May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!
~ Robert Frost
Welcome to my blog. This is my story of how I faced my risk of breast cancer, the decisions I made, the support I received and my week by week recovery from surgery. I chose to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston (March 2010). For more information on my 'Medical Team' please see tab above. I also have a wonderful circle of friends who have supported me throughout. They have provided us with lots of delicious meals and desserts. Many of those recipes are included above under "Feed the Flap" recipes. "Feed the Flap" is a term I coined when trying to increase my abdominal (fat) flap to ensure that I was a good candidate for the DIEP procedure. This was not something recommended by any medical professional, it was just something that made sense to me. I think it worked!! Feel free to join me on this journey and feel free to post comments.
Select the tabs on the left side marked Week 1, Week 2, Week 3..... to go immediately to the surgical/recovery part of this blog.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Week 4 - Day 7
Okay, so I still need Tylenol and Advil. Today I tried to go with only a couple of Advil before church, but by 2:30 pm I was reaching for the Tylenol. Not sure if I am weak, or if it's pretty normal to still need some pain meds 4 weeks after surgery. Other than the numbness and tightness in my core I feel pretty normal. Today I even wore a sports bra. Yippee!! Not sure when I will move beyond a sports bra, but it certainly is a milestone. Again, feeling more like myself. For the past few days I have been getting away from all the elastic waist pants and moving into stretchy jeans. It works as longs as the waistline isn't on my scar.
All the scabbing seems to be flaking off now. Yeah, gross, but I want to detail some of the milestones for others who someday may be reading this as they face their own surgery. For me, as I was anticipating the surgery, hearing from others who walked this path before me was the most helpful of all. Knowing what the recovery was like was a key piece in having confidence that I could do this. Of course, I expected more pain and discomfort than I have had, but I think I paid the price in the hospital those first 2-3 days.
There are a few things I will have to get used to. The first is the numbness of my breasts. Actually my whole core is numb now, but most of that should return in time. With my breasts I am not expecting to be able to actually feel them again. Well, I can feel them but in a different way. Maybe in another post I will try to really describe the feeling. One other thing I need to get used to is my new "designer" bellybutton. It's not the same one I was born with. It's different. I am sure that in time I will become accustomed to it. Same with my breasts.
Tomorrow will mark the four week anniversary of my surgery. Wow, time has really flown. It really does seem like yesterday that we were heading out to Boston and I was wrapping my mind around the fact that I was having a bilateral mastectomy. Now four weeks later I have breasts and even wore a tank top today. Also, really loving the flat belly. I do need to ask my plastic surgeon if it will stay flat even if I eat alot!!! I got some of the Feed-the-Flap recipes from friends and have been making them myself and feeling the 'stretch'.
Tomorrow I plan to start working out with Mike at 5:30am - and hopefully will get back into my pre-surgery routine. I also need to do my arm stretches - I have neglected these and find it hard to reach for things up high.
Well, Week 4 is a wrap!! Tomorrow Week 5 begins. I don't have a plan on posts, but will come up with something.