Breast Reconstruction (Implant) - Nancebeth

Procedure or Surgery Associated with Mixed Tumors, Breast Cancer. Posted on May 14, 2012 View this journey (11 Experiences)

I had my bilateral masectomy and immediate reconstruction on Friday, February 3. LCT brought me to the hospital and was joined by my other Laura. They have now become Team Laura. Later in the day they were joined by Brian, my brother's best friend, who I have known since I was 8. The three of them waited while I had my surgery. It was a grueling 6 hour procedure (not for me, I was asleep...lol). So I woke up in recovery to see the faces of my friends and of course, my plastic surgeon, Dr. Danny Kapp. I was loopy but alive and apparently I made them all kiss me goodnight before I fell back to sleep. On Saturday morning I woke up feeling like I had been shot in the chest. Not that I know what that feels like. But having almost 8 pounds of breast tissue removed and then 1400 total cc of implant shoved into your chest hurts like nothing I had ever felt before! It hurt to breathe! Luckily I had a morphine pump :-)

I was discharged on Sunday, to the surprise of my nurses and a lot of my friends. But if you really know me, you know I wasn't staying "down" any longer than I had to. I had a schedule of extended family and friends taking care of me for the first two weeks after I was released. I hated depending on others for every little thing. I have a lot of trouble asking anyone to help me and here I was, needing someone to wash my hair for me! I was miserable and in a lot of pain. I slept quite a bit and when I was awake I rested, read, and watched tv.

Two weeks after my surgery I got my last drain out and was allowed to shower. The nurse told me to buy a couple of front closing sports bras so I would be comfortable and would not have to wear the surgical bra anymore. I went to Target and could not find what I needed. So, I went back out to my car, and I just lost it. I was sobbing in my car...I wasn't even sure why I was crying but I could not stop. It was the first time I had really cried since the day I heard my diagnosis. I think I was trying so hard to be strong in front of my family and friends. Well, I guess it all caught up with me. Luckily Brian came and rescued me from myself and brought me to Wal Mart and I was able to get what I needed.

The next day was the first shower and once again I broke down. I stood in the shower, looking at the ceiling (I had decided early on, after seeing photos online of breast reconstruction, that I was not going to look at my new "breasts" until the reconstruction was entirely complete, including nipple reconstruction and areola tattoos. I would do anything in my power to not look at the breasts!) and sobbing uncontrollably. I was ugly crying; the kind where you can't catch your breath. I finished the shower, still crying, wrapped up in a towel and called my friend Sean. I went on and on about how I was ugly and deformed. He calmed me down and told me I am beautiful.

After the third week, Lori came to visit and she wanted to see the breasts, so I showed her. She told me they looked great, very symmetrical. That was on a Friday. On the next Monday I decided to look. They are very symmetrical although the right one is more swollen than the left. I can tell that once the reconstruction is complete, they will be very cute breasts. However, right now, they feel foreign on my body. They are still very high up on my chest and still pretty sore. It feels like my chest is kind of on fire, like when you work out really hard and your muscles burn. And yes, I know I am lucky to be alive, and of course I am thankful and happy that I caught it in time, and was able to have the surgery and eventually be cured.

Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree

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