The Reign of the Surgery Queen

It is always funny (to me) when I go through the healing process after surgery (seriously I feel like an expert these days) when I start to experience less pain so I do so much more in the day only to find myself completely exhausted after a couple of hours of what seems like little activity. I have left the house the last two days and returned a tired semi-functional being. That comes with the territory. It always amazes me how much surgery saps my energy and how much time it takes to get it back (2 days ago I felt like I should be back at work, today I just want to crawl back into bed).

The other day I was thinking through the evolution of my pre-surgery photos (you can tell which were planned months in advance vs. emergency based on the hospital, which is based on the wallpaper in the pre-surgery waiting room):

Bilateral mastectomy day:

Before my mastectomy. You can see that they marked up my whole chest, and I am being goofy in my hat.

I literally found out I was having surgery this day about an hour before I had surgery, I called it “surgery surprise” (wallpaper):

I still have eyebrows.

This surgery was a bit more planned. I knew I was going to have the expander removed on Friday and they took it out on Monday (wallpaper):

This hat was so comfy, it was the first one I bought.

Before I had my fourth surgery I had my bald photos taken, mind you, I am in a sundress and I am wearing a cotton prosthesis on my right side (which is another way of saying I only had one “breast” at the time):

I wore sundresses, with or without the right one. It amazes me now that I did the photos then, but I figured I may get hair while I was recovering from the next surgery.

This surgery was a latissimus flap reconstruction to put the expander back in the right side after I finished chemo:

I officially look like a cancer patient in this one. Three weeks after my final chemo.

Final breast reconstruction and I just get goofy:

Zombie face.

Five surgeries in one year, no wonder my plastic surgeon and I know each other so well. He was less than enthusiastic when I stopped by for my post-op visit Friday when he found out about my fever, he wants this last surgical drain out the moment it is ready to come out (they are an infection risk) – as if I don’t want it out the moment it can come out. The surgical drain left still attached is placed in my back and my activity level the last two days hasn’t helped the output go down. I also have been under a bit of stress, which doesn’t help the healing process much either.

It is a wonder why women avoid reconstruction in addition to treatment, but I don’t regret it. I am happy with the outcome and it will help me heal emotionally in the time to come.

I think I am going to have to do a series of photos from my eight chemo infusions, I find it interesting looking at the changes that chemo causes in your appearance..

Author: Mandi

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