This was me the morning of my exchange surgery. Well Actually I was a little more sassy than that.
The pink ribbon emblem show to the left is a place marker. It does nothing but sit where I would have put a photo. When finding that google was showing my reconstruction photos along with all the photos of my family, myself and friends, I took the reconstruction photos off the blog. I don't have any problem with friends who are curious or women searching for breast cancer stories. I have put the photos off site and every time you see the pink ribbon with a link below, click the LINK and it will take you to that photo. I hope this clears up any confusion. It's less convenient, but it's google. If you right click the link, you can open the photo in a new tab and not lose your place here. :)
My pucketts (TE) had been expanded to 750 ccs of saline but the right one kept leaking. The decision was made to hasten to the implant exchange to July 5th. The longer the TE was left unexpanded the pocket would begin to shrink. Even after they took it out, I was told, "it was definately deflated but we couldn't tell why." So because you need the pressure of the Tissue Expander to keep that pocket or capsule stretched out, they scheduled me for surgery. So there I was.
I arrived at surgery center for my 2nd stage Breast reconstruction otherwise known as the "Exchange" surgery.
|To see photo, click and use rosey2012 if asked|
This was the last view of the pucketts,
may they rest in pieces . The cleavage was
cool while it lasted.
Took 3 sticks to start the IV. Yeah, for lidacaine! They believed me when I said, hard stick - shy veins.
|To see photo, click and use rosey2012 if asked|
This is the bilateral view of the TE on
5/3/2012 The tapes and bandaids
are from the expansion to 750 cc
|To see photo, click and enter rosey2012 if asked|
Dr. Puckett went a little nuts with
the black marker. The spiderwebs?
not sure I want to know.
I found out what doctors do when they have to poop during surgery. He first said "we just do it". And I was like "Whoooaaaa, that has to break the sterile environment!" Before I blurted that, he continued that they run out, take care of business, have to scrub back in and pick it up where they left. He said they try to take care of that kind of thing between surgeries because anesthesiologist get really cranky when they are left in sole charge of a patient. The wienies.
I get to the OR and I'm surrounded by rushing women who seem more like chickens than nurses, surgical techs or nurse anesthesists. I was given happy juice which was fun. I made the ceiling tiles spin. I looked at the Nurse Anesthetists and asked "What antibiotic am I getting?" She answered "I don't know yet" and then put me to sleep. I did find out yesterday I was given IV antibiotics in surgery.
For you who are curious about the surgery and have the scientific nature to watch, I found a very well done video that shows a reconstruction from TE to implant. I wanted to imbed it but the opening video image was too graphic for those who cannot watch surgical procedures. Be aware this link is actual surgery done, not simulation or computerized. Woman's Exchange Surgery from TE to Implant
The first thing I noted upon waking up was the strange sensation of little pain. Wasn't expecting THAT! They buzzed around while I tried to get my eyeballs to point in the same direction. I told them I will recover faster if you allow my husband back her to keep me focused and talking. They rushed out to get him.
He came back and while I was uncomfortable, it was like 5 on the scale using the pain I awoke with from the Bilateral Mastectomy with 1st stage reconstruction. THAT was my 10. They gave me some IV medication of morphine. Rosey was in good hands.
Yep. That's me on Morphine. My new foobies are under all that ace wrap. It seemed promising under all that wrap.
I was sent home with a list of scripts on of them for Keflex as we discovered at the pharmacy by my husband. I was given really GOOD drugs. By 8 pm I had finished with a meal and was feeling beat and for bed. I took a Dilaudid for sleep because I wanted to not move the new foobies. Not one way or the other. I never knew how Dilaudid would affect me, never having it before. It was the first drug EVER that I felt.
I have been given fentanyl - my pain laughed at it. One nurse told me after a different surgery that I had been given enough pain fentenayl to put down a horse. I snarled at her, "Well this HORSE is still kicking. Find. Something. Else" She got me Morphine.
