Just to get us all on the same page, this weekend was Seattle’s Gay Pride festival.  I usually get to sneak out for a night on the town with two of my best friends, Drew and Monell, but I was busy recovering and trying not to F up my stage 2 surgery for most of the weekend.  Well, today I snuck out to see my BFFs and a large number of our city’s great gays.  It always warms my heart to see the parents, friends, adoptive families, city, et cetera, out on the city streets supporting our LBGT community.  Even the Seattle Police Department was there showing support for the LGBT community, which is just phenomenal.  And here I am spending some quality time with Drew, with just a touch of sunshine behind us.

Me & Bensen

 

I felt well enough today to face the possible hoarde of people on Capitol Hill. But, luckily, with Bensen and I getting there in the early afternoon,  it was pretty easily to sneak onto a piece of prime real estate, people watch, and just take it easy.  I was out of harm’s way, with a great friend I wanted to lend support and love to, and able to get home on time for dinner.

Today I’m a little more sore than I thought I would be.  I’m definitely having some soreness, but am able to keep my pain under control with just Tylenol.  I am prety swollen and a little bruised on my left side where I had the liposculpting of my noob done.  I am actually wearing an old nursing bra today because my bust is so swollen that the velcro close on my surgical bra will not stay closed.  I took the dressing off of my abdominal incision area when I showered, but I put plastic covers over my noobs because I want to wait until tomorrow morning to take those bandages off and re-apply new dressings.  I was also aching to take off my abdominal gauze because, I think, I’m allergic to the adhesive.  I had little red bumps all over my waistline and they itched like crazy.  Since removing the large gauze patches taped on to my abdomen, my little red bumps have almost completely gone away.

It’s still uncomfortable to wear pants, and the girls have whacked me in the sore spot on my left noob a few dozen times this weekend.  But, as I said before, I’m managing just fine on Tylenol.

I’ll take pictures of the newpples tomorrow when I change my bandages.

06/24/12 – Still bandages on the newppled noobs

 

06/24/12 – Steri strips on L side of abdominal scar revision

06/24/12 – Steri strips on R side of abdominal scar revision

 

06/24/12 – Steri strips on L/Front side of abdominal scar revision

 

 

27  years later and this is still funny to me!

Yesterday I had my Stage 2 surgery in which my newpples were constructed, my left noob was liposuctioned down to equal the size of the right, and my abdominal scar was revised.  Being that I have to keep my bandages on until tonight, there wasn’t a whole lot of interesting to see when they discharged me.  But below I will paste pictures of my bandaged up body.

I woke up from anesthesia yesterday and had a headache and a sore throat from being intubated.  When I had my stage 1 surgery, my throat didn’t hurt at all after.  Or maybe it did but that pain so inconsequential compared to the pain from the surgeries that I didn’t even notice it.  Either way, I still have the sore throat today and some muscle soreness around my jaw.

My pain from this surgery is fractional, at most, of what it was for Stage 1.  My scar revision is uncomfortable.  I tried to put on sweat pants today, but the waist band of every pair of pants I have sits right on the incision.  So today I am wearing a loose fitting, comfy dress around.  My left noob, where I had the lip revision done, is sore.  It’s like I’ve taken a dozen or so body shots with only the 4 ounce gloves on.  I’d equate it to minor car accident sore.  Dr. Liu prescribed me some Oxycodone, but I didn’t need to take any of it yesterday.  I was still feeling pretty medicated when I got home, so I just took some Tylenol.  But my abilities post-op are pretty much the same was they were before.  I came home, helped my MIL make the girls’ lunches, did some laundry, tidied up around the house, and then I took a 2 hour nap when the girls took theirs. We all then got up together, I made dinner, gave them their baths, and life as we know it is up and running.

Last night I slept on my wedge pillow again to try and help the fluid drain out of my noobs (they put fluid in and then do the lipo).  I also found that it is uncomfortable to roll over on my left side.  Sleeping on the wedge kind of keeps me from rolling on my side because I feel like I’m falling off the bed when I reach the edge of the wedge.

