Monday, May 25, 2015

A Brief Update

The big part of my breast reconstruction has been accomplished.

I had surgery April 23 to remove the tissue expanders, which had been in place since my mastectomy on October 20, and insert the permanent silicone implants. I love the results. I am about a C-cup now (I had been a D verging on DD pre-surgery). I like how they look, and I especially like how they feel. It was a painful process, but one I feel is worth it.

For those who may be reading this because they are exploring their own options for #breastcancer treatment, I have a few words of advice:

  • The decision is yours. You are not required to have reconstruction surgery. For some, it may be necessary for their mental health. For others, further surgery is unacceptable.
  • Know your options. I was fortunate that I had a plastic surgeon who took a great deal of time with me to discuss the various techniques for reconstruction - yes, there are a lot of them. He also made sure that I knew one option was to do nothing. In the end, I chose how to rebuild my breasts and I have been happy with my decision.
  • Don't discount the rigors of surgery. Placement of the new implants required day surgery. But my body was still under general anesthesia, and it takes time for the body to process those chemicals. Plan extra time for rest and recovery. I was surprised by an allergic reaction to the surgical tape used. It developed a few days after the surgery. It was minor, but uncomfortable.
  • Talk to other women. Just as breast cancer treatment is individualized, so is reconstruction. We all have different reasons, different experiences, and different viewpoints. Reading blogs can be helpful. I've read several posts recently about reconstruction by fellow breast cancer bloggers. Chloe Messanges talks about her decision against reconstruction at here. Em Callaghan talks about her cancer experiences, including reconstructive surgery,.here. Both are thoughtful reads.
The bottom line is we are all working toward health and wellness