Slight change of plans…Surgery tomorrow!

I met with Dr. Harper about two weeks ago to discuss what the next steps were in my reconstruction process.  Initially, the plan was to have one final surgery…swap the expander with an implant, make some lingering cosmetic updates to both boobs, and my favorite…fat grafting to inject in my cancer boob.

At my appointment, Dr. Harper was again very happy with how my skin and boob were reacting to the expander, but unfortunately felt like it’s still too soon to remove it.  I obviously was pushing for soon rather than later due to the proximity of the wedding….6 weeks away at this point, crazy!!

Upon hearing the news that Dr. Harper wanted to wait on removing the expander, I once again found myself fighting to keep back tears on his office table.  I feel incredibly self-conscience right now because my right and left boobs are completely lopsided.  It may not be noticeable to others when I have clothes on, but it’s the one thing I hone in on when I look at myself naked in the mirror.

I finally tried my wedding dress on for my first fitting last weekend, and aside from feeling like a stuffed sausage in the dress (mama’s got some work to do in the fitness department), I was totally self-conscience that my boobs looked uneven.  Not really something I want to be worrying about on my wedding day.

I don’t know if he noticed that I was getting upset, but Dr. Harper went on to propose a compromise that I’m very happy with….he’ll make the cosmetic changes I want and match my left boob in symmetry to my right before the wedding if I agree to keep the expander in for a good while longer.  Done!!

The expander is slightly firmer than an implant would be, but the most important thing to me right now is that I look symmetrical.  So Dr. Harper agreeing to do that makes me so happy!!  And the best part, he was able to squeeze me into his schedule for the 16th, so that means I’ll be going back into the operating room tomorrow at 1pm!!  I’m so excited and have been praying things go smoothly tomorrow and that I come out looking like a million bucks!

Many of you know Andrew and I want to try to have kids immediately after the wedding.  With the expander being left in for at least a few more months, there is the chance that I could get pregnant before Dr. Harper is ready to swap it out.  Dr. Harper assured me that it wouldn’t be detrimental to my pregnancy and that after the baby was born, we could back and make the exchange for an implant.

All in all, good news on all fronts.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow and even more excited about seeing the results of the surgery.  If you’re feeling like you’re in a generous mood, I’ll take whatever positive thoughts and vibes you can send my way for a successful surgery!!  Thank you in advance :)

I don’t have any new hair progress pictures yet.  I do have some photos of my hair in it’s natural state now.  I blow dry and style my hair every day now that it’s longer….and get a lot of questions about whether or not all of the curl I had in the year following chemo has grown out…so I thought I would show you what my hair looks like now if I just let it air dry…pretty fugly if you ask me!!

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9 Responses to “Slight change of plans…Surgery tomorrow!”

  1. Kathy Walsh

    I honestly have never seen a picture of you where you did NOT look like a million bucks! I don’t expect there will be any in the future, either. I am sending all my good vibes, wishes and prayers to you tomorrow. Go get ‘em, Nicole!!

    I’m so anxious to hear all about your wedding, and to see pictures of your GLOW on that day! You are a beautiful girl, inside and out! God Bless You.

    Love, Kathy

  2. mary seals

    Sending positive thoughts and well wishes your way! Your hair is beautiful!

  3. Denise Williams

    Will be saying prayers for you for tomorrows surgery. I sit her typing with tears in my eyes for you. You have been such an inspiration to us Nicole. I pray that all works out tomorrow and in the future. XOXOXO

  4. Val McBlain

    Hi Nicole

    Sending you lots of love and prayers for your surgery. Your hair is beautiful, as are you! Andrew is a very lucky man. X

  5. Kelli

    Big huge prayers for you — I am so glad the surgeon is doing this for you. It will be such a blessing for you. It’s been amazing the journey you have been through.

    I found out about your story from your Mom, and it is amazing how much our cancer stories mirror each other. As I write this I too have in 1 expander & have lop sided boobs! Like you, this time it is due to a complication from the initial mastectomy.

    Be strong, you know this is just a teeny tiny step on the road to having all the cancer crap behind you!

  6. Jim

    You are stunning, and will be beautiful on your day. I pray you will be comfortable with yourself that day and guarantee you will be the most beautiful person at your wedding.

  7. sandy

    Excited for you !!! Sending thoughts,prayes,good vibes, crossing fingers but not toes too busy jumpin for joy!! Give us that great update soon.

  8. Kurt Miller

    Nicole: You have taken charge of you own health and choices as few people faced with similar challenges have. You are an inspiration to all people, not just cancer survivors. Continuing best wishes from all the Millers: Kurt, Judy, Sara (Johnson), and Emily (Haubenstricker).

  9. Nancy


    Thanks so much for doing this blog. I just had my last chemo treatment on Sept. 11 with surgery scheduled on October 15 and radiation to follow after that. Reading through your blog has made me laugh and cry. I love your hair pictures. I’m so tired of being bald. It’s nice to have hope and know that it won’t last forever.

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