Breast Reconstruction Surgery Fears

Breast Reconstruction Surgery Fears Why do patients fear surgery for breast reconstruction?  It’s just another piece of the anxiety puzzle after a breast cancer diagnosis.  You’re faced with the dreaded news that a best or only option for your treatment plan is a mastectomy.  Lose my breasts?  Your head starts reeling and you think about what you will look like losing the body parts that most defines you as a woman.  There will be scars, pain, recovery, time away from a job and family, anesthesia, medical and insurance costs, and oh yes, what about getting all that cancer out of my body during surgery!  The list goes.  I decided to explore some of these fears in a poll.  I asked members of a Facebook page I manage in support of those going through breast reconstruction.  What they fear and what they go through in their diagnosis and decision to have Continue Reading →

The Days Before Breast Reconstruction Surgery

The Days Before Breast Reconstruction Surgery The days before Phase 1 of DIEP flap or any breast reconstruction surgery puts most women I’ve spoken with through mental gymnastics , present company included. You have arranged for child-care if you have children at home. If you are traveling for your reconstruction surgery and your children will be traveling with you, chances are you’ve scoped out child-friendly venues that their care-taker can keep them occupied with for the week while you recover in hospital. You have packed your bags. You probably thoroughly cleaned your home knowing that will not be done, at least by you, for a bit. All of the incidentals are what keeps you busy and occupied before you leave. That’s a good thing. Mental Clearance Sale ~ Everything Must Go! Whether traveling out of town for your surgery or having it done in the same town you live in Continue Reading →

Healing Scars

Healing Scars Healing scars after any surgery is a frequently discussed topic for those of us who have been through it.  One gentleman, Dennis Maione posted and wrote a blog on scars. The word scar derives from the Greek eskhara, scab. In the present day English language it can be both a noun and a verb. Noun – a mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore has not healed completely and fibrous connective tissue has developed. Verb – a lasting effect of grief, fear, or other emotion left on a person’s character by a traumatic experience  Scar – Noun The first definition, a noun, describes fibrous, connective tissue developing. When you think about it in those terms it implies building and getting stronger, fibrous/connective. I still have very young scars from the three surgeries that I have had this past year. The Continue Reading →

Breast Reconstruction Phase 2 ~ Remembering Dates

Today I will be seeing my plastic surgeon for the pre-op appointment for phase 2 of my breast reconstruction. People remember and celebrate dates for various reasons. I don’t know how this happened but I have had a strange collision of dates today. Cancer patients tend to remember significant dates and anniversaries in their minds for various reasons. It might be the day of diagnosis. Perhaps it was the final day of treatment. Today for me, it’s a combination of a couple of significant events and a day to celebrate as well. Memories Evoked I will admit that the final day of radiation and all treatments, October 15, 2002, sans five years of Tamoxifen, from my first diagnosis was very significant to me. I was raised a Catholic and October 15 was the feast day of my patron saint, St. Teresa. That was significant to me that those two dates Continue Reading →

Ta Ta for Now ~ The Double Mastectomy

Ta Ta for now ~ The days leading up to my mastectomy were a real mix of emotions. Our youngest son was still living with us at the time and finishing up a second degree. We welcomed him home after teaching English overseas for a year and we were quite happy he decided to be frugal and “room with the P’s” while paying for and completing his second degree. Our oldest son came down from Seattle to be here for Mother’s Day prior to my surgery “just because”. He arrived on May 6th, returned home to his lovely wife on the 13th only to return on the 19th to be here for my recovery after surgery. The 19th was his birthday. Who is lucky enough to have sons that great? Me!!   It was a fantastic week before the mastectomy sharing time with the family. Being surrounded by my husband and Continue Reading →