6 week follow-up – October 8, 2015

Today I had a follow up meeting with the Plastic Surgeon and I almost left in tears. It was my first since August 27. My understanding was they would take photos and discuss surgery. The conversation was a little strained.

They took photos and then I waited for the doctor. He looked at the photos and talked about removing the hard tissue expanders and what he may have to do; a little bit of alloderm here, an little bit of fat or liposuction there to balance things up. He then started talking about size. I really don’t want to be bigger or smaller than I was, but answering his questions was difficult.

  • They took out roughly 350ml of tissue from each.
  • I only found that out after 400 had been added.
  • I’ve heard you need a little extra because implants are a little wider and rounder.
  • Also, my old boobs were sagging 50 year old boobs, now I have 2 hard lumps that stick out, no sag.
  • I have no idea what 400ml implants will look like compared to saline filled tissue expanders.

When I told him I felt a little large, I can feel them under my armpits, I lose food down my huge cleavage. I wanted to know how different the implant would be, would they sag a little and seem smaller, or should I size down a little. If they will feel exactly like what I have, it’s too big. If they settle and don’t look like I’m wearing an over the top push up bra, I’d be okay.

The conversation went in different directions. He went back to the original images before surgery where he wrote C/D or larger. I said that was a misinterpretation of what I said. I had said I’m a C/D depending on the make of bra (usually C). I want to be the same, but if its not an accurate science, I’d prefer to err on larger (I don’t want to be smaller than I was). He said it was okay if I had changed my mind. I said I didn’t change my mind.

He asked if I was okay at 300 mls. I said I was more comfortable, so he suggested they take out 100 mls today and let me get used to that for 2 weeks. I was more comfortable because they didn’t stick out as much. Shit, 200 mls was comfortable too, but I don’t want to be that size.

So we got into a weird bargaining conversation with him suggesting I go down to 350 mls for a few weeks. I tried to ask again if a 400 ml implant would look similar to what I had. He then said that “some” people perceive the implant to be about 15% smaller. Okay, that works for me. End of story, I thought.

He then started talking about me needing to know what I want. He couldn’t help me if I didn’t know what I want. Apparently he didn’t understand that I’m having a problem understanding what I’m going to get. He suggested I go home and talk with my spouse or friend and decide. He then wants me to come back next week with my decision and they will reduce the tissue expander volume, or we’ll talk about moving forward with the surgery.

Crappola! I have an appointment on Monday and I’m no closer to planning for the exchange surgery.

3 thoughts on “6 week follow-up – October 8, 2015”

  1. Hi Mandy, im not great on facebook keeping upto date but had a go today and after seeing your picture finally got my memory working and then saw your text. All the best for your fight with breast cancer and note between the lines that you like me are confronting it head on. You need lots of courage for that…… and most people dont understand that way of dealing with it… even doctors…. but its the best way…..look at in the eyes and give it a punch. You may already know I have had breast cancer since 2008 (44) and secondaries since 2010. I’ve even studied to modify my protocol away from the standard. Luckily I’ve found a consultant in Italy who let me do that. I see you live in America and sounds like your getting advanced treatment. Unfortunalely I wasn’t so lucky in 2008 deciding to get operated in what should have been a centre of excellence in. Rome. I didn’t get a mastectomy and I think mistakes were made such that even the secondaries I had by 2009 were only found by me in 2010. I trsnsferred t

  2. Sorry text finished. I transferred to a small hospital in Tuscany where im getting excellent care. Im currently back on chemotharapy….. hopefully it will work. My total no. Of cycles so far since 2008 are 25. On Tuesday start 26th and the next Tues 27th then a week of rest. In 2010 I had 3 months stolive and s year at most if reacted to. Chemo. 7 years on still here to tell the story. Breast cancer is the most heterogeneous cancer that exists so none of us are exactly the same… not even to a mother. Its an illness that can be cured if caught early or even lue dormant for 20 years or more before it spreads. Unfortunalely in my case it spread within a year but I feel very lucky cos im still here against the odds. So keep on taking it by the horns as you are doing. Try to reduce the stress factors from your life. I saw you were even getting dietary advice e.t.c which you wouldn’t get in Europe and I can assure you those aspects are extremly important. Feel free to contact me if you need advice…. even easier by text on phone 00393487544921. Take care x Diane Goodsir. chemo. 5 years on still here

  3. Oh Diane, what a rollercoaster you have been on, and what an inspiration you are! I am so happy you are alive and took action to find the care and expertise you need. It is very easy to lay back and follow what doctors suggest; that didn’t work for my mother so I was more prepared than most. Luckily my surgeon and oncologist were okay with my decisions even though I’m sure they think I went a little overboard with requesting a double mastectomy. It’s a more common request these days because we have the Internet and access to other people’s stories about dormancy and recurrence.

    I agree, diet is way more important to health than most doctors think. Most don’t get trained on nutrition, they’re trained to follow a protocol with surgery and drugs as their main tools. As soon as I got the pathology results I stopped eating sugar and started to wean myself onto an alkaline diet. I’m not great at sticking to it, but I’m sure I’ll get more used to it.

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