I have some discomfort trying to pick up the girls, in both my upper and lower body.  My upper body is doubly sore because of the KILLER upper body workout I had with my trainer on Thursday morning.  We did so many sets of curls, tricep work, presses, etc. that I can’t tell if my muscles that engage my arms for movement are sore more from surgery or the workout.  The girls always want to wrap their legs around my waist when I carry them, with their legs sitting right on where my scar revision was done.  So, I have had them ride on my back on trips up or down the stairs today instead of carrying them like I normally would.  I have two weeks of healing, which should fly by since I’m still going to be doing what we normall do as a family.  My MIL left for home this morning since I’m not incapacitated like I was before.  It was great to have her here to help, but I’m sure that it must seem odd to her that we asked for help when I’m up and running.  But, that’s what the unknown is all about for me today; being prepared for the worst and getting something much better instead!

It was nice to see Drs. Louie and Liu again yesterday.  It’s funny having two people play such a big role in my life in really condensed times together.  Dr. Liu told me that he’s leaving Seattle soon after taking a job in Chicago.  I’m sure his family is probably looking forward to actually having a summer there, and his new position is probably phenomenally exciting, but it’s been very nice to have him as one of my surgeons.  I’ve really been spoiled as a patient with so much access to a treating physician’s mind during times of worry, healing, and build-up for another procedure.  It’s taken so much worry and fear out of this process for me knowing that I had him as a resource.  I’m sure his patients at his new practice will be just as taken with him.

I wanted to say thank you to my friends, family, AND physicians for taking such great care of me!  Tomorrow I will post pics of my super newpples when I get my bandages off.  Let’s all hope for something smaller than sausage nipples, but I know that they have a lot of shrinking to do before they’re settled.

Now’s your chance to run . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 2/Day 1! Frontal

 

Stage 2/Day 1! R side

Stage 2/Day 1! L side

 

Stage 2/Day 1! Leaky Lipo noob

 

And the music video I included for this post is NSFW and probably offensive if you’re offended by swearing, strippers, or the like. Being that I was born and raised in Las Vegas, there isn’t a lot that I find offensive.  But it’s one song about boobies.  So, as my sister Alyssa would say, “WATCH OUT!”.

 

 

 

It’s the night/morning of my stage 2 surgery.  It’s 1:08 a.m. on Friday, June 22, and I cannot fall asleep.  Sleep has never been something that’s come easily to me.  The only times I easily fell asleep were early in my pregnancy, when the twins finally started sleeping through the night (after 7 months of not sleeping at all it seemed), and during my recovery from my stage 1 surgery.  I envy people who sleep well and easily.

I figure I’ll sleep tomorrow when I’m under.  I’m just getting a last few things done before tomorrow in anticipation of feeling like not doing a whole lot other than kiss my kids and husband after I’m discharged.

Cheers to hoping this part is as easy as I hoped it would be.

And here’s a great song, A Kiss to Build a Dream On, by Louis Armstrong.

I have started and re-started this post several times since my last post.  Blogging is hard when you’re going nuts.  Sometimes the hours, minutes, days, or weeks just meld into one big crazy.  This weekend we had a family emergency/scare.  My mom, who lives in Las Vegas with my sister Tessa, was home alone cleaning the blinds, or something equally weird, on top of a ladder.  She fell off of the ladder (!) and broke her shoulder, arm, maybe her elbow, and fibula.  She has been in the hospital all weekend, and yesterday she had surgery to put a plate and some screws in her arm.  She is doing better, but what a scare.   I inherited the uncanny ability to suffer self inflicted injuries in crazy circumstances from our mom. So what exactly she thought would come of being at the top of the ladder, at the top of a staircase, by herself is a mystery to us all.  But we’re glad that she’s alive and recovering in the semi-comfort of a good hospital in LV.  My aunt Robin, my mom’s sister, is also in the hospital after being rear ended yesterday afternoon.  I haven’t spoken with my Uncle this morning, but I’m hoping that Robin is doing better and at home.

