Here we go again…

August 8, 2012

The day of the second surgery has arrived.

Today Dr. S will remove more skin from my left tit, over the area where my nipple used to be and where the largest of the tumors was.  The hope is to get a margin that is clear by a centimeter.  So let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

In preparation for this surgery, Dr. T-dubs had to partially deflate the implant on my left side, allowing the skin to be just loose enough to remove.  This entailed sticking one of her enormous syringes into my breast and extracting 60 cc’s of saline.

The saline Dr. T-dubs just took out of my left tit.

Yeah.  This is the size of the needle.  One just like this was jabbed into my chesticles (one on each side mind you) 4 times to pump my boobs up.  And this is what was just taken out and what will be put back in 2 weeks from now.  Scary scary needle.

And I won’t even lie about it.  Yesterday before I went in and let her put this thing into my boob, I took some of the leftover lidocaine cream I had from numbing my port-site during chemo and rubbed that shit on the left side of my chest so I wouldn’t feel this effer.  It worked, too.  Didn’t feel a thing.  I’m gonna start using it anytime someone threatens me with a needle.

Now my left breast is slightly smaller than my right one. But it’s only temporary.  (And you can hardly tell.)  Once my stitches heal from this surgery, they’ll pump me right back up to snow globe size.  (I’ll hang onto these temporary implants until radiation is over.  And then I’ll receive my beautiful B-cups and leave the snow-globe-boob phase behind me.)

So here I am… once again… safely tucked in my bed at AA’s house, tossing and turning through a sleepless night before surgery.

I’m not terrified like I was the last time.  In fact, as messed up as it may be, I’ve been looking forward to this surgery so that I can actually get some rest.  The past two weeks have been stressful… making decisions, having more labs and testing done… and busy… 60 hour work weeks, a DCRT fundraiser (which was awesomesauce), other life things…  It will be nice to get some sleep.

Before my last surgery, the lovely EDS took some pictures of me.  A little bit of photo journalism to document not only what cancer had done to my left breast, but also to give me a tangible memory of what my healthy, natural right breast looked like before it was removed.  I asked EDS to do the same before this surgery to illustrate the changes my body has gone through so far.

But primarily, I wanted this second round of pictures to help remove fear from anyone out there who might be facing this same thing.

Before my mastectomy, I was terrified of how I would look and feel after I lost my breasts.  Most of the pictures or information I found only perpetuated my fears.  Images and words from people who were letting cancer run rampant by allowing it to define them.  Or women who only mourned the loss of how they once looked rather than celebrating their new healthy bodies.

I am not one of those women.   The truth is that I’m happy with the way I look.  I feel great.  And I’m only halfway through.  Things will only look and feel even better by the time I get to the end.

I hope any woman who may need reassurance as they face breast removal may find some in these pictures.

(EDS and I lovingly call them my Cancer Pictures.)

Here’s some of the less intimate pictures from our photo sessions prior to each surgery.  (Scars and all.)

Healthy right tit. Tumorous/Deformed left tit.



















You can follow EDS’s blog here:

End cancer chapter 13.


4 Responses to “Here we go again…”

  1. Karin (German teacher from WCA) Says:

    I’ve been following your posts for quite a while now and I must say you are one brave woman!!

  2. hannah Says:

    i love you.

  3. Deb Says:

    Your photos did what you hoped they would……Provide reassurance. You are beautiful inside and out as well as amazingly brave and inspirational. Thank you.

  4. Hi Gwen! I am a friend Eva’s and just started following your blog. I am so moved by all that you share…so honest, genuine and courageous! You are in my prayers….thank you for giving of yourself in this way…to inspire so many to find hope, life, and courage in their times of struggle. You are such a lovely girl. Beautiful in all of the pictures. Thank you for being true to yourself!

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