So the flap surgery I was so sure was right for me yesterday - um - maybe not so much after meeting with surgeon #2 on the tag team that will be doing my surgery this Friday.
These guys have me on the fast track, have booked an OR at Sibley Hospital in Washington DC Friday December 21st. I am pleased to have it underway & will be even more happy to come home Sunday the 23rd if all goes well.
And yes I like the reconstructive guy and find him qualified, thorough and patient about decisions. Oh - and he thinks that they are patient decisions not his decisions.
Enter Doctor Raymond Chang, George Washington University Medical faculty and reconstructive educator of not just students but patients. Another personable surgeon. I hit the jackpot.
Because I'm not 30 - or even 40 - healing from the flap surgery would be more difficult. There is a chance that the skin would die and that the donor site would not heal well as it would in a younger patient. It's not a pretty picture.
I'll have enough skin left from the surgery to easily create the smaller breast size I had for half my life and which I'd prefer now if truth be told.
It will take two surgeries to achieve what will start immediately after the cancerous breast tissue is removed and will be completed gradually over a couple of months and then with a second surgery next spring. Best of all, I can start chemotherapy if I need to while this is in process.
We won't know if there's a need for chemotherapy until we have biopsy results from lymph nodes removed during surgery. So stay tuned on that.
So we're making a mound. Yup you heard me - a mound. We're stretching muscle, and if you want to know the details feel free to read all about it at and other reconstive surgeries at the American Cancer Society' or see what the American Society for Plastic Surgeons has to say on the same topic.
Back on the home front:
- Tomorrow: Daughter #3 in charge of shepherding me through getting Lab work & buying special zip-front sports bra that goes into surgery with me (assignment from Dr Chang)
- Wednesday: Daughter #2 and family coming over to put up our Christmas tree (my spouse, aka Mr. broken rib is out of commission on this one)
- Later Wednesday: Son got emergency leave and is flying in late Wed to stay through the middle of next week. (Thanks to the boss at the Air base, you know who you are.)
- Thursday: Pre-admission physical and EKG with personal physician: Dr Zapp
- Friday: show up at Sibley hospital in sane state
Saturday & next week
- Daughter #2 and my husband both on vacation the week after surgery.
- Daughter #3 is free four days in mid week and weekend evenings.
- In other words everyone gets to have their crack at bringing frozen pea ice-packs to make moms' chest feel better
From the look of the twitter folks I'll be having a lot of support as I go through this. Even if they are not all here with me they live in my computer and in my heart.