So, it seems that me going in for surgery on Friday will complete the “It comes in 3’s” circle (hope, hope, hope).  I am a little bit more anxious this week with the surgery in my sights.  I’m not nervous about the surgery; I’m nervous about getting our house in order before Friday, completing my errands, and stocking the fridge/freezer.  My MIL, Irene, arrives Thursday night to take care of the girls (and Mike) while I’m in the hospital on Friday, but then it’s back to just the 4 of us on the weekend.  I’m hopeful that this “minor” reworking doesn’t slow me down too much.  I’m basically getting the weekend to recover, and then we’re back in full swing with life and the girls’ activities come Monday.  I’ve not yet had a “meltdown”, but I definitely feel like I’m running out of time before the newpples land.

People respond differently to stressful situations; it’s part of who we are.  My response, learned from our dad, is to do something – ANYTHING other than just get in the hamster wheel and run in circles.  I guess that’s why I’m trying to knock out 1,000 hours of projects, errands, and preparation in 168 hours’ time.  I learned from my Stage 1 bilateral mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction process that I am more afraid of the unknown than pain.  Pain can be treated.  When there’s a bunch of unknowns in my future (recovery time, outcome, physical limitations, etc.), I feel like I need to over prepare for the worst.  I guess I’m a pessimist in that manner; I expect and prepare for the worst.  Luckily, in such situations,  my husband is an optomist.  This works out well for our family because it usually means that only one of us is losing our mental capacity at a time.

Speaking of working out, I’m in my last week of post-op-pre-op workouts.  Yesterday, I made 15 horrific attempts at pull-ups, completing only one full pull up.  It was a total bummer, but it gives me something to set my sights on once I’m done with medically prescribed taking it easy. I only have to take 2 weeks off of physical activity, but then I have to limit my work outs until my newpples are settled in.

“If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl.  But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

 

 

 

So, here I am getting closer to being finished and fine…

 

06/18/12 – Frontal

06/18/12 – Noobs

 

06/18/12 – Abd. Scar, left side

 

06/18/12 – Abd. Scar, right side

 

Inserting a bit of prosthetic humor, if you will…

 

06/18/12 – Wonky newpples

 

Almost Total Recall.

06/18/12 – Wonky newpples 2

 

This is where they were ~10 years ago, before they decided to move south…

06/18/12 – Wonky newpples 3

 

 

Oh man, I can’t believe that I’m at day 89.  In so many ways it feels like that is such a big number to be post-op from stage 1.  In other ways, it feels like my Stage 1 surgery wasn’t so long ago.  But, here I am, nearly 2 weeks from my last blog post, and so much has happened in life.

We took our girls for their first airplane adventure and had a very mini, my-side-of-the-family reunion in Las Vegas.  I was born and raised in Las Vegas.  My mom, two out of three sisters, and our brother still live there.  My Grandma, who spent a lot of time dealing with us in our prime-pain-in-the-ass-kids time moved away about 13 years ago and I hadn’t seen her since.  Well, Grandma managed to hitch a ride back to Vegas with her brother for a few weeks, and it was our shot to get all of the great grand kids together in one place for a weekend to see our Grandma.  It was fantastic, bittersweet, and much too brief.

4 Generations

We came home on a high note, and it just sank in how precious little time we have with our loved ones.  After every visit with our extended families, I think about how much more comforting the days must be for people who are surrounded by their parents and siblings.  It is difficult to explain, and even sometimes understand, why the love and comfort of family is so different from that of friends.  I don’t know how to explain it to anyone else, I just know that it feels SO good and, when we’re all together, I feel whole.

Anyway, we came back home and it seems like the pace of life increased exponentially and the projects just keep cascading one on top of another.  Our girls just started going to preschool 1 day a week.  It’s a huge change for all of us.  But mostly me.  I am trying to overcome my helicopter mom extraordinaire nature, and I’m also trying to work P/T from home.  So, while I would love to keep these little lovelies all to myself, I realize (and appreciate) the lunacy in such a scenario.  It’s also helpful to have a full 6 hours to focus just on work.  Whether that be work to be done for an employer or work around the house, it must be done.  And 6 hours is really no time at all when it comes down to it.  Just as quickly as those 6 hours have gone by the past two weeks, the time before my next surgery is quickly falling through the hour glass.

