Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October Update


Not much post-worthy happening around here but I wanted to touch-base with all of you and give you some photo updates.

It's October 10 and today is in the 60's...actually feels like Fall!!  Won't last but a few days, but we'll enjoy it today. :)

As far as surgical recovery goes, life is pretty okay.  I get a little frustrated sometimes with my decreased endurance and lack of upper body and abdominal strength.  I was working on a DIY project last week and could not have done it without my teenage son to do the heavy lifting.  I used to be able to do so much more in one day, but now I find myself tiring out and needing to take a break.  It's not all bad...I tend to push myself too hard to finish projects, but it is frustrating.   Everything takes time, I know, but having never had major surgery prior to this year, I never realized just how much its affects can linger.  I'm trying to learn to embrace the rest....easier said than done. 

Super excited to report that my final Phase 3 is scheduled!!  My micropigmentation procedure (aka tattoos) will be completed in my PS office by my nurse on Nov. 7th.  Yay!  This should be the last procedure on my breast reconstruction journey.  

As my new nipples/areolas have healed, I am even happier with them!  As promised, the nipples have gone down about 50% and are not as "noticeable" when I am not wearing a bra (not that I do that in public, but I could! ;) ).  To see them with color soon...it's like waiting for Christmas as a kid!  
New nipples built 2.5 months ago...all healed and scars fading.
Just waiting on tattoos for color!!
The breasts themselves are great! The fat grafting made all the difference in shaping for me and they are very symmetrical.  Most of the time, my foobs are soft and natural feeling. When I first wake up in the morning and sometimes after an active day, they will feel a little firm.  This goes away immediately with a quick massage.  Love that they are "perky" even without a bra....its been years since that was the case!! 

My incisions have all healed well and the scars are starting to fade.  I'm not very good about massaging them daily like I should, but I'm working on it.  Right now, I am alternating between Palmer's Cocoa Butter and Mederma Oil as recommended by my PS.  Just recently, I purchased the InviCible Scars cream (made by one of the MD's in my PS office).  I've heard great things about it, so we will see how it works and I'll let y'all know.  

The scars on my chest from the fat grafting in Phase 2 are not as red and noticeable....made me feel like I had the measles or chicken pox before!  :)
Fat grafting scars on chest at 2.5 months post-op
My original abdominal incision looks good...not fading as quickly as my breast incisions, but it is very smooth and flat.
DIEP Flap Abdominal Incision at 7.5 months post-op

My new flank incisions from Phase 2 surgery on 07/25 are a little different.  One is already quite flat and thin.  The other side is "indented" and "tighter"....can't figure out a better way to describe that.  Obviously, these scars are newer so it'll take them awhile to fade like the original.  
New right flank incision...smooth and flat already at 2.5 months post-op

I've gained weight since all of this began but I'm hoping that some of the indentation will smooth out with weight loss and scar massage.
New left flank incision...thin but a little "indented" at 2.5 months post-op

So, that's my update for today.  I've "met" quite a few ladies on this journey and have enjoyed chatting with several this month on Facebook. If you have questions or comments or just want to share your story, please comment below!  

Since October is officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please don't forget to do your self-exams and get your mammograms!!  I found this ad amusing:

Have a great week!