• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 291 (Reinflation)

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    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today:  0.00 miles;  Running Total: 260.01 miles)

    Day 291 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    This morning I did the Get Fit Fast Boot Camp video again. I’m starting to get bored with my workout routines so I need to change them up before I quit doing them entirely. I think I’ll add weights to keep things interesting.

    Today I went back to plastic surgeon to start reinflating the tissue expander. The process is about the same as last time.

    I have a 450 cc tissue expander in place of my right breast.

    Before radiation the tissue expander was inflated to 350 cc’s of fluid. The plastic surgeon wanted to stretch my skin as much as possible before radiation shrunk it back down.

    Then before radiation, 200 cc’s were removed from the tissue expander because the radiation machines needed a flat-ish area to work with. There was a little bit of fluid in there during radiation (150 cc’s) so I had some breast shape in my bra, but mostly my breast looked like a deflated balloon all throughout radiation.

    Today I started getting some of that back.

    The plastic surgeon’s PA added back 200 cc’s of fluid and my breast plumped right back up.

    The expansion doesn’t hurt. The skin of my right breast is still mostly numb, though I do feel a little more sensation than I did before radiation. I’m told the sensation may come back in time.

    My plastic surgeon is awesome. He came into the room and said he was jealous of my head coverage (he’s entirely bald in a sexy Jean Luc Picard kind of way).

    He said my skin looked really good and he’d like to inflate the expander to capacity next week. He said it’s better to keep inflating the tissue expander while my skin is still soft, so I guess there can be a delayed hardening reaction after radiation.

    I can already see what he means.

    I can tell my skin is stiffening. When I lift my right arm my armpit feels tighter than it used to be. Not quite as stiff as right after surgery, but not as flexible as my unaffected left arm. Also, I have a few sore spots on my right shoulder.

    So I understand the rush to have the tissue expander inflated all the way while my skin is still pliable.

    I’ve been asked when I’ll have my final reconstruction surgery.

    The short answer?

    I don’t know.

    The long answer?

    The tissue expander will stay in for six months to a year after radiation. Prior to six months, the risk of complication is too great. I don’t know exactly what ‘complication’ I’m at risk for, but I’d prefer not to find out.

    So six months from the last day of radiation, is the earliest I could have could have the final reconstructive surgery.

    (Here, I’ll do the math for you: April 15th + six months = October 15th. You’re welcome.)

    The further I get from radiation the less risky reconstructive surgery will be so I think I’m going to wait longer than six months and give myself a chance to heal.

    The tissue expander doesn’t feel remotely like a natural breast. It’s hard and stands out on my chest like a softball. But…

    Today’s silver lining: I can’t even begin to explain the confidence boost I get when I look in the mirror and see two breasts again.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share?  Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.

    xoxo,
    Meghan

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