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Diane is having surgery to take out some scar tissue that the surgeon thinks has formed on the bottom corner of one of the pockets of the internal “bra” that holds the implants in place.  The surgeon used irradiated muscle stratus to form them, the patient’s body grows tissue within and around the foreign muscle that eventually becomes part of the body.

A ribbon of scar tissue has formed and is causing irritation and pain on her ribs.  During the day her undergarments put pressure there and at night she has trouble sleeping on that side.  Massaging the area on the other side helped to keep scar tissue from forming but on this side it did not help as much.

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Sunday I removed the pain ball tubing.  It was inserted between the breasts and then had extremely sticky clear tape covering it to help keep it in place.  Approximately four inches of the tubing had to be pulled out, Diane said it felt weird as I pulled it out.  The ball was in a fanny pack that Diane had to lug around or find a place to set if she was sitting or lying down.  Diane was thankful to have one less accessory to carry around and get in the way.

Wednesday we visited the surgeon’s office and the nurse removed the rest of the external plumbing, the surgical drains.  They serve an important purpose but they are a pain in the “you know what”.  Diane commented on the amount of fluids that we emptied out of the drain reservoirs over the week since the surgery.  It would be a lot of fluid for the body to absorb and get rid of on its own.

The tubing was inserted lower on her sides this time, last time they were inserted at her arm pits.  The lower location was a little less irritating than at the arm pits but the tape still caused plenty of irritation and itching.

The nurse that removed the drains was real nice, she assists the surgeon when he performs procedures in his office.  We have had a wonderful team taking care of the princess, they have been professional, extremely skilled, and will patiently answer all questions put to them.  We are pleased with the final result so far barring any last minute complications.

On Wednesday Diane enters the long-awaited final phase of her re-construction and recovery.  She will have surgery to remove the rigid, firm, and heavy; saline filled expanders.  They have literally been a real pain in her chest.

Sleeping has been the biggest challenge, our bed has been taken over with an assortment of props and pillows.  There have been many nights when all of that has not been good enough and she sleeps a good part of the early morning hours in the recliner.  Muscle pain and spasms in the back, sides and chest area have become extremely annoying and uncomfortable.  The weather even pitches in to provide pain and discomfort when there is a front moving in and rain is in the forecast.  Plus each time saline was added to the expanders the pain and discomfort increased until her body adjusted to the additional size and weight.

The surgery is scheduled for 1:00pm and the surgeon told Diane it would last approximately three hours because he has some internal adjustments to make.  As long as everything goes well Diane will be home  late afternoon or early evening.  I will be blogging with updates from the hospital and later on when we arrive home.

OK, first the bad news.  It’s only bad news because it is no news, yet.  I’m not very good at waiting, for example; I can’t wait until all this is a memory in our past.  More on the news front, starting in the morning.

Diane called the plastic surgeon’s office to report on the drainage levels.  I empty the reservoirs twice a day, but the 6:30am one is the one that needs to be constant.  Diane is supposed to call the office once a day and report the 24hr amount.  Today was the first day she could call in due to the weekend.  Diane talked to the office manager and she told her the amounts looked good.  So now Diane has an appointment with the plastic surgeon Thursday morning and if all goes well the drains will be removed.  That would be welcomed by both of us, but especially the “wonderful, beautiful” patient.  (That was for anyone that thinks I am doing this to build up points with the “wonderful, beautiful” patient  😉 .)

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It snowed more than 1″ last night, the snow stuck to all the trees, bushes, grass, and even coated the wood fence on the north faces.  The roads were too warm so the snow melted right away, the only areas that could cause difficulty were the bridges and overpasses.  The boys went to church this morning, while I stayed home with Diane and rested.

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Diane continues to do well and make good progress.  We had a lot of rain starting early this morning, it was a heavy, cold rain.  There was snow at the tail end of the storm, but that was well to the north.

Bonnie came by this morning after the storms had passed and the sky was trying to clear.  She brought her special tape and a stool for us to use in the tub if we wanted.  We checked the tape under Diane’s arms that was causing so much discomfort, but there was nothing we could do to change it in order to take the discomfort away.  The tape is sealing the drain ports protruding from the incision that was used to clear the breast tissue from the upper breast cavity.

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Diane is progressing nicely, she slept good last night in between potty breaks and medicine taking.  It was good that her wake-up times were almost perfect timing with the meds schedule.  She got out of bed early this morning and I set her up in my nice big comfy Lay-Z-Boy recliner, I gave her phone to her and I took mine to the bedroom.  She needs help putting the footrest down so she is stuck in the chair unless someone rescues her.  It wasn’t long before she had company from one of the boys.

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Analogies, some people love them and some cringe when having to listen to another one.  Last night I was doing a little blogging, a little reading, a little more research, and making more preparations for mobile blogging.  My version of multi-tasking, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but not at the same time.  The one constant was that little bit of doubt in the back of my mind and the fear of complications from the upcoming surgery that will be there until Diane is physically recovered from this ordeal.

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I have been busy sorting through all the various links for sites that I have collected and I have added some to the links area in the left column.  I have them separated in several categories.  Articles of Interest are articles from media sites.  Blogs of Interest are sites that deal with breast cancer in general.  Previvors and Survivors are blogs by women or their partners.  Support Organizations are breast cancer organizations that offer education and support.

The link for the article at AOL Health with the title Rene Syler Takes On Breast Cancer is the story that resembles Diane’s situation.  Rene Syler did not have cancer or the BRCA gene mutations, she had Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia (ADH).

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Diane was able to get her plastic surgeon to agree with changing the scheduling of her surgery from April to March.  The day we met him in his office to decide  what was going to be the plan for the recon, he mentioned that he was keeping his schedule light in the middle of March due to the impending birth of his child.  The surgery is scheduled for March 16 and the baby is due on the 18th!

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Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

December 2017
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