Foobs, Boobs, & Haboobs

The past week has been full of non-blogging because, well, just because. I’m stuck in a non-exercise, non-physical activity phase until the incisions are more fully healed, and my chest wall is less irritated by the tissue expanders. The breast surgeon (as opposed to the plastic surgeon whom I see regularly) said the irritation at the bottom part of the tissue expanders – now referred to as my “melons” – is probably local lymphedema. Mastectomy is an amazingly disruptive surgery where the breast tissue is scraped scooped away from the chest wall, ripping away severing local blood supply, small nerves, and lymph channels. So while I don’t have the dreaded lymphedema in my right arm from removing a few nodes to check for early cancer spread, there is this local process going on that is not very pretty. It looks and feels like a sunburn, but I am tolerating the discomfort better.

When last I blogged, groaning about a collection of fluid in my right breast that needed to be drained, it has been aspirated twice. No biggie, no pain (no sensation), no infection. The tissue expanders are now a tremendous 705 cc each – that is almost 1.5 liters of saline sitting on my chest. They really do look like melons or really large softballs, including seams! After repeated advice to keep my arms still to prevent fluid accumulation, my surgeon admonished me (in his sardonic manner) to stretch my pecs to minimize spasms. No wonder patients get so confused – don’t move, move, move this way but not that way… Any hoo, my hunky brother taught me two easy pec stretches and BAM! mucho relief. Next visit I plan to teach them to the doc’s patient educator.

So maybe now you’re wondering if my chest will look like Pam Anderson’s after all of this? No way. I am already expanded past the size silicone implants that will be placed. This over-expansion process allows a more natural looking droop. I mean perky is nice, but who wants breasts at their collar bones?! If all continues to go well, I should have final surgery for my new foobs in October, maybe November. That is getting dangerously near the return of the in-laws. Double ouch. Surgery and in-laws. I need to be in my best physical and mental shape to handle their annual visit.

Eating continues to be weird in that I have minimal appetite but have only lost 5 pounds the past 6 weeks. Yes, I finally stepped on the scale. Part my perceived slow loss is due to the expanders now weighing more than my natural fatty breasts (water weighs more than fat). I have, however, dropped another size and am fitting into some size 10 clothes. My hips do love to hang on to fat!

My outlook is more positive, except when I take Valium for severe muscle spasms – then I get a little brain cloud. All I have to do to keep in perspective about my (former) breast cancer is to read the breast cancer forums at BCO and thank God that I am NOT having to go through chemo and radiation at the same time as reconstruction. Those women are amazingly strong. I am amazingly fortunate and blessed with good health, a wonderful family, and…

It’s officially monsoon season! Yippee, rain, glorious rain in Tucson. It was one of Tucson’s thunderstorms that generated the haboob over Phoenix this week. I’m certain every teen-age boy is going around saying, “Nice haboobs you got there!”

Brother

My "baby" bro

 

Bro and Wife (He made me add this!)

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15 thoughts on “Foobs, Boobs, & Haboobs

  1. I laughed out loud at your softball boobs compete with seams! I agree that having them land closer to armpit level will look more natural. We have a local weather reporter who had hers placed way too high and she looks so odd.

    I am so happy to hear about the size 10! Wow.

    My sis is one of those women who went through the wringer of treatments and she has rather severe lymphedema. She is now 13 years post diagnosis and they still can’t control the edema and all the side-effects it has created. On the other had she did get a very nice tummy tuck when they did her reconstruction!

    • I really would have liked the tummy tuck procedure (DIEP), but it would have required both sides and no one in Tucson does bilateral DIEP. Takes a plastic surgery team because of the length of the surgery, which can be 6-8 hours and makes for more complications.

  2. Glad you’re faring well (relatively speaking, of course) and moving along the road to recovery!

    Do you think it’s likely that you’ve lost more than 5 pounds, but some of that weight has been replaced by the water? I always thought a pound weighed a pound, regardless of its content. Then again, most of my science/math type knowledge evaporated after college algebra & statistics.

    So. Is hunky brother married? Straight? Living near Memphis? 🙂

    • Hunky brother is very married. (Straight but not narrow.) He bugged me about the pic and told me to put one in with his lovely wife. So I will – they are so cute, and she is so special.

      My old breasts were measured in weight, and they weighed just over 4 pounds. My foobs are measured in volume. I converted the volume of saline (1410 cc or grams) to pounds ~ 3 pounds 2 ounces. No doubt there is still a lot of swelling in my chest. Best guess, who the heck knows how much I have lost. 🙂

  3. Congrats on the size 10 pants – how fun! I hope things continue to heal, expand and not swell. BTW, wowza on your brother, especially the second picture!

  4. You bring so much humor and grace to all you are going through… thank you for sharing… I hopped from LBS.

  5. It’s sounds as though you are dealing with the whole thing rather well.

    I also stopped by from the Lady Bloggers tea party.

  6. Hi, I saw you on Lady Bloggers. What a story you have. Im sorry you have to go through all of this but U see you are a strong woman and nothing can take you down. Feel better soon and get really well!

  7. I found your blog through the LBS tea party. I’m glad you’re on your way to recovery and I love the title of your blog. When I first got out of the hospital the hubs suggested that I write about my experience and so I did. Writing my daily entries definitely helps me to move forward through each leg of this journey, I’m glad you are sharing your experience too 🙂

  8. Well, a natural droop sounds great. My un-natural post breast feeding of 3 kids, post-obese and rapid weight loss boobs are definitely drooping and it’s isn’t natural at all. So, on the bright side of all this, you should have great looking foobs. How awesome that you are continuing to lose weight through all this mess. You are my hero. Holy moly 705cc is quite a lot. Sounds uncomfortable to be sure. I wish you luck and I love hearing that everything is progressing. And surgery + inlaws is torture. Unfair. Unjust. Unimaginable. Good luck with that horror. Keep posting! I love hearing from you

  9. I wish my natural droop wasn’t so low!!! I bet your foobs are going to look fabulous! My girlfriends who have been through this look amazing after reconstruction surgery. One of them also opted for a tummy tuck at the same time!

    I love that you are able to keep your sense of humor through all of this and can share it with the rest of us!

    Keeping you in prayer and sending good thoughts your way.

  10. Your insight and perspective are admiring! I also get the need for the more practical boob 🙂 But wouldn’t it be great to give that red bathing suit a shoot?

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