Self Portrait- Wk31-32 Post final reconstruction & Lymphedema

March 16, 2014

OMG! These photos are from nearly a week ago.  In that time my hand has nearly gone back to normal!  Thank you primary surgeon for confirming that expanders can make lymphedema worse.  I knew it!!  The implants are smaller and there’s more room for fluid to flow. I’m out of this huge blue soft cast and wrapping, except at night, and into a small glove and sleeve.  This is huge!!  THRILLED.  My scars are healing nicely, although a well-meaning friend inquired and then told me his part-time girlfriend has Frankenstein scars from a breast surgery.  Hmm.  He could choose to see them as love lines.  Not very sensitive with words, this friend, though I love him and won’t throw him out with the bathwater.  She should, however.  I bet he doesn’t complain when he’s feeling her up.  I also had an 80-yr-old guy write to me from the newspaper article before the surgery telling me he didn’t need to see my photos, as he knew all about breast cancer from his wife’s ugly scars and how that effects his sex life.  Excuse me, but fuck right off, Grandpa.  Anyone who calls his wife’s hard-won scars ugly can kiss off.  She earned them.  You still have her because of those scars.  Show me a scar that matches mine, and the balls it took to get it, then I’ll listen.  Choose to see beauty even if you have to try hard.

Much happier and no longer in constant pain now that drains have been removed. Drains suck!  Still hurts to sneeze. Trying not to sneeze.  Damn cat, makes me sneeze.

Self Portrait Wk 32
Self Portrait Wk 32
Self Portrait Wk 32
Self Portrait Wk 32
Self Portrait Wk 32

March 8, 2014

These photos are from March 3rd, 5 days after surgery where the plastic surgeon exchanged the rock-hard expanders for softer silicone tear-shaped implants.  It’s 10 days post surgery today and I’m still in pain, although it’s much less than the original bilateral mastectomy where they amputated my breasts and placed the plastic expanders under the chest muscles.  The 2 drains on either side are filtering off the fluid that might otherwise make my lymphedema in my left hand worse. I had 5 of these after the mastectomy.  I have to empty and measure them every 12 hours.  Once they are below 20ML per 24 hour period they can be pulled out.  So far they hover around 24-30 ML, so it may be up to another week.  There are no nerves or feeling left in my breasts now since all of the tissue was removed with the mastectomies.  I cannot feel touch to my breasts or nipples.  It’s all just numb.  Somehow they do manage to itch inside where they are healing, but when I scratch I can’t feel it.  Very frustrating sensation.  I don’t know what cup size I am, although many people have asked.  It would hurt to put a bra over the incisions right now and there would be no point.  These girls aren’t going anywhere.  No need for a bra ever again.  That’s the good news I suppose.  The implants themselves are still settling into place and I have to massage around them so they will drop down a little more.  The concrete curb that went over the expanders has relaxed some and hopefully will continue to fall into a more gradual slope of the breast line.  It still looks weird to me right now. I think these breasts may continue to be much higher and certainly much harder than the my real ones.  Altogether amazing that breasts can be built where there was nothing, however.  My plastic surgeon is a master at her craft.  I am working to get to the point where I accept and embrace these new breasts.  I know I will get there eventually.  Right now that’s difficult, as I would not have done this had I known what I know now.  I want to feel good and go live my life full out instead of spend even more time recovering from surgery.  It will be almost 4 months of total surgery recovery time soon. Self Portrait Wk 32 -1 wk post final reconstruction surgery

Self Portrait Wk 32 -1 wk post final reconstruction surgery
Self Portrait Wk 32 -1 wk post final reconstruction surgery
Self Portrait Wk 32 -1 wk post final reconstruction surgery

 

One thought on “Self Portrait- Wk31-32 Post final reconstruction & Lymphedema”

  1. For five days out, they look very good. It’s my understanding that they have a “breaking in” period. With massage and time, I hope that they’ll both settle and regain sensation.

    I’ve been too afraid up until today, to read your posts about surgeries. I think that I’m about 3 weeks away from mine, now. Thank you, so very much for sharing. This post calms my fears.

    *hugs*

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