Renea got to come home yesterday. She's tired, but feeling good, everything is going great. Lots of incisions that have been glued/stitched up.
She started with 5 wound drains, they were able to remove one before leaving the hospital yesterday. Literally has an incision that runs from hip to hip across the front where they removed skin and fat to rebuild her breast, incisions that run completely around (well duh, it wasn't there before) her new left breast, and incisions around the bottom/up the underside/around the nipple of the right breast where they did a reduction and lift. Heaviest pain killer than she's on is Tramodal, they offered heavier stuff but she refused. She's resting and recuperating here at home now, and looks forward to being able to sleep a night in our bed again in the near future, but that's still at least a couple of weeks away.
Everything has healed beautifully. Several months to go on getting everything stretched out correctly. She may go back to work this week, not sure her mom will like that, because she's been enjoying getting to spend time with her each day.
Next up will be what they call revision surgery, they go in and take care of the little things that need adjustment. This usually involves some liposuction, since they have to use her own tissue to do anything. This will possibly be more uncomfortable than the reconstruction since lipo bruises such a large area. Watch a video of it and you'll understand.
Today is the day for her (hopefully) final surgery. She’s at MD Anderson right now, I’m in a hotel room a couple of blocks away. It’s 5:42am and we’re getting rain from Hurricane Delta. She should be in surgery around 7am and if all goes well, we’ll be heading home later today.
Surgery will be “touch up” type work, removing a little here and there, lifting a little more there, and some liposuction to clean up odd ways that her body basically redeposited fat around the big surgery area back earlier this year.
Ext week, the 18th, Renea has her three year cancer free checkup at MD Anderson, and for the first time in two years I’ll be able to enter the hospital with her. She’s had two major surgeries (boob reconstruction) and several doctors appointments in that time. We both have to pass Covid protocol to get in, but MDA didn’t start allowing caregivers to accompany patients until this past June and the last checkup was in May.
She’s going to have at least one more surgery to correct a “balance” issue and adjust some fatty tissue that didn’t settle correctly and gives her a lumpy area where she’s very self conscious about it. We’ll have to see when the surgeon will be able to schedule this.
Results from 3 year checkup are all clear. Everything has healed great, two spots they confirmed were necrotic fat tissue and nothing to be concerned about, and a tentative scheduling of the final adjustment surgery for the spring.
Today we are back at MD Anderson, just the 6 month checkup. But today is also the 4 year anniversary of being done with the 1st round of chemo. The hospital is looking a little more normal than the past few visits, no longer doing temperature checks, just a verbal checklist, still having everyone wear masks in the buildings (makes sense here) but you can choose how close you are to other people. Expecting the same news that we’ve had the past visits, no cancer and one visit closer to these being yearly visits.
That was the news from the visit. One visit in six months, if everything is the same she’s into the survivor phase, less than 2% chance of recurrence of inflammatory breast cancer, and our visits will become yearly instead of every six months.
My wife is currently in surgery for her final time with all this stuff. Doing what is called a revision surgery to get everything “touched up.” It consists of a little liposuction to reduce one area, a lift on the natural breast to even them up, and all new incisions are going back through existing scars and any excess scar tissue removed. Then on to healing from this and starting to try to design a scar covering tattoo around her rebuilt boob. Her idea is to do a Tinkerbell pixie dust trail and including her life verse (Psalm 118:24) and probably a Mickey of some kind. All is going well.