For the last few days, despite the fact that I have been on antibiotics since September 20th,my breast has gone from pink to dark pink to red to burgundy, &, as of this morning, with a tad bit of swelling.
And, yes, I *have* been checking in with doctors, but the concensus was very vanilla.
I called the plastic surgeon & said in no uncertain terms that I needed to be seen, which they were very good about. (Again.)
My doctor was at the hospital, but they had his colleague see me, & the nurse came in & took it upon herself to e-mail him photos of my autumn-colored anatomy.
Which brought him back from the hospital for a personal exam.
Long story short, I am going in the hospital for 1-3 days to receive IV antibiotics, as this is the beginnings of cellulitis~~a type of inflammation/ infection that can become very painful & hard to deal with.
We discussed my upcoming radiology experience (which of course, I had to reschedule) and the whole landscape has shifted like a snowbank.
At some point, after the cellulitis is under control, I will do the whole radiation protocol.
As I've mentioned, the usual way of dealing with this is to do a mastectomy, have the radiation, wait for six months, so the tissue can settle down, before doing any kind of reconstruction.
My plastic surgeon said that it is not a problem to have radiation with the expander in place (which, truth be told, I am rather grateful for) and/ but it will create a great deal of scarring into the tissue around the expander.
I asked if it would create so much scarring that getting it out would be a problem, and (I just love this guy!) he said "Oh. It will be a little difficult, but I've done it before. That is not a problem."
What, evidentally, is the problem is that after removing the expander & cleaning up the scar tissue, the capsule that the implant was supposed to fit in will be too compromised to comfortably hold an implant.
So we had our original "what are my options, doc?" discussion part deaux.
Again I declined a lat flap or a TRAM flap (using parts of my latissimus dorsi or my transversus abdominus, core muscles which I need for my work) sooooo *drum roll* we are back to the only option available, which is the belly fat transplant. (He had a better name for it, but that has slid off the teflon surface of my brain, that was busy processing timelines, like a perfect sunny side up!)
Yes, the long surgery, with a longish hospital stay, BUT! I will end up with a breast composed of my own tissue that should have a very real/ natural breast-y look to it.
And my Rubenesque stomach will be less so. Maybe almost flattish...
Ok. Not really going to complain about that, I must admit.
The time line for that surgery will be in the early summer of 2012. Six clean and clear months after the radiation ends.
All in all, though this is more complex than the original expectation, this is really such an easy journey as far as breast cancer goes, that I have not one single bitchy word to say.
I am waiting for the hospital to call me with my room number, so I am going to go pack now.
And then (looking right & looking left) if I still have some time, I am going to go sew some quilt blocks!!!
Oh, come on! You know you would, too!!!