Tuesday, February 5, 2008

follow up appointment #2 - BC talk

Yesterday I had my 3 week follow up appointment.  It was packed at the hospital, so a few of us were put in a "waiting room".  At first it was just me and another lady, who obviously had a double mastectomy.  I wanted to somehow let her know about our "kinship" but didn't know how to bring it up.  I didn't want to say anything that would point out that her mastectomy was obvious.  You know?  Somehow we were talking about what doctor we were going to see and I mentioned that the new PS was my next door neighbor, and had asked Dr. C. if he were leaving because I didn't want to see my neighbor and flash him.  So that got the conversation moving in the right direction.  She had one expander in, and was about to get the other expander.  Her recon had been delayed due to infection, so she was very anxious to get things moving along.  It was exciting to meet her because she kept saying how I was where she wanted to be and asked me questions about my implants.  It was fun, but then other people started coming in.  We really need some sort of support system or mentorship at the hospital.  There are so many women being diagnosed with breast cancer all the time.  The number of people in our sunday school class who have friends and loved ones with it is just unbelievable.

My appointment went well.  When he looked at me he immediately started to say something about me having redness - and then it struck him - the steri strips!  He hung his head and apologized in exactly the way I wanted and needed him to.  And his explanation was just what I figured happened.  Anyway, we discussed the next stages - nipples and tattoos.  He wants me to come back in 6-8 weeks to see if I've healed enough and then we can schedule those appointments.  I want to hold off until after the Singapore trip.  The doc is very pleased with my outcome and seems to think it's going to get better as time goes by and with everything done, it'll be really good.

I was reading a discussion that got me to thinking about how I regard my recon boob.  If I'm topless at home, I find myself covering up just my natural side.  I don't cover up the recon side.  It's the same at the doctor's office.  I readily uncover the recon side, but I still get giggly over the natural side.  (lordy, he probably picks up on that because he almost never uncovers that side and is very quick to cover it up after he has to look at it - gosh, I probably make him uncomfortable!)  I guess I don't consider my recon side a boob.  It's just a mound.  It's fake and has no feeling.  The natural side feels that coolness of the air, but the recon side doesn't.  I wonder if I'll treat it differently after the "toppings".  We shall see.

Anyone watching this season of "biggest loser couples"?  (this is relevent to the topic today)  Gary and I noticed this several weeks ago that Paul has a noticably unmatching chest.  I wonder if it's genetic, or had he ever been diagnosed with BC.  (yes, men get it too) and if he was diagnosed with BC and had a mastectomy, why did he get recon?  I mean, he has a nipple (yet he's quite uneven - but what guy would say "give me a man boob"?).  I would have thought a man would just leave the scar.  I've been known to be wrong before...

I just thought it was interesting...

1 comment:

lanurseprn said...

You are so right about needing a support system in place. Look at how much you enjoyed talking to that lady, and I'm sure she felt the same. Hey...maybe you could start one up. Call up the administrator and see what can be done. You never know...?
I like reading your progress on the BC. I can't imagine going thru what you have dealt with. You are one strong lady.
Have a good day.
Pam