Stage 2&3 surgery is on June 22.  I’ll be rocking some baby carrot sized, newly minted nipples for a few months until they settle and shrink down.  After that, I will have to wait until my “newpples” are healed and settled, then we move on to areolar tattooing.  These last few stages pale in comparison as far as pre-surgery anxiety to my Stage 1.  Occassionally I go back through this blog to see how I’ve progressed and just reflect on this experience.  I was so incredibly afraid of the unknown.  Nothing that I read back then and nothing that anyone told me eased my fears.  I also think it is so interesting how I was so worried about “losing” my natural breasts and having the noobs.  While the loss of sensation is a bummer, I don’t have any of the feelings of loss I thought I would.  I was worried about my husband not looking at me or my body the same; I was worried about how this body would feel to me with the lack of sensation in my breasts; and, I was worried about the aesthetic result of my reconstruction.  With all of these things constantly fluttering around in my mind, I was my own worst enemy most nights.  As it turns out, all of these worries were, mostly, for naught.  I do get a little sad that when I hug someone, it feels like there is a balloon or a large pillow between us.  Like there’s an embrace but with a little bit of a gap between me and my hugger. And these noobs look great.  They’re still a work in progress, but they’re great.  So this time around I’m not worried about any losses, the aesthetic, anesthesia, or the care of my family.  I’m going in feeling strong and looking forward to be moving towards finality of this process.

Speaking of feeling strong, I just wanted to let other women simularly situated know that I am back at the gym with my trainer just a smidge away from full force.  In the past few weeks I’ve done box jumps, ran stairs, lifted heavy weights, and today I finally got to do a little bit of boxing.  My trainer and I are both mindful of how I’m feeling and whether getting back to these things is causing me discomfort or causing me pain.  And while getting back into shape is typically a pain in the (flabby) ass, I’m not having any pain directly related to or involved with my surgical sites.  I am going to keep at it for the next two weeks before I have to, again, reduce and modify my activities – but for the moment, it’s on.

AHOY!

06/07/12 – Frontal

06/07/12 – Flaps

06/07/12 – Abdominal scar

06/07/12 – Left side

06/07/12 – Right side

So the countdown for the next phase is underway.  Wish as I might, this is not the final countdown.  After I have my “newpples” manufactured , I’ll need to have areolae tattoos done once they (newpples) are healed.  I’m hopeful that will then be the end of my journey, but I know myself to be overly optimistic (if that is what you would call it) about these things.  I’d liken it to when my husband and I thought we could survive our first week (and beyond) with newborn twins without any support or help from friends, family, or a doula.  Or like how I thought I would somehow set a world record of sorts and recover from my bilateral mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction in 4 weeks (I mean fully recover).  So while you may read this and think, “Aaaah, so she knows better NOW!”, I do not.  I’m hoping that my loss of sensation due to the mastectomy will equal very little (if any) pain.  While I don’t know how much healing time freshly manufactured nipples require, I don’t foresee myself being as drained and exhausted as I was when I underwent my stage one surgeries.

Drs. Louie and Liu seemed to be of the same mind about my recovery time frame this go round when we had my follow-up/pre-op appointment.   The part that is driving me a little crazy is the evening out that needs to go on with my noobs and my abdominal scar revision.  My left one is fuller and bigger than the right, so the left noob will be lipo-sculpted (maybe?) so that it is closer to the size and shape of the right one.  I watch not a lot, but enough, reality television to know that liposuction is a mutha.  But I’m not having the last 20 years’ carbohydrates vacuumed out of me (’cause that shit doesn’t happen free of charge); just the last quarter’s excess noob. As for my abdominal scar, the corners are a bit puckered and dark.  I think Dr. Louie will do an abdominal scar revision to try to and improve the aesthetic of those areas and not much else.

