I realized that I have not written much about the Reconstruction part of my surgery so I thought I would fill you in on a few of those details, as well as update you on our most recent follow up with the Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Chappell. The good news about this visit with Dr. Chappell was that I was able to get two of the drains removed and the reconstruction/incisions look just as they should at this point (not pretty to the inexperienced eye but evidently just as they should). The not so good news about this visit was that I experienced a significant amount of physical pain. I was caught extremely off guard by the intense pain that came with him pulling the drain from the right side of my body. Following this, he injected saline into the expanders that lie behind my Pectoralis Major muscles. As one might imagine, this leaves me feeling a fullness/tightness across my chest with occasional spasming of the muscles as they react. I don’t tell you this to complain but share with you the exciting advances in medicine and specifically what they can do when you must have your womanly parts removed.
I will follow up with Dr. Chappell on a weekly basis from here. The hope (and fear) is that I will have the two other drains removed next week when we see him. During my weekly visits with him, he will continue to inject my expanders with saline until they get to the desired size. Following Chemotherapy, I will undergo an additional surgery in which he replaces the expanders with implants which will also be held in place by the Pec muscles. As healthcare professionals, this stuff intrigues us but we realize it might not be as interesting to others.
I believe that the fact that we are healthcare providers has served a valuable purpose in all of this, but I also need to be honest in saying that I continue to struggle with the reality that this is my body. Looking at myself in a mirror continues to be a process as I am flooded with emotions/fears of how I will look at the end of all of this. My hair will grow back but will my body be still attractive? Then God meets me at that emotion/fear with a sweet reminder in Proverbs 31:30 “beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” and in 1 Peter 3:4 that the “unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit is of great worth in the Lord’s sight”. Then He also gives me great comfort in the unwavering love of my sweet husband who continues to take such great care of me.