Tag Archives: breast

BLO Update: 1 Mo post surgery

It was exactly 4 weeks on 2/17, so it seems like its time for an update on the BLO and my health in general.

Since getting the go ahead on 2/13 to start exercising, I’ve done a Yoga or Pilate’s workout everyday. So I’m pretty much constantly sore from using muscles that haven’t done much of anything for months now. It feels good, and I’m progressing nicely. J. got my balance ball inflated, so I’ll be adding that into my daily workouts for variety.

I’m the same weight post surgery as pre. I don’t have pre surgery measurements, but I’m beginning to track them going forward.

The BLO is . . . well . . . it is there. It is rather uncomfortable, gets in the way, and I frequently have muscle cramps that create an indentation in the top of the BLO (the implant is under my pectoral muscles, so that makes sense). My surgeon told me that 6 mos and as much as a year is common to ‘get used to it’.

I feel its lopsided, and weirdly shaped. The scar bulges at either end and there is a lot of it on my side (which is what gets in the way). The diff between the two sides of my chest is quite noticeable. Even with a bra and top on.

(MORE) surgery or coming to terms with it are my only options. Given my other issues coming up, I’m going to try and ignore it until late June, and then I’ll see. (Not that I’ll stop paying attention along the way.)

In the silver lining department: my pain level is essentially at zero, with occasional moments of discomfort and the cramping feeling. All of the stretching is really helping, and the ouch from that is largely discountable as being normal. Also: the comfrey creme  D. made for me is working incredibly well. The scar is healing very quickly and cleanly. The difference from week to week is noticeable and dramatic. I’m normally someone who scars easily, with scars that last a long (long) time. I truly feel her creme has made a specifically measurable difference. Last: my sense of energy, of vitality, is returning. The well is still low, but no longer depleted. I feel quite healthy and strong and my energy levels are quite high — especially given the long working hours I’ve had recently.

All in all: I am doing well.

Surgery v2, The Next Day

My surgery went very well . . . I think. I was unconscious for most of it. 🙂 My anesthesiologist was incredibly good. And I must say  that if you or any member of your family needs reconstructive work done in this area (cosmetic or otherwise) this place is highly recommended.

Yesterday and now today I *am* in a lot of pain, but that’s just a part of what needs to happen. I won’t know how I really *feel* until next week. I have a followup on Tuesday morning — and NO SHOWER until then!

I was taken into the OR at about 8am, and John was brought back to see me in the recovery room about 11:30am. Not too much later we were at Starbucks having a latte and egg sandwich on pumpernickel while my ‘scrips got filled. Home ’round 1pm and then I went to sleep for a few hours while John took Sasha swimming.

VERY different from the first procedure. Of course, I was on such heavy meds the 1st time that I didn’t hurt at all, and that’s not the case now. Oh well. The pain will pass.

OK, enough typing. I’m off to read a book.

Thanks for the well wishes

Having a Biopsy

I’ve been managing to not worry too much about the biopsy, which was scheduled for several weeks after my second mammogram. But the night before it all hit me pretty hard and I was (for me) very upset. I managed it by having a very good workout (30 mins of cardio and strength training combined), a hot shower, a couple of videos, a glass of wine, and a very good book.

I got a pretty good nights’ sleep and had a light breakfast before I left. I considered skipping breakfast, but realized that I’d probably get VERY shaky if I let my blood sugar drop too much. So, toast, ricotta and jam it was.

NOTE: I’ll be pretty blunt and graphic in this next part, so if you will feel like a voyeur, or get queasy at medical procedures, do NOT read any further.

ok. you were warned. no squeamishness.

The technician and radiologist were very explanatory and thorough. They went through the whole procedure with me before they started, and did a good job of talking throughout so I wasn’t surprised by anything (mostly, but I’ll get to that). Basically, my breast was washed with a chemical to clean the skin of biologicals and a mark made on the surface to indicate where (below the surface) the nodule was located. They verified this with the ultrasound. (Yes, I did for a moment hope that it had disappeared in the interim weeks.)

They then insert a very small needle (they warned me it would feel like a bee sting) and inject that area of the breast with lidocaine to numb it thoroughly. After its numbed out, they insert a larger needle with a kind of suction tube on the end of it. That tube goes right to the nodule and — with a “snap” like an electric stapler — sucks a tube of material right out of it. They collect 3-5 of these samples.

We had a funny moment when I explained that I hoped it wasn’t really like a bee sting — I’m allergic to them. In truth, it was far less painful than getting Novocaine at the dentist. They did, however, have to give me a double dose, as I was clearly feeling the needle probing. (Typical of me and my nanosecond of pain threshold. I truly believe I ‘burn off’ the first dose and it takes a second dose to actually numb the necessary area.)  The “snap” was loud, but the radiologist would say “OK, 1.2.3” so I could concentrate more full yon my breathing to keep from flinching. (It didn’t hurt, it was just startling.)

They tell me there was very little blood, and I should heal up fine. Now, several hours later, my breast is quite sore and a bit swollen. I have to wear a ice pad (its shaped like one of those individual coffee pods) on and off again for 24 hours (not while I sleep though). I also have to wear a bra for 24 hours. (Thank goodness I don’t wear an under-wire.)

I am quite proud of myself for maintaining a truly calm space. I was breathing well and it allowed me to get to a very relaxed place. It’s only afterwards that I find myself saying:

Now I REALLY get to worry.