Sunday, February 12, 2012

What hath man wrought

Hello, lovelies. It is I, your errant blogger, in to tell tales of amazement.

Ohhhhhhhh yeah...

So, on Jan 23rd I met with my plastic surgeon to sign papers for surgery & choose my implant.
The silicone had a very breast-like feel, but the recommendation by the manufacturer is that one get an MRI two years after placement & every three years after that.
If a saline implant ruptures it is, literally, a water balloon breaking & you go from busty to flat in a couple of minutes. (And I had a friend who had that happen when an air bag deployed. It's true!) But a silicone implant can rupture, & since it is a gel, your tissues can entrap it, so that it looks like your implant is intact but it is not.
Well, I have a titanium screw in my leg from an earlier orthopaedic surgery, so MRI's are off my personal menu for this lifetime. (The magnetic pull is so strong that it will begin pulling the metal right out of the middle of your bone! Ack. And, yes, I have verified this with an MRI tech)

So, I chose the saline implant. Which had absolutely no give at all. Like a barely liquid baseball.
But, ok. Fine.
Then we talked about the other side. Since the largest non-specialty implant they make is 800 cc's & he estimated my natural size was 1100-1200 cc's, he recommended a lift & reduction.
I said yes to the lift, but no to the reduction.
I am probably 35-40 pounds overweight & breasts are fat, and so they rise & fall with your body weight.
I intend to begin some form of regular activity which (one would hope) will result in some lost weight = losing breast volume as well.
So, I said "Just do the lift. I know it will be larger, but that's fine. That's on me. If I don't lose weight it's my call, but if I do lose what I want to, it should be about even"
He said ok.
We signed papers & that was, ostensibly, that.

On Feb 8th I checked in to the hospital at 7:30 a.m., my trusted & trusty friend, Missy, at my side.
He came & marked me for the lift, said he had the saline 800's ready to go.
I had long conversations with the anesthesiologists, asking that we change up the meds we used for the last surgery, as I threw up for 2 days afterwards.
Drugs in the IV & awaaaaaaaaaay we go.

I woke up in recovery & stayed there most of the day.
I (boo!) started throwing up around 8:00 p.m. but they sent me home at 9:00 p.m.
Well. Ok. I guess I'd rather be hurling in my own house for two days, rather than at the hospital.
Which I did.
(BTW, my brother took *such* good care of me! On Thursday at 3:30 a.m. I texted him
~in the other room~
& asked if he would drive out to get me some Sprite & vanilla ice cream. Which he did. He is just THE BEST!)

On Saturday my oldest niece, a very gifted singer, was doing a concert downtown at the Vidora for her 28th birthday, but I was still too sick and weak to attend. *pout*
When my brother left I decided to do the unvieling and take a shower, as it had been the requisite three days in the compression garment.
I went into the bathroom and slowly undid the garment, peeled away the layers of gauze...
And stared.
And stared.
And stared.

I showered, looking at myself from all angles, as I have a large mirror built into the shower wall & also across the room, over the sink.
I dried off, gently, & stared some more.

Then I got dressed, called a dear friend & cried like a lost soul for an hour.

My left breast, the side of the implant, is perfect.
The saline implant has the drop & movement of a normal breast (!) & a small, perfectly executed 6 inch scar, utilizing the same scar as the original mastectomy scar.

My right breast, my natural breast is ~~and I am not being melodramatic, here~~ ruined.
He did the lift, but...Well it is higher than I was when I was 16.Higher than the left side.  And.
It is football shaped. Well, actually, it is the shape of Stewie's head from Family Guy.
No. Really.
And it is smaller.
What the hell?
Oh, no. There was no reduction. He just dragged the tissue laterally. So I have a smaller football shape of tissue, like one of those little kid's play footballs, under my armpit.
And the rest of the tissue was dragged even further back. Into my back.
The nipple is mine, but doesn't look like any nipple I have ever had on my body.
I have 13 inches of scar, running from my sternum past my armpit underneath my breast.
Two inches of scar from the bottom of my nipple to the Joker Smile scar underneath, and, by the tape measure, 7 inches of scar around my nipple.
Yeah. Really spread out.
TWENTY TWO inches of scar.
And the head of Stewie, a baby football, & major back fat.

Fuck. Me.

So, I have been crying a LOT. Raging or depressedly telling a few people, taking pain killers not for any physical pain (I have virtually none! Cool.), but because I am a child of the 70's & drugs are my friend.

