Tag Archives: reconstruction

When do I get to say, I had breast cancer?

So I did it. Yesterday, on my birthday of all days, I started taking tamoxifen. This is a medication that blocks your body’s production of estrogen – which is what was feeding my cancer. It is interesting, as the information package talks about how the medication is used to treat breast cancer. It is used to… Read More »

Everything yet nothing is cancer

At this stage every ache causes me to question, then dismiss cancer. My first thought is, is this cancer? Has it spread … and then my logical brain jumps in and says no, this is not cancer … so in some ways, everything feels like cancer, yet nothing feels like cancer. I did get some… Read More »

Debridement and a rest day

Spell checkers hate the word debride. It seems that ‘debridement of a wound’ is the correct spelling, but debride by itself is not. I also tried debreed – that too does not show up as a word. Too bad it is a real thing! After finding out that my plastic surgeon would have preferred the… Read More »

Celebrating my boob job and cancer language

Several women in the breast cancer blogosphere have commented on how inappropriate it is to say to someone with breast cancer that “at least you get a free boob job” or any variant thereof (see Reconstruction after breast cancer: It’s not a boob job). I agree. If you have never had breast cancer, you really… Read More »

A small cup of coffee

I am reminded that recovery is slow. Although I was happy to announce the end of active treatment, I still need to recover from that treatment. I was lucky in that I only had two surgeries. Many women go through this process with a lot more surgeries a lot further spread out – such that… Read More »

Surgery – Initial impressions and day 2 drama

The first time I looked down at my new breasts (day after surgery, during the first dressing change), my first thought was that they were a little smaller than I expected. Now, I had told me surgeons that I’d be happy with about a 20% reduction in size, but somehow, I didn’t really internalize what… Read More »

Pathology – What it says

On Thursday I received the first of the surgical pathology reports. I’ll get another at the end of the month after my bilateral mastectomy. This one reported on nine tissue samples that were taken on my November 19th surgery. First and foremost, my nodes remain “negative for carcinoma”. In addition, the sub-nipple biopsy also indicates… Read More »

No chocolate or coffee for a month??

Of all the things the resident said, this was the one that stuck – no coffee or chocolate (more specifically, no caffeine) for a month after surgery. You see, caffeine is a vessel constrictor (it makes your blood vessels smaller). Microsurgery involves reattaching things at the vascular level – and as such, you want the… Read More »

A surgeon who understands …

We realized that we had not stopped by the tree before my surgery last week. Today, we stopped briefly at the tree. I found myself looking up and reflecting (the picture also shows how my hair is growing back!) … Unlike many of the other eucalyptus trees in the area, this one hasn’t lost much of… Read More »

Reconstruction update

Saw the plastic surgeon yesterday. I really liked her. This is good. We walked through the different surgeries and options. She validated that I’m a good candidate for DIEP/SIEP reconstruction based on physical exam. There is another test that she will order – a CT of the belly – to see whether or not I… Read More »