Monthly Archives: October 2007

…says my couch companion. The Girl has forced me to watch the guided tour of Leopard, because she can upgrade, and really needs to install windows to her intel mac. sadly, they didn’t cover bootcamp, but good god, Leopard looks hot. hot, hot, hot. hot…i-can’t-upgrade-and-i-want-a-new-machine-hot.

if anyone can point me in the direction of a nice, simple, bootcamp tutorial, feel free.


me.  had a 100cc expander fill (about 3.4 fluid oz.) and i’m at work.

had i not seen the actual fill done, i would be convinced that someone inserted a grapefruit into my chest during the night.

that is all.

time magazine cover sorry for the lack of posts, but the title pretty much feels like that’s i’m doing. if it’s possible to have a negative level of energy and not actually be dead, i think that’s how i’d describe my current state of being. i know i owe calls and emails and drink/dinner/coffee dates – just let me give a blanket apology right now.

we’re halfway through breast cancer awareness month. you all know i’ve got plenty to say about that, but clearly do not have the energy to do so. it’s ruminating though. as a teaser, i have noticed that lots of the “big” media and “big” women’s mags have coverage, but lots of the feminist or lesbian, and sometimes even health mags geared towards women aren’t mentioning much which bugs me a bit.

Time magazine did a kind of interesting set of pieces on breast cancer which might be worth checking out.

more later. i promise. i’m told my energy level will eventually return. in my current headspace, i have trouble believing it. so, it’s just like my last mastectomy. :)

Today I met up with my Castle Connolly, top rated plastic surgeon, for the 2nd post-op visit. She asked me how I was doing with the pain. I was honest and told her that when I was able to rest whenever I wanted during recovery, I was down to taking the pain meds from every 5 hours to every 8 or so, which was a big improvement. Yesterday I had some appointments and errands to run downtown, so it was kind of my test run day to see how I’d do on the metro, walking all over the place and generally having a more normal day than I’ve had since surgery. As I informed my Dr. this pushed me back down to needing the meds every 5-6 hours again. I told her that I had been doing pretty well but refused to suffer in pain when I didn’t have to. She quickly agreed that there was no reason for me to suffer through it needlessly and that I was smart enough to figure out when I didn’t need the drugs again. I also told her that I’d been taking some darvocet that I had left over from severe back pain that I was experiencing this summer which seemed to knock me out and make me feel a little more out of it which let me sleep (otherwise I would wake up in the middle of the night for meds, or sleep very badly and wake exhausted). So she gave me a prescription for that as well.

Since I was still in pain, she said that she’d wait to fill my tissue expander until next week. I said, “No, no, no!” as I had geared myself up for it, had taken some anticipatory drugs and had the rest of the day off. She asked if I was sure, and I said, “Absolutely – let’s do it!” She called my favorite nurse, who gathered the needle and the saline bag and then used a magnet to find the metal valve in my expander so the saline could be inserted. When she got to 100ccs she asked me if I wanted to stop – I told her, I’m ready, I’ll take as much as you’re willing to give me. She stopped at 150ccs, which, according to my understanding is quite a large expander fill and if I have the conversion correct it’s about the equivalent of about 5oz. So now there’s essentially just over a serving of juice that’s been injected to a silicone container which sits half under and half over my newly split pectoral muscle supported by alloderm, and a whole lotta stitching. orange juice

To give you an idea of what this feels like, it’s as if someone has placed a concrete block on the left side of my chest, and occasionally pokes the outer perimeter with an ice pick. The actual filling process is less intense, but still increases according to the amount of fluid being inserted. If you’re familiar with the Peaches song Operation, where she all but screams, “I can take it!”, that’s what was going through my head towards the end of the fill.

Now I’m safely at home with a nice cocktail of valium, vicoden, and darvocet-n coursing through my veins, and thanks to Joanna, sushi waiting for me in the fridge. You should be impressed that I was able to type this out at all.


Originally uploaded by l@in.
woo hoo!

I went to see the wonderful nurse at my plastic surgeon’s office and she pulled pulled my jackson-pratts. By the time I went in today I was draining well under the 20-30ml of fluid in 24 hours required to have them removed. Hopefully there won’t be a fluid build up like last time which required emergency drain re-insertion. I feel like in April I had them removed 5-7 days post mastectomy. This time I had them in for 13 days so, cross your fingers.

I still can’t shower until Saturday morning (it’s worse than a camping trip) but it feels amazing not to have this constant pulling around the exit area of the drains and the stitches that attached them to me. While there’s still pain, it’s no longer constant. This is quite a boon, not to mention that I no longer have to find places to hide them in my clothes when going out in public. This time, the drain tubes were long enough that I could tuck them into the back or side of my skirt or slacks, which just made my ass look lumpy.

Again – it’s nice to have them out.

it occurs to me that no one would ever respond to a person who’s face had been disfigured in, what say, a car accident that at least they got a free face lift out of it. however the “at least you got a free boob job” seems to be a surprisingly frequent response to women who’ve had reconstruction after breast cancer.

fortunately no one has ever actually said this to me within my range of hearing or in conversation, but if they did, i promise that my response would not be pretty.

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