Thursday, October 18, 2007

Plan of Action

Today I met with a different surgeon here in town. Her name is Amy Brewster and she came recommended from my good friend Lanie who I went through chemo with. She was very happy with her and so I thought that I would go and see her. I went in pretty set in thinking that my options for reconstruction were pretty well set in stone for doing the LAT flap surgery where they harvest the tissue from your back. After she talked to me and examined me she said that she felt pretty confident that we could try the option of using alloderm, which is basically harvested cadaver tissue, between my skin and where they would place an implant rather than doing the LAT surgery. I have decided that I want to go ahead and have the mastectomy done on my left side and then do the reconstruction on both at the same time. I just feel this constant paranoia about getting cancer again. I feel like if there are things I can do to prevent getting it again, I want to do that. With this new "plan of action" I would in theory go into surgery and have the mastectomy done on the left side and at the same time have the tissue expanders placed in both the right and left side. This would involve both having my general surgeon and plastic surgeon working together in the first surgery. Then the plastic surgeon would fill the expanders slowly over 8 or so weeks once a week or slower if necessary. Leaving plenty of time for the radiated side to slowly expand allowing room for an implant. They would fill the expanders with a syringe, but tell me it isn't too uncomfortable. Uh, yeah right. Because that usually seems to hold true all the other times I have been told it's "nothing" or "not that bad". In my mind though compared to cutting open my back, if this works, I would much rather try this option. Dr Brewster said that if it doesn't work out and the tissue doesn't hold up then we can always move on to do the other surgery and it wouldn't cause any damage in the end result. After the expanders are full then we will wait 6 to 8 weeks to allow time for my body to get used to them and heal and then go back in for surgery to replace the expanders for implants. I will go into to see my general surgeon Dr. Chiavetta next week to see what he says about doing the mastectomy on the other side and then move on from there. I am not looking forward to having the surgery again and the recovery process for sure but do want to get it over with and move on. I was just telling Jon today that I feel like I am in a funk this week that I can't get out of. I am not sure if it is just thinking about the surgery or what but I have been having trouble sleeping again and am feeling just funky. I don't know how else to describe it. Hopefully I will be feeling more like myself tomorrow.

1 comment:

Toni said...

I can't say that I can relate what you're going through in any other area besides not being able to sleep. Did you ever feel like you had a bowling ball strapped to your stomach when you tried rolling over at night? I'm sure you did with the twins. It's pretty amazing what kind of things they can do these days, like using cadaver tissue. When would you do the surgery?