I had decided I needed to do something to exercise my shoulder arm and back especially where my expander is because I feel so out of wack. I ended up wanting to do something like yoga because I can't do any jogging or jumping while I have my expander in. I ended up making an appointment with a one on one yoga session and it was wonderful. The yoga I decided on was Svaroopa and it is a gentler yoga with great healing benefits. I was a little worried about being one on one and so close with someone, but it turned out to be just what I think my body at this point needs. It was an hour long session where I learned breathing and a couple of poses to help open up my spine. I felt wonderful to lay in the the 2 postures I was taught.
There are 3 types of implants to choose from: saline, silicone and gummy bear. The gummy bear is fairly new and the way it was explained is that it's like a gummy bear if you were to cut it you end up with 2 pieces. So no liquid spilling out or something like that.
I am scheduled for an expansion in April 12th. I have about 420cc in my expander which can hold 500+ cc. My doctor seemed to think he would expand me beyond the 500. Depending on if I have radiation we'll see how much expansion. I have some questions for my plastics doctor so I am anxious to get to my upcoming appointment.
If I need radiation I will need the implant put in place 1st so that surgery may get moved up to start radiation. I hope!
Here's what I see when I go for my expansion
The blue thing is the magnet that finds the metal plate the leads to my tissue expander opening
The marker is where they mark the spot
and then assorted pads and alcohol wipes
Oh and the syringes
And here is what they fill the expander with-
I'm waiting to see what he has to say about my other breast. I"m thinking it will need some adjusting.
Right now it's a challenge dealing with them being so different. They were very kind at the office and they do offer great tips on dealing with that. Also at Sloan in the boutique at the Breast Center they do have a great variety of bras.
I've had a good experience so far with my reconstruction. I know some people have a lot of pain for their expansion, but I did not. I did have a lot of expansions done right after my surgery and before treatment. This was probably good because I didn't have a lot of feeling. Now I believe I am gaining some feeling back which doesn't always happen. Hope I don't have a lot of pain for my last couple expansions. April may or may not be my last expansion.
The whole reconstruction thing was something I knew nothing about. When I was diagnosed I tried to go on the Internet, but found it only freaked me out. What was good was that my mother in law did that for me. She went on and did research and then even came up with a list of questions for my doctor appointments. I would suggest anyone do the same; find someone you trust to go on and search out the right information. There are different types of reconstruction. I choose the less painful I guess you could say, but there is a hybrid procedure that once it's done you are pretty much done. I on the other hand will need to re-place my my implant after so many years. Another factor in deciding was that we didn't know if I would be getting radiation. If I do receive radiation the percents of it hurting my reconstructed breast are 50%. So my doctor said we should go with the tissue expander and if down the road something does goes bad with the breast due to radiation he could still do the other procedure which includes constructing a breast from my own tissue.
Here's a simple questionnaire for a plastic surgeon: HERE
So here is where I am at almost half way there- You can see Reconstruction is definitely a good thing and should be considered no matter how hard it is to think about at a time when you are scared for your life.
The below picture I was not far from the beginning of expanding my tissue expander....As you can see I've been healing very well. Gee when I look at this picture- I LOVE my hair! I had such pretty hair. I miss my hair so much. I will never complain about hair ever again.
Being diagnosed with Breast Cancer is not a Death Sentence.
Don't be afraid to get checked and if you think something is wrong get it checked! The sooner the better. If I would have gone sooner maybe I wouldn't have to go through chemo. I should have kept up with self examines and my yearly pap smear. My gynecologist was the only person examining my breasts and lately I put off my yearly pap smear.
Don't do that!