It’s a funny thing how things can change over time.
When I was first diagnosed, I blogged about my visit to the plastic surgeon. Weirdly, I was scheduled to see him 2 days after finding out I had cancer. Looking back now, I realize I was in shock. I still HAD Lefty and couldn’t even wrap my mind around the idea that it would be gone in a matter of weeks. Reconstruction was the least of my worries. I wanted to live, and part of my body was trying to kill me. I just wanted it gone. I wrote about how I didn’t care if I was ever reconstructed.
Now here I am, a year later, not dead. With lymphedema. And a cute haircut. And much disdain for my prosthesis. Flefty likes to wander up into my armpit. Which is very attractive. Most people ask if they have anything in their teeth before going on stage. I have to ask if the girls are straight. (Sorry about all the euphemisms, but I’m trying to avoid pRon spam.) Flefty is hot in a non-sexy way. And no longer matches Righty.
I’ve also had a lot of time to ponder whether to get Righty removed. It would help lower my cancer recurrance rate (which is about 60 to 70 percent right now.) It would probably help my stress level since the need for extensive mammograms would be eliminated. One less scan, right? It’s also my best chance for both sides to match, recon or not.
So…I decided to go back to see the plastic surgeon and see what my options were. I had LOTS of radiation which can make reconstruction difficult. I flat out asked him which sort of recon would be the most successful. He said, that in his opinion, making a sort of skin/muscle bra from part of my left back and inserting implants on both sides was my best option. It’s a 3 to 4 hour surgery with a 4 – 6 week recovery. I’d have expanders for a while and then exchange them for implants when they’re ready. I will lose some power on my left side, but I’m not a champion skier or a tennis player, and he assured me it wouldn’t affect my piano skills so I’m think I’m OK with this.
The other perspective change I have is about my plastic surgeon. He was really nice this visit. Funny and supportive. Not like I remember him at all, which makes me wonder if my being in shock had something to do with my impression. I would like to think that I’m a person who fesses up when they were wrong. So here I am. Fessing.
So….sometime in July I will be having surgery. Again. But this time it will be because I want it.