Thursday, December 27, 2012

(Moving on: Tatted Up)

So I got nipples...and tattoos for areola. I AM SO HAPPY WITH HOW THEY LOOK. From the front-- head-on-- no one can tell I had surgery. My breasts are small, pert. I do not need a bra. It's bananas.

From the side, I have some puckered skin on one side. It bothers me a lot, but I can't imagine another surgery for some time. Not for such a small thing.

From beneath, I have scars. I actually like them.

I am so happy with my breasts and the work my docs did. And of course I'm very happy that my risk is reduced. Now I'm back to exercising like mad, and seeing how much I can do with this whole weight lifting thing.

I haven't  been back to any FORCE meetings, which is a combo of not feeling like traveling an hour out, not wanting to focus on my sort-of-painful risk/hereditary stuff anymore, and just being plum tired on the weekends or after work.

And now...moving on. The last couple of years were stressful, and as I peeked back through the blog I sort of gasped at how much I was working/healing/planning. I'm in the working world now so next chapters of my life have to shift offline. I plan to update when I have boob- related things happening, but for now...


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Moving On

For academics (and teachers, and students, I suppose) the end of the summer means promise, anxiety, and anticipation.  As the school year swings around, I find myself in disbelief at the year (and a half!) I've had.

Stable, it was not. Busy, yes. Frantic, even, at times.

steps in nipple reconstruction

At any rate, without waxing poetic, I will say that this final surgery-- the nipple recon-- says "finished" to me. And breasts look better than I could have dreamed.  After 2 days I could bathe, being careful not to manipulate the little guys with scrubbing or harsh soap. I'm going a bit stir crazy around the house but the doc said to take it easy for a week or so.

As I re-tool my syllabi and gear up for Labor Day, I can't help but feel a sense of relief that I get a clean slate. Wooooohoooo!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Nipple Recon

Whelp, after a long hiatus (for several reasons) I'm back after nipple reconstruction surgery yesterday.

As part of it, I had some assymetry repaired, as well as some liposuction for the extra skin and fat left over from my previous F cups.

The surgery took an hour, I'm told, and my doc was efficient and knowledgable as usual. I had some breakout bleeding and pain but not even 18 hours later I feel fine but a little sore.

I'm still bandaged up, so I can't see my nip-nips, but through my little cotton dress they are looking pretty wonderful.

The last months have brought a ton of changes:
-finishing up the doctorate;
-a summer gig with students who changed my life;
-Good friends who REALLY became family with all of their care and love;
-A gig that starts next year as an assistant professor of writing and all of the opportunities that go along with it!

This surgery is the last one. My life is changing a lot, and this is part of it. I am excited and scared and excited some more.

A few pics from along the way: my french neighbor's delicious boxed wine; city wine tasting/pairings;
the view from my office; a dear friend's little one; games with my students; a birthday celebration with my dear, dear, newly-in-love friend.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shazaam! Exchange Surgery, Three Weeks and Counting

So it's been a whir of writing and conferences and basically being nuts that for the first time in four and a half years I don't have anything that I should be doing.

This weekend was three precious days of chillin.  Haven't had that in...can't even remember.

And today was my 3 week follow up from my exchange surgery. Short version: doc says I look good.  Frankly, I wasn't sure.  I'm squishy but I've got puckers and my "breasts" appear strange because they are, well- new to me.  And there is extra skin under my arms (fat!) that is more prominent now. 

When I was a kid I wasn't allowed to wear jeans with holes.
I am pretty sure I wore these two days in a row.
Take that, parents!

I am pretty easy about the whole thing, especially after finding out last week that pop's tumor is benign! The downside is of course that he is nevertheless in pain a lot of the time. But he has many years ahead of him, it seems, which is a huge relief for everyone.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Exchange Surgery: Two Weeks Out

It appears that I have finally forgotten that I have a blog.

The two weeks since my exchange surgery has flown by. Tomorrow I can return to exercise and say goodbye to lifting restrictions. I am healing amazingly well, and am mostly happy with the outcome: there's a little extra skin still, but I'm told that can be addressed at my final surgery-- the nipple reconstruction. I am not looking forward to another surgery but am excited about moving on to a new phase in my life without having to think about breast cancer. And having "finished" boobs.

In the meantime I've been creating sample syllabi and doing revisions and sharpening my teaching philosophy statement for this round of jobs (September- November).

I am so freaking tired. My last vacation was a year ago (Ghana!) and I desperately need a physical and mental break. My body feels strong, but I'd be lying if I said this year hasn't been one of the most emotionally and academically draining times of my life.

I cut out to the Big Apple for a conference but am still going and going...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pooping Through Percoset: The Wimp's Guide to Recovery After a Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy

So I'm all funny again, you see.

A couple of days on the couch and a follow-up removal of my drain has me feeling less doomsday and such.  The stabby, hurty pains are faint now.  The doc said that "they'd done lots of work right there" so that might be the reason for the pain.  I have no idea what that means but hoorah, I'm getting better.

After both the initial surgery and this exchange, I was sent home with percoset, a painkiller.  I hate it; it makes my mind cloudy and I was writing every day, so I went off of it pretty quickly the first go round.  This time I took it regularly (as in every 4 hours regularly) during those first hurty days.  One side effect is..da-dum: constipation. Yes, I'm the lucky winner of a) new foreign objects under my pec muscles; b) stabby pains; and c) the complete absence of poops.

Buuuuuuuuut lest we forget why this detail is teensy in the grand scheme of things...oh yeah! A family history of breast, uterine,  and prostate cancers! 

And let me tell you: any food you...don't want "with" you for a few days-- don't eat it. I'm just sayin.' 

Grody enough?

K, I'll stop.


Saturday, May 19, 2012


In short: I hurt.

I am heavy and swollen, and there are flashes of pain every so often.

This was supposed to be the easy surgery.

So far, it has been rough.

I am making myself get moving today and even dressing was hard.

I feel bad even complaining. But that's how I feel right now.
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