Tomorrow is the big day. I’ve been nesting sort of like I’m having a baby. I’m organizing a space for recovery and prepping food. I purchased post surgery clothing items. I won’t be able to raise my elbows past my shoulders for 2 weeks so my normal t-shirts are out. I got some short-sleeve zipper hoodies to wear. I also got some soft front close bras which I have been living in since my lumpectomy anyway since my incision is still sore. I changed my homework corner of the bedroom into recovery area. It was previously a baby care area at one time. I think it’s supposed to be a reading nook according to the home plans but we haven’t been able to turn it into a library yet. We bought a large bookcase but Jeffrey immediately filled it with his books that he had stashed under the bed. So, all my textbooks are still in piles waiting for the next trip to IKEA.
This surgery tomorrow is at 8:30 am and I need to be at the hospital at 7:00. The goal is to be there just one night and be released on Tuesday morning to come home. I wonder if it will feel like when I had my first baby. I was like, “really? They are just going to let me leave like this?” This surgery is a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. That means the breast surgeon will be removing as much breast tissue as possible and then the plastic surgeon will place tissue expander under the chest muscle. The tissue expanders are saline implants that are filled slightly at the time of surgery and then will be filled more periodically over the next few months until I have a second surgery to put in the permanent silicone implants. I’m planning (in my head) to have the implant exchange surgery over Christmas break.
The next part of the reconstruction is nipples. This is done using a flap of skin. I’ve been avoiding looking at pictures because of all the surgeries this one creeps me out the most. They won’t be real nipples, they will just look like nipples. I feel like I’ll look down and just see a flap of skin rather than a nipple. The last step is to tattoo the nipple and areola area to make it more realistic. One option is to not get the skin flap nipple and just get a 3D tattoo that looks like a nipple instead. We’ll see how I feel about that later. I was seriously considering getting a flower tattooed on each side instead of nipples but Jeffrey seemed a little freaked out by that option. I don’t have to figure that out now. Whatever I do it will be over spring break. I’m new to my employer so this way I’ll only have to take off the time at the beginning and not throughout the year.
I think I’m going to start work on September 26th. I went to a training day last week and everyone was very supportive. One of the supervisors is a survivor and now I’m automatically a part of the exclusive club. I originally thought I could start work by September 12th but since I’m having the 2nd (3rd?) surgery on Sept. 2nd I decided to take the full 6 weeks off to allow adequate recovery time. I’m guessing I’ll be ready to start sooner but this gives me plenty of time. My kids will be in school too so I’ll just be sitting around anyway. I will need to go shopping for work clothes. Not only have I lost 25 lbs since the last time I had a professional job I’ll also need to get some tops/cardigans that conceal the chest area. It’s not going to be very pretty for awhile. I’m glad that ruffles are in style!