Saturday, March 1, 2008

I dreamed that I had 2 breasts (reconstruction)

I dreamed that I had 2 breasts, nipples and all.

I don’t know what to expect from my reconstruction surgery. I have now an expander in the place where my right breast used to be - a round area of stretched skin that is higher than where a natural breast would be (and rounder). It still feels a bit tight, but mostly the tissue feels like it has adapted to this foreign “thing”. Sometimes it feels like I (my chest wall) am behind it, pressing against it. When I take off my bra, I feel like I still have something on.

The only time I notice it hurting now is when I swim. The water is still fairly cold, and I can swim for a half and hour or more. Later, for a day or so, there is a deep ache in the non-breast area and under my arm.

Below the expander is the mastectomy scar and a strange accumulation of skin. Just after the mastectomy this was the area that was filled with fluid (the seroma). Now it feels mostly numb and hard, like perhaps it has become some kind of scar tissue.

Most of the time I feel ok with the expander – it doesn’t feel natural, but I can live with it. I know that I don’t like the way that it looks though, and something has to be done.

I have no idea how Dr. Lickstein will shape this into a cavity into which he will place a silicon implant.

Then he will have to “lift” and augment the other breast to match the implant.

I don’t like the idea of messing with my good, natural (and healthy) breast. But I know that there is no other way that I could look balanced, or halfway normal.

The surgery will take 3 ½ hours. I don’t even want to think about what will be done to me – my breasts – during that time. Like, how will he know if they are even? Will he sit me up, like a corpse?