Soooooo sorry it’s been too long!
Life has run away with me and I have no idea where this year has gone.
Updating my blog has been on my list of things to do but always got pushed down the list.
But here I am back again to tell you my latest tales…..
I met with my surgeon before the summer to talk about reconstruction, something I’ve always had in mind since the beginning.
We spoke in length about my options and what would be best for me. I have a lot to consider as I don’t want my muscles being cut due to my job as a fitness instructor and the fact that it plays a massive part in my life. The most common options of breast reconstruction requires taking a part of your own body, skin, fat and muscle, to create the new boob. Usually from either your stomach area or back.
The option using excess skin and fat from my stomach area was a no go because I’m pretty lean. The other option would be a LD flap which means using the latissimus dorsi muscle (back). Although this would work for me I didn’t want any messing with my muscles and effecting my fitness levels.
Therefore the other viable option is an implant. The risks are obviously infection and rejection of a foreign body. Generally they place the implant under the chest muscle, giving it a more natural look. But I didn’t want any option that would or could effect my fitness. And I had read that this option can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.
So with all this in mind we decided that implant over the chest muscle would be best for me. It’s not a very common option here in the UK, whereas in USA it’s becoming very popular.
Having an implant is a big decision because of the risks associated with them. The fact of rejection by your body, the higher chance of infection and the longevity of the actual implant. In fact making the decision to have breast reconstruction is not an easy one and not for everyone. And no it’s not a free boob job! That is a cosmetic procedure, this is an attempt to regain some sort of normalcy after a traumatic, life-changing event, breast cancer.
We decided that I would delay my surgery until after I completed the Great North Run which I was doing in September for Breast Cancer Care.
So here we are in November and my operation only 2 days away! Previously it had been scheduled for end of November but I received a phone call last week asking if I would agree to have it sooner. I said yes then thought f@@k what have I done!! Totally not prepared!
This week has been a mad rush of rearranging time off work, hospital appts with pre op and consent forms to sign. The reality of it all only just beginning to set in.
I know exactly what is going to happen and in the grand scheme of things it’s not big op, less than an hour. But my worrying mind is working overtime right now.
Am I doing the right thing?
What if I hate it?
Is all this time and effort worth it?
The thing about breast reconstruction is that you don’t go into surgery with a flat chest and come out with a fine set of boobs. It’s a long haul process. I don’t have an exact timeline but it’s going to be probably a good year or more.
This first stage is having an expander placed under my skin on top of my chest muscle. And it does exactly as it sounds expands the skin, makes a pocket for the implant to go in at a later date.
My surgeons will make a decision whether to fill my expander whilst I’m under the knife or to wait until my scar has healed in a few weeks time.
I then have to go back every few weeks to have the expander filled with saline until it has reached the desired size. Then I will have exchange surgery for the actual implant.
As you can see it’s a long journey and even once the implant is in, I may have more surgery to even things up with my real boob.
A dear friend of mine said to me today, that I need to look at things a little differently. That I can’t go into this with a sense of perfection, it will ever look like a real boob out of clothes but in them it will. I can’t compare it to my boob from before cancer because that has gone and because of that I am still here and alive. I need to compare my new boob to having a flat one sided chest. Whatever my surgeons do will be better than what I have now. I suppose part of me is once again reliving those sad feelings of having lost my boob to cancer. It’s only a year ago……..which is not very long.