Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bras... Ah!

Seriously, all my guy friends who read this, you can skip this, or not, but you may be uncomfy...
Okay, so I finally went in to get fitted for a bra, it's been about 2-3 years since I have, and now that things have settled a bit I figured it was a good time. WonderfulHubby came with me, and we went to the local JC Penney's.  The person who measured me was really nice, and told me I was wearing the wrong sized bra, namely the band size, I was wearing ones that are too small. And then I tried on a BUNCH of bras. Let me tell you, this was not fun. The "bad" side is flat faced and wide, and still fairly firm, so it doesn't squish into the cup like the normal side does, and some of the full cover bras had extra "poof-age" on that side. I had a few mini-panic attacks, but the lady was super helpful, and because no one else was looking in the bra area, WonderfulHubby was able to come and sit in the cozy waiting area just outside the changing rooms, and come in and calm me down when I needed him too. So we ended up with 3 bras that work great, so that is a relief! (We know things may change again after the next surgery, so no point in stocking up a ton.
Also, while I was there, the nice lady was chatting to me about bras, and gave me the following tips:
1- A 10 pound weight change can change your bra size (I was astounded!!).
2 - You shouldn't wear the same bra two days in a row, because that will stretch them out.
3 - You should get fitted every year, just 'cause your body can change a bit even if your weight doesn't. So maybe go get fitted right before your next mammogram, or for your birthday every year... Hmmm, It's an idead

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mini Update

So, I totally got the drains removed the same day as my last post. Thank goodness! So now my total Borg-ness is down to Zero!!
And, after waiting and hunching over for another week, I had permission to stand up straight! And I figured out why she didn't want me to stand up straight: I simply couldn't. She had tightened me up pretty well, so there wasn't any give. So the first day I was about 5 degrees off straight up (and down). The next few days I looked like I was standing up straight, but didn't feel like it. Now I feel like I really can, and it's so nice. It took my back a while to stop aching from hunching over all the time, and I still wear my belt/corset thing to help my tummy from feeling like it's falling apart, though I can go without it for a few hours. And my stamina is coming back, ever so slowly. I can wash dishes all in one go, and vacuum the living room. Though not one right after another, but maybe next week. Heck, really when did I ever do that with any regularity? ;) Starting next week I can start to exercise, though I plan (hope???) to find time to use the treadmill this week. Oh, and my tummy is flat. Really, this a great result of having Breast Cancer. I had a bit of a post-baby pudge started after baby #3, and then had baby #4, and then it started growing after chemo was over, so if you didn't know my situation, you might be tempted to ask if I was pregnant. So now my clothes fit better, and I am ready to get rid of all of my peasant top shirts that I bought to hide my uneven chest and pudgy tummy. I probably just keep a favorite or two, and let the rest go.
As for future stuff: I'll meet with Dr. Chen again in May to schedule my next, LAST, surgery, which should be much quicker and easier to recover from. Woohoo!
And that's all I have to say about that.  :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Quick update

Surgery went really well. (Or so the doctor says, and I will take her word for it.) On my end, the first day was heck, the second day started out rough, but got better, and by Friday I was feeling pretty ok, all things considered. So when Dr. Chen came to check on me Friday afternoon, she asked if I felt like I needed to stay another night like we had planned. I decided I did not, and was happy to go home with WonderfulHubby after dinner that day (ok, you got me, I generally like hospital food). He relieved my Sweetmom from watching the kids when we got home, which was especially good because she had a regular volunteer assignment lined up on Saturday mornings.
So, the doctors orders were to not stand up straight, or lay flat for two weeks. This is killer on the back, but it prevents the scar from stretching out. Right now I am a week and a half out, and waiting, waiting, waiting. We rented a walker, as per her instructions, so I can get around without completely killing my back. I also have three drains, one for the chest, and two below the tummy incision. The incision on my tummy is from hip to hip, and looks really ugly right now, but in a healthy way, so it's not infected or anything. I also wear a stretchy velcro'd corset thing to hold the incision in place, and help me not feel like my insides are going to fall out. And I have go to tell you, when I have taken it off to shower, that is what it has felt like! Very unnerving.
Been home for almost a week now (a few hours short), and am going in to see the Doctor today. Really hoping she takes the drains out, they seem to be collecting little enough that I think she will. In general, I am feeling pretty well. I am down to only taking one Lortab right before bed, and as long as I take it easy enough during the day, I don't need a nap. If I do nap, it takes me forever to fall asleep.
Anyways, time to leave for the doctor. Thanks for all your support!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow I travel down to the ginormous hospital in Salt Lake City for my reconstruction. Over the last few months I thought and thought about the pros and cons of having Dr. Massey perform my reconstruction. I thought about how fun it would be to travel to the eastern states. But then I thought about the headache that would come with getting the insurance to work with her, worrying about travel plans and where to stay, and whether we would have to pay for WonderfulHubby's airline ticket out of pocket. I worried about who would be able to take care of my kids for so long, and I worried about how my kiddos would handle me being gone for so long (I would have to spend two weeks there to recover before flying home). And I talked to the ladies in my support group, and there are two doctors in Salt Lake who perform the surgery, and both are covered by my insurance!

So I met with the woman doctor, Dr. June Chen back in November, and really liked her, and got the date all set. That was about the time I had my last herceptin (easy chemo) treatment, and my first "regularly scheduled" mammogram. Mammogram came back clear as can be, so no worries there. Anyways, like I said in a previous post, I decided I definitely wanted to go with the reconstruction where they use your tummy fat to rebuild it (called a DIEP). There are other options, but this seemed like the best for me, especially because my tummy is my "trouble area" as far as weight goes.

Now the last week or so, I have been a bundle of nerves. I think I was less nervous when I was going in for my mastectomy, but who's to know for sure. My memory is definitely not that clear... I think what I am worried the most about is the recovery. I have been told that the tummy tuck part of the surgery takes longer to heal than the chest. So, WonderfulHubby is taking two or three weeks off work, and then my mom is coming to stay for a week, and perhaps as that is coming to an end we will see if I need any more help. Today we have kept busy doing laundry, and making sure all the shopping and errands are done. Hopefully WonderfulHubby will get a good night's rest, because we will have to wake up around 4:15 to make sure we get to the hospital for the sign-in time they gave us, 5:30! Me, well, though I prefer getting a good night's sleep, it doesn't matter as much, because I'll be sleeping most of the day because the procedure is so long.

Oh! And Dr. Chen will be removing my porta-cath as well! Woohoo! So that's one less surgery to worry about.

Also, I went in 2 weeks ago to Dr. Okawa to get my tissue expander inflated so that my scar would be smaller. We overfilled, though didn't realize until a few hours later and she had already left the office. It hurt so bad! And the percocet barely took the edge off, and made me feel sick and dizzy! Do I had a miserable couple of days before I could go back in and have her take out the excess. Dr. Okawa was sick the next day, or she would have done it then.

So that is all for now. Keep me and my family in your prayers. I'm going to have a 3 day stay afterwards, and that will be hard on my little kiddos. Thank you!!