Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The complicated reality

Yesterday was the day to see if my right nipple had made it or not. It is with a tinge of sadness that I say it didn't. Deep down I knew. It almost makes me angry with myself for not just telling them to spare only my left one during my mastectomy. But they thought they'd be able to save it...

God said no is all. And that's just fine. Seeing as I wouldn't be able to breast feed should we have kids down the line anyway, it was purely for aesthetics. Plus I have plenty of options. The first thing they tell me to try and cheer me up is that they can make me one with skin grafting taken from my thigh.

Maybe I'm weird, but I prefer to leave my Barbie-style franken as is. 

It's a reminder of everything I have been through. I have heard and read other women speaking about how much breast cancer is glossed over with pink ribbons and all the stories of survivorship. Which is all wonderful and I embrace it wholeheartedly, but to me, the scars and my nipple-less breast? This is reality.  This is what it's REALLY like.

It's not an incident that I can play pretend at as though it never occurred. I don't want them to fix me up like I'm some broken doll. I'm not broken. I'm simply different now and I'm stronger for it. 

Getting back to what all went down on Monday... 

I was taken back to the room where they'd do my revision before Mowlavi even looked at me. The solution helped out very well on my left side. Looks almost as it did pre-surgery. The right? I apologize to anybody with a weak constitution, but it had turned black, flat and dried out. Almost like the thickest scab you can imagine. Not just the nipple, but the areola below it and a lot of surrounding area. At least a couple inches of the skin on my breast had flat out died. Sorry sorry... it was really disgusting. :\

They warn you of complications prior to surgery of course, but just like thinking you're impervious to getting a disease like cancer in the first place, you don't think it will happen to you. 

I'm here to say it did, and there isn't a whole lot of information to find about it online either. Breast or nipple necrosis after surgery for breast cancer are not exactly a hot subject. Can't imagine why not. ;) Hahaha.

My revision was to remove 200cc of my saline from my right expander, and to have the dead skin cut out. Jason sat in the room as they did it and I'm so grateful he did, but I wish he hadn't watched it. I never once took my gaze off the ceiling or light above me. 

They numb you up really well before doing  this, but you still feel the tugging and everything. Oh, and nothing like being aware as you smell your own skin a sizzlin' from cauterization. Lol! This post is full of appetite prevention. 

Magically, and by God's grace, he removed all the yucky skin and sewed me back up. Says I'll be able to shower regularly by Thursday, and that he can refill it in 2 weeks. 

My new scar will be more like the traditional straight line across the middle of my breast. And besides my little in office procedure, I had my drains removed! YAY! Unpleasant bit to that? My left side was not nearly as numb so when he took out the drains on that side, it hurt. Oh. And then I could feel him stitching me. 

But seriously, compared to other things I've endured, that was pretty mild. I napped for a couple hours once we got back home that day. I didn't feel much pain yet.

Today I was exhausted and have a fair amount of pain again. Such a bummer considering I had been doing really well and was about back to normal before this incident. Oddly enough, the pain is not so much on my chest as it is down my right arm. My dutifully awesome hubby called to make sure this was normal. They said it was, and that it was like deferred pain. 

Whatever it is, it sucks! I pray it goes away sooner rather than later.

Well, that's all my excitement for now. I accept the Lord's will with all this and I shall continue to trust him. He has a reason for everything. :)

God bless you all and have a great week!

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."  Romans 5:5


  1. your strength amazes me Anjanette. I can't imagine going through what you are and being as amazing as you are about it. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family dear.

  2. Hang in there girl!! I had a nipple spraing on my R so they had to reconstruct the left. It looks absolutely amazing and I'm so impressed with how well it matches. I don't mind sending you pics at all if you want to see for comparison/research/educations sake!