This weeks fun filled topic is plastic surgery! So last Friday I had my first consultation with Dr. Lee, my new Asian plastic surgeon. ( This comes into play when I explain later LOL ) Steph was nice enough to come with me and keep me company. We had plans to sort of go see a movie but the timing didn't quite work out but she wanted to come anyways. I thought the appt. would be a quick hour or so, but NOPE 2 FREAKING HOURS of talking about boobs. Shoot me.
First of all, the appt was on the West Campus and not in the good old Shapiro building that was becoming my second home so it was a foreign building with old elevators and creepy quiet hallways. It was more like a traditional suite when you go to a dr's appt and less of a hospital setting. For those of you that will never have the pleasure of experiencing going to a plastic surgeon let me tell you about the whole process of it.
So as soon as you go in you have to do about 15 minutes of repetitive paperwork about your health history etc. Most of you probably never noticed but about a year/year and a half ago I was a pretty heavy smoker and could prob smoke about 2 packs a week...but I have cut back a lot and only really smoke when I am completely stressed out or when the mood strikes. I know it's disgusting and given my freakin circumstance of having CANCER I really shouldn't be doing it, but I don't drink and really have any vices so relax, at least I am not doing other hard drugs to deal with this crap...although I have thought about it as morbid as that sounds...But honestly my body can't even handle cigs right now. I used to smoke camel menthol lights - yes with the extra menthol burst and I can't even imagine having those again. UGH. The cloves I like are not any better but what are you gonna do. My throat is killing me as it is...so I will have to stop all together.
Anyhow, after the paperwork we were ushered into this side office where they made me watch a powepoint presentation with all the different types of breast reconstruction- complete with pictures of naked women who have all had breast cancer and the before and after pictures. To be honest it was really making me sick and queasy and making this whole process even more real. Me and Steph were amazed at all the new high tech things they can do with the surgery and how quick the recovery time was for all of the procedures but it was kinda just scary looking at all these deep scars all these women had. Not to mention I couldn't even tell you all the complicated lingo they had for everything. I just kind of flipped through everything quickly as a case of implants were staring back at me.
After that, I got ushered into the exam room where I met the Dr's nurse- Marie. She was really nice and very informative and she knew her shit and was very upfront and direct but as she was talking to me she kept patting my knee and touching me and I really don't like that LOL. I'm not really touchy feely in general so it makes me uncomfortable. I almost feel like it's almost patronizing because they think that makes you feel better but it really doesn't.... if she was going to touch me one more time I was going to straight up snap, but I keep it inside and tried my best to just be a happy camper. She was only trying to do her job to make me feel important. They also made me sign a waiver because the dr. was going to basically take pictures of me and I knew it would be awkward but didn't know how awkward LOL UH OH.
Dr. Lee then comes in. Now first impression is that he kind of reminded me of my brother Darren. He's very young and intelligent and obviously very well educated although he looked like he was about 20. He also graduated from Harvard and was also a professor there so as an Asian I was impressed LOL. He was very professional and well spoken but a tiny bit awkward. I don't really prefer male dr's with sensitive things like breasts and like PAP smear shit, but he came with high recommendations from all my all drs....He apparently is "the breast man" LOL He also had a female Asian intern in the room who didn't really talk and Steph nicknamed "Shanghai Sally" or something to that effect hahahaa, but I just felt a little overwhelmed with so many people in the room. Right off the bat, he told me to change into a johnny and that he would take pics of my breasts and butt area...UGH. I made Steph hide behind the curtain and so the dr. came over and made me dis-robe and basically stand against the wall while he took pics of me from every angle. He also measured my boobs and asked me to show him where the tumor was....UGH.... He even made me face the intern ugh.....oh hi. I'm jen and i'm naked....It is really embarassing when there are like 4 people in a small room all staring at you. And I already feel judged with my giant tramp stamp in the back LOL but whatever. Then he made me kind of pull my pants down a little to take a pic of the buttock area and apparently I didn't do it low enough and he keep directing me...HAHAHA I know this is horrible to say but I felt like I was in a amateur porno LOL .....He then left the room with his posse and Steph made me crack up by saying he was probably uploading the pics to facebook! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!