I see him on Thursday. And ya know, it doesn't matter what he says because I am now a product of his work. (??? Really? I think he must have turned the lift over to an intern; the quality of "work" side to side is so different.)
Insurance in Texas will pay for "one trip in" to surgery on the non-mastectomy side to (said with Heath Ledger as the Joker voice) make them match.
Any more work is out of my pocket.
Some day.
When I save enough to redo this botched job + the month off I have to take, due to my work.
And that is after I find a surgeon (NOT THAT GUY!!!) who can, hopefully, give me a breast that hopefully looks like a breast.

That's the bad motherfucking news.
And I am still very much grieving & pissed as wet hornet whose nest just got whacked with a broom.

And/ but. You know me.
Even in my devastado I seek the "What good is here for me?" mode.

So here is what I have located so far.
Number one, I must admit, I have just "not gotten" all the women bloggers in the cancer community who have banked on feeling like a woman/ feminine again for after their reconstruction is complete.
I really was saying "Huh??" inside a lot, though I honored that is the truth of their feelings.
I just couldn't relate.
Even when I was expecting to live flat chested on the left, before I found out insurance will pay for reconstruction, my take on it was "OK. Well, fine. I'm alive." And honestly, it didn't bother me.
Even after the cellulitis & all the distortion, inflammation & purple welting of the scar, as a bodyworker I was, honestly, just fascinated.
That's why I had those photos made.

I figured well, I'm alive. It's fine.

But this. This is a disfigurement of tissue that was healthy & fine.
Yeah, gravity had had its way with me, but I was okay with that too.

So. I understand. And have deep compassion for what all those women have been speaking to on all of those blogs.
Yeah. It sucks. Hard.

Second thing. (I am smiling. Really.) Plainly, boys & girls, I have had *just a few layers* of attachment to form/ appearance that I was unaware of.
NOT to say that my doctor doesn't suck. 'Cause I think he does, now.
But, hey, I am very Buddhist in my heart of hearts, & am all about finding & healing all that I have attachment to, or resistance to, as much as I can locate & clear, in this lifetime, I am up for it.
I truly have no interest in being enslaved by concept & told the Universe decades ago that I want to wake up in this lifetime.
Well. No hitting the snooze button on this one!!
And. *Deep sigh*

That's the latest.
I think I'll go pop a painkiller & check FaceBook.


Amy said...

Oh, my beautiful Skye, I am so horrified and hurting for you that I am speechless. I'm having difficulty processing it, even from so very very far away, and cannot imagine what it is like for you. I wish I could do anything, anything in the world to help, to make it better, to give you some encouragement and love, but I honestly haven't a clue what to do. But know that I love you so deeply, and that if there *is* anything I can do I will do my utmost for you. I am glad you are so strong--I know it would take me considerably longer to get to the point where I can look at the bright side and start working through the internal issues this has brought up. Somehow this will work out because you *are* so strong... and until then, I love you, I love you, I love you. I love you so much, Skye.

mrs mediocrity said...

Oh, Skye. I am left speechless, and heartbroken for you. My feelings echo Amy's, I wish there was something I could do or say that would help.
Just know that I am here, you have been in my thoughts, and will continue to be there and in my heart.
You have every right to be angry and upset and hurt. And you continue to amaze me with your strength.
Sending my love to you. xoxo

d smith kaich jones said...


i read this and i admit to feeling feelings i've felt before, when doctors screw up, don't care, ignore you, treat you as a non-human. i admit i was there again, in that place where it is too late to do anything but accept and move forward. this really triggered a lot.

but my god. the bastards. they couldn't/didn't/won't take away your humanness, your womanness (i am just making up words here in my anger). and that gives you power, my dear, gives you strength.

i love you much. i am impressed and amazed at your heart and soul, and i am sending healing vibes your way. and gentle hugs. i am here.


cynthia said...

Skye, I am truly speechless. I have read your post 3 times and I still can't find words to express my...bewilderment? No, my feeling of unreality that this has happened to you. You have been so involved, so sure of your decisions every step of the way and they have turned out to be the right ones on your journey. To have this happen breaks my heart. I am hoping that there is something that can be done, that maybe the Dr will correct his mistake at no cost. It's hard to comprehend that a Dr who did such a wonderful job in the reconstruction, has left you with such a mess. My heart goes out to you. I love you my friend.