Jim and I went to see the breast surgeon. No list of questions. Just wanted to know why what happened happened.
Four interesting things came from it.
She said she never got a message that I wanted her to call me.
She confirmed that implants in irradiated tissue often fail. When I started down the "why didn't you tell me" road, Jim stopped me and reminded me that we weren't looking to blame anyone.
She said that she wouldn't have wanted me to go down the "FLAP" reconstruction road (where they use my own tissue for reconstruction), because that can hide local recurrence of the cancer (whereas a silicone implant would not).
She understands disappointment. Her hair stylist recently told her that anymore attempts to lighten her hair to blonde would result in irreparable harm.
I'm sitting there with one fake boob and a drain on the other side and she's disappointed she can't be blonde? There must be some relationship there, but it was lost on me.
She suggested a prosthesis, with a frilly lacy really "cute" mastectomy bra.
She also agreed with what Dr. Half Boob had told me on the phone--6 months to a year of healing before trying any further reconstruction.
I asked on the FDMB for feedback on reconstruction. I got alot of wonderful support, and I am satisfied with my decision to do nothing for now. I am, and will be for some time, a single breasted person until I finally feel up to having the surgery to have the implant on the "good" side removed. Then I will go flat. That was, interestingly, my initial reaction to this whole thing. It's just a shame I had to go through all the pain I did to end up in this place.
I was supposed to see Dr. Half Boob after seeing the breast surgeon, but I cancelled. I had all the answers I needed for my decision, and I was tired. I will see him later this week when, hopefully, the drain is ready to be removed. I must say, once the surgical dressing was removed, I saw he did do a nice job on the left side. Nipple and all. (When I cancelled, the receptionist recommeded a store for a prosthesis.)
Later in the day I spoke with PT Bruiser. It seems she also knew that implant reconstruction on the radiated side was doomed to failure. Why didn't these people tell me this, I keep wondering? She is a very sympathetic person, and she suggested a different store for a prosthesis.
This is all so strange. I never had boobs until my 40's, and I thought I made it clear to everyone on the cancer team that replacing them wasn't really important to me. But when they made it sound it would be a walk in the park, I went along with it. Silly me.
Before I go onto other things, I want to thank everyone on the FDMB who are supporting me, including those who do not post publicly, but who send me private messages. I couldn't go through this without them. I also want to BIG TIME thank my brother Dave for coming to help care for Jim and me around my surgery. I think we may have re-established our relationship with each other. Thank you Dave. And thank you Kathy for supporting him in helping us.
Jim is doing wonderfully. He kept me straight during the DR appt. He is pretty much my brain right now. When we got home, he made himself lunch and talked on the phone with the bank and mutual fund company trying to confirm his moneys (that I have been trying to manage), and talked with a realtor about selling his condo and buying a ranch. Because we have weather coming in, he helped me with a brief shopping list and sent me off to the grocery to fight with the other snow winps over milk and bread. Because I am so depressed and not eating, he made his own supper, and reminded me to take my pills (which I haven't done for a couple of days). Boy, I sound pathetic, don't I?
I am pathetic. I just want to sleep for days, but the cats keep waking me for food. Max and Lily go to the vet this morning (weather permitting). Ennis is doing well on his new insulin.
That's about it for now. Thanks for listening (reading).
Our love to you all.