Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


This post courtesy of Norco (pain meds) so I claim no responsibility for errors or inappropriate content.

If you are ever visiting with me in person, and I offer to show you my boobs, don't freak out. They're no different to me than my knees now. I forget that is not the case for whomever I speaking with! LOL

First I had an important meeting in the morning, then race home to get Dean.

We arrived at the surgery center exactly on time, check in took just a second and we were brought back to the pre-op area. The nurse came in to do her things and go over the list of things I was scheduled for. She got to "bilateral nipple removal" and I said. "I've decided to keep them for now."

Then my surgeon came in. She told me the fluid she aspirated from my right breast last week came back with infection and they cultured it to make sure they're treating it with the right antibiotics. However, because we're now opening that area it is very possible I will develop much more significant infection so I will need to make weekly visits until I'm past the risk period.

Then I told her I decided to keep my nipples. She was ok with it, however she pointed out the problems with my left nipple - the one that pointed west - and why she thinks it will be a problem when I have my exchange surgery in a few months. So, with that, I said goodbye to my nipples yesterday.

In surgery she first started on my left breast to avoid spreading infection from the other side. She cleaned up a LOT of scar tissue. She also ended up replacing the tissue expander on that side as a precautionary measure due to infection risk. She also removed the nipple.

On the right side there was even more scar tissue than the left, which is what pulled the tissue expander  over under my arm. She drained a lot of fluid out, removed the nipple and replaced the expander.

After surgery I was in A LOT of pain. A 9 or 10. They gave me another boost in my IV to get me home (this was an outpatient procedure) but ti didn't really cut it. My doctor came to check on me and offered to send me over to the hospital because my pain level was too high. After discussion with Dean (because I was not clear headed) she gave me a written script for some really strong stuff and bump though my IV to get home. Unfortunately there were problems filling that script and my pain level was climbing. Eventually we got it sorted out and I was able to sleep the whole night.

This morning I'm feeling much better. Pain level is very tolerable and I just took my next dose of meds. My range of motion is already better than it was before surgery! All that scar tissue was causing a lot of problems. But today I can raise my arms over my head, and the "iron bra" sensation is gone. Well, at least I'm not noticing it with pain meds on board.

In the end, this surgery was not only necessary because of the infection and ruptured expander, but so very much a relief getting all that scar tissue removed.

I have to add a HUGE thank you to our friend Roc! She got all our kids off buses, made dinner and generally did an excellent job of keeping the kids occupied. Thanks so much Roc!!!


Stephanie said...

Yay! Glad to hear everything went well and that you are feeling much better. Keep on the road to recovery!

eliz said...

:o) glad to hear all went well........well except for the pain. (((HUG)))
Good to hear you had wonderful help!

Cindy said...

So glad everything went well and that you have such a great range of motion! If I ever come to visit and you ask if I want to see your boobs, I'll try to just act casual. :)

Imogen said...

Wow, you sure have been on a rollercoaster of a journey. I wish you all the very best on the road to a speedy recovery. Nature (in regard to cancer) can be a b**ch, but thank goodness for marvelous medicines and surgery. Hang in there! Hopefully the pain meds will continue to offer decent pain relief until your body heals. Gentle hugs to you xx