Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Boobies are here!

Boy, have I been remiss! Things around here have been crazy, so I haven’t posted in a few weeks. I’d wanted to post right after my visit with my oncologist, Dr. Nakajima. I’ll write more about that after I tell you about my new boob surgery. If you’ve got some time, I’ll give you the update!

First, thankfully, my column is doing well. You can read my latest about Valentine’s Day here.

Secondly, the reconstruction process. I’d told you about the right side, and how they took fat & tissue from my lower abdomen to fashion a new, and quite breath taking, boobie! All it needs is for the scars to fade and then we’ll slap a nipple on that bad boy & it’ll be good as new.

I had surgery, which I told you about in my last post, on the left side. They had taken about half of that breast, but left the nipple & stuff. However, now that ol’ righty is looking good, I kind of wanted them to match. Call me crazy.

Here’s me directly after surgery – no makeup on. I’ve never in my adult life allowed anyone other than my family (and of course surgeons & nurses) to see me without it. You can now see why. I promise, though, I don’t have a double chin. I had my shoulder up, cradling the left boob so it looks like I’m HUGE. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no skinny little thing. Still, my face isn’t that bloated looking. I think I'd been awake for about half hour at this point.

Hey, I posted a photo after surgery – I’m allowed to be a little defensive about it. Right? Anyways, here it is; don’t hurl:

Dr. Topham inserted a saline implant under the muscle on that side, hoping that would be all I’d need to balance the girls out. Unfortunately, the left nipple is still looking at the floor, which is weird, but mostly sad. It looks like it’s depressed. Dr. Topham said that it’s because of how much was taken out of it, and then when they sutured me, it kind of sealed the deal.

So, what does that mean? Another round of surgery for me! Woo Hoo! They’re going to do something called a mastopexy, which is the big, doctorfied way to say breast lift. I’ve looked it up, but I still don’t understand. They’re going to make an incision around the nipple and vertically below. How in the world do you lift something up from the bottom? I guess I thought that the incision would be on top of the breast. I have visions of them putting little jacks under my boob & using hydraulics to lift it up. But I’ll ask Dr. Topham & get back to you on that.

I went to see Dr. Nakajima, my oncologist. He’s such a nice man; and he’s cute, but I don’t think he knows it. I wanted to take a photo of him, and he insisted that everyone in the office be in it. He said that it’s not just him who takes care of me – isn’t that adorable??? Thing was, I was running late & left my camera on the kitchen counter. Not to be deterred, I took a few with my Blackberry.

Here’s the thing – I can’t take a clear picture of a snail taking a nap under normal conditions. But with a phone camera, the odds were really stacked against me.

The irony that I have a daughter who owns a photography studio and runs around taking pictures for a living has NOT escaped me here!

Still, I took about 4 photos, which in the view finder, looked OK. I got them home and plugged them into the computer and sat staring at 4 unbelievably fuzzy pictures. You could make out the faces, but it was kind of like one of those Magic Eye photos. Ugh. So, I’ll be sure to bring my camera with me when I see him in a few months.

Since I’m now the big 50, we need to determine if I should stay on Tamoxifen. From my understanding, after cancer & chemo, your ovaries stop working. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in menopause. So since I wasn’t menopausal (is it just me, or does that sound an awfully lot like homicidal?), I was put on Tamoxifen. If the blood work shows that I’ve now slid headfirst into menopause, they have to change the medicine. I’m really not sure of all the particulars, but I trust Dr. Nakajima.

In order to test me, however, I have to stop taking the Tamoxifen for 2 weeks, then have my blood drawn & tested. That’s how they’ll find out if I’m undergoing “the change”!

That sounds like I’m turning into some type of beast. Although, from some horror stories that I’ve heard, that may be what it is – yikes!

Anyway, if it looks like I’m changing, I’ll have to take another drug called Arimidex. At least I think that’s what Dr. Nakajima said.

So there you have the update in a nutshell. 

As for my career, I'm kind of up in the air if I want to still keep writing "real" journalist stories for Allentown Examiner. I kind of want to, since it was because of that job that I got to meet Donovan McNabb & Scott Palmer. This year, I want to interview Michael Vick at training camp. Even though I work for another "real" paper, I don't have press credentials with them; I'm just a dumb columnist. I guess now that I've written it down, I'm pretty much leaning with actual work - for once. 

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but laziness is her red headed stepchild who occasionally comes down from the attic to actually do something. I guess it's time to lower the stairs.

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