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Jan 30, 2008 04:09PM
My surgery, which was August 22nd, went fine. I had no complications. The things that were bad that surprised me were the REALLY painful injection of material to prep me for the Sential Node Biopsy -- though it lasted about 10 seconds -- and the truly crushing pain I felt immediate following the mastectomies in my sternum. I was imagining I'd have pain where my breasts were, but the nerves were all severed there, so I had no pain there. That was unexpected and alarming , cause I sort of thought I was having a heart attack. Well, of course I wasn't and that pain subsided very quickly. Sleeping was challenging, but I felt pretty good within 72 hours. I was lucky and only had drains for a week. Once they were out, things improved rapidly. I drove after about 2 1/2 weeks and went back to work after 5 weeks.
I had immediate reconstruction with tissue expanders and a alloderm lining. I left the hospital with about 200ccs of saline in the expanders and a clevage! I have been expanded to 450ccs (on my body that's about a full C which is what my owns breasts were) and will receive 400cc implants on February 13th. I am leaning towards silicone even though I tend to be pretty risk averse. I don't know whether I will have nipples, etc. yet.
As far as whether I am "happy".... I am thrilled to have gotten rid of my cancer and any real threat of getting it again. In all honesty, I have not thought about cancer for several months. I feel very good about my decision to choose mastectomy. I think I still have a pretty positive body image, even though my breatss had been my favorite body part. There is no way to replicate them and I know that I will be disappointed with my reconstruction if I think about it always in relationship to my natural breasts. Because I had both removed, I don't have the "matching" issue. I think that I will be happy, or at least satisfied, with my results because I think my expectations are reasonable.
My husband of 23 years, who was a HUGE fan of my breasts, was not that thrilled with my choice. It took him a few weeks into my diagnosis and having his butt kicked by some friends and mental health professionals to finally "get" that it was my body and my choice. He still misses my breasts, more than I do I think. But then again, they weren't trying to kill him...!
Best of luck and post again so we know how you're doing.
7/7/2007, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+