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I’m in my final weekend with expanders!!!  Tomorrow, I have errands to run and last minute Christmas prep things to do, then… Tuesday morning, I report to the hospital for 6:00 AM.  I’m so anxious to put this phase behind me!  I’ve honestly not been really thinking much about it though for the past week because my dad took a fall, has some broken bones and has been staying with me so that I can care for him. I’m a bit worried about what will happen after my surgery because I won’t be able to help him get up for awhile. Once again… one day at a time! I’m just so thankful that the date that has been circled on my calendar for months is finally here!!

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Cold and stress kill me!  When I’m cold or tense the coconuts seize up and it feels like I’m wearing a barbed-wire bra.  Thankfully, the surgery date is right on the horizon and I’m very anxious for the exchange to be over. I’m thinking that it will always be a weird feeling having the implants under the muscle, especially when I flex,  but at least it will be soft and I will no longer have this contraption digging into my armpit. The right side has especially been uncomfortable right from day one and is the one that I had removed and replaced due to the infection. The left has been in place since February and is sitting more in the front while the right is under the armpit more.

I go for my final consult and bloodwork this week then it’s final preparations for Christmas and surgery on the 21st!

It’s been a rough week… Since I’m fully expanded, I’m uncomfortable most of the time. Nighttime is much worse than the day and it’s all I can do to make it through work, go for a walk after school, make dinner, put my dogs down then head to bed. Most nights I’ve had it by 8:00pm..  I take prescription Ibuprofen 800mg during the day but many nights I need to take some pain meds because the spasms and squeezing feeling is unbearable. Having hot flashes doesn’t help either… The countdown is definitely ON and I can’t wait to be free of these protuberances from my chest. sigh…..34 to go!

I had my final fill yesterday and I’m now at 830cc.  It’s a waiting game now for me as *I* chose the surgery date based on my schedule and wanting to take the least amount of time out of school as possible. So, I’m going to be fully expanded and uncomfortable until 12/21/10.  I’ve been having a hard time over the last week as it is, even prior to this fill. I’ve been able to make it through the school day (barely) but by 8:00pm I can’t take the spasms and pins and needles any more. I usually end up taking a pill (either the prescription Ibuprofen or left over pain meds), take a hot shower,  then go to bed.

Unfortunately, the weather has officially changed to seasonable so I’m back to freezing at night because of the soaking sweats.  Although I’m on HRT, it doesn’t completely eliminate my night sweats and for the past week I woke up dripping wet and shivering because I’m cold.  In the summer, waking up wet wasn’t as bad because the air wasn’t so cold, but now, I’m dealing with that cold and wet feeling again…. Sigh… I’ve shed a few tears in the past week because my bed has become a torture chamber.

On a brighter note, although I’m extremely sore and uncomfortable right now, my PS is very happy with my results thus far. He feels that the left side is almost perfect, except for a pucker of skin that I have from the “trim” that I got to correct the necrosis issue two weeks post PBM. The right side is a bit too far to the side but he said that it will be fine when he does the exchange and moves the implant closer to the center. They look fine in clothes but feel like coconut shells and I’m  sooooooo anxious to swap them for something soft and squishy!

Countdown to Exchange: 49

I’m going in for surgery (to put the right expander back in)  a week from today and I’m anxious to have it behind me. We’re in the midst of a heatwave here and I’ve spent the past two days lounging in the pool. It was a busy weekend as we hosted a 4th of July cookout on Sunday and there were lots of errands to run and things to get done around the house/yard before hand.

Knowing that surgery day is around the corner, on Saturday we decided  go out for a boat ride.  I read while the boys fished.  While on it, I was thinking that there is no way that I’ll be able to do that again for quite some time. The boat was slamming into the waves on the way back and it was quite bumpy.  I’m sure I’ll be too sore for some time to come to deal with that!  Even throughout the expansion process, any additional banging around will likely not be too easy to take.

Unfortunately, I’m still having problems with bleeding while on the Climara Pro patch and I got a period again on Friday…. GRRRR!  Of course, I shouldn’t be getting any so I don’t really have supplies on hand these days and got rid of most everything after my oopherectomy.  It was a full blown period too, complete with embarrassing floods…. I called the doctor first thing this morning since it wasn’t an emergency so I didn’t bother them over the long weekend. I had the first period in May after being on the patch for one month, then every two weeks since then.  My doctor is away so an associate called me back and told me to stop the patch and scheduled me for a sonogram for Monday 7/12.

I have three initial hopes:

1. There is nothing seriously wrong.

2. I don’t suffer with night sweats and hot flashes again while off the HRT.

3. They find one that works without the bleeding side effects and I can go on ASAP!

The patch fell off in the pool yesterday so it will be one week out by the time I go for my appointment Monday.  When I had my BSO, I started with serious hot flashes and sweats within a week. Fingers crossed… and toes too, just for good measure!

Meanwhile, I’m keeping busy, exercising, enjoying my yard and dogs and living life!

