Tag Archives: Checklist

T-minus

WARNING: NSFW / graphic content below.

The final countdown has begun. T minus seven days until my exchange surgery! That’s right, just one week left. This will be surgery #8 in the mastectomy and breast reconstruction process, which started January 22, 2013. The goal is to replace the tissue expander on my right with a squishy implant. On one hand, I am very excited about this surgery, as it should be my last one. However, I am also incredibly anxious. This process was supposed to take about eight months and two surgeries. Here we are 2.5 years later with #8 on the horizon. I’ve experienced a few complications that have drawn it out and caused me a lot of grief. In any case, this time next week I will be home and it will be behind me. I can focus on healing and moving on with my life!

Surgery prep

As I prepare for next week, I think about what supplies I need to gather. I’m dusting off the good ol’ Checklist that has helped me get my stuff together each time. I’ll be using the abbreviated version from my Box o’ recovery crap post, which lists the things I keep on the night stand:

  • MedicationsRecovery aids
  • Lanyard (I will very likely have a drain)
  • Measuring cup
  • Rubber gloves
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Digital thermometer
  • Back scratcher
  • Tiara (of course!)
  • Tissues
  • Chap stick
  • Cough drops
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Note pad and pen (to track meds and temperature)
  • Camera
  • Kindle
  • Phone and charger

That should do it.

Status update

Yoda fucksI haven’t posted a photo since the tissue expander placement, six months ago. Slacker! My expansions went OK. That side is a different shape and size than my implant, of course, but not too bad. We stopped expansions at 450ccs, which is the volume of the implant on my left. There are a few things off at this point, like my nipples not being “level” and some weird divot in my cleavage, but honestly, at this point, I’m almost all out of fucks to give about these details.

So here I am, On the left in photo I am sporting a tissue expander in 450ccs. On the right I have a Mentor round, smooth, high profile, silicone implant in 450ccs (10 months after exchange).

IMG_3801

A few months after surgery I’ll evaluate the state of things and decide how much the details are bothering me and if there is anything else to be done. Maybe that divot will fill out (it’s OK in a bra) and the nipple-level thing won’t be as bad. Things will be different with an implant and maybe they’ll be symmetrical and just right.

One thing I know will definitely follow is a tattoo by Amy Black. I still haven’t decided if it will be just a 3D nipple fill or something artsy fartsy and covering more of my chest wall. We shall see!

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Squishy time

Mario finishWell, the day is almost here. Exchange surgery is less than 12 hours away! I’m so happy to finally be here. All that’s left is a good night’s sleep. I feel like Mario when he finally reaches those stairs at the end of the level. 😀

Following the handy-dandy checklist I put together for my prophylactic mastectomy back in January, I have gotten everything ready. Based on all the feedback from the Ladies that have gone through the exchange surgery before me, I expect this to be a breeze. The exchange surgery will only take about two hours and will be an outpatient procedure. I should be home by about 4pm.

Prep for surgery

I didn’t borrow a recliner this time, so I built myself a pillow-fort-kind-of-thing on the bed. I prepped a basket of essentials to keep by my bedside. It will travel with me between the bed upstairs and the couch, as needed. The hospital bag is packed with a few essentials like the tablet, hand wipes, chapstick, cough drops, lanyard (for those stinkin’ drains), medications, and my awesome My Destiny Foundation tiara.

I have been downing prune juice for the past couple of days to get ahead of the constipation. Also bought some snacks and food items that will be easy to prep while I’m home alone this week. I took the rest of the week off and expect to be doing absolutely nothing.

Later gaters. Write to ya from the other side!