Saturday, November 13, 2010

The flurry before the surgery

I had three doctor's appointments last week. Wednesday was herceptin and my oncologist.  Thursday, I had a six month follow-up with Rockstar Raja.  He asked me how I was doing.  I said fine, no problems with the breast.  I tried to probe him about my back.  I said, "I'm having this lower back/side pain, do you think it could possibly be from the expander?"

His response:

Same as my oncologist.  Profound silence.  I even tried again and got the same response.  Not even an "I don't know" or an "I can't answer that."  Just....nothing.  He wrote it on his notes, "back pain" but never responded.   It was very strange.   Maybe that question is too stupid to be answered - it does seem a far-fetched idea.

I think they'd prefer to believe I'm imagining it rather than they can't answer it. 

Maybe my oncologist called him up on the phone and said, "Hey, this crazy lady is going to ask you about her back pain - she thinks its from the expander.  I was messing with her mind and didn't answer her,  you do the same!"

Anyway, Dr;. Raja asked me a few questions, did a breast exam, wrote "expander age" alongside "back pain" on his notes and told me he felt very bad that I'd had to have it in that long.  He told me to call him anytime I needed anything and he'd help me, and he then released me from his care.  He asked me to send a card at some point to let him know how I was doing.  I honestly think he meant it too - he's a wonderful doctor and the most caring of the bunch, despite not answering my question. 

Here's an example of the kind of doctor he is.  While I was in the waiting room, the phone rang.  Apparently somebody had cut their finger.  The receptionist was trying to tell the person that doctor Raja didn't do hand surgery but was getting nowhere.  Dr. Raja heard the conversation, picked up the phone and helped the person himself.  He called me often too. and this person wasn't a patient, just some person calling randomly.   Sacramentans, if you get Dr. Rajagopal as your surgeon, thank your lucky stars.  You will get personal attention. 

Friday, I saw my plastic surgeon.  I'd forgotten what he looked like, it had been so long.  (He's young and cute.)  He asked me if I had any questions and I figured I'd ask him about my back and see if I could quiet the room/kill a thread.. Never give up!   His response was:

"Probably not."  Wow, he'd answered me - he must not be answering his phone.

He'd said he'd never seen anybody with lower back/side pain caused by an upper right expander but he hoped I'd be pleasantly surprised after the surgery.

Anyway, I have to buy a front closing sports bra and I will wear that for two weeks night and day after the surgery.  He ordered a variety of sizes of implants for me.  I'd been told that I would have to be smaller than my normal size by my previous plastic surgeon but this new guy doesn't agree.  I could never figure out how that would work anyway because I still have one breast left.

I was a C before and I'd like to stay a C so he'll get me to a C.  I have been convincing myself how nice it would be to have a B cup and be able to button blouses all the way up without gaps, and how I could fit into more clothes with a B cup and being so tiny, it would be better suited to my body.  But considering that I still haven't haven't adjusted to having grey hair, I'd probably be best not to do any other radical changes, and I'm glad he thinks he can keep me the same size.  I can barely recognize myself as it is.  Gray hair and small boobs might be too much for my delicate psyche to handle.

I might start imagining weird back pain or something.

I forgot to ask about drains.  I hope I don't have to have them.

This time next week, I'll have that hard, plastic shell out of me and will be well on my way to putting this whole experience in the past. 

I'm almost done folks.  Almost done.


  1. Your comment - 'Almost done' - that's exactly how I felt when I had my revisional surgery. A good feeling indeed.... I hope all goes well for you.

    PS My surgeon had me wear a (horrible) elastic binder after my surgery! Enell do a good front fastening sports bra.

    November 14, 2010 8:25 AM

  2. Woohoo! Expander, your days are numbered! And that number is refreshingly small!

  3. So so happy for you to be able to ditch that expander- life is so much better after that crap is out. I had my swapped out in may and no more back pain! I had back pain too and they really had nothing much to say either- they think they are being sneaky but, I think they all know that living with that expander can cause back pain.
    Good for you!
    I'm can't wait to get my nipple- hoping for March...the Easter Bunny will be coming early to my

  4. So, did you have to have drains??


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