i never would have though that plastic surgery would be the best news, the most encouraging, hopeful information i could hear. yet, it was. yesterday i met with dr. reid mueller at OHSU and he was wonderful. warm, easy to understand and totally reassuring. although it was a lot of information to process, i left there with a lighter heart just knowing that no matter what the outcome is, plastic surgeons have ways of making magic and fixing things.
of course, i have already come to terms with some compromises. i will have to accept scars. no longer will i have these perfect (to me) breasts. mine will tell the story of this journey i've been on. that seems ok right now.
i sure as hell will have earned the scars.
for now, in this round, i am fighting to keep this breast. but who knows what the future holds? i hope i never see breast cancer again. but i won't be surprised if it comes back. i am going to live the fullest life i know how, with the knowledge that you never really see your opponent until you are at the battlefield. and if it comes back, i have the experience to beat it again.
yesterday i learned that even with a radical choice like a mastectomy, there are options for reconstruction that i would feel comfortable with. i don't ever want implants, those silicon and saline pillows of stuff freak me out. do you know they actually put them under the chest muscle? i could barely touch the examples in dr. mueller's office. the great news is, i am a good candidate for using my own body's tissue and muscle to make a new breast. they would take it from my belly, where i happen to have a bit to spare. mind you, i am not taking this route now, i am not going to get a mastectomy, i am not having a total reconstruction. but it was deeply comforting to know how it could be done. way more gracefully and naturally than i assumed.
this round, i may possibly lose my nipple and i certainly will have two radically unmatched breasts. those issues can be fixed, although the outcome of reducing one of the breast will certainly be better then having a new, non-functioning nipple. cross that bridge when i come to it, i guess.
i hope i get to keep my nipple, i would mourn it's loss.
dr. mueller won't be able to start reconstruction for me until months and months after radiation is finished, assuming i do choose radiation. so this saga may be another whole year in the making.