Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A nipple for Lucy - kind of

Sorry I haven’t written for a while! I’ll try to catch you up as best I can.

Before I do, would you mind including my friend, Stacey Kemmerer, in your prayers? I’m at the end of my battle, but there are SO many women out there on the battlefield, fighting the good fight, but needing as much help as they can get. It seriously freaks me out that cancer hasn’t been eradicated. What with all the foundations dedicated to finding the cure, you’d think we’d be much farther along in our understanding of this horrible disease.

Unfortunately, many charities have lost their way and are using the funds for things that have nothing to do with cancer research. Susan G. Komen, in MY OPINION (if I don’t say that, I can get sued – they have tons of lawyers on hand to keep an eye on people like me. And sue, sue, sue, sue, sue – that should really be their motto – in my opinion), is the worst. If you learn nothing from this blog, please know that many, many women who blog about cancer feel the same way about this organization that should be ashamed of themselves – in my opinion. If you’d like to read more about them & others, I wrote a four part series for AOL’s “Patch”. The first two parts were about my experiences with cancer; parts three and four deal with what many of my blogging sisters refer to as “pinkwashing”. Here’s the links to those articles:

Okey doke, I’ll get off my soap box! On to what’s been going on.

Dr. Morrissey has a new doctor working with him. His name is Jason Dos Santos & he is so freaking sweet! I keep forgetting to bring my camera to appointments, and I haven’t taken a decent picture with my Blackberry in, let me think . . . oh, let’s see. When was the last time I took a decent picture with my phone? Oh, yeah, I know – never. Soooo, I found his photo on line (if you’re reading this, Jason, please don’t kill me for putting this up). Here he is:

Cute, right?

Okay, back to nipples.

After the new nipple surgery, I was feeling pretty awesome. It looked amazing. Dr. Morrissey put a skin graft on half of it – the top half. Of course, that’s what I see when I’m looking down, so that was cool. Then he created the nipple mound using what’s called a “skate flap”.

Before I forget, Dr. Morrissey said he didn’t think it would hurt much. Now, I consider myself a seasoned surgical veteran, and hence, a bit of a connoisseur of levels of pain. I’m also fairly sure that I have a little higher tolerance than most. Much to my chagrin, I discovered that due to all these surgeries, I’m highly tolerant of percocet. Which really, really sucks. Anyways, when I saw him for a follow up visit, I told him to never tell a woman that it doesn't hurt again. Well, I think I might have said something snarky like, “it hurt, you ass”. I hope not THAT snarky, but I say so many dumb things, it’s hard to keep them all straight. Anyways, it’ll hurt because they’re taking skin & fat from other places on your body. The breast mound has no nerve endings, so there’s no pain there. But I don’t care who you are, if someone slices off some of your skin, it’s gonna hurt. And I don’t know why (and I kept forgetting to ask) but my side and a small area on my stomach was really, really sore for weeks. Sore, however, I can deal with.

But I digress.

For the first week or two, everything went great. Matt & I even went on a weekend get away to celebrate our 25 years of marriage; to each other - with all 25 years served consecutively (giggle).

Then, it began to ooze. And a small part near the projection site turned green. Originally, I thought it was infected, but Jason said that my body rejected that portion of the graft & cut it off. The projection began to look smaller. Then the oozing stopped and scabs began to form. Then the scabs would fall off, the oozing started again, and the nipple began to shrink again. Long story short, the projection is almost nothing. Which really, really sucks. Now don’t get me wrong. Dr. Morrissey told me that shrinkage was normal and expected.

Gotta be honest, though. Every time he said that, all I could think of was the “Hamptons” episode of “Seinfeld” where Jerry’s girlfriend walked in after George had been swimming. Shrinkage, baby, shrinkage! “It shrinks like a frightened turtle”. Apparently, my nipple channeled a frightened turtle. And soon became little more than a pimple.


I had the option of having Dr. Morrissey do a 3-D tattoo. After the nipple had healed, I was going to have the areola tattooed to match ol’ lefty anyways. But all I could think about was I could have done that in the first place. So, I’m electing to give it another try. Tomorrow. If the nipple doesn’t take this time, I’ll just leave it alone & have the tattoo.

Tonight, I’m getting things ready for tomorrow’s surgery. I’ll write more, probably this weekend. I’ll explain what happens after surgery, and what you run around wearing in such a sensitive area. Curious, now, aren’t you?

I also want to tell you about the wonderful staff at St. Luke’s Quakertown campus. From checking in to pre-admission testing, the people are wonderful. I can’t wait to tell you about Fran, my awesome & beautiful (really) pre-admission nurse.

Talk to you in a few days!! In the meantime, feel free to leave your comments here. Or, you can “Like” me on Facebook. Here’s the link to that – The Brunette Lucy. I mostly post stupid stuff, but I also answer anyone who writes to me. Here’s a few examples of my dumb Facebook posts.

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it was meant to be...if it doesn't come back it was never yours to begin with. BUT, if it just sits in your living room, messes up your stuff, eats all of your food, uses your phone, takes your money and doesn't appear to realize you set it either married it or gave birth to it!

If you’ve gauged huge holes in your ears and don’t keep Oreo cookies in them for snacks, then what the hell’s the point?

A friend took going to jail badly. He refused all offers of food & drink, spat at people, swore at anyone who came near him, and smeared the walls with his own feces.

We are NEVER playing Monopoly again.

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