I went to see my plastic surgeon this week to review the last details of my surgery and receive the last fill of my expander. I have requested that my surgery occur in March but also listed my preference as after March 15. This will better coincide with Steve and the kids' Spring Break.
My doctor also added another 100 cc's to my expander, which now contains 450 cc's. For the first time, it hurts. I guess, I should not say that it hurts, but it is fairly uncomfortable. I know that I can have cc's taken out to relieve the pressure. However, I am reluctant to do so as I am a bit tired of going to doctor appointments. Having cc's taken out would add two more appointments to the docket--one appointment to take fluid out and one to add it back.
In case I have not explained the process, my expander is held in position by muscle, its purpose being to expand the muscle and skin slowly in order to hold the future implant. They add anywhere between 50-100 cc's of saline to the expander with every visit, spacing my visits about three weeks apart. It feels a bit like getting your braces tightened.
Unlike many friends that I have met on my journey, these expansions have never bothered me. Watching my the expansion on my chest grow into something that looks like a breast has been kind of like watching Christmas presents multiply under the Christmas tree as Christmas approaches. Now, fully expanded to the size of an actual breast, I am excited but yet feel more like that pregnant mother whose baby is two weeks overdue.
It think what bothers me the most is the combination of its size and hardness. The thing is as hard as a rock. I move, it does not. When I sleep, the only way I can get comfortable is on my back--and I am a side sleeper. That being said, I always wake up in the middle of the night sore, having rolled onto my side while sleeping.
I suppose, this will all get easier as by body adjusts to this most recent expansion. However, I know it is not getting any softer. My plastic surgeon has assured me that by new breast will feel nothing like its current substitute. Thank goodness!
That being said, I am just keeping my eye on the prize and trying not to think too much about the actual surgery itself because I am really not looking forward to adding another scar to a different part of my body. But this is another blog entry, altogether.
I really do not mean for this blog to sound negative. Actually, I am in a fairly good place right now. I am busy with work and the kids, enjoying most aspects of the crazy, busy lifestyle we have made for ourselves. The kids sports are gearing up as they usually do this time of year, with their participation in soccer, baseball, softball and gymnastics, all running at the same time. They are growing and learning so fast, I do not want to miss any of it. Work is busy but rewarding, as I continue to adjust sans a more hands-on supervisor. Life is good.
In closing, I am thankful every day that I survived cancer and the only thing I have to complain about is a rock-hard, fully filled expander on the left side of my chest. And what I have not mentioned is my excitment of having a breast on my right side again. No more prosthetic, yay!!!!! My road to recontruction is coming to a close and I could not be happier.