No one ever said breast cancer was easy.
I remembered late Monday night that I had a follow up appointment today to my appointment last week related to my surgical wound opening back up and looking infected. The wound had been looking a lot better this week, so I didn’t think about it too hard when I drove myself to my appointment. The surgeon looked at it my incision and the wound had opened up even more, again, which was enough to show the expander underneath (which was slightly visible last week, but I am getting used to the thing peeking out).
The surgeon was opening me up either way, so my options at this point were:
- Remove the expander and deal with the extra reconstruction issues that come with it (possible lat flap reconstruction on both sides rather than just the one side).
- Try to reopen the incision and remove the all of the scar tissue to create a new line, add a new drain tube to try to keep out infection and allow the wound to heal as properly as it can with me in chemo.
The last thing I have wanted in this entire process is to have them remove my expander, I like being even, I like feeling as normal as I can and the horrors of an even worse reconstructive surgery keep me up at night. When the surgeon posed trying to reseal the incision line (after it has opened up 3 times now), I jumped at it. It obviously is not going to fix itself through more stitches and more waiting. I still have 3 more months of chemo ahead of me, and the surgical issues have been much more stressful than the chemo itself. I want to actually heal and be able to take a bath or relax on the boat this summer and at the current rate of healing none of this is going to happen.
Dr. Agarwal wanted to do the surgery today. Mike had to get a ride up to the hospital because I drove myself. We went over and got checked in at the U of U hospital where they expected to have an operating room available. I had a day full of meetings that I had to cancel, but I got them hopefully all moved around. No one has told me what the recovery is going to look like on this one. I am sure I need to be extra careful as this is my last chance to heal up or they really will take out the expander (yet another surgery, yay!).
I am now home from surgery and a bit more sore than I anticipated (last time I had 2 nights in the hospital after). Dr. Agarwal said I had a lot of fluid built up, but luckily nothing looked infected. He had to drain my expander a bit to give me more healing room with less pressure on the incision, so I look a little funkier. I also get to walk around with another dreaded surgical drain for the next week or two, but this one isn’t going until I am drained and healed, period. I am glad that I was offered an alternative to having the expander removed today though! Now I am back on bed rest (again), but hopefully with results this time!.