Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Your Questions

I love the feature of my blog where I can see where my visitors come from and what keywords they googled to get here.

Some of them are the expected words like breast cancer, breast reconstruction and tissue expanders. Others leave me scratching my head. Lately, from all over the United States, I have received hits on my site for people searching for "sick chest tattoos" and "toddler pacifiers." I'm sure mastectomy scars aren't what these searchers are seeking.

Anyways, I receive a lot of private messages asking things about my treatment and tips I may have. I will list a few of the most common ones here.

What did you use during radiation to keep your skin hydrated? 
I used a combination of Miaderm, coconut oil and emu oil.
I greased up every few hours and wore an old shirt. My plastic surgeon is amazed at how good my skin looks now.

Which Minnesota doctors did you use and would you recommend them?
I would absolutely, without a doubt recommend every one of my doctors. They're amazing.

My oncologist is Dr. Hartung. She's hilarious and a straight shooter. I literally trust her with my life.

My plastic surgeon is Dr. Migliori. He is a magician and a big teddy bear. He gave me boobs....freaking awesome boobs. He has the best bedside manner and not once did I see him where he didn't hug me.

My surgeon is Dr. Bretzke. She removed my breasts and lymph nodes. She declared me cancer-free and told me she hoped to never see me again. While I love her dearly, I concur.

What size did you end up?
Yes, strangers ask me that. I find it funny and I'm glad people feel comfortable enough to ask what they want. I asked for a C, but wanted a D.  Dr Migliori said that he would do his best. I am now a 34 DD or a 36 D, depending on the brand. I'm still waiting for a good sizing at Nordstrom's. I have a feeling I might actually be a different size than I'm wearing.

The big difference with real boobs and reconstructed boobs is that I don't have that cone look to my boobs anymore, so some bras have extra material in the cup that I can't fill. Mine are round, but not stripper-ish.

 As always, I welcome your questions. Email me! :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Post Surgery

I'm sorry that I haven't updated yet.

Dr. Bretzke said that my umbilical hernia was worse than she expected, so she did have to use mesh in my stomach.
It still hurts sooooo bad. It's definitely comparable to the pain from a c-section.

When Dr. Migliori went in to take out my port, he said that I was definitely lucky that my surgery was when it was. As he cut my skin, he was able to see that the port was only about a millimeter from the surface and there was old dried blood surrounding it, like a hematoma. He thinks within a few days, my body would have expelled the port and I would have been left with an open direct line to my heart and possible infection. Thank God my surgery was when it was!

Dr. Migliori was able to place 550 ccs implants in. I am ecstatic; he wasn't sure I would be able to even get 500 ccs because of what radiation typically does to your skin. He praised me for taking such good care during the process. I think he was a little shocked that I didn't use anything special, just coconut oil.

I have very little pain in my chest and boobs for now.
I have to wear an underwire bra around the clock for three weeks.
Here are an obnoxious amount of pictures. :)

Waiting patiently for the anesthesiologist.


Because I had lymph nodes removed during my mastectomy, I can no longer have blood pressure taken or blood draws done from that arm. Doing so would put me at an even higher risk for lymphedema.
This is a little reminder for everyone in the surgery room. 

                                                       Post surgery. Good drugs!

This is me on surgery day. This picture shows all of the areas that I had worked on. I'm so swollen; I can't believe I'm posting this. 

 This is day 2. Eric and I went to Edina to meet with Dr. Migliori again. He said everything looks awesome and he was able to take off the Ace bandage. One more day until I can shower.

Dr Migs guaranteed me that my boobs would look better one the swelling went down. I'm happy with them already. The black bra I'm wearing in the picture is a D cup. I had hoped to be a large C or small D. I got my wish! I have only a tiny amount of blood around the cut he made and virtually no bruising.

                             This is my miracle worker, Dr. Migliori. Love, love, love him!!
Thanks again to everyone for the calls, emails and facebook messages. You guys are rockstars!!