I saw my surgeon last week and he talked me through more of the detail of my surgery, now that I have decided to have a double mastectomy. He told me that it’s a good decision to have a double, as I am young and probably have an increased risk of getting breast cancer again.
Although none of my blood relatives have had breast cancer, there is a chance that I have the gene. If so, I’m not sure why no other family members have had it. I guess that there is a lot that they don’t know about cancer still. I have been referred for gene testing. Hopefully this is not hereditary and I am just a one off!
Anyway, the surgeon got out his red pen (luckily not a permament marker) and drew some lines and numbers all over my chest. He explained where the cuts would be, and how they would do the reconstructions. It felt like we were talking about a dress pattern, and so I really wasn’t bothered. It’s quite interesting, actually. He would be great on the Great British Sewing Bee.
He showed me the two types of implants that I will be having. The first is an expander, which is used to grow more skin (because some will be removed during the procedure). This stays in for a few months, and then the proper silicone implant goes in. This one should last 15 years or more. As with all surgery, there is a risk of infection.
I could still choose to have the stomach fat reconstruction whenever I want it in future, but I do not have enough for two breasts, just the one. He said that I should try to keep my stomach fat ‘just in case’ the implant failed. I said that it would be difficult eating cake every day, but needs must. Ok, I didn’t really say that. I did tell him that I have cleverly added some during chemo (thanks to the steroids and lack of energy/ activity.)
They won’t know if I need radiation until the lab results come back post-op. Hopefully I won’t. It will be a pain having to travel out of town, every day for three weeks. Childcare, schoolruns etc will become much more difficult. Also there is a 10% chance of the rads damaging the implant. That would mean more surgery: not something I really fancy.
I am waiting for a date for surgery, but it will be within the next four weeks. Yay. I am not looking forward to it, but at least once it’s over, it’s over.