As I told Drs. Javid, Louie and Liu (and anyone else who will listen, read, endure), I have had a really easy and excellent process so far.  Writing that and saying it makes me feel like I’m jinxing myself and something truly horrid will arrive at my feet (triple nipple, anyone?).  But, I have to air it out.  What I did learn after going through stage 1 is that talking about these feelings, neuroses, thoughts, et cetera really takes the fear out of the unknown.  So, thank you for enduring all of my Stage 1 crazy.  I will now shut up about it.  Strap yourself in for endless (well, like every 48-72 hours) babbling about newpples, areaolae, the triple nipple and the unforeseeable nooby future!

 

 

 

You know what is foreseeable?  THIS…

 

 

 

05/28/12 – Flaps

05/28/12 – L flap

05/28/12 – R flap

05/28/12 – Abdominal scar

05/28/12 – L side of abdominal scar

05/28/12 – R side of abdominal scar

 

 

 

 

 

I have been terribly remiss about keeping my blog updated; I apologize.  Life happens, a lot, as it turns out.  On last Friday we left for a weekend in Las Vegas.  It wasn’t a drunken wild west weekend where everything that happens in the 702 stays there.  It was quite the opposite, actually.  My entire immediate family was there for a small and all too brief reunion.  Our Grandma, Mary Lou, was in town for the first time in probably 13 years.  After she retired, she decided to move to a small town in Minnesota.  The last time I saw her, I was still in high school.  Our Grandma hadn’t met my husband or our girls.  I think she’d only met 3 of her 8 great grand children prior to last weekend.

My grandma, mom, sisters and our kids.

Our dad and brother were also there with us (Dad quietly endured us celebrating his birthday).

Dad & Tessa

Grandma, Tessa, Chance

Last weekend was the first time we’ve seen everyone since my surgeries, and I really wanted to show them that I was feeling and doing great.  It was also great to see everyone and be the big, noisy family we intrinsically are for just a few days.  I sat and talked with my grandma as much as I could while still getting to visit with everyone else.  I told her as much as I could spew out about the grown-up-me, my husband, and our girls in brief spurts.  Being that I’m 1 of 5, I couldn’t hog her.  But I really wanted to.  I also wanted to let her know what a difference she’s made in our lives.  It’s hard being so far away from family, especially when we grew up seemingly stacked atop one another for what felt like an eternity (at times).  These past few years have taught me so much about family and love.  I’ve missed being surrounded by both.  This is our family get-down song.  Or, at least, one of the many.  I’m inserting this in the middle of my post to really force you to listen to it.  I can be am pushy.

 

We returned home on Sunday, and life as we know it resumed from there.  On Monday I returned to Dr. Louie’s office for my follow-up/pre-op visit with him and Dr. Liu.  We combined my final stage 1 follow-up and noob revision/nipple reconstruction pre-op visit.  My recovery is going just fine; stage 2 is just under a month away and I need to be thinking “newpples”.  I really wanted to wear my prosthetic nipples to my appointment just to ask Drs. Louie and Liu what the differences would be in size, shape, appearance in comparison.  But I couldn’t remember where I put the prostheses and had to leave without them.  My left noob will be reduced in size so that it is symmetrical with the right, and Dr. Louie will origami my newpples using what I think is called a Cylindrical flap.  Dr. Louie made me this cool paper version, which I will now insert for your complete awe and future party trick bag.  In the first photo, you’ll see where Dr. Louie drew a nice set of noobs with the nipple sites indicated.  At the bottom of the page is the sketch and cut out of the cylindrical flap.

Newpple Origami Step 1

In Step 2, the flap is “lifted up” (or “peeled back”, depending on what you’re reading):

Newpple Origami Step 2

In Step 3, the “wings” of the cylindrical flap are brought together:

Newpple Origami Step 3

In Step 4, the top of the cylindrical flap is brought down to close the cylinder:

Newpple Origami Step 4

In Step 5, the negative space left from the skin used for the nipple reconstruction is brought together:

Newpple Origami Step 5

And then it is stitched closed:

Newpple Origami Step 6

There are so many methods for nipple reconstruction; I was really surprised when I happened upon this article.  I am a horrible geometry student.  I couldn’t even fold notes well in school.  So none of these methods would have ever occurred to me.  And that, people, is why someone other than me is making the big bucks.

