If you've never heard much about breast reconstruction following mastectomy you may believe that surgeons just remove cancerous breast tissue and replace it with a breast shaped form, sew up the skin, and you're good to go.
Clicking on this image will show an enlarged illustration of how the chest wall is stretched - in a series of weekly or bi-weekly expansion procedures with the surgeon on an outpatient basis - to create a new pocket in which a breast form is placed in a second surgery.
I have one, perhaps two, more expansions before the pocket is large enough to accept the form. The last expansion will be followed by a couple weeks of rest for the chest wall. Then comes surgery to remove the expander and replace it with the breast form. I am hoping to schedule surgery before the end of May.
So far I'm at four months and counting, though some of the feet dragging was absolutely my issue with decision making and needing reassurance. I admit it has been painful and I've had many doubts along the way.
Below is a video done after my visit with the surgeon a little over a week ago in which my chest muscle tissue was further stretched. It will hopefully give you a little more personal slant.