Thursday, September 1, 2011

2nd opinion at Dana Farber

It's been a long day. We left home at 10:45 and got back at 6pm!  But we got lots accomplished. and I think I feel better about everything. or better than I did. I think, it's okay to hate what has to happen but accepting more that it HAS to happen and it'll be okay in the end. A new me! I'm still planning to cry like a baby the day of surgery though.

So the DF surgeon was really nice.  No changes in the pathology results or treatment plan. Not that I really expected there to be. I have decided to have both breasts removed - regardless of BRCA gene testing and she played devil's advocate on that topic. Really wants me to think about it and even is going to call me next week to discuss it more after I've thought about it more.  I think, it's hard to verbalize a reason of why I want to do both breasts. The doctors says it doesn't impact survivor rate.  well, I've never thought I wouldn't survive so that isn't one of my reasons.  Maybe I'm vain but, I want two of the same boob. I don't want one natural and one implant. I don't see how I could be happy with that. I think, like anything, I'd end up preferring one over the other. Also as a good friend of mine said this week - a daily reminder of what I lost. But I'll continue to think about it for her and to prepare for our discussion next week.

The plastic surgeon was awesome.  She confirmed that I don't have enough tummy fat but did it in a way that made me feel good (hey, my tummy isn't fat!). Since I had pretty much figured that out myself I was already leaning towards the regular implant route and that is what she recommended but with a great addition. Alloderm is some cadaver part that they use to add to the muscle pocket for the tissue expander.  What it does is create a bigger pocket during the 1st surgery so you wake up with a bigger breast. Which also reduces the amount of time it takes to stretch the pectoral muscle. 
I tried to find a good web link on this but all I could find was Alloderm used with no tissue expander's. I would have a combination of traditional implant and alloderm so I would still have to do tissue expanders, it just reduces the amount of time it takes.
And for anyone curious, no, I will not be getting D-cup boobs (sorry Bill!) I asked for the same size I have now. Some of the plastic surgery decisions don't have to be made now, like saline vs silicone and nipples (permanently ON nipples... not sure I want that...). I feel good about that. It's a little easier to break it into smaller decisions and that is what the plastic surgeon did for me.

So I'm definitely getting treatment at Dana Farber. They were so organized. While we were there, they got me an appointment, on the spot, with the genetic counselor so my blood is already in process to be tested for the BRCA gene. I should get the results of that in 2 to 3 weeks. In the meantime, they sent us home with books and pamphlets to read. And they will figure out a date for surgery which they said would be in four to six weeks. 

I'm sure I'm missing info but it's been a long day and I'm going to crash on the couch. AFTER I share these  pictures of Cassidy from this morning (we had the nicest morning taking walks, reading books and trying to pull down the gazebo - well, that last one was just Cass)

taken with Hipstamatic iphone app.
makes 70's photos. I should learn how to zoom.

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