Wow! that was no joke
** Warning – some “gross” pics included**
It’s taken me a long time to get my thoughts collected enough to put together anything resembling the beginnings of a post surgery blog. Sorry about that. It’ll take several to get out all of the information and details I want to give to anyone going through this but todays blog will be an overview of my experience for those who know me.
I spent the night with my friend Paula who drove me at 6am to Riverside Doctors Hospital in Williamsburg. I slept very little that night but she gave me a gift with the sweetest little things inside. It included a book that had daily devotionals and I’ll be if Sept 3rd didn’t say “Be Still and know that I am God.” He sent me that message 7 times in the past couple of weeks.I’m still learning it repeatedly. You know, the hard way. My Pastor, who will never know how big God has used him in my family’s life already, was sitting in the lobby! Basketball shorts and tee shirt at that ungodly hour he went to the waiting room and prayed right there with me. Still shocked he really did show up just to pray with me for a few minutes, wow. When we finished, the nurse was standing there waiting and said she never interrupts prayer. Another good woman.
We went back to the room and they gave me this gown that looked like an air hockey table on the inside. It hooked up to a tube that blew warm air inside! It was more like a spa than a hospital! Anyone who knows me knows that I was loving that part because I am always freezing.
Dr. Guarnieri (my plastic surgeon) came and drew all around my boobs with a marker. Then Dr. Quintana (my surgeon) came and placed a mark on the swollen lymph node that was to be removed. My friend Donna came into the room, as well as Paula, and prayed with me again. Those Doctors and I had lots of prayers from so many. James 5:15
I have to tell you I truly don’t remember much. Little bits I remember…I told them I don’t want my gown on that way. It needs to be backwards so I can see them! Like it’s a new tattoo or something I had to keep looking at them. At least I was entertaining.
First thing I remember feeling when I woke up was pain in my right heel. Crazy! I felt nothing in my boobs, but my foot?! Turns out it was a pressure ulcer from my foot not being wrapped correctly and having such a long surgery. This leads me to the good part! Turns out my 3-6 hr surgery turned in to 8 hours! That’s apparently a pretty big deal in Doctor world because my PS did not seem happy about it. I really couldn’t have cared less and had no clue except my darn foot hurt. My Surgeon came in and said that it was really difficult removing the tissue from my left breast. She said it was the most dense breast tissue she had ever seen. I explain that here.
She also stated that after seeing my tissue and already knowing my history and supporting me she was very happy I did this. It’s really nice having reassurance from your Doctors. They ended up putting in 4 drains instead of 2. Still didn’t care…
Everything else went exactly as according to plan! I am so so so so so so so blessed. They did trick me a little, we can chalk it up to me not specifically asking if it had been done here yet. I didn’t realize beforehand that I was actually the FIRST one in Williamsburg to have this surgery done exactly this way! I told my Surgeon and Plastic Surgeon they are Pioneers. I’m so glad they gave it a try when they weren’t totally comfortable and that God guided this to be successful. They were able to locate and remove the swollen lymph node. I have two incisions under each breast, one small incision from the lymph node and two hole marks on each side. They removed 188 cc’s from my left breast and 206 cc’s from my right. He gave me Natrelle High Profile round gel 260 cc implants with alloderm. Basically he gave me slightly bigger implants than my natural breasts were and honestly I look pretty much the same in clothes. Very anti-climactic for everyone waiting to see how I was gonna look afterward but wonderful for me. I had the greatest plastic surgeon ever! He gave me exactly what I wanted which was to look the same but maybe a little fuller. I look like I used to look wearing my Victorias Secret bra only I don’t have to wear one at all! That part is pretty sweet actually.
Not that they are perfect and being that we women are so critical of ourselves I can point out all the things that aren’t exactly symmetrical, the ripples etc. But I had to stop myself and say…to myself of course. GIRL! Your real boobs weren’t all that and definitely not perfect, so stop critiquing these fake ones.
Altogether I am happy with my outcome. My nipples made it WHOO HOO! I have not had ANY infection. BEST of all my pathology ALL came back NEGATIVE and now my risk of getting Breast Cancer is 5-10%!!!!!!!!! I cannot describe the feeling of joy, relief, and life that I feel overwhelmingly even through the pain because of this fact. Living with the fear of dying or even getting breast cancer has been my life for 18 years now and suddenly it’s gone.
Now let me thank the people who kept me alive. Without my team of girls I never would’ve made it out alive. Christina who spent the night at the hospital with me and then again stayed at my house and took care of me at home too. Cleaning and feeding me and doing my drains and taking care of my meds. Paula who took me from the hospital and stayed at Grandma Harrell’s the first two days out of the hospital and helped me through the worst pain of my life with that drink they gave me. Grandma for taking care of me at her house and treating me like a princess…that slept the whole time. Megan who also teamed up with Crissy to take care of me at my home. Those two taking me home was priceless. Getting home was so important to me so I could see my kids again. These ladies put up with my craziness and watched movies in my bed with me that I don’t remember. They did all the dirty work that only comes from true love. I can’t tell you how much I seriously am in love with you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my everything when I could do nothing.
BUT I have to let you know I’ve got you guys beat now.