Pre-Admission Testing & Pre-Surgical Consult With Plastics

On Monday I went back to MD Anderson and the lab and got my pre-admission testing/bloodwork done and met with the plastics people again one more time.  They took “Before” photos, and we chatted about what exactly will go on during and after the procedure.

The general surgeon will be performing the mastectomy and afterward the plastic surgeon will be inserting the expanders.  They said that I might leave the hospital looking somewhat like I do now (with regard to breast size) but to be prepared if they are smaller.  I honestly prepared myself for totally flat breasts so anything is a bonus.  They will slowly fill the expanders over the coming weeks.

The expanders

Checking out what will be my “breasts” for the next  4-5 months

I went home and cleaned my house, did laundry and made several packs of dog food.  Tuesday was a blur. I had to try very hard to stay on task.  My mind was all over the place.  It was very unlike how I was when I had my initial mammograms and biopsy done.  I think I pulled every weed in the yard.  They were interlopers that had to be yanked out.  Much like the atypical cells in my body.  It made perfect sense to me.
Tuesday night was the first time I cried.  I had been watching some video diaries online of women who had gone through the exact experience I was about to embark upon, and it helped knowing I wasn’t the only one and to know what to could expect to look and feel like.  I shed a few tears, heaved a deep sigh, prayed that everything would come back clear and that my lymph nodes would be unaffected.  
I was scared–I am scared–but more concerning is the alternative.  I have no doubt I am doing the right thing.  There are so many people who are far worse off than me.  I am one of the lucky ones.  I am looking at it as one more step I have to go through in order to have the life that I want, both for myself and my family.  My youngest child is two years old.  In five or ten years down the road I have plans to be watching her in gymnastics, ballet or cheerleading.  My middle child will be graduating.  The older ones will be in college, graduating from college, perhaps starting families of their own.  I have dogs to show, to breed, a kennel name to establish.  My husband and I have plans to move to Italy.  I can’t miss any of that or have it dampened by funky cells in my body, constant worry over repeat mammograms, MRIs and biopsies.  Screw that.  No time for it.  I’m not getting any younger.
So as I sit here in Starbucks munching on my fruit and cheese, waiting for my scan later today, I am trying to relax.  I had a massage earlier and it did help.  I am pretty jacked up so I truthfully could probably have three or four massages in a row and they’d just start to touch the surface of my issues.  I’m suffering from a lot of neck pain and bad headaches lately, and the last thing I want is to wake up from surgery with anesthesia funkiness on top of a migraine and a neckache.  Blech.  
This morning I had the radioactive contrast injected into both of my breasts.  Let me just say…OUCH.  It burned, but was better after a few minutes.  I think like a lot of things, the anticipation tends to be far worse, but it still wasn’t fun.  I have to go back in a few hours to be scanned because they will biopsy my nodes as well.  After that I hope to spend some quiet time with the husband before heading back home and trying to relax before the big day tomorrow.
Ok, ta ta for now…

4 thoughts on “Pre-Admission Testing & Pre-Surgical Consult With Plastics

  1. Shannon, I have worked in Surgery Prep/Sterilization medical supplies for the OR, etc., for over twenty five years and it still is a challenge everyday to go in and do what we do for our veterans. The tiring hours poured into all the details that must not be overlooked are endless. It takes a special breed of person to keep the spirit alive and still maintain this level of professionalism in this daily. I have never swayed about my decision to keep doing what I do because it gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I was part of “his/her” road to recovery for a better quality of life. THIS is what it's all about. You made a brave decision in the midst of unknown possibilities that lingered. I would do the same thing, too. Just know that there are options, choices, and chances that are there for THAT quality of life we all want. We must seek, ask, pray, and BREATHE because no matter what happens, we are loved. Best dose of medicene I know of in any life.

  2. You are very brave and I KNOW you will be fine as you're have such a positive attitude. Take care and I will be checking up on you soon

    warm regards,
    lilian and the girls, CoCo and Tiffy

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