Apologies once again for the radio silence. This time I update with lots of good news and with a good excuse for being absent. I’ve had my breast reconstruction!
The news of impending surgery arrived on 23 February and gave me just one month to prepare. A plastic surgeon I’d never met phoned me and then gave me an hour to decide. I’d been on the waiting list for over 2 years and additional theatre time had been made available to help catch up the waiting list. After discussions with G, I decided to go ahead.
By then I’d lost about 11lb but my BMI was still over the 30 that the hospital had previously demanded. This is really due to wound healing because people with a BMI under 30 apparently heal better. Anyway the surgeon said that she was happy with my BMI, but that if I could lose a bit more in the next month, all the better.
I’d already signed up to a walking challenge set by the Cancer Research UK to walk 10,000 steps a day in February. I decided to push on with the challenge even though I wouldn’t be able to complete it. My brother then offered to make up my steps. The month of March started cold and wet and I was also working from home. The 10k was hard to achieve in those circumstances until I found some walking for fitness videos online. As the month went on it became easier, until the weekend before surgery my average was about 16000 per day.
I’m 10 days post delayed Diep breast reconstruction. Information on the surgery can be found here. The surgery was long and after needing to go back to theatre for a check that blood vessels were working properly, I was over 12 hours in theatre over 2 days. Recovery felt slow at the time. I’ve written a post about it on my other blog. It comes with a content warning that it goes into detail about my recovery.
I finally got home on Sunday and can honestly say that I am improving every day. I’m not in pain, though my abdominal wound is tight and a little sore at times. I’ve been able to cut analgesia down quite nicely and am just taking paracetamol a couple of times a day. This afternoon I’m going to take my first proper walk, so we’ll see how that goes.
I’m really pleased with the effect of the surgery. I have 2 breasts. They don’t look the same, though with a bra on it’s hard to tell. I feel immensely happy and feel I’m going to be able to draw a huge line under the experience of breast cancer and mastectomy soon. Of course I’m still on some hormone therapy and still under follow up, but this goes a long way to helping my body image. I’m still healing, can’t have a shower which is a pain. It takes much longer to strip wash than shower. But I hope to be given the go ahead when I go to the dressing clinic next week. I’ve posted photos on my other blog, CW I am naked in them.
In other news
I’ve lost 17lb now, a few pounds during and after surgery. I feel confident I can keep this going.
Everything that needs booking in advance for the wedding is booked and deposits paid. We have a couple of weekends away coming up and a trip to France to go house hunting in May. Meantime I’m resting up and recovering from surgery. More From me in due course.