Monday, March 23, 2015
As of tomorrow, you may call me One-Eyed Willie.
Although it would be an eye without a pupil, if we're speaking metaphorically here. (Yes, I'm talking about my boobs.) Maybe One-Eyeballed Willie. No, wait - Wilhelmina. One-Eyeballed Wilhelmina. Let's at least find some. damn. way. to keep me feminine, here...
Let's start from the beginning. "You told me to go back to the beginning...so I have. This is where I am, this is where I will stay. I will NAHBEMOVED!!" What moooovie?
Kay, so. I had radiation for six and a half weeks. All but the last four days were kind of in a big square going from between the boobs and over to my side, and then from just under my boob to my clavicle or so. And you guys know this. When my skin started burning, I had a really awesome wound in my armpit. I'm seriously extremely pleased to report that the armpit has healed up really nicely! Gorgeous, new, pink skin up in there. Thank goodness.
The last four days of radiation were called the "bump up" days. They only radiated along my scar. Like if there was a big, fat caterpillar on my scar, that's the area that was hit. And I could tell that the length of time that they hit it was longer. It buzzed there FOREVER. I was really glad that I didn't have to breathe shallowly for that part, though. And I figured that, if I had some blistering and open-wound action in that area, it wouldn't matter that much, because I don't have a ton of feeling on that skin.
As predicted, the area got very red and started blistering. I was doing the proper burn wound care and all that. A week ago or so, I was pushing Gage along the street on his bike (he can't figure out how to continuously pedal, and in my overzealousness, I pushed it too hard - kind of my MO), and I pulled my left pec. Oh the PAIN!! I don't know what the deal was, but the pec, plus the radiated, messed up flesh in there - the combo was horrible. I had to stay in bed for two days straight. Eventually, the pec healed, and I was back to my normal wound care stuff.
I've gone back to my radiologist to have her look at my skin a couple of times, and as recently as Friday, I was doing well.
That all changed today. I went to change my dressing, and, um, well...if my scar is the zipped up ziplock bag, it had unzipped. It was so gross, you guys. SO GROSS!!!!
And I could see my tissue expander right there. Through the huge gaping hole on my boob.
Again, the pain wasn't horrid, because my nerve endings are pretty much shot right there. So at least there's that. I went to my radiologist's office, and she urged me to see my plastic surgeon as soon as possible. So I got in to see him, and he told me that sometimes, after you've been radiated, your body is trying heal up the skin and all that jazz, and that's when it finally dawns on your body that you have this foreign tissue expander in. And it wants to kick that expander out.
So here's the game plan - I have surgery in the morning. They'll take the tissue expander completely out and sew me shut. We can't put another one in. I will be concave on my left. In a few months, they will have to give me a tummy tuck - yes, you read that right - to harvest skin from my tummy and make essentially a big old patch to put on top of my silicone implant on my left side. The right side will go as originally planned - deflate my right side tissue expander, make a little cut, slide it out, slide the silicone one in, sew it up. Badda bing, badda boom. I wish it could be that simple for Leftie, but that's life, right?
So until then, I will have one fake, hard-as-a-rock boob on the right, and I will be concave on the left. Yeah. But I'm not mad about it. It's just temporary. I'm soooo past the point of caring about how I look. I look like Frankenstein. I've made peace with it.
And I get a tummy tuck out of this!!!! Once again, let's review. Would any of you have guessed that Your Dear Kar would end up getting fake boobs? And a tummy tuck? I wouldn't have pegged me for that. Not in a billion years. It's funny, where life takes you.
This is just going to be a one-day surgical center kind of a deal. I've got good pain meds, and I'm on antibiotics, and my adorable church ladies are poised and ready to help with food and child care. They're awesome. Hopefully this will just be a little blip in the journey.
Wish me luck tomorrow.