Thursday, June 10, 2010

Breast Reconstruction Confusion

I'm so confused.....

Did my new foobs abscond on me permanently? Are they being held hostage? Are they a discontinued brand?  Have they been recalled?

Something has changed - and I don't know what.

Today, I called my plastic surgeon's office to get a new surgery date. After some back-and-forth (I insisted that I have some input this time, considering how much I'd given up the other day) the scheduler said she'd talk to the doctor and call me back. My main goal was to keep my recovery from impacting my fourth of July celebration, as well as an annual visit by my niece and nephews.

I made plans, based on that original June 8th date, that I'd prefer not to break.

A few minutes later, I hear my Sex and the City ringtone, and I pick up. It's the doctor's office, and instead of getting me hospital time - they want me to come in on Monday to talk to the doctor.

I was nonplussed.  I'd just had my surgical consult, photos were taken, 20 pages of papers signed, prescriptions filled; the plan was a go.

I asked, why did I need to see him again?

I was shocked to hear her say that the doctor wanted to talk to me about my "gels.' (I have no idea what gels are but that's what she said.) He's apparently changed his mind about what he wants to do and what size I need.

I don't know what to think. We've had a plan for a couple of months: A 275 cc Mentor silicone high profile implant on my mastectomy side, and a 125 cc saline implant in my real side.

What has changed, aside from the fact that my decided-upon boobs didn't arrive?

It makes me wonder:  what if they had arrived, and I'd had the surgery two days ago? Does that mean it would have been a mistake? Only now - with Fed Ex dropping the ball - comes the enlightenment on how to give me good results?

Or, perhaps, the original plan can't be followed for a production reason? And....I'll be getting inferior boobage?

After all the mental preparation I went through to have this surgery - I can't describe how unnerved I feel right now.  There is no way a person can imagine how they are going to look after this kind of surgery.  I have had to put my trust in this doctor, more than any of my other physicians.  I understand the cancer, the oncology, the chemotherapy and my odds.  I really can't get a grasp on the plastic surgery part of it and how it relates to what I will end up facing.

I felt as if at least one person - my doctor - understood what was going on, and had a plan.

Now?  I'm not so sure.


  1. Sounds like a second opinion is in order! You have all the time in the world, really. You can schedule this 2 months from now. I would wait until I felt 100% comfortable with my PS and his "plan". Your recovery should be way quicker than your last surgery and if you don't have to return to school until Sept 1, I would make a 2nd call right now. Just my 2 cents, for what their worth :). Be strong Ann. You've fought much worse!

  2. I go back to school August 2nd. I only get five weeks off. My family visits for a week, we are going to see my sister in SoCal for a few days, we want to go to SF and see my stepdaughter's new house and I like to do it up for the 4th. Plus, my housework got seriously behind during chemo and going back to work takes up all my remaining energy - I'd planned to catch up over the summer. Five weeks will go FAST.

    I wanted everything (but herceptin) completed by then so I can start fresh and not have to interrupt my work.

    Plus, this expander is so damn uncomfortable!

    Obviously, if I'm not comfortable with what he tells me I'll check into something else or get a second opinion. I've come so far and it's really upsetting to switch at the end when I was so close to being done.

    And, I'm really concerned about the timing. It's like he's just NOW figuring out what he wants to do - but of course, I've not heard what he has to say yet so it's all guessing. It's possible the scheduler gave me the wrong information about why he wants to see me.

  3. I understand your confusion, concern and mental anguish. It takes so much to prepare for these surgeries mentally, changing the game plan isn't easy to deal with. I hope you get some answers at your appt, keep us posted. Good luck!


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