My 4th & Final Surgery

Mood: Relived 😌

**Please note, if you are going to judge me for my choices, just go ahead and stop following my blog. It is unfortunate that I have to even mention this here in my blog that has been a huge comfort to me while on this terrible journey. Until you have spent even just one day of my cancer journey in my shoes, you have no right to judge me!**

I decided last Thursday to call my surgeons office to see if it was possible to come in and see him before my August appointment. When I wasn’t able to get a call back in a timely manner, time was not on my side so I needed to speak with someone quickly, I remembered that my surgeon had told me to never hesitate to text him if I needed him for any reason. So I decided to text him knowing that he was most likely going to be in surgery all day so it might be a while before he could respond back to me, but I was shocked when he responded back about 5 minutes later. I explained my situation to him, he answered “probably yes” when I asked him if we could move my surgery up to now and he said to call his office and schedule an appointment for Monday morning. If they said there were no openings, I was to let them know that I had already spoken to him and that he needed to see me on Monday. I was thrilled that he wanted to see me and talk since I was not supposed to see him until a few days after my mammogram in August.

So on Monday I went in to see him and talk with him again about my final surgery. We had previously talked about the surgery back in February at my 3 month check up for my first reconstruction surgery that was back in mid-November. I asked him a lot of questions in February so when I saw him on Monday I had all of the information I needed to make a decision. He examined me again and we talked about the details of the surgery. He wanted to make sure that my husband and I were on the same page with him as far as the results I would get from the surgery and that we didn’t have any unrealistic expectations. We let him know that we understand what the results will be and I told him that I wanted to go ahead and get the surgery done. His surgery schedule has changed quite a bit due to the virus but he was thinking that he could get me in next week because the surgery will only take 45 minutes to an hour. So on Tuesday, April 28th I will have my 4th and final surgery, and it is classified as a second reconstruction surgery due to having breast cancer.

So here is the big question…..what am I asking my surgeon to do and why?

Going through breast cancer was a terrifying and life changing event in my life. No matter how well you appear to be fighting the battle, it forever changes you inside and out. There were many stages that my body went through during the last year…..losing my hair all over my body, losing both of my big toenails, having burns on my chest from my collarbone to underneath my breast, losing feeling from under my arm to half way across my breast from having 18 lymph nodes removed {I am still numb a year later}….the list goes on and on. I will probably never get used to seeing the scars on my chest and yes, the scars will fade eventually, it has helped a lot to use Bio Oil on them, but the scars are big and long in some places and even though they were put there by an amazing, talented and experienced surgeon, they are more than just scars on the surface, they are much deeper than that, they are a constant reminder of the hell I have been through in the last 16 months.

When I had reconstruction surgery in November my surgeon left the side that the cancer was on a little bit bigger because the radiation treatments can shrink the area that is treated. To make me as symmetrical as possible he had to take more tissue out of the right side of my chest than we expected, so it ended up being a pretty big reduction. Once I had healed from the reconstruction surgery it was obvious, to me anyway, that the left side was still bigger than the right as it didn’t shrink as much as expected and I felt out of proportion, plus I had lost a lot of volume, at least a cup size if not a little more. At first it was nice to have a smaller chest, something I have never had before; but as I healed and my chest settled into a natural position, it really began to bother me that after going through two surgeries, I am not happy with how my chest looks. I asked my husband what he thinks but he loves me no matter how I look, so this was not any pressure or comments from him at all, it is all about me and what I see when I am looking in the mirror. I need to feel whole again, feminine, beautiful….and I don’t feel those things at all so I am doing this for me.

So after much thought, research and more than one extensive conversation with my surgeon, I am getting breast implants. There are only a few options to add volume back into the breasts, flap surgery where fat is taken from the stomach and put into the breasts, or implants. My surgeon recommended implants as it is a much simpler surgery for me to heal from, where the flap surgery is very involved and painful. I trust my surgeon without a doubt and I know that he would not do this surgery unless he was absolutely sure that it is safe and my best option. Yes, he wants me to be happy, but he is a very responsible surgeon who actually cares about his patients and not making more money.

Getting breast implants is something that had never, ever, crossed my mind before breast cancer, but I do not think the same way now about myself or the world as I did before cancer….as I said before, fighting cancer forever changes you inside and out.

4 Replies to “My 4th & Final Surgery”

  1. MaryHoping all is Ok. I wish you good luck for your surgery next week. Sending continued prayers and hoping you and Matt are staying safe. Take careSherry

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