Tomorrow morning is the surgery. I just took a shower with the Hibiclens that they gave me at my pre-op appointment. It was the last time that I’ll shower with my own breasts.  It’s hitting me tonight and I’m very weepy. I’ve been very strong thus far and have been able to pretty much hold it together but right now, I’m scared. I’m also very sad. I know that I’m making the right decision but I’m sad about the whole reason for having to do it in the first place.

I’m definitely scared. Scared that something will go wrong with the surgery, scared that they’ll find something, scared that I’ll have post-op complications, scared that I could die.  Of course, fear of the unknown is always there and I’ll be better facing things head on.

I certainly hope that I can sleep tonight, especially since I can’t drink anything after midnight and I usually drink all night when I wake up with night sweats. I’ve been listening to my relaxation tapes for the past month  as I go to sleep and it’s been calming and good for me. I’ll certainly plug in tonight as well.

It’s been a busy week and I haven’t had much time to really think about things. I’m kinda glad about that actually. I was able to get work together for my sub and she came in today to shadow me which was great.  I left school today quietly and not many people know I’m having surgery. I’m sure they’ll notice that I’m not there but I’m hoping to pretty much fly under the radar.

I got to kiss both of my kids tonight since my daughter came home from school tonight to see me before I go in. I’ll see my son again in the morning and we’ll be sharing well wishes; mine for the surgery and him for his final state wrestling tournament of his high school career.  Naturally my husband will be with me tomorrow and will be spending time going back and forth between the hospital and the tournament over the weekend.

Time for me to think positive thoughts and get ready to turn in….

I can’t believe that D-Day is almost here.  I had a great school vacation week and it was very productive. Since going back to school on Monday, I’ve been busy getting things ready for my time out.

I told my coworkers today.. but did ask that they not spread it around. I know that folks will ask where I am but I requested that they just respond that I had surgery but leave it at that. I told them that I’m not comfortable having my health issues be common knowledge. It’s very personal to me and I would like it to stay that way.

It still doesn’t even seem that real to me yet….

I’m taking all the steps to insure that I’m going to be ready for the Big Day…

*Off all green tea and herbs

*Finished coursework for my online class today (Yippee!!)

*Told my dad about the surgery. (It wasn’t easy but he took it well considering the bomb that I dropped on him. He did understand my decision though and the reasons behind it.)

*Got my taxes done and bills paid for the month

*Updated son’s FAFSA form

*Listening to subliminal “music for surgery” and “positive outlook for stressful situations” cds as I go to sleep

As of now, there’s still a few days left of school vacation and since my classwork is done, I can watch the Olympics, read, and lounge a bit. I’ve been sick for the past few days but I needed to blow through the coursework.  We have a busy weekend ahead then I have 4 days of school. I plan on using every spare minute next week getting lesson plans and paperwork done for the sub.

I have such a great group of kids right now and my co-teacher and I have so many ideas and are excited about this year.. It’s hard to know that I’m not going to be there.

I’m on school vacation so I’m getting caught up on things around here. I’m taking a class and I need to finish the coursework this week because it ends after my surgery day. Next week I need to use my time to get work prepared for my sub.

I took a nice winter walk today with one of my dogs and it was refreshing and felt good to be out enjoying nature. Last night was horrible with night sweats galore. I didn’t sleep much but thankfully, I didn’t have to set an alarm today. I’m hoping for a decent night’s sleep tonight.

I’m enjoying watching the Olympics during my vacation and it’s nice lead into surgery doing something that I enjoy and can take my mind off of it.

Honestly… it still hasn’t really sunk in yet…..

I went for my pre-op blood work and paperwork signing yesterday and made out fine. That’s a big deal to me because I don’t do well with blood work and have to lie down to have it drawn or I’ll pass out.  Definitely not one of my favorite things to do in the world.

Last night was another sleepless night filled with sweating, freezing, tossing and turning. At least I’m on my school vacation this week and don’t have to set an alarm until 2/22. I’m not sure what today brings but I’m just glad to be home home.

I tried calling my dad the other night to tell him about my upcoming surgery but he wasn’t home and hasn’t called me back yet. I don’t think he’s going to fully understand… many people don’t.  Not that I’ve personally told many people but there is so little known about BRCA mutations amongst people who are not affected by it that it’s completely foreign to them. I haven’t avoided telling him because I want to keep it a secret from him, rather, I don’t want him to worry about my surgery and think about it until it gets close. Also, I’ve chosen to not share it with everyone that I know so the fewer people that know about it, the less chance  it will become  a topic of conversation around town.

I grew up in a small city and still live and work in the area. I know a LOT of people and things spread like wildfire here. I don’t feel comfortable about having something so personal being the headline news around town. I don’t feel that people will be talking about it in a bad way or anything but I just don’t want my health to become such public knowledge. I also don’t want to have “explain” everything.. what it’s all about, my reasons for my decision, defending my decision, etc  AND…. like I said in my very first post:  My children and siblings have yet to be tested and I don’t want to drag their health into the gossip either.  It’s just not something that I want publicized.