Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Another 40ccs

So now I am at 390ccs.  Dr. Ferguson thinks that I am filled pretty much as far as he feels comfortable going.  I have another appointment in 2 weeks and we will see if there is any more "filling" to do.  He showed me some implant "stats" (height, width, volume and profile).  It looks like the implants that might be right for me are right about 400ccs.  There are two brands that he uses and they both have different stats available (Sientra and Allergan 410).  He is most familiar with the Sientra brand, having used it already.  The newly FDA approved implant, Allergan 410, that is heavier and denser, claiming that it holds its shape better and doesn't "wrinkle" or "slouch".  Dr. Ferguson thinks that a rep for these new implant models will be stopping by and might leave a few examples that we can look at. 

My Mom is losing her fourth battle with cancer.  Last week, she would open her eyes and look at me with a smile when I went into her bedroom and told her, "Mom, it's me, Lisa."  Now, she barely opens her eyes at all when we speak with her and kiss and kiss her cheek. I long to be on the backyard garden swing beside her, enjoying the warmer spring days, or going for a "country walk" with her, my sister and our kids.  Just to be with Mom, with Grandma.  At my daughter's soccer practice last week, a soccer mom was talking with her mom on the phone the whole hour.  I see girls my age with their moms at lunch or in the store...and I wish I had more time.  I am grateful for a wonderful mother-in-law, though!  Today I held my 3 year old daughters hand as we walked around the house.  Love that little hand!  I squeezed my 1 year old in my arms and stroked his hair and cheek.  It was nice to take small moments.  I have to remember to do that more.  The small moments make me so happy.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Surprise under the arms

A fun little surprise as I was shaving last week... I discovered that I had a nice little patch that I had missed for a while under my arms.  Perhaps a little unpleasant to talk about, but it made me laugh embarassingly at myself.

My expanders are under my pectoralis muscles, which is inserted at the clavical/shoulder and extends across and down my chest.  Since this muscle is raised (more and more each week with expansion), when I now lift my arm...there is a muscle "bridge".  The muscle raises more now, so that I can't see my whole armpit now.

I used to be able to see my whole armpit when I raised my arm to shave, so out of habit I was just shaving only what I saw and I thought I got it all.  Now I am realizing that I can't just shave what I SEE!  I need to look under the "bridge" and shave in the unseen pocket area too!  That is a TOUGH area to shave!  Imagine trying to shave inside of a small bowl.  No flat surface when my arm is raised up forming that bowl...and I have to raise my arm to be able to access that area to shave.  I'm trying to figure it out!

Anyway, I "apologized" to Dr. Ferguson on Friday for having this unkempt spot.  I "insisted that hygeine is actually pretty important to me".  He just knowingly laughed.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Expanders are Full

I asked Dr. Ferguson if we can fill a little more than the 350 cc capacity of the expanders.  He said that he didn't suggest much over 410 if my skin would allow it.  Dr. Ferguson readied 60ccs and pushed a lot of it into my expander, but then backed out a lot of the saline so I only have the 350cc in each breast.  He said that my skin was looking too tight and he's not certain that we will be filling my expanders over capacity.

You have to understand that with a mastectomy, there is NO tissue to supplement the volume of the expanders.  So while, for breast augmentation, 350 ccs might be quite a bit, it's not the same when the only volume present is what is filled into the expanders.  I have to say, I am happy with Dr. Ferguson's work.   My breasts look very good so far.  The expanders poke straight out and are very, VERY firm!  Dan calls them "rocas"...they feel like rocks.  When the implant goes in, it will be squishy.
Dan took a photo for me of the HUGE Syringe that injects the saline into my expanders. It's so "mad scientist" crazy to see this huge thing being stuck into your chest!

Dr. Ferguson showed us a tear-shaped implant that just became available for reconstruction patients (because the FDA took forever to approve them).  With the normal round implant, you can see many ridges and valleys that form when its laying flat.  Then when the round implant is brought vertical, those ridges and valleys are still quite prevelant, but droopy.  Since I only have a thin layer of skin and no fat or tissue to smooth out those ridges and valleys, you would see "wrinkling" under my skin.  With this new teardrop, the ridges and valleys are much less noticable.  Also, if they are aestetically unpleasing, Dr. Ferguson can fat graft.  Using fat from another place on my body, Dr. Ferguson can inject some of that fat into areas on my breast where there is rippling or other imperfections.

Quite a process:

Jan 24       Mastectomy and expanders put in (60 ccs of saline)
Feb 1        Fill with 30ccs
Feb 8        Fill with 110ccs
Feb 15      Fill with 60ccs
Feb 22      Fill of 60ccs
March 8    Fill of 30 ccs to bring my expanders to a full 350ccs.
March 22   Possibly another fill, but don't know if my skin will allow it

Wait 3 months for the breast "cavity" to form and firm up

Surgery to switch expanders for implants

Fat Grafting possibly...