Archive | September, 2013

The Sentence That Broke My Heart…

24 Sep

As most of you know my open abdominal incision got infected and the Plastic Surgeon readmitted me to the hospital for IV antibiotics and surgery to clean the wound up. When I was packing to leave to go to the hospital Ellen, our 17 yr old said in a very sad voice ” mama are you going to die?”

I knew she was remembering her grandmother, she died after being readmitted back to the hospital with an infection, she got septic shock and passed away.

I reassured her that I was not going to die but those words broke my heart.

I have also been asked if I regret my decision to have a preventive mastectomy and reconstruction.

My answer is not only no but HELL NO!!!

Here are my 4 reasons why….

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No Guts No Glory… ( Do Not Read If You Have A Weak Stomach )

19 Sep

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Yesterday I was not feeling well I could not pinpoint why I just wasn’t myself.  I have this abdominal incision from hip bone to hip bone,  approximately 2 inches of it was  red, hurting, and has this yucky scab on it.  I happened to have an appointment with the Plastic Surgeon, Dr. M this morning. So I asked him about it.

I am just going to get something out there about me that is kind of weird before I go on. My family and my coworkers know I love, love, love, to pick scabs, peel sunburns, pop pimples and boils, and drain anything with puss in it. I know I just grossed everyone out. Hey, I am a nurse so there you have it.

Back to my appointment this morning. My doctor comes in and looks at the angry area on my incision and says. I think you have a Seroma.  A seroma is a pocket of clear fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery. When small blood vessels are ruptured, blood plasma can seep out; inflammation  caused by dying injured cells also contributes to the fluid.

I am numb at the incision right now till the nerves regenerate so I did not feel any pain while the procedure was preformed. My doctor starts off by pulling the scab off a two inch spot on the incision, and cuts the sutures. I told him if I had know he was going to pull that scab off I would have done that at home. Remember by scab picking obsession? I am sure he thought ” Freak.”. Once the sutures were cut there was approximately 6 oz of brown-ish, yellow-ish, red-ish  fluid that  leaked  out. ( I warned you it would be gross. )  He then cut off some dead fat inside the incision. I wanted to say “Dr. M, Honey, you can cut off all the fat you need from me,” but I kept quiet not to embarrass myself even more, since I made the picking scab comment earlier.

Now I have a 2 inch wide and 1 inch  deep opening  on my abdomen  that has to be packed with a wet gauze and a dry gauze place over the top, twice a day. Even though I can do this type of dressing change, I am going to have Ellen, our  high school Senior who wants to be a RN, do it. Nothing like baptism by fire :). Then next time she says ” I hate your guts” she can actually mean it.

Warning do not look at pictures below if you are squeamish:

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A Little Hope..A Lot Of Faith…And A Touch Of Jesus’s Robe

15 Sep

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“When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Mark 5:27-28

Some of you many know why my Mastectomy and reconstruction took 14 hours instead of the usual 8 hours. It  was because the micro-surgeon  had trouble getting the vein and artery  attached to the right breast flap, meaning they would lose the flap due to not enough blood supply . For those that do not know what what a breast flap is, it is the portion of tissue and  fat that was removed from my abdomen and used for the interior of the breast in the reconstruction phase. What this would mean is if it failed, then off to surgery I go to have it removed and the flap and the whole side would have to be redone in a few months. Not a fun idea!!!

The doctor told Brian and me that there was a 5-10% the flap would work. As I lay in bed after everyone left the hospital, I started thinking and I remembered my favorite story in the Bible.  The short version the story  is about a women who had been bleeding for years. She was desperate to be healed. She was in a crowd and Jesus walked by. She knew she could not run up to him to be healed so when Jesus walked by she reached through the crowd and touched the hem of Jesus’s  robe and she was healed.

That night, I closed my eyes an put my hand on the right flap and I became that lady in the crowd . When I imagined Jesus walking by I reached out and touched his robe. The next day the doctor came in to check me and with a surprised that the flap looked better. He  then gave me a 50/50% chance the flap would work . Each night Jesus walked by and I touched his robe and each day the blood supply got better in my newly reconstructed breast.

When I went to my Surgeon’s office for my follow up appointment, he said he expected to see blisters on the right flap but it looks fine. His words were ” I am not a betting man, but if I was, I would not given that flap any hope.” He did not know about my secret weapon the touch of Jesus’ robe.

Here is the full story………Mark 5:25-34

So Jesus went with him and A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding(F) for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes,(G) I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.(H)

30 At once Jesus realized that power(I) had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’

32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.(J) Go in peace(K) and be freed from your suffering.”

 

I Traveled The World Without Leaving My House

12 Sep

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I started this blog for my family and those close to me to keep them informed of my surgery, but mostly I wanted to help other women caught in ” no man’s land.” The place where I found myself in of not having cancer but being a high risk via genetics and family history. I wanted others to know they are not alone. There is a neat feature to blogs that tells me what country someone has read my blog from. Here are all the countries that people have read this blog from. All this without leaving my living room. Is the Internet great or what?

Australia FlagAustralia
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom
Canada FlagCanada
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea
Poland FlagPoland
Germany FlagGermany
Turkey FlagTurkey
Azerbaijan FlagAzerbaijan
Sweden FlagSweden
Slovenia FlagSlovenia
Denmark FlagDenmark
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria
Netherlands FlagNetherlands
Belgium FlagBelgium

Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago

 

Friends Are Friends Forever……..

9 Sep

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I had by Mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction on September 4th, that was 4 days ago. You never know who your friends are till you really need them. We are blessed to have new friends, old friends, and friends with other women who I have never met but have gone down this same journey before me and have answered my email questions like they were my friends forever.

Our new Life Group ( small group) from church provided us meals. They were all so delish I am sure my kids and husband do not want to go back to my cooking. Friends from work, and life long friends have stopped by our house and lifted my spirits. Friends on Facebook wrote encouraging messages.

An Anesthesiologist who I work with got a message on Facebook letting me go on about the evils of Morphine and what to change it to get rid of my Migraine that it gave me. Now he know more about me than he probably ever wanted to 🙂

Yes I am a blessed Lady!!!! Thanks each and everyone of you.

How am I doing? Better each day. I have these evil drains, 4 of them to be exact draining fluid from my incisions but I have this cute pink leopard pouch to carry them in. I am styling!!!drains.2

I go to the doctor tomorrow hopefully I will get one or more drains out. Well I better off to be for my beauty rest.

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