Friday, October 17, 2014

One Step Closer

In the midst of my rising anxiety for all of my up coming scans, tests and fun stuff because of my Li Fraumeni, I decided to have a little "me time" and have my nipple reconstruction done.  Yup, it is official, I have nips now!

***Warning there are pictures of my new "accessories" below ***

Before my bilateral mastectomy, and even after while I was expanding out, I was set on the fact that if I didn't need them anymore, then why should I get them.  I didn't want to worry about "cutting glass", if you know what I mean and at that time during this journey I was fine with the no bra life.  Taking over a year to expand out, I had forgotten what it was like to have normal boobs and seeing what an amazing, realistic job my plastic surgeon did made me start to think.  I'm not saying that I sit in front of the mirror every waking moment and look at my foobs, but while checking out my incisions and putting on my sports bras, I would see them, but all I found myself staring at was the scars. 

While I am absolutely proud of my scars and wear them like a badge of honor as a survivor, a part of me couldn't help but have the constant reminder of the underlying fears that I have of re occurrence, and all of the pain and sadness I had during chemo, before and after surgeries and the fact that I lost a huge part of myself.  I'm not talking about my breasts as being the huge part of myself, well frankly they weren't huge AT ALL,  and I would have made the same decision again in a heartbeat.  I'm talking about my confidence and humor.  I feel like I've always been a social person, the type that loves to go out and experience new things and meet new people and I was forced to hop on this roller coaster called cancer I feel like I've gone into myself more, probably been a little more flaky (which I can't stand and I'm sorry) and look for most any excuse to not be around large crowds.  I'm not happy with myself, my weight gain and how different I feel, along with coming to the end of this portion of my journey during the month of October....during "Pinktober" aka Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with pink ribbons everywhere makes things a little more difficult for me and that is why I made the decision to have the nipple reconstruction.  I'm hoping that by the time I'm done with all of this that I won't have as much the words of Nemo:

The day came up so fast, and while the only procedures I've had done under local anesthesia were fillings, I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.  I arrived at the plastic surgeons office and after filling out some paperwork I was brought in the back room by a very sweet nurse, where I changed into a gown and walked into the surgery room.  From there I sat on the table and my plastic surgeon came in marked me up and I laid on my back.  I was then numbed up, which surprisingly I felt, but it wasn't terrible and after approximately 45 minutes of chatting and talking he had created some pretty awesome looking nipples!  While he was creating the second one, I looked down and saw my left nipple and it was like Christmas morning for me!  When he was done working his magic, I was gauzed up and sent on my way with a bag filled with extra gauze pads and antiseptic.  After two days of keeping the guaze on, I was able to see how they were turning out:

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Sorry about the lighting I look like I have jaundice in this picture....

Well since I love before and afters...and everything in between here is a before (after my reconstruction):

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And here is where I was at two days after my nipple reconstruction:

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This is where I'm at today (8 days out):

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Please excuse my amazing rash and the bruising.  The rash is from the Herceptin and the bruising, well obviously that's from the procedure.

From there me, the hubs and my new nips went to my second to last Herceptin treatment...I cannot believe that I only have ONE more left.  One.  Then I start Tamoxifen.  Kind of scary.

Well all I have to say is that I am mostly elated with my healing but I have ran into a problem with the right nipple and its inability to get with the program and heal like the left one.  About three days after my procedure I had a stitch come out (which happens) and it slightly opened up...sounds scarier than it actually is.  I've been applying antiseptic ointment then yesterday morning another stitch decided to follow in the others footsteps and fall out. (Both small stitches) and now I'm left with this:

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I'm hoping it looks worse than it is...Regardless I'm kind of concerned with the weekend coming and the office is closed, so I'm off to my plastic surgeons office to figure this out.  Wish me and my right nip some luck!


  1. I think your nipples look fantastic! What did the surgeon say about the stitches opening up?

    You have been through so much, Emily, and I understand because I'm going through the same stages: surgery, chemotherapy... Obviously we're tired. I've just finished Taxol and will start antihormonal therapy (Femara) on 1st November and radiation therapy 18 November. :( I don't mind the radiation, but I have mixed feelings about the hormonal mediation. Yes, the fear of re-occurrence is always with us and frankly I cannot imagine going through chemo again and losing my hair again. That seems like the worst of the worst to me. But from what I've read about you, I know you have done EVERYTHING you can to stop this beast! You didn't take half-measures, so there is more than enough reason to hope for full recovery, which I am sure you will attain.

    So go on, enjoy those nipples. I'm sure your energy will return little by little, and your tiredness will subside. I'm joining a special onco-revalidation program at the clinic, starting January. I was told that should help rebuild the qualith of my life. Are you doing something similar?

    1. Katerine! My surgeon didn't actually look at them when I went in, but his nurse said that she has seen a few in her time and didn't think it was of any concern! I'm working on a blog post for my progress, but things did end up working out!! How are you? Hope you are doing well? I know you made your blog private, but I would still love to follow it!

      Em C

    2. Dear Emily, of course you can follow my blog. I'm about to write a new entry and a rather shocking one at that. I thought I sent you an invitation to follow my blog? So sorry if you didn't get it. Please send me your email (the one you use for this blog) to 0female0 at gmail. (That's 2 zeroes). X