A year in my life, from the day I was diagnosed and for the full year after. Walk with me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 17 So Says The Surgeon Part II

Woke at 5:30 a.m. in preparation to see the surgeon in Birmingham.  This one was recommended by one of our relatives who happens to be a reconstructive surgeon.  He operates with her and says that She is the one He would send his wife to if she was ever in my position.

She was younger than I by about 9 years, but I guess that stuff happens when you get older.  She was very straightforward and to the point.  She recommends the double mastectomy, no tram flap or diep flap.  The sequelae is too risky and the tissue would be destroyed if I happened to need radiation, which is a distinct possibility.  She sees tissue expanders and implants following to be the most expedient and least risky reconstruction option.  After her lengthy and patient explanation I am seeing the light on this issue.

Let's face it, she's a woman and I have to assume she has placed herself in this position at least as many times as she has had patients.  She has seen the results of all her treatment options from a female perspective.  I appreciate that.  I also appreciate her bedside, or table side, manner and intelligence.  We did not discuss as much as debate and she was on her game the whole time.  I forgot to ask about her preferred pain management protocols, but I will fire her an email later.

She will give me until the beginning of May to have my surgery.  A blessing since I have so much to do at work and at home.  I don't know if I can do it all before the surgical date.

Ambien has been great.  Only the last two nights I have woken at 2:00 and not been able to get back to sleep.  Of course I have been taking only 1/2 a tablet.  Tonight I will take a whole dose.  NEVER considered that I would take sleep medication, not in my life.  How things change.


Laurie said...

I had the bilateral with tissue expanders - my MD friend had tram flap first and then the tissue expander. She recommended the tissue expanders. Use a presurgical home protocol of hibiclens every other day for the week prior to surgery. I wasn't told to do this until the post-op infection lead to additional surgeries. I am the Ambien poster girl. Best wishes.

the sebaceous funk said...

I'm glad you found a surgeon you can trust. You have a plan and confidence. You'll get through this and thrive.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

I can imagine the best way to do this would be with a woman.

My friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer took tranquilizers or anti-depressants, not sure which, for the first time. These are the times we need this help.

Darwin said...

Okay, Ambien girl -- forget the nibbling I suggested earlier. Whole doses from now on, every night. If you wake up in the middle of the night, do a nibble to go back to sleep, but probably won't be needed on full dose. Not to worry, you can wean off later. Right now, do what you need to do to ease the stress and anxiety. You've got a big job ahead of you, in so many ways, and I know you, your strength, your courage, your sanity. Trust your instincts. They're flawless. I'll send more books. Get a Kindle -- good investment. We'll talk about staying ahead of pain later -- I know experts, truly. The face-first fall down the stairs (12 of them, I call it my 12-step program) contributed to my research on this topic. You can do this. The month of May is close. Do homework. Prepare. I'd watch the kids while you're recovering, but then you'd just need more drugs than current pharmacology has to offer at this time, and they'd be in a group home since I know nothing about child rearing. Your choices will work -- again, I know you. And I love you love you love you.

I LOVE YOU. And you will live and have beautiful breasts -- again. This, I know.