Surgery Part Deux Update…an Introduction to the Girls

It’s crazy how quickly time flies by. I had every intention of updating my blog pretty much every day the last three weeks, yet here we are…a month after my surgery and I’m just now getting around to it. I hear a new year’s resolution loud a clear….update blog more frequently!!

Like it said, it’s been a month since my second surgery.  I’m not really sure what I was expecting after surgery, but I feel like I should officially change my name to Tits McGee. My boobs are huge….at least I think so.   I wanted and picked out a very small size implant, smaller then they carry  regularly in the office as to avoid looking like Dolly Parton post op…but they still seems really large to me.  I’m definitely still adjusting to the new “girls”.  I can refer to them as a separte identity because they came with their own identification card.  Weird, I know.

I made the mistake of looking at them about 8 hours after my surgery and really wasn’t prepared for what I saw. What were supposed to be the perky, ever so slightly larger boobs of my dreams, in actuality were ginormous, shiny blobs pretty much resting on my chin. I don’t know if I was never told, or missed the part where I was informed that I’d have a lot of swelling….but needless to say, first glance at my new boobs was not good.

I cried and cried and cried. I literally freaked out and was inconsolable. I felt like I made a HUGE mistake by getting the implants. Had an exacto knife been readily accessible, I may have sliced open the incisions in my pain medication induced haze and removed the implants myself.

Thankfully I have quite a few friends who’ve gotten implants over the years. After a few desperate phone calls, they managed to calm me down. And just like they reassured me they would….the swelling in my boobs, and they boobs themselves, have gone down pretty significantly.

The recovery for my first reconstruction surgery back in October was pretty smooth and not very painful. I was hoping to have a similar experience this time around again but boy was I wrong!

My surgery was on a Thursday morning.  Andrew had me home from the doctor’s by noon fully drugged and resting nicely with frozen peas on my chest. Despite having just had surgery, I felt pretty good the remainder of the day and into Friday. So good on Friday that I managed to run a few errands with my brother. It all went downhill pretty quickly as Friday turned into Saturday.

I’m not sure if I did too much in the first 24 hours after my surgery or if it was just because the really good pain medication the doctors gave me during surgery was wearing off…but by Friday evening I was in a lot of pain. My chest and every muscle surrounding my chest were so tight and every movement I made hurt like hell. Just in time to hop in the car for a short 12 hour road trip up to MI for the holidays at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning.

Why I ever thought it would be a good idea to have surgery 2 days before my brother, Andrew, and I were driving up to MI is beside me. When I’m 100 years old and looking back at my life, that decision will probably continue to be in the list of my top 10 worst ideas ever.

To say the trip was long and painful would be the understatement of the century. I couldn’t get comfortable and my pain pills were barely taking the edge off. Every bump in the road we hit was like a blow to my chest. I slept on and off, as much the pain and my discomfort would allow, the entire trip. Thank you to Andrew for capturing a few moment in time, candid pictures of me in all my pain and glory. Notice my constant companion…Bailey. Best dog ever for cuddling and TLC. I don’t think he left my side the entire time I was feeling awful :)

It took a solid 5 days before I started to feel like a normal human being again…so by Tuesday, I had stopped taking my pain pills and was definitely moving around with more ease. Not taking the pain pills alone did wonders. I hate the feeling of being in a cloudy haze…and that’s how my pain pills made me feel. Throw in the way anesthesia and pain medication completely jack up my stomach…I was a disaster through xmas.

I had my first check up with the surgeon on the 4th. He said things were healing nicely and I was free to start massaging my new implants (to prevent scar tissue build up), but I’m unfortunately going to have to go back in for a third and (fingers really crossed this time) final surgery.

We were hoping the implant would fill and round out the bottom portion of my cancer boob that my lumpectomy surgeries had left flat / indented and fix the nipple issues I was having….but it’s not doing a very good job. It’s filling it out better than before my surgeries, but my nipple placement still sucks (thank you radiation!) so Dr. Harper thinks he can make it look better still. I need to wait 5-6 months this time around to allow the implants to fully settle before moving on to the third surgery… probably May-June timeframe

. In the third surgery, Dr, Harper wants to reposition my nipple again. The skin that’s been radiated isn’t stretching and reacting the way he anticipated, so it needs to be moved. He also wants to inject fat tissue behind my lumpectomy site in hopes of creating the roundness on the underside of my boob that I’m lacking.

And here’s the silver lining…in order to inject fat tissue, fat needs to be “harvested”. Which means I’m getting a dose of liposuction courtesy of the big C. Free boobs, free lipo…cancer just keeps paying it forward!!

(apologies if my jokes offend anyone….as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I try to / like to keep a light hearted attitude about things. Cancer just plain sucks…anyway you look at it…and I’m the type of person who always tries to find the positive in situations)

I go back for another check-up on the 8th, and hopefully will be given full clearance to run and work out normally again. The last month of minimal athletic activities has taken a toll. I feel like a blob :( I’ve been doing what I can but am looking forward to getting back into a normal routine at the gym again.

Photos from 111 weeks post chemo are below. These are from the first week after my surgery. The side picture shows just how big and perky my boobs were at first…yikes!

Category: Uncategorized | Tags: , , 7 comments »

7 Responses to “Surgery Part Deux Update…an Introduction to the Girls”

  1. Julie Dietzel

    Love the blog! You’re right, we have to look at the silver lining! Thanks for the humor :)

  2. Nicole bills

    Thanks Julie! :)

  3. Amanda

    I love how Bailey is comforting you every step of the way. Love that puppy!

  4. Nicole bills

    He’s the best!!

  5. Katie

    I love you blog so much and has really helped me with me hair regrowth process! You have such beautiful hair now and I am so happy you are well! I have a question about chemo curls. My hair used to have a wave but since it has grown back (about 3 inches now) I have super kinky afro-like curls! I am only 21 so I imagine it will hopefully turn back to normal but did your chemo curls grow out or did you ever get or consider a keratin or hair straightening treatment?

  6. Wendy

    I am going through hell right now. Everything is so tight in my chest. Hoping I can sleep on my stomach again soon.

  7. Back to Square One :( — Chia Gal

    [...] potential 5th surgery, yes I said 5th, will involve the fat grafting (aka silver lining) I wrote about after my second surgery.  IF the site of my lumpectomy continues to remain flat [...]

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