Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sugery Numero Tres

Pre-surgery blues (self portrait)

Hopefully three is a charm.

Yesterday I underwent a right mastectomy. So far, everything has gone well.

I arrived at the hospital at the requested 9:00 AM time, even though my surgery wasn't scheduled until later in the day. Apparently I had been wishy-washy on my final surgical decision and the ever-understanding Huntsman staff wanted to give me time to talk through any last minute wish-washiness.

I knew that I wanted to have a mastectomy, but I was undecided about when to do it. This is very complicated, but I will try to explain it while under the influence of Lortab:)

Actually, nevermind. I just typed up a whole page trying to explain all of my options and it didn't even make sense to me. I will try to summarize later this week.

In the meantime, this is what we did:
1. I had a right total skin/nipple sparing mastectomy. I can not describe how comforting it is to wake up and see your 'stuff' down there. I am very fortunate that my surgical oncologist is so experienced with this procedure. The same incision was used as what was used for my lumpectomy so there will be no additional scar.
2. The plastic surgeon placed what is called a tissue expander inside my breast. This is basically a balloon that can be filled as much as I like. I see 'DD' in my future:) Just kidding. I've already been getting a hard time because I choose to be the same 'small' size I was before. Already there is not much expanding left to do.
3. This approach is called the 'Burn no bridges' approach. There are a few options for final reconstruction and I will go into more detail later this week when I am more coherent, however have some time to make this decsion.

In the meantime, I have recovered well and am now at home after spending one night at Huntsman. I must say, the accommodations at Huntsman are very nice. It is kind of like staying at a fancy hotel with free room service. Shannon stayed with me so I truly had nursing care around the clock. My only post-op complication was some nausea when I got up to walk last night. It would go away as soon as I sat down. My anesthesiologist once again did a great job and I have a good appetite today.

Relieved to be done
Shannon packed my Breck Epic belt buckle to remind me how tough I am

Homemade granola bars. Yummmm. I love the compression boots. I could have taken them off hours before, but chose to continue the lower leg massage up until we left.
The view from our room. Not bad. I could see runners
and cyclists on the Shoreline all morning:(

It is ironic how crazy busy I made myself last week prior to surgery trying to get things done. I wanted to get some 'last chance' workouts in, clean the house, stock the cupboards, etc, etc. Now I have endless amounts of downtime ahead of me. I can already tell that it is going to be a long week or so while I wait to have the drains removed and can start to be able to use my right arm more.
I really appreciate all of the notes and well wishes I have been receiving. It means so much. And now I will actually have some time to respond:)


  1. You are an incredibly strong woman! Please shout if you need anything brought to you during your down time.

  2. Rest and recover Jen. Thinking of you.

  3. This surgery ain't got nothing on you! Glad to see you are doing well. Take some time to rest, no matter how much it sucks!