We all use Facebook to brag about ourselves and our lives at times, but it is a great place to connect with others and share with others. I have been so honest and open about my cancer treatment and journey to help educate others about the process. I didn’t even know what to expect even though my mom had gone through this process. Sure it’s scary but it can be empowering and enlightening to go through as well. It’s also complicated and that’s why I have shared my many ups and downs. So here’s a little about my reconstruction.
My mastectomy was not a choice (well it was but I knew I needed it). Breast reconstruction was a choice but one I felt confident I wanted. What I didn’t realize was how hard a process reconstruction was. It requires a lot of follow up with a plastic surgeon and several procedures and in my case an additional surgery because I ended up with a staph infection.
It may sound vain to want to keep my breasts but mentally it has been nice to look down and see what look like pretty normal boobs. Instead of having to look at scars after my mastectomy I was able to look down at breasts and there was some relief in that.
For me it wasn’t about the appearance but about minimizing the impact of this terrible disease. I lost my hair, which was temporary and eventually grew back. But with a mastectomy the breasts would be gone unless I chose to have reconstruction.
I didn’t realize how high an infection rate there can be with reconstruction until I ended up with one. I didn’t realize there would be at least one additional surgery to put implants in and in my case one more after this latest one for a total of three surgeries related to this. I never thought I’d have problems with both breasts but I did as I did not have an infection in the right breast but the doctor was worried my incision would open up.
I didn’t realize how painful each procedure is and how tiring it is. It’s like just as I was healing each time, I had to start over and heal again. Seven weeks after the mastectomy I had surgery to remove the infected expander. Then about two months after that another surgery to take out the expander on the right and replace with an implant and put an expander back in the left side.
It’s hard to seemingly have to start over each time but I know I’m almost done and can get through this. I’ve gotten through chemo including half while pregnant and a mastectomy. It’s just a lot and I hate that things haven’t been as smooth as they should be.
Reconstruction has not been easy but I’m hoping just one more surgery months from now to finalize and that’s it for awhile. It’s not about vanity but sanity, it’s a little peace of mind each day to be able to look down at seemingly normal boobs. If I run into further problems I may reconsider but for now I’m happy with the choice even with the complications. It’s not a boob job, but saving something that defines us as females during one of the toughest battles of our lives. I just wish it was a little easier and less complicated, but I can get through this because I’m one tough mother.
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