Update on me, Part 1

Blogging has been really tough for me this past year, and I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe it is because some days I feel like I just don’t want to think about cancer anymore. Maybe a little bit because life is just busy. Maybe it is a little bit because the cancer-related events in my life lately keep turning out to be false alarms which makes me feel both happy (for good news) and silly (for worrying) at the same time.

So a brief catch up: For about a year, I pretty much took a hiatus from reconstruction surgeries. In December 2014, when my plastic surgeon, Dr. Kronowitz, performed a revision surgery on my left side (my non-cancer side), none of the issues that I had were fixed. To top that off, I wound up with an infection which lead to an emergency surgery, and while they were in that surgery, Dr. Kronowitz made the decision to switch out my left implant for a smaller one because was convinced (despite my protests) that the left implant was larger than the right.

In 2015,

  • I saw two other plastic surgeons in June for second opinions. They didn’t have great solutions.
  • I revisited with Kronowitz in June to see what his suggestions were and found out he was leaving MD Anderson.
  • I had an MRI on my right side (the cancer side) because of some REALLY bad pain I keep having on that side. It can be so bad that I can’t speak or move which is awesome when you are in meetings at work. Good news: No cancer. Bad news: Not really sure what it is. I’ve been told to take Motrin before exercising and try to stretch that area more. Some days I think it helps. Others…not so much.
  • I had an ultrasound on my left side because during an annual visit with my OBGYN, she found a lump that worried her. Good news: No cancer. Turned out to be scar tissue.

Dr. Patrick Garvey, MD Anderson

Then, I decided to take a little break. The rest of the year flew by. In February 2016, Alan and I drove down to Houston once again. This time, we met with Kronowitz in his own private practice and with a new plastic surgeon at MDA. His name is Dr. Patrick Garvey.

Kronowitz had the same basic solution that, to me, didn’t sound like it would yield any different results than the last revision. Dr. Garvey had a different approach. He suggested that we swap out my implant for a different type (form-stable) which will reduce some of the rippling I’m having. It would also help correct the symmetry issues I hate so much.

Oh, and he also noticed that my left implant was SMALLER than my right. So, he measured it. Guess what? It was.

It was all I could do to not jump up and down and scream, “I told you so!” I felt very vindicated.

On April 5, we made the trip back to Houston for what I hope and pray is my last surgery.  We went through my pre-op appointments where I got an unbelievable amount of Sharpie drawings all over my body. As always, they like to make really big circles around your fat zones so they know where to harvest the fat for the grafting. It is definitely an ego booster. My entire torso is marked up here, but here is a small glimpse of that:



My parents came down for the ritual Papadeaux’s meal before surgery. They have made it to every single surgery except the surprise emergency one. They are troopers.

Alan posted about that day here. More on how that all turned out and what is next coming soon.

One thought on “Update on me, Part 1

  1. I was happy to find your update. It’s always interesting to hear about your options and outcomes. Hopefully, you are having more and more days when you don’t think about the C word.

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