Friday, March 18, 2016

So many roads to recovery

Yesterday I underwent surgery to reverse the tram-flap breast reconstruction which has caused me so much pain since I had it done in January 2015.  It was ambulatory surgery lasting only two hours, but since I have diminished lung compacity, and experienced acute respiratory failure after the original reconstruction, I worried terribly that I'd wake up intubated again, and have to be admitted.  To my great relief, everything went well, and I woke with no tube, and was able to be discharged a couple of hours later.  Yay!
My sister, of course, accompanied me, waited for me, and then took me to dinner before going home.  She is a great source of strength for me, and I am so thankful.
Had I just had my double mastectomy back in October 2013, I would have have been left basically flat-chested and scarred.  As it is, I had the reconstruction AND basically the deconstruction, leaving me quite a bit more impacted.  It is only the day after the operation, so I'm hoping it will improve some once I've healed a bit, but for the most part I think I will remain fairly deformed.  Quite dented in some places, protruding in others.  Ugh.
I am in qutie a bit of new pain from being cut open again.  Extremely sore and tight.  To be expected for a while, I guess.  It will take a while before I can adequately assess the overall pain experience.
Its been a long hard road since I was first diagnosed with breast cancer two and a half years ago.  I hope this is the last of my operations, and that the pain will dissapate or at least be tolerable.  That is my primary focus.
The range of motion in my arms has lessened even more with this procedure.  After some recovery time, when I am able to do light exercising of my limbs, this may improve.
I've had good moral and emotional support from my friends and family, and am very lucky in that respect.
The visual deformity will take some time to overcome, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually.  It is, though, secondary, to the aspect of pain which has been the most debilitating during this past year or so.  I just have to be gentle to myself, and try to accept, with grace, what has transpired.
Of course I have drains in place again... two of them, and am really hoping they can be removed after a couple of weeks, and not have to remain for the six to eight weeks I had them after the first two operations. They are just an annoyance, and pretty disgusting to have to deal with.
Having lost my mom, just shortly after the reconstruction last year, has been one of the hardest things to deal with.  There is something inside of me that just so needs to share with her what I have been going through.  Of course I do "talk" to her, and trust that her and my dad are watching over me.
On another note, Spring arrives shortly, and with it we are expecting another snow storm here in New York City. Predictions are ranging from a possible  eight inches, though some readings say it may just move out to sea.  Personally, I'm hoping for the snow, as I'm not exactly ready to say good-bye to winter just yet. I'm really not that impacted by it, since I'm mostly staying home anyway.  I kind of like the cozy quiet feel of being snowed in for a little while.
So, I am on the road to recovery yet again.  Going to try my best to regain some normality to my life once and for all.


  1. I am happy to read that the surgery went well and you are now on the road to recovery. It has been far too long a road for you. I know the "deformity" issue will be a hurdle and I remember well my "tyrannosaurus rex" limited range of motion arms. But hands together and fingers crossed that the surgery at least solves the pain so you can begin the healing process.

  2. barbara, i'm very glad to hear this correction is behind you (an ironic statement, not intended!)

    I feel confident your pain will be less and you will be active again. I'm so glad you have support. keep your camera nearby; spring will be waiting for you.

    your pal kj

  3. My 17th surgery was the last time I will ever allow some damn doctor inside of me. That said, your scars, lumps, divots and the rest are only ugly to you if you perceive of them as such. Personally if they gave you a days more life than not they are a wonder to have. Getting over the pain of surgery to discover its effectiveness is always a waiting game that is never fun, smoke some weed or eat some (even better).

    I wish you well and may this last surgery put your problems in the rear view mirror forever to the end of your days.


Thank you for reading my blog, and spending some time with me... I am truly honored.