Monday, August 16, 2010

My Cup Runneth Over, and Can You Say Venogram?

Shout out to Husband for coming up with this title when I mentioned the subject matter of this post.

Did you know that on October 21, 1998, the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act was passed making it a Federal law requiring most group insurance plans that cover mastectomy to also cover breast reconstruction?

I've started to think about what cup size I'd like to be when Flopsy is retired.  Mopsy will get a matching outfit, or will possibly be retired herself.  It's surreal to think about, but I know I need to start entertaining the idea.  Entertaining with much smaller boobies.   In the cancer world, they call em "foobs" for fake boobs.

Most of my adult life I've been a DD.  Way too big.

You think it's been easy carrying these fat bunnies around?

I got my first training bra in 4th grade, when I became self conscious about two emerging bumps from underneath my sweater.  I was probably a C cup by 6th grade.  By my twenties, I was a DD, and when I was pregnant with the boys, spilled out of that.

Now I have a chance for a do over.  That's how I'm trying to re-frame it.  I'd like something not too big, not too small, just right, Goldilocks says.  A nice handful, but perky enough to wear a halter or a racerback shirt.

I've been looking at "after" photos of breast reconstruction.  I've learned that plastic surgeons don't think in terms of cup size.  They use "cc's" or cubic centimeters, and think in terms of volume.  Implant sizes range from 120 cc's to 850 cc's.  I will be interested to find out how they measure size when the breasts are constructed using tissue from the patient's body.

I am really looking forward to my appointment with the plastic surgeon on Friday.  I know there will be a lot to tell you about after that meeting.

I had a bit of the Monday blues today after my appointment with surgeon this morning to check my port hole :)

He said it is healing just fine, the bottom of the hole is much shallower, and the sides will begin to close as the bottom rises.  I told him the skin near the area has been very itchy and tight, and he said this is a sign of healing.  He is not having me put anything on the wound at all, just packing it with fresh gauze every day and a large bandaid on top of that.  He said this week will probably bring more itching and pulling, but the week after I should really notice a difference in how the wound looks and feels.

Over the weekend, my right arm was still very tender and yesterday I was concerned about some numbing in that arm.  I also thought the right arm and hand look slightly swollen.  I mentioned this to him, and although he did not put in my PICC line, he wanted to make sure everything is ok.

He said it's possible this is just part of the normal healing after having the port removed and t the PICC inserted, but I could have a collapsed vein or clot that is causing the numbing and swelling.  He was leaving on vacation this afternoon, but wanted to order me a venogram at the hospital, and then have the results sent to my oncologist.

I just about crumbled on the exam table, not another damn poke.  Ok Doc, what's a venogram?

He said it is a procedure done at hospital radiology (Hello Wayne) where they will inject dye into my arm and then X-ray it to make sure the blood flow is good through the veins and there are no blockages or clots.

I was crushed.  He said his office would refer me and I would hear back from the hospital today or tomorrow when the procedure would be scheduled.

I sure am getting tired of biting my lip and choking back tears on the way home from surgeon's office.

I did not hear from the hospital today, but at the end of the day, his staff called to say they were still trying to make arrangements.  The hospital did not have available spots till the end of the week, but they were trying to get me in sooner.  She would talk to them again in the morning and let me know.

Oh baby.  I sure could spit with all this poking and invasion of my poor veins.  Chemo can't end soon enough for me.  Seven weeks to go baby.  Seven weeks.

What happened to my smooth sail?

Deep breath.

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