Monday, February 8, 2010

Ooohhh We're Halfway The-re

That's about as Bon Jovi as I get.

Today was expander saline Fill #3. Not only did I have an appointment with the Plastic Surgeon (PS), but before that I had an appointment at my Oncologists (Onc) for a port flush. Yep- I still have the Power Port in my chest. And every 6 weeks I have to get it flushed to prevent blood clots. It's amazing that today was my first port flush since my LAST chemo. Anyway- a flush is a little more complex than it seems. They have to clean the skin and then use the chemo "claw" needle:

and then they inject the Heparin and a saline flush through the tubing. It's not like a flu shot where they just stick it in your skin and you're done. Of course, there was some "miscommunication" at my Onc office and I had to wait about 25 minutes....with Lilly...who spilled water (from their water cooler) all over the carpet.

Ok- so because my Onc visit ran long, I was now LATE for the Plastic Surgeon. So I drove as quickly (and safely) as you can when there's 20" of snow surrounding you, with a 3 year old in tow, to the PS office down the road. I apologized for being late, and I knew- of course- my PS was running late too. He was 1 1/2 hours behind. So Lilly and I sat in the waiting room for well over an hour, spelling silly words on her Doodle-Pad. Then it was finally our turn to go into the procedure room, where we waited another 30 minutes or so.

My fill today - it hurt. It hurt so bad it felt like razors were ripping through my chest. It felt like a barbell was wrapped under my armpits and across my chest and back. It hurt to move, breathe, reach. Everything. It hurt- bad. And- I have about 3 or 4 more to go. I KNOW it's going to hurt, but man does it SUCK. My back is in spasm now because the muscle on my side that wraps around to the back is being stretched. And the cherry on top- the isosceles triangle left boob, is still there. It's not as bad, but it still feels like a baby's foot kicking into my armpit. It's just bigger now.

So here's my process so far. From my post-surgical deflated expanders to today - 180cc on each side. Keep in mind- I'm a small gal. About 5' 3" and 120lbs. A little bit goes a long way on me. I measure a lumpy/bumpy (but full) 34A right now. It seems bigger because the expanders are more broad across my chest. I plan to be a full B, so I'm about 1/2 way there.

post surgery - deflated expanders:

after fill #1, 60cc total:

after fill #2 , 120cc total:

after fill #3, 180cc total:

A lot of people ask why I am taking pictures and posting such a personal journey. The bottom line is this- my breast reconstruction is a part of breast cancer, and breast cancer is a part of me. There's nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. And it is empowering for me to look back and see the winding path of this journey. This is my life. I live this every day. I am a mom, I am a wife, and I am 31, and I am a survivor.


Jennifer Parke Photography said...

KC - I just wanted to say that you are one of the bravest people that I know! I give you serious props not only for taking your journey in such stride but for taking it publicly! I think it is wonderful that you are sharing your journey with us! Take care and best of luck to you!

Daria said...

Thanks for posting those pictures ... I appreciate it.

C said...

You look AWESOME!!!! YAY!

Lori said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate it!