Morphine makes me sleepy. A little goofy if you ask Mr. Rosey, but to tell the truth, I'm not all that impressed with it either. I could have eaten Darvocet as a cereal and it never budged any pain. It's taken off the market. It was a bad drug anyway. Tramadol makes me sleepy and throw up. Not a good combination. I don't know if could take pain away. I always HAD the pain until I threw up. Vicodin that people loooove on the black market. Does not a thing for my pain.
Demorol together with valium finally brought my mastectomy pain within a bearable range, 5 days after the surgery. Percocet can help but not with intense pain. Having experienced intense pain with the BMX, I was pretty pleased to be so comfortable after the exchange...and I have LONG incisions.
Thurs night. I took the Dilaudid and before I closed the computer, everyone within my facebook family knew it was affecting me as well. It became the topic of much humor at my expense. What I wrote looked something like this....
hi my loves,I lo ed all the pink lips. Yrs, i am ighgh. i can't get the keyboard ro worj right. I habe no diea what the foobies, look liiiiiiiiiiiiiiik. i am wrpaped like nnlike a mimmy...mummy. In wading up i coulf tell immediatlu that thia ws mcuh easier. i did not waked up skeaming. just hurting, insision pain .........To interpret the above, I wrote, Hi my loves. I loved all the pink lips. Yes, I am high. I can't get the keyboard to work right. I have no idea what the foobies look like. I am wrapped like a mummy. In waking up, I could tell immediately that this was much easier. I did not wake up screaming. Just hurting, incision pain...and there was a lot more but this gives you an idea. I was NOT feeling pain at that point. Now I finally know what I need after surgery. I am like my father. It was hard to get pain meds to work for him too. We must have some kind of internal resistance.
Friday I went to the clinic and had the giant ace wrap taken off. I looked down at the new foobies and was pretty discouraged. Not what I was expecting. The bottom of the photo was taken at my neck, pointing down if you need orientation. I was expecting bodacious cleavage, and coconut shell foobies.
|To see the photo, click THIS link and use rosey2012 if asked|
This was my view of the cleavage looking down my chest.
To say I was discouraged by the sight would be
an understatement. I felt as if I had gone through
all the pain for PANCAKES?
I have two big round sets of 2 stacked pancakes. Big and round but they barely project off the chest. In a dress, I am flat chested. I was discouraged and felt defeated that night. I am told by others who have gone there, that I am expecting too much too soon. That I have to wait for the foobies to "drop and fluff". No idea what that means, But I know that I could find no one on the internet that ever showed me what their implants looked like the next day, or a even weekly progression. There's always a before and an after which is well after the healing is complete. I plan to take weekly photos.
|To see the photo, click this link and use rosey2012 is asked|
Nice Bilateral view of the implants from
underneath? lol I was nicely drugged at this point.
I took this photo and for the life of me, I can not figure out how I took it. It looks like I held the camera low and shot upward.
|To see photo, click this link and use rosey2012 is asked|
View of the left incision and missing chicken skin.
I was curious about the long scar on the left side. Then I recalled him telling me he planned to remove my "chicken skin". The long scar reached back to the chicken skin area, so he could pull up that loose skin and get rid of it. I'll trade you a scar for chicken skin.
Sat. I had lunch in town and was looking for a baby gift at Samsclub. I thought I could handle it as I felt pretty good. It was hot there, crowded and people were rude. I couldn't reach the baby clothes. I was feeling nauseous. I'm hunting for Mr. Rosey when a sea of breast rolled over me. Technically, it was a group of 12 - 20 college girls. They walked toward me down the aisle and then split to walk on either side of me. All of them wearing tube tops, spaghetti straps, halter tops with headlights pointing various directions, different sizes and shapes. Sitting in a motor cart, my head was breast level so it felt like a sea of breasts. All of them braless and I was overwhelmed. Tears welled up in my eyes and I wanted to shout at them,