A journal of my experiences with breast cancer to inform those who are interested and to help any one else who might have just been diagnosed.

“[She] will have no fear of bad news; [her] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Plastic Surgeon

We met with the Plastic Surgeon today, and I am beginning to get used to the confused state that these doctor's appointments seem to produce. He described the different procedures, which include:

  1. removing tissue from either the stomach area or the back, which is then brought around to the breast area. (He really didn't seem to want to do this. I am not sure whether it was because of his own personal preference, or whether it was because obesity, as this is listed in the pamphlet they give you as one of the reasons why not to do this. He didn't say.)
  2. a pouch that is inserted under the muscle wall and skin (either just the skin you have left or with the additional skin added) that is slowly inflated over time to stretch the skin to somewhat equal the other side.
  3. after the pouch has created the area, this is removed and the breast implant is inserted in the area.
  4. a nipple is made from your skin and added.
With all of this, we are reminded that the new breast will not terribly resemble the previous breast, just  make it less traumatic than nothing there. 

Since radiation therapy tends to create hardened tissue around the pouch/implant, he likes to wait until radiation therapy is over before even starting this process. Also, studies show that there is an increase in infection if the process is started at the time of the mastectomy, so they tend to like to wait until the patient has recovered from the mastectomy surgery before beginning the reconstruction phase. This is apparently a brand new way of thinking. Upon inquiring about the time frame for all of this, it looks as if it would be at least six to nine months before the reconstruction process even begins (depending on what types of treatment has to be done) and then many months of reconstruction...perhaps a year. All of this makes me want to lean toward the lumpectomy....however, it is possible that since I have Raynaud's disease that radiation therapy might not be an option for me. We may have to see the radiologist first to determine this. If radiation therapy is not an option, then we will have to go with the mastectomy. The plastic surgeon said he would discuss all of this with my surgeon.

Update: I have an appointment to see the radiologist on Wednesday to see if radiation therapy is a possibility.

Please keep us in your prayers.

"Behold, I make all things new." -Revelation 21:5


  1. I'm thinking on you! Wishing you the best.

  2. We're praying! Is there anything specific that you would like prayer for? I know at the beginning for me the fear was almost crippling, more than the actual cancer. I always asked people to pray for peace for me because weirdly I felt that was my greatest need at the time.
    I was a community nurse and have seen many reconstructions and most, if not all, were very effective looking (just to reassure you).
    Please know you and your family are in our thoughts.

  3. Phyllis, the Lord has brought you to mind several times this past week. Please know I am keeping you in my prayer. Especially for these decisions to be made - for a clear peace about your decision.