Monday, October 26, 2009

no warm and fuzzies..

So it is actually official. I met the plastic sugeon and now I wait for the call for the date. WHEN. Did I just say that??- wow.

Professional opinion was correct - she was not warm and fuzzy. I would even call her cold. But I need to ask myself would rather someone who knows how to put me together all pretty and perky or have someone who gives a warm fuzzy hugs?

What has bothered me this evening is that I feel I have missed something. Was I to ask mre quesyions? was she to intereact with me more? Was she to engage in more conversation about options and results? She asked me questions, had me disrobe, took some pictures and well thats it! Maybe I have researched alot..or maybe not enough as I did not have alot of questions or much grey area in my head. It has taken me 9 years to gt to where I am today so decision has been made.

When I asked my 3 questions, there was no conversation.

I mentioned I wanted a thoracic block. This is very imporatnt to me and quite non-negotiable. it is like an epidural but higher and it delivered through many needles injected in this upper back area. I have heard will significantky lower but pain and discomfort for the first 24 hours. She sighed and mentioned that it add another half hour to the session (I thought I heard a sigh)

I asked her if I needed to decide on the type of implant at this point. She said no but wondered really if there was any discussions to be had as there (in her mind) was only one she would reccommend.

I asked her to see pictures and well...they were black and white photocopies..and the end of 'it as I stood there looking at the album she commented in my direction don't you fret you will look tremendous" then had me sign my breasts away on a blue paper.

Weird experience to sign a piece of your body on blue 8.5 by 11.

Now it is a waiting game.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Spaghettis straps and bikinis will have a new meaning when all is said and done

I am in a quiet retrospective state tonight. Tomorrow I meet with Dr. "R" to discuss procedures on reconstruction of my new breasts. I have decided on expanders.

This procedure inserts an'expander' in the chest wall and over several weeks (and months) I will go for a 'fill'. As my girlfriend Liane explains so well - like when we are preganant, my body will grow and expand until the final stage where I will undergo a second operation. This 'exchange' surgery is where I will receive my silicone implants that will last for about 15 years or so. But hey - how many women can say they choose they breast size!

I have been on a roller coaster of emotions over the last few days. Many tears have been shed I can not lie. I have been speaking with women on line, reading dozens of websites and blogs..all in hopes to find peace..The reality is I need to find it inside myself - with myself...

I also want to be prepared for tomorrow; make it constructive as I am unsure if I will get the opportunity again to speak with her. I need to walk away not only informed with all my questions answered but feeling comfortable with the 'plan'. I have heard Dr. "R" does not have much of a bed side manner, but my decision for my surgeons has been based on skill, not personality. I interviewed the nurses and professionals who work in the industry (like me) as to who they would reccomend. That has simply been my choice and my comfort level. Everyone is different. I want to feel confident in their ability and at the end of it all the best breast OHIP can buy! ;o) heck there is something to be said for never wearing a bra again. Spaghettis straps and bikinis will have a new meaning when all is said and done.

But I need to be prepared to all possible complications - even death. Eva is still in pain which has sat like lead in my soul and with the dozen of women I have spoken with, no two expereinces have been the same so I can not pressume my recovery will be like one or another.

At the end of this though...I hope I can make a difference in lives of women who must travel down this path.

I enocourage those who read my blog to share it with those who may or may not be high risk. This can be a lonely road if traveled with out direction.

Information is power but support is everything. I hope I can help draw the map for those behind me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The decision made...

I have taken some quiet time over the summer to think, to truly understand where I wanted and needed to be in order to be happy. To know my decision is the right one for me. I am in an uncomfortable zone as I am not used to putting my needs first. My kids, my family, my work..they have always come before me. Now I have to put myself before all of them. I know in my head that this is the one time that is justified to be selfish but a very foreign feeling and I know all moms out there can be empathetic to this. I know this has to be about me and no one else.

Additionally, it is incredibly difficult to make a decision without feeling the pressure of the BRCA community around me...a group of amazing women that I brought together. I envy these women..these women so bold, so fearless to choose surgery without hesistation. I am the only one who has not jumped on the surgery bandwagon and I can not help but feel like a bit of an outsider.

Last week I went to a BRCA conference in Montreal...truly empowering and cutting edge information. I went to the conference with a business mind as I am determined to bring a new source of support to women who carry this genetic destiny. By the end of the conference I had less of a buisness mind and had my heart hanging out on my sleeve. I knew what I needed to do – at least in my head. I must have the mastectomy. I can not leave my children without a mother. I can not fight the cancer fight in a selfish manner..thinking that if I had to undergo chemo therapy and radiation I can pressume my family, friends etc can pick up the pieces around and all will be fine and pretty at the end of the dark tunnel. Worse still I can not presume that in the end I will win that battle.

So I made the HUGE step and I met with the surgeon, “Dr. L “ last week. I am a firm believer in fate and that life sometimes throws you a lesson you did not except to just show you if the path you are travelling is one that you need to continue on or your journey is one that needs to be readjusted.

As I sat in the conference room surrounded by the pink and green walls (God love the 80`s) I still sat there and pondered if I truly am ready. I waited and waited impatiently...My type A personally quickly ventured to ``my meter might run out and geez I might get a ticket ..arg...I shouldn`t be here" ... As my frustration rose ...I watched the door across the hall opened. A man came out of the door. A man that I will never forget for the rest of my life (my eyes create puddles as my thoughts go back to that day). I watched as his eyes rose to the ceiling, and watched as he fought back his tears . He buried his face in his hands as he hid the sounds of sobbing from his wife behind the door and the room he just left.

As a witnessed someone life change forever in front of me...I knew that no matter how difficult this journey is I can NOT play Russian roulette with cancer . She is a demon that I am not convinced can always be found in early stages. She is smart and sly and even if you beat her the first time...there is no telling what she is capable of if she chooses to come back for revenge.

I meet my plastic surgeon on Monday...and I am word can relay on this blog how truly frightened I am.

I fight back my fears and tears tonight as I am vividly aware of `Eva` as well as a girlfriend lie in agonizing pain tonight. Eva has gone back after months of hell to try expanders... I am so very worried after all she has been though. Another GF of mine is done and had her exchange surgery today. She just posted on FB she is in agony and back on drains too. SIGH
I am not convinced I am strong enough to do this..

Have you ever done something that you didn`t want to do but knew was for the best??

I am about to cut off my breasts to save my life....God help me..God help me find strength.