But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Immediate reconstruction is not immediate at all!  I'm just not real sure why they even call it that!  It's true that you immediately get the expanders put in at the same time as the masectomy....but the rest takes months.  As a matter of fact, when I first went to see my plastic surgeon, he told me up front that it would probably take up to a year.  It also requires additional surgeries and procedures.

Now, I'm not complaining and am pretty good at just going with the flow of "whatever it takes".  But when I went to my doctor this week, I felt a bit of a "let down" because I really didn't learn anything new.  I'm the type who wants to know the "game plan" and when I don't know it, I think I get frustrated.  I went this week expecting him to "fix" the nipple that turned black...he didn't.  I also maybe expected him to tell me what our next step would be.  He didn't.  He just took out the stitches and said to come back in a month. 

I began this process during my masectomy on July 26, 2011 and got my permanent implants on Dec. 2, 2011.  They show you photos of "finished jobs" at the beginning, so I think you get it in your mind that you will look similar when you get the inplants.  Well, I have found out that is not the case and it's just not that simple.  The implants have to drop and settle and until they do...they just don't look as good as I expected.  Now, they look great in my clothing and if that's as good as it gets, I can deal with that.  But, I wish they had shown us pictures taken at different steps of the procedure so I would have known what to expect. 

I met with my cancer sister, Amy, today and she gave me reassurance that I just need to be patient.  Amy went through this and is a little ahead of me.  I have only had the implants 40 days and they have told me they could take up to five months to "settle", so they are likely to change a lot by that time.  So, patience Cindy...patience!  Like I said, I just like knowing the "game plan", but I guess it's just too soon for him to tell me if any more procedures or surgeries will be necessary.  The only procedure I KNOW I have left is the tattooing. 

I could have just had the masectomy back on July 26, healed up, and been done.  The reconstruction is a choice and sometimes a hard one, because it means more surgeries, recovering and healing time, more procedures...at a time when you are just "over" all of the procedures and could just end them all by not doing the reconstruction.  So, you can see why it's such a personal decison.  But, in spite of it all, I am not regretting having it done.  Even though I don't think they look "done" yet (sure hope not), I think they make me feel better as a woman.....more than I realized they would.  I didn't think they would matter so much to me.  So, while I may be a little frustrated with the "waiting game" I find myself in right now, I'm in no pain and am glad I did it and will just vow to be patient.  I can do that!  Meanwhile, I'm enjoying being "smaller" and I know he has done many of these with great success!  :=) 

Oh, I did want to let you know that the infection has gone away and it is healing up nicely.  I got a hold on the infection really early while it was just a small area, so it didn't become a bigger deal. 

I have my annual check up with my regular doctor this month, complete with blood work and then will see my breast surgeon on Feb. 6 for my six month follow up.  Then back to Dr. Jackson on Feb. 14.  So, the doctor appointments continue, but I really don't mind.  As long as you are still "seeing" your doctors, you feel like you are still staying on top of it.  When it's all done, it will probably feel strange NOT to go to doctors anymore.  I think going to them is like a "security blanket" to me. 

A BIG thank you to Amy today for putting my mind at ease.  Having a support system is so important and I have to say, I have had a wonderful line of support from the time I was diagnosed.  I do truly think it makes a difference.  Next week I plan to attend a support group for the first time, with Amy and Carin, and am looking forward to meeting others who are or have "walked this road".

Until next time....whatever you are going through or may go through in the future....don't deny yourself a support group.  People are wanting to help others and it can make such a difference in your journey.  Don't be afraid to open yourself up to strangers....they may become your new best friends!  I know my life has been enriched by others I have met on this journey....even strangers.   We all need to help each other!
Hugs, Cindy

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