Hopefully, this will be my first and only revision surgery.  While it is easier to reduce the size of one noob instead of increasing the smaller one, there is always the possibility that additional revisions have to be made.  I have had the pleasure of meeting other women who have gone through this process because I’ve published this blog.  One of those women is approaching her seventh surgery due to complications, heavy scarring, and necrosis of 1 nipple.  Another reader is recovering from her fourth revision surgery because her reconstructed breasts ended up so dissimilar after her first revision.  I have incredible faith in my surgeon’s abilities but appreciate the challenges associated with breast reconstruction.

Unlike my initial surgery, I have very little anxiety.  I am a little worried because I think we’re going to try and fly solo as a family for this recovery and hope for the best.  If I do have more pain than expected, we’ll be watching a lot of Disney movies with the girls, eating frozen dinners (or take out), and phoning in favors.  So I’m just trying to stay positive and start planning for June 22…and beyond!

The update photos posted below are a few days old but, as with before, there are no dramatic changes.  (Other than more natural light in our bathroom because Seattle actually got some damn sun, which has since left us.)

 

Cuidado!  Peligroso!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

05/22/12 – Frontal on Day 69

05/22/12 – Noobies on Day 69

05/22/12 – Abdomen on Day 69

05/22/12 – Left Flap on Day 69

05/22/12 – Right Flap on Day 69

I was all ready to blow up this ish last night with a new blog post…and then ALL of our utilities were on the fritz and conspired against my new blog post.  There were several times during last night and very early this morning when nothing in this house was working; no water, power, phone, internet, magic box.  So, no blog post yesterday but nothing Earth shattering happened.

Yesterday I had another workout with Paul.  Since my physical therapy re-check wasn’t until today (after my workout), he took it easy on my upper body so I wouldn’t be super sore at my PT appointment today.  The obvious conclusion is that my lower body is now stiff as a board and creaky today.  I have always had pretty strong legs, but I felt like I really dialed in my leg strength and muscle tone before my surgery because I was preparing for being unable to use my upper body for strength, balance or anything really post-op.  So trying to get back to where I was before surgery now is really hard.  My balance, strength, endurance, and cardio feel so lame right now.  I knew well beforehand that I was going to have a long way to recovery, but I did (and still do) expected more of myself, I guess.  I just wanted so badly to not have to work this hard to get back to me.  I hoped/thought/demanded it would be easier and faster because I am unreasonable impatient and eager to move on with life.  I guess it’s better than being where I worried I might end up post-op, which was deep in self-image depression.  But, luckily, I had none of that.

Today my physical therapy appointment was ho-hum.  I gained about 15 degrees of motion on my left side since my last appointment, and I was given a few exercises to do over the next two weeks with only 1 or 2 lbs of weight added to start building my strength back up.  2 lbs doesn’t seem like much when I’m hauling our almost 30 lbs daughters around.  But it feels significant in different positions or while going through certain exercises.

Tomorrow…whew.  Tomorrow I have a busy day.  I have to see my breast oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for (hopefully) my last visit to a breast oncologist EVER.  How exciting is that?  But after that I have to go into work for the rest of the day and (at some point later on), I need to make dinner for us and a couple of dinner guests, clean up, and pack us up for Vegas to see my family on Friday!  This will be the first time we’re going on an airplane together as a family.  We leave on Friday morning, so send me all of your good-traveling-juju and sage advice about being on planes with toddlers.  Please and thank you!

 

And now…

 

 

 

05/16/12 – Frontal

05/16/12 – Flaps

05/16/12 – Left

05/16/12 – Right

05/16/12 – Abdominal scar

 

Happy Mother’s Day!  The weather has been so amazing here this weekend, I hate to even mention it for risk that it will notice and run away (which seems to always happen in Seattle).