While he was gone, the nurse came in quickly to say it would be a few minutes because Dr. Lee liked to think for a moment and get his thoughts together on how he should approach my situation...so in the meantime, Steph made me grab the breast implants and pose with them:
Silicone on left, Saline on right :)
When Dr. Lee came back we had a full discussion about all the different options for my surgery. I also noticed he liked patting me on the knee as well so now I know where Marie got it from. Like Dr. like nurse...HEHE....
It's a lot of info to type out but I will just tell you in general what it looks like for now.
First of all, I am supposed to get surgery to get the tumor on my left side out first. Initially my surgeon told me this was the best plan to do one side, radiation and then wait 6 months to do the non-tumor side because it will give me time to think about what I want. HOWEVER, tissue expanders have to be put in for at least 6 months to basically stretch my body out to accept the implant/own body fat which is the part I didn't really understand.
How it works is like this: So when my surgery date is planned, the surgeon will remove the tumor then Dr. Lee will put in the tissue expanders which are basically temporary implant(s) filled half way with saline and has a rubber port area. It will work exactly like my port. Every week I would have to go back to have more saline injected into the expander. OUCH. Now since my left side is the affected side, they recommend that I do not use a silicone or saline implant because radiation will basically shrink the size and fuck up the implant. My only choice is to really use fat from my own body.
Apparently I don't have enough fat in my stomach to make 2 breasts so my option is to have one breast from my stomach and one breast made from my buttock or back, or both from the back etc...but who doesn't want a tummy tuck? LOL But with all these options there can be limited potential muscle movement for the rest of my life. It would mean I wouldn't have much strength if I worked out or had to lift something. he described how they basically redirect muscle tissues to support the new breasts- which was pretty fascinating and amazing.
If I wait and just do one side, I will have less of a recovery time but that would mean I wouldn't start on the right side til 6 months later. And I really don't want to do that so I am thinking I just want to do a double mastectomy right away to just get the healing time over with, have the tissue expanders put in immediately then in 6 months get reconstruction done on both all at once. The 6 months is really only for my body to heal after 5 weeks of daily radiation. UGH.
Now the right side of my breast, I can choose to use my own body fat or I can do a real implant on that side, he said it was really up to me but that If i do silicone it would have to be replaced in 10 years. He also said it had a chance of rupturing in my body and that they didn't know if there was any reaction if that happened....but if I did the saline, if it exploded it's just saline and my body would absorb it. UGH the thought of more saline in my body is already making me freaking GAG.
He also told me about other means of surgery with CADAVERS sewn into me. Normally this would be like a wet dream for me since I love all that macabre forensics stuff but I think I will have a meltdown at some point and wouldn't be able to get over the fact that someone else is attached to me....ew. Just take my fat please. Thanks!
The appt. ended with Dr. Lee just telling me to go home and think about everything since reconstruction is kind of the last step in the process...he even said the nipple is tattooed on. Ouch.
I know it all sounds complicated and it is and let me tell you I am really not happy about any of this but there is really nothing I can do. The only thing that really made me lighten up is Dr. Lee trying to draw anatomically correct boobs and butts. HAHAHHA. I literally cracked up and Shanghai Sally just stared at me.
Next week I have to go back to the hospital to get my Herceptin (the other crap I have to do for a year) then the next day I have to come back and talk to my surgeon and I will prob know my surgery date then.
After the appt, me and Steph went to get burger and fries (wish I took a pic with her) then I saw Christina, went to Haymarket to get some yummy healthy fruits and veggies....I haven't been down there in YEARS and forgot how cheap everything is! Love it!... then we had a nice walk at the beach in Winthrop and had some yummy ice cream :) and some ummm...exercise LOL
Less ghetto then Revere but not as boring as Nahant
Totally going back for the turquoise "dino-bites" ice cream
MFA girls keeping it real!!!!
UGH, Why is being a girl and having boobs so complicated? I'm going to have plenty of battle scars after all of this is done.
Give me Strength to get through this next part.
P.S. Shoutout to my good friend Josh- who is moving away at the end of this month to VA then Philly for school. I'll miss your face <3 Thank you for all your support !
And thank YOU all for reading <3