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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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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.

The breast surgeon’s assistant called Diane with a mini report.  The surgeon is trying to get a definitive answer on any risks involved in keeping the left nipple, that is the one that was a concern going into this.  The left breast had the most going on inside it, the right one not so much.  They do know that there was no cancer present, and that is the most important news of all.

We will be meeting with the breast surgeon on Friday during Diane’s scheduled appointment to discuss the pathology report in greater detail.  We will know then, what the recommendation will be for the right nipple.  That’s all we know for now.

The breast surgeon visited me in the waiting room to give me an update. The mastectomy procedure took longer than expected due to having a small area to work in.  The surgeons were working to save the skin and nipples, plus keep the incisions as small as possible, so it took longer removing the breast tissue.

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Diane’s mom saw the blog for the first time this week, after reading the posts on the main page, she commented on how open I’ve been putting this blog together, and that was before she started reading the medical pages.  I understand completely, that is one of the reasons I am doing this, not Diane.  We were both raised to be very conservative and to keep family private, it took a little bit for me to get to the point that I could do this too.  The blog sat dormant for a period after I signed up with WordPress while I tried to decide if I really wanted to do this.

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I came across a blog that explained the origins of the term Previvor.  I do not know if it is the only origin of the term but it is an interesting little tidbit.  The second paragraph in the definition as it is written describes Diane’s condition.  The definition is below.

Previvor n. person who does not have cancer but possesses a genetic predisposition to develop the disease; a presurvivor

A person who does not have cancer, but has precancerous cells or a genetic mutation known to increase the risk of developing it: a pre-survivor. With the rise in genetic testing and groups like FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) that encourage women to find out whether they’re likely to develop breast or ovarian cancer, some Previvors are taking such drastic measures as getting preemptive mastectomies or hysterectomies.

The link to the blog where I found the above is:  Think Outside The Box.

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The surgeon wants Diane to keep taking the Tamoxifen as long as she can handle the side effects.  There are meds that the surgeon could prescribe to help Diane deal with the side effects if she would be taking them long-term, but with the surgery coming up the surgeon told Diane she could quit the Tamoxifen if the side effects started to be a major problem again.

Diane has been back on the Tamoxifen for ten days and was doing pretty good until the past few of days.  Sunday she was tired and a little bit down, it was a rough day.  She has been telling more of the people she works with, and more people at church about what is happening.  I am sure that has also contributed to her current state, along with the Tamoxifen.

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As the Tamoxifen builds up in Diane’s system she is experiencing new and frustrating side effects.  First she was getting sleepy/tired earlier at night than she did before, falling asleep sitting on the couch while reading or watching TV.  Normally she reads or does Sudoku puzzles while watching TV until bedtime, now she seems to be putting the book down earlier and watching TV only.  The next wonderful side effect was night sweats, but they seem to have subsided a little for now.

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The Diagnosis page is complete as of now.  I may add some additional info or comments as needed.  It is fairly accurate, I did a lot of research on the findings of the pathology report from the first occurrence and the report for the second occurrence.  The findings from the second occurrence do not only mirror the first, they build upon the first.  There definitely is more to be concerned about in the second pathology report.

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Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

December 2017
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