Archives for posts with tag: Stage 1/Week 9

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