guess bromance doesn't cover it in this case?

dawn said...

Brolygamy is a good term. I think there is some bromance going on in our lives (especially given that the boys and their bros were hanging out here valentine's weekend instead of doing things with girls).

I didn't know Jaime was in a band. How cool.

Pancake Goddess said...

it's new.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wheels/216884888441?ref=ts

kaylynne50 said...

I love the line "a year of suck"! This is my first cancerversary, so I can totally relate! I am so excited about your final expansion, too. I've had the unicorn thing going on with my one expanded boob since way last July, and I am more than excited about getting back into a little surgical gown for final surgery, too. June 3 and 17th are my dates. Maybe we should compare PS results?!