In all honesty, by the time my appointment with the plastic surgeon rolled around, any embarrassment I had about showing my boobs to medical staff had long since gone. In fact, I think if I was stood at the check out in Walmart and someone asked for a flash, I’d quite happily oblige.
Ok! Maybe not!
But, it does seem that they have been exposed, more than covered, recently.
I like to believe, pre op, that I have myself the best plastic surgeon ever!
I was really apprehensive about meeting with him.
As soon as I’d found out his name, I’d Googled. Seriously!
I wanted to know everything about him. What he looked like, where he went to college, how long he’d been practicing. By the way, I totally hate that word, ‘practicing’, like they haven’t quite got it right yet…..’pass me the scalpel and let me just ‘practice on that patient’ …Yikes!!!
From his photo, he looked younger than some of my kids. And that was kind of scary.
Even though most of my kids are, in fact, old enough to have made it through medical college and maybe even old enough to have been practicing for a while.
Ah, it’s probably just crazy mom thinking. But to us, our kids never seem to get to an age where they are old enough to take care of us.
But anyhow, back to the subject at hand….the appointment with the plastic surgeon.
I was a little disappointed when we first entered the consultation room.
I had expected, from watching TV documentaries, a desk filled with ‘breast reconstruction paraphernalia’, you know the sort of things, a model of the breasts, different types of implants, etc.
But this room was just like any room you would see at your average PCP’s office. A couple of chairs, a desk with a computer screen and an examination bed. That was all.
I was instructed to undress from the waist up, for obvious reasons, and put on a gown. Asked a few questions, and then we waited for the doctor.
First of all, in person, he didn’t look quite as young as his photo.
He was great. He immediately made us feel at ease, explained each procedure option in detail. He answered each and every question we had, thoroughly. And he had a sense of humor. A huge plus in my books.
I had concerns about different procedures, which he didn’t dismiss as silly. For example, I’m super sensitive…not emotionally, physically. Now don’t get me wrong, Im not a sickly person. By super sensitive, I mean, I can pretty much look at a medication and develop a bad case of hives.
I’m not a pill popper, never have been. For headaches I can usually manage on a low dose aspirin, for major pain, an over the counter ibuprofen usually does the trick.
I can’t take anything more than two ibuprofen or I’m pretty much a walking zombie.
A few years ago I developed Graves disease (hyperthyroidism) where my own body started to think of my thyroid as a threat, and bombarded it with anti bodies. My heart went totally crazy, and I was prescribed something to slow it down, within days I had a major case of hives. Seriously, my body looked like one huge, red, swollen, itchy mess.
I was then switched to an anti – thyroid med….again hives.
Anti seizure meds – hives.
You get the picture! Pretty much, if something isn’t supposed to be in me (and sometimes even when it is) my body will immediately reject it!
So when the DEIP flap option was discussed, and the mention of a mesh inserted to replace the muscles, this was a definite no no. The thought of a foreign object being placed permanently in a body that pretty much rejects everything was not a good idea. The surgeon agreed.
In the end we came to an agreement that immediate reconstruction, using expanders, and then ultimately implants, was the only way to go.
Our thinking was, should my body reject those, they could be removed easily, with no permanent complications.
He showed hubby and I, a book of photographs of all his previous surgeries. I really was glad to see that the work he did wasn’t like all the horrifying breast reconstruction gone wrong pics I’d seen online. I’d had this mental image of coming out of surgery, with a chest looking like the women’s quilting guild had been given reign of closing me up. And believe me, that was not a pretty picture.
His work is sooooo much more…professional.
I have no illusions that I will end up with a ‘natural’ looking set of breasts, but at least, from what he has shown us, I won’t look like something out of a horror movie either.
He also brought in a few implants for us to take a look at the different shapes, and to get an idea of how they felt.
Holding them in your hand doesn’t quite give an idea of how they will look on a chest, and as of now, I still have boobs, so holding them against me wouldn’t give an idea either. Sooooo, I turned to hubby…..to say looks could kill would’ve been an understatement.
Ah, but who am I to be discouraged by a mere look…. so on his chest they went.
That worked, even if poor hubs wanted to die of embarrassment, right there and then. Poor guy, he knows I love him.
But, it did give me a really good idea of how they looked, and so I was able to pick the ones I thought looked more ‘real’.
And then the surgeon took the ‘before’ photo of my breasts. Now that, dear hubby, was embarrassing!
So, as of now, it’s bilateral mastectomy, breast implants.
And surgery is set for December 31st…New Year’s Eve.
Here’s to starting 2014 Cancer Free!!