We’ve had a busy weekend full of fun, sun, and accidental midsection exposure.  It’s interesting how sometimes you (I) put something out into the universe, and it comes barking right back.  In one of my more recent entries (day 57) I discussed my abdominal incision and mentioned that no one has ever noticed or asked me about it.  Well, yesterday and today it went noticed and also got mentioned.  Interesting, right?  Yesterday I was with our daughters at the park and helping one of them onto a platform that leads to a slide.  My t-shirt crept up as I raised my arms, and a mom next to me said, “Wow!  You have the worst c-section scar I’ve ever seen.”  I was distracted, caught off guard and didn’t know what to say.  So, how did I respond?  I said, “Oh; thanks.”  That’s right.  Oh; thanks.  But what was I supposed to say?  How do you appropriately respond to someone making an incorrect assumption about a surgical procedure.  “Well, yes, I have this very large scar on my abdomen and twin toddlers.  Deductive reasoning might lead you to that conclusion…but really I lopped my tits off in hopes of beating cancer to the punch and replaced them with my muffin top.”  Better to live with the assumption, right?

A similar situation happened today at the park.  I was helping one of our daughters climb on a sculpture and my shirt crept up.  A little girl and her dad were next to us; she saw my scar and asked me if I was ok.  I said I was great and asked her how she was doing, at which point she decided I was a monster and ran away.  I thought it was funny (and a little encouraging) that, for her, the social interaction was more bothersome than my scar.  Like I said, it’s a little scary looking still.  I know it will improve a little bit more, but it’s definitely approaching what it will look like for the rest of my life.  So half shirts and bikinis are off the table, but that’s pretty much been my story since 2008.  I’m breast cancer free.  “NBD” as you young people say.

 

LOOK OUT BEEEELOOOOOOOOOW

 

 

05/13/12 – Frontal

05/13/12 – Noobs

05/13/12 – Abdominal scar

05/13/12 – Right

05/13/12 – Left

 

 

Today I decided that since I had close to nothing newsworthy going on (just the POTUS cruising around my ‘hood), I should provide some additional photos beyond the typical 5 photos I upload.  I decided to post a few more photos of my abdominal scar because the focus here, and on most other women’s blogs on this subject, all focus on the breasts.  Or, at least the ones that I came across did.  But the abdominal incision is a pretty sizable one, and that isn’t a scar that will go unnoticed, should it ever slip out of its secret lair.  Whenever I am reaching for something and really have to extend myself, I worry that someone will see part or all of it if my shirt creeps up.  I don’t know why I worry about it.  It’s not like someone has seen or noticed it and asked me about it.  Seattle is way too passive aggressive for that.  It’s just a big, scary looking scar to anyone who didn’t see it at the beginning (for comparison purposes), but it’s healing quite nicely.  All of my scars have decreased in both size and color.  Everyday I am still so grateful to all of my surgeons, the physicians, and the other healthcare workers who have helped me so much through this process.  Again, my surgeons did such a great job with my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and DIEP flap breast reconstruction.

So basically I just wanted to provide some visuals for how far I’ve come along now that 8 weeks into recovery from Stage 1.  Stages 2 and 3 will be combined since I only have a minor revision (to reduce my left noob and make it the same size as my right).  I’m interested in how I will feel seeing my body again after being healed from nipple reconstruction. I forget what my natural breasts looked like.  I guess I should’ve taken a lot of pre-op photos, but prior to this blog I wasn’t really one to take semi-nude photos of myself.  All of my semi-nude photos were typically of totally unsuspecting, unaware strangers.  I keed, I keed.  Maybe.

 

WATCH OUT!

 

 

Day 3 in the hospital.

03/18/12 – Day 4 in the hospital

Right side of my body, 5 days post op.

Left side image of my body, 5 days post op.

Week 1 / Day 7

 

05/10/12 – Frontal

05/10/12 – Flaps

05/10/12 – Abdomen

05/10/12 – Right

05/10/12 – Left

05/10/12 – Right edge of abdominal scar

05/10/12 – Left edge of abdominal scar

05/10/12 – Belly button

05/10/12 – Nipple site