Today I went to Dr. Jackson for another "fill".....only one more to go! Before I went, Sheila came over and snapped a "progress pic" for me.
No bra....how awesome...and they "stay up"! LOL!
Yes, they are fake...but my real ones tried to kill me!!!!
This was my cancer side. Look, you can even see the cleavage area! :=) Gotta lose the belly! :=( It's smaller than it was though!
This was the last time ....500 cc. Can you see my growth spurt? LOL! Wait 'til you see me after today's "fill"! I didn't want them too big (already been there; done that.....LOL, my kids would say "Mom, TMI!") but I worried about going the other way and making them too small. But, I think I'm going to be pleased...they seem to be coming along "just right".
Yes, I admit that I'm obsessed with my breasts! Yes, I've become a "boob flaunter"! LOL! And, for those who know me, they know that is soooo not me! But, I don't see them as breasts as much as I see them as an example of modern medical technology. It fascinates me and I feel fortunate to live in a time period when reconstruction is even possible! That's why I'm so willing and eager to show them off....to let other women know the possibilities if they ever find themselves in this same position. I was joking around about this with my sister tonight...about being obsessed with them (she gets to be my photographer every time I get them "filled") and she laughed and agreed with me....and I told her the "newness will wear off"! LOL! This is where I'm at in my life right now...first I was obsessed with my hair....now it's my breasts! I figure once it's all completed, I'll go back to "normal".
It's actually giving my sister the opportunity to see the progress in case she would ever decide she wants to go back in and have it done, so it's been good for her to see it first-hand. We both can't wait to see the "finished product"...LOL...December! Wow, what a Christmas present!
Ok,so today I took my handy dandy camera with me to the doctor's office. I wondered if it would be too much to ask them to take a picture of him doing the "fill", and decided to just ask! I have documented everything in pictures up to now for my own personal journal and wanted to capture this process too. As I walked in feeling a "little funny" about taking a camera in with me....there they were! Two women (obviously together) were sitting there and on top of the table between them sat a camera! I had a good chuckle and greeted them and said, "Oh good, I'm not the only one"! LOL...I felt better! They laughed and told me they have also documented everything! Whew, I didn't feel so weird approaching the doctor about it now!
First up I snapped a photo of the syringe he was going to use. He has two of them set up (one for each breast) with 50 cc saline each. They are very large syringes.....with tubing and a needle on the end (it's hard for you to see that in the photo).
As Dr. Jackson entered the room, I asked him if he'd mind humoring me and held up my camera! He was so gracious and called his nurse, Cindy, in to be my photographer. She took several shots of him doing it....didn't rush it at all...and was so kind about it. I asked if she had ever taken a pic of it before and she said she's taken pictures, but never of him actually doing the "fill"! LOL...well I was a first...imagine that! Dr. Jackson said he thought it was a great idea!
See this little tool? I have no idea what it is called, but it is a device that he runs across each breast to find the port that is inside me on the expander. Once he finds it, he is able to mark it with this little tool so he knows where to insert the needle!
Now, he has used this little tool each time for this and I never ever noticed the X that it makes in my skin until today! X marks the spot so he knows where to insert the needle. I find all of this interesting! I don't know how I missed the X before....guess I just never looked down at it!
Now, without showing too much flesh, I cropped this photo to show you how he inserts the needle thru my skin and into that port so he can push the saline into the expander. The tube goes into that syringe I showed you earlier. I'm still mostly numb so it really doesn't hurt. One stings a little and they can bleed a bit, but it's really no big deal. Not as painful as it may look...lol! If you ever do this and have a fear of needles....just don't look! :=)
Then he pushes the saline out of the syringe through the tubing into the expander. That's how it's done! At first it was easy, but as the expanders have become more inflated with the saline, it is tighter and tighter to get the saline in.....so he literally puts the end of the syringe onto the chair arm to be able to apply the pressure he needs without putting a hole through the palm of his hand. LOL....I don't blame him!
I hope this helps someone. I debated on how much to show, as I'm so not into showing you guys any "nudie shots", so I hope I've done this tastefully enough. I know when I wanted to know how things would be done, I searched the internet to learn as much as I could and a visual helped me so much. So, my hope is that my visuals and explanations (in layman's terms) helps someone out there....whether today or months or years from now. I am just amazed at what can be done!
My sister asked if I had any regrets doing the reconstruction and I can honestly say no. But, with that being said, I did tell her that the first six weeks I did question my sanity...LOL! It was a bit rough at first, but it wasn't just the reconstruction that was rough....I was also healing from the masetomy. The tissue expanders were put in during the same surgery. My breast surgeon removed the breast tissue and when she was done, the plastic surgeon stepped in and put the tissue expanders in....then they sewed me back up. So, considering those things were put directly on an area that had just been cut out, I can understand why it was rough at first. But I made it! In my sister's case, if she would decide to have it done, I believe it would be easier for her, as she is already healed from the masectomy. She would still have the discomfort of the skin and muscle being stretched.....but at least she wouldn't have the double whammy. Whatever she ever decides, it is not a wrong decision. Each woman has to choose for herself. Like I said before, it was my hardest decision. I felt like I could have lived flat chested and wasn't sure I wanted to put my body through more....but I have no regrets that I did it. Not at this point anyway and I'm trusting that everything will go well with the next two surgeries and beyond. At this point, I'm actually happy I did it, even though I do still have to sleep in a recliner surrounded by pillows. Like everything else....this shall pass!
I must say I feel fortunate to have Dr. Jackson doing this for me. He is so compassionate about it and I can tell he cares how it will end up looking. I have every bit of confidence that he will take care of the extra skin, make them symetrical, and do whatever it takes to make them look as natural as possible. He is a good doctor and we are fortunate to have him in our area.
So, that was my day! Tomorrow I will go back to Dr. Venkatesh's office to have my port flushed. I do this once a month and I can always tell it needs it because it gets harder and seems closer to the surface of my skin. It just feels more uncomfortable, so I like having it done. Plus, I get to see the girls in the office again!
Until next time....I urge you to be pro-active and learn as much as you can about any illness you may be dealing with. And don't be afraid to ask questions! I find the more I learn, the less fearful it is for me. I hope I have helped someone today!