Nov 3, 2016. Week 1. Day 3. Going Home

Here is a picture of my Doppler Machine. There are 2 machines. I feel like I am in a Science Fiction setting.

Nov 3 11.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am being released to day. So excited to be going home. Dr Habash said everything is going great. I am having some burning during urination so I am starting an antibiotic for that.

Nov 3 3.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some suggestions for the Hospital.  A micro bead neck roll works wonderful for sitting in a chair and even sleeping.  Since I have to sleep in such and inclined position it kept my head from slipping sideways and waking me up.

I had a Lanyard from work and attached a Velcro holder to it and it worked great for all of my tubes and wires that needed to be unhooked when ever I needed to get up.  I rolled up the wires and the drains and wrapped the Velcro around them and was able to have them just hang and be out of the way.

Nov 3 1.JPG

I used the “Pink Pocket” that I attached to the inside of my shirt to actually put the JP drain bulb into which worked great also.

I was able to completely get dressed by myself also.  Since my shirt was stretchy at the top, I was able to pull it up instead of it going over my head.

For the ride hope Travis brought me a pillow to put over my chest and tummy to protect the incisions from the seat belt.  It will be nice to be in my own home to finish this recovery.

Nov 3 10.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the graphic pictures. Please just scroll back up to the top for the next day’s entry and do not look if these type of pictures bother you. The incisions do not hurt and I am not on any pain killers except for Tylenol now.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Nov 3 7.JPG
Looking down at my “Small Breasts”  Such a wonderful sight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 3 9.JPG
Before Doppler removal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 3 6.JPG
After removal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 3 5.JPG
Right Side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 3 4.JPG
Left Side

 

 

Nov 1, 2016. 1st Stage, Week 1, Day 1

Nov 1-2.JPGI actually feel pretty good for it being the day after surgery.   Not having much pain.  I am hooked up to several machines and tubes are everywhere.  Catheter, IV’s, Vascular Saturation Doppler Machine and leg compression.  I feel like a robot.

This evening I was able to sit up in a chair for about an hour.   Such a funny thing to celebrate.  I was able to eat some toast and by the evening they had me up and walking.

The nursing staff at Harris SW is absolutely wonderful.

One little problem was my IV. It broke and filled my left arm and breast with fluid so my small breast is now rather large. It is very tight and uncomfortable but the swelling will go down.

Nov 1-6.JPG

Nov 1-4.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a picture of my lower incision.  Looks bad but actually does not hurt.  It is very tight so walking hunched over is a must.  

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.Nov 1-1.JPG

Oct 31,2016 Recovery and to my room

I woke up easily in the recovery room and I had no nausea.  They had peppermint for me to smell and that helped.  I also talked to the Anesthetist before surgery and he said he was going to try hard to make sure that I was not Nauseous after surgery.  What ever he did worked and I am so pleased.  I did not have any pain when I woke up so the drugs they were using worked.

The actual surgery was only 4.5 hrs.

I was in Recovery for about two hours.  They then took me to my room.  I did not have to go to Intensive care since Harris SW had a surgery floor that has the nursing staff that can check on my “flaps” every hour.  oct31-1

Every single Nurse and Tech were absolutely wonderful.  They managed my pain very well so I could sleep.  So for the next 12 hours I slept an hour at a time and then they would then check my “flaps”.  There was a machine attached to them that kept the saturation numbers that they monitored and Dr Habash was also able to check on them via his phone.

After an hour or so I decided I needed to see my results.  I was so surprised at the outcome. I loved them.  They were smaller and Dr Habash was able to do the Areola flap instead of the larger one below the nipple area.  I was very pleased.  The abdominal scar is huge and very tight.  Literally from hip to hip.

So I feel really good about this surgery and how it went.  No regrets at all.  A big thank you to my nurses and techs.  One of the pictures below shows the monitors on my “new girls” and it is perfect for Halloween.  My breasts light up

Now for the pictures.  Please move on if you do not want to see the actual pictures.  

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Ready for Halloween       Oct31-3.JPGOct31-2.JPG

Oct31-5.JPG

Looks worse than it feels.

The small marks on my stomach are from the staples holding my flap in place after they attached the vein and artery.  They needed to make sure the flap stayed in place.

Oct31-10.JPG

Day of Surgery. The Journey Begins

It is early and I am ready to go to the hospital.  My final shower before surgery is complete, bag is packed, forms are complete and prayers have been said.  I feel some sadness for my “old girls” and said goodbye to them in the shower.  I hope my “new girls” will be good.   At least I know that the chance of cancer will be very low and it will be worth it.

Quick update on what the hospital stay will be like

Surgery will take between 6 and 10 hours.  I will be in intensive care for up to 36 hours so they can monitor the new flaps for blood flow.  The regular floor nursing staff does not have time to do this so that is why Intensive Care is the only option.  If there is a problem with blood flow they will need to take me back to surgery.  After 36 hours or so, if there is no problem I will be transferred to a regular hospital room for 1 or 2 days more.  I should be home Thurs. or Friday at the latest.

Day before surgery

Before surgery photos included.

Well it is the day before surgery and I am ready for this journey to begin.  Tonight I will take the 1st of two showers preparing my skin for surgery.  I had a pedicure on Friday and had them put pumpkins on my big toes.  My surgeons will be missing Halloween and I wanted to make them smile when they noticed them.

pumpkin-toe

I am trying to keep my surgery upbeat and this seems to help me.  I did take pictures of my before body and will be posting them at the end of this blog.  You will be able to read the whole blog and not be able to see the pictures until you scroll down to them.  I know not everyone would like to see these, but for a person going through this process it really helped me to see what was going on and what to expect when I have my surgery.  I hope that no one is offended by them.

My husband I have cooked meals and froze them into double serving sizes, cleaned and done all of the projects we could finish by this weekend.  He took me dancing, to the new I-Fly indoor skydiving place, and to Bass Hall to see Phantom of the Opera.  Kind of a surgery bucket list.  My kids called it that.  I am not worried about this surgery and have been trying to keep my life positive and upbeat.  So far it seems to be working.  I set up on my phone two separate group messages so he can, during surgery and early recovery, keep everyone posted on what is happening in real time.  I also set up on my calendar several messages to be delivered to him during surgery to let him know how much I love him and to keep a positive thought.  Hopefully he knows how to open it to read it.

I am going to try and post a small message before I leave in the morning also but leaving around 4:30am, it might be hard to do.

Well if you do not want to see the before pictures then stop here and wait for the next post.  Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers as this journey begins.  

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

For those who do not know what a DIEP Flap is, it is where they take the excess fat and skin from your belly, harvest a vein and an artery and connect that skin and fat tissue to the skin from my breast mastectomy, connecting the vein and artery to the ones in my breast area and create new breasts.  I have plenty of tissue to do this.  The after photos will show the large 17″ scar on my tummy from the procedure but my stomach will be flat.  A “Tummy tuck” basically.  The breasts will have either a Circle or Football shaped scar on them “the transplanted tissue”.

.

.

.

 

right-side
Right Side

 

left-side
Left Side
bs-front
Front View