I don’t know why I used that title, but it’s staying. Aaaaand now I’m listening to T.I. on YouTube.
Big day in Cancerland!
I woke up insanely early (i.e., 8:30 in the morning) to head to my doctor’s appointment this morning. Luckily, I was as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve because it was time to get my drains pulled! I cannot possible convey in words the happiness I felt in knowing that these things were going to get yanked out, thrown into a medical waste bin and incinerated in their own private biohazard hell for all eternity (or however long it takes to melt biohazardous materials). It was tempered, however, with a fair bit of anxiety because today was also scheduled to be my first expansion, so I went ahead and treated myself an Ativan before setting off.
The drain removal was easy and painless just like the first time, which was a relief. Truth be told, simply having the drain protruding from my flesh, even without moving, was far more painful than what I felt as it was yanked free from my innards and tossed asunder like the trash it was. The second and final drain was treated to a slightly different end. I asked the doctor if she could hold it up, so I could take a picture of it for my blog. She looked at me like I had three heads.
“Well, this is a first,” she said, holding it up.
“Pose with it,” I said, snapping a few shots. “Vogue, baby.”
She didn’t think that was as hilarious as it is, but the picture looks great:
So yeah, two of those things came out of my chest this morning. You’re welcome, Instagram followers!
I enjoyed about two blissful drain-free, painless minutes before it was time to start the expansion, which looked quite a bit scarier than it was. The nurse wheeled in an IV pole with a bag of saline dangling from its curlycue thingee, which I do believe is the medical term for that wotsit on the end of the contraption. The saline bag drained into a long tube connected to the largest hypodermic needle I’ve ever seen. No joke, looking at this, I almost passed out. It was like the MRI room all over again. It looked like the kind of needle you’d need to give Shaq steroids. It must be used for elephant insemination or something. The base attached to it was the diameter of my forearm.
The plastic surgeon used a neat little magnet to locate the tissue expander’s opening, then plunged this gargantuan needle into my chest like I was Uma Thurman having an overdose in Pulp Fiction. Despite its heart-stopping appearance, however, the MegaNeedle was painless. I’ve mentioned in a couple of my posts that a complete mastectomy causes the loss of sensation in both breasts. I can feel my sternum and actually a fair amount of tissue in towards my nipples, but from the nipple to the armpit and upwards toward the clavicle, it’s as densely numb as my face after a cavity filling. I felt the pressure of the needle entering, but nothing resembling pain.
Then, gloriously, right before my eyes, I began to have the puberty I missed out on naturally. Fifty cc were added to each breast, bringing their total volume to 130 cc each. Not only are they awesomely even, they’re actually already larger than my original breasts, which were 103 and 108 cc in volume, respectively.
There’s some soreness and a bit of discomfort resulting from the fill, but not much pain. It’s more like a sensation of tightness, like I’m an overfilled tire. It’ll fade over the next day or two, and on Monday I’ll return to have another 50 cc added. Hyperspeed puberty, awesome!
I have another appointment today, with the breast surgeon. I expect he’ll go over my pathology report again, talk about some of my treatment options and make sure that everything’s healing to his liking. I’ll update again with whatever funny, bizarre things happen to me there. I’m sure there will be plenty.