The week of June 15th, I called Dr Schwartzberg office to say that both my consults went well and I was happy with Dr Capraro and Dr Sedlacek. I was ready to move forward with the new team. Dr Schwartzberg’s office said they would check schedules and let me know the date of my mastectomy surgery; it usually could be scheduled in 2 weeks.
At the end of the week my surgery was scheduled for July 7, 2015.
I had read a lot blogs before surgery and all had stressed the fact that since you will have your pectoral muscles cut you will have very limited arm movement. I would only be able to wear certain clothes, I would need help in the shower, I may even need help in the bathroom. I could not hold the hand rail on stairs, open doors. I would have a 10 lb limit for the first few weeks, and the therapist said that my first exercises should be to make a first, and only if I felt good I could try about 4 reps with 3lb weights. Level 1 and 2 exercises.
I spent two weeks before surgery walking around the house like a T-Rex trying to imaging who it would be. Could I make myself a coffee? How could I safely walk down our wood staircase from the bedroom to the living room? There are 17 wooden steps, I could break my neck f I fell.
The rest of June, and the beginning of July was very busy;
- For the rest of the month we made frozen dinners like crazy.
- For the rest of the month I exercised and built up my core muscles and tried to do things without using my arms as much as possible.
- We bought a recliner.
- We bought a load of stuff in preparation for the mastectomy apocalypse. I got a lot of my preparation information from blogs and Cancer websites. Here are a few sites that helped me;
- http://www.tiddybearcomfortstrap.com I wanted one of these so bad, but there were none available.
- http://www.amazon.com/Brobe-womens-Recovery-Robe-medium-navy/ This was an essential.
- http://www.amazon.com/Brobe-Womens-Shower-Small-Medium/ If you can’t afford the Brobe, at least get this!
- http://www.amazon.com/ Flushable Wipes For days you don’t have energy to shower
- http://www.amazon.com/ Tilting bed table
- http://www.amazon.com/ Reacher/Graber with magnetic tip
- http://www.amazon.com/ Long Reach Comfort Wipe BTW I did not need this, but the hubs and me felt a lot better knowing we had it
- http://www.amazon.com/ Bed Rest I actually used this on the sofa during recovery
- I also bought a lot of books on Cancer recovery, anti cancer diets and supplements
- On June 18th I set up a secret group on Facebook for friends and family. I called it “Saying Goodbye to the Girls” and all I could think of was the Squeeze song Goodbye Girl. I had difficulty using the correct terms so I joked quite a lot and talked about saying goodbye to the girls and welcoming Pinky and Perky, the reconstructed boobs. The group turned out to be a nice place to update friends without blasting to the Facebook world. The hubs was able to update friends and post photos that were a little to personal for some of my Facebook friends.
- There were a lot of people I didn’t tell. I didn’t want sympathy, I just wanted support. I thought some people might go overboard or panic. I didn’t want to tell some people until after surgery when I knew more. If all went well I could say I had cancer, but I’d had a mastectomy and all the cancer was removed, I’m fine, I’m going to be okay, don’t worry.
- On June 25th I had an appointment at Dr Schwartzberg’s office to sign consent forms. I met with their health insurance person to sign forms and commit to paying for the work even if my insurance wouldn’t. I was warned that insurance may not pay for an assistant for Dr Schartzberg, but that it would be no more than $400 (note added later, it was $575. We knew about this and the hospital $250 deductible, but were also billed for a few other things such as pathology $175 and a couple of things Dr Capraro required before surgery; EKG and chest X-Ray)
- I was supplement and alcohol free 2 weeks before surgery. This was a lot more difficult than I thought it might be. Some of my supplements were to help with inflammation and general aches and pains. My knee grumbled a bit and I was sure I was going to have another arthritis flare-up. I contacted Dr Schwarzberg to find out if it would be okay if I needed a steroid shot for my knee. She said yes, but I used ice, walked when it looked like it was going to swell and willed my knee to behave and not balloon into a stiff painful mess.
- On Jun 29th I had an appointment with Capraro to sign consent forms and get blood work chest X-ray and EKG done. I also got a 2 page list prescription list – Holy moly! I hadn’t had a prescription for 19 years, so I felt really weird going to a Pharmacy and walking out with a bag o’ drugs.
- The beginning of July I made a cast of the girls! There was enough to make two which was just as well because the first one didn’t come out so well. http://www.proudbody.com/Boobie_Bust_Breast_Casting_Kit_p/7000.htm
- On July 4th we had friends round to celebrate and watch fireworks. My first teetotal July 4th!
- On July 6th I had an appointment with Dr Capraro to be marked up for surgery. Very colorful!
- Random thoughts about my surgery. No regrets or second thoughts about my decision. I really did expect to worry, but I didn’t, I remained very calm, I slept well before the day of the surgery, I was so ready.