BRCA Surgeries: 1 Year Later

In two days time it will be one year since my initial mastectomy/reconstruction surgery. What a year. And the adventure continues. A visit to the plastic surgeon is on the calendar in a few days to check the new nips and give me (hopefully) the go-ahead to schedule tattooing. Not everyone chooses nipple reconstruction or the tattoos that make the nips look flesh colored. I cannot say I am looking forward to the needle treatment but being really, truly all done will be marvelous.

In the mean time, it is tax season and around here that coincides with retirement planning. It is very nice to worry more about 401k stuff than boobs.

New Body Parts, a Big-Ass Truck and Cat Helpers

Yesterday was the big reveal of my newly reconstructed nipples. I did not expect anything other than an “ewww yuck” sort of feeling. I knew they would be too big, riddled with stitches and scabs. Still, after 9 days with bolster dressings it was a relief to be free and I was curious as to what lurked under the tegaderm. I was happiest when they were cleaned up and under new dressings. Not for the first time I had the distinct impression that these new additions were not really mine. It is a very strange thing to get new body parts.

The good news is the new nips are healing normally, the bad news is I do have a small seroma, confirmed by ultrasound. For now it is wait and watch. Monday I will see the plastic surgeon and hope to have the stitches removed. If the seroma has grown it will be drained with a needle. Ugh.

Also in the good news column, my sister’s mastectomy/DIEP flap reconstruction went very well yesterday. I spoke to her this afternoon. Her description of this surgery is spot on:

“I got hit by a truck,” she said.

We agreed something really should be done about that stupid truck that hit us both.

My brother-in-law Gino bought himself a truck a few years back that was so humongous his wife dubbed it “The BAT.” That stands for Big-Ass Truck. Even his license plate reads “BAT.” I think both Anne and I know what it feels like to be run over by the BAT. Compared to that, some new nipple weirdness is just a minor blip.

This morning I took a proper shower for the first time in ten days. It felt great. As I carefully folded and cut 4X4 bandages to make new dressings, my sweet boy cat, Lord Cotswold the Handsome, decided to assist me by jumping into the bathroom sink. He is a water freak. End result? A gigantic hole in the 4X4’s big enough for twenty nipples. So nice to have cat friends to help me with these new girl parts.

Cotty never met a sink he didn’t like.