Two Weeks Post Exchange Surgery

I was really eager to see my surgeon again two weeks after my exchange surgery. It was finally time to get the dressings off and to discuss where we go from here. Removing the dressings, while not as nerve wracking as after my bilateral mastectomy, still made me a little nervous. I had been so happy with how well the scars had healed before this surgery – was that all going to be messed up now? Were the new incisions somehow going to be messy, or maybe they haven’t healed as well as they did previously? I was particularly worried …

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My Exchange Surgery – From Tissue Expanders to Implants

I only had a few day’s notice that my exchange surgery was going ahead but I wasn’t at all worried or nervous. At least not about the surgery itself. I was both worried and nervous that my surgery would be cancelled and not go ahead. I was originally booked to have my surgery on April 23rd. But late in March the Australian government announced that all elective surgery would be cancelled until further notice to preserve medical supplies for the corona virus emergency. I initially thought my surgery would be cancelled, but I was luckily able to be rescheduled for …

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What to take to Hospital for Breast Surgery

As I am packing for my third operation in relation to my breast cancer and reconstruction, I thought it would be a great idea to take note of all the things I am taking to hospital to make the experience a bit easier. This list would be just as good for a lumpectomy, mastectomy, exchange surgery, creation of nipples, fat transfers, even revision surgery. It’s what to take to hospital for breast surgery of any kind. I often see questions from others asking what to take to hospital for mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery. It’s a scary time and it’s easy …

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Preparing for Exchange Surgery

I’ve been considering writing a post about how the craziness of Covid-19 is affecting my breast cancer treatment, but honestly, I am one of the lucky ones who it is not affecting any more than the average person. One of the big concerns for cancer patients is the increased risk associated with being immuno-compromised, a major side effect of chemo and radiation. Since I did not have either, I am not immuno-compromised. I am also far enough out from my surgery (almost four months) so that is not an issue either. The third high risk category is those people with …

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Travelling with Tissue Expanders after Mastectomy

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, my first thought was how it would affect my travelling. Okay, no, it wasn’t actually my first thought, but it would definitely have been up there in the top ten. Travel is my passion. It is also my work. Not being able to travel would have a huge impact on my future. It really wasn’t an option for me to stop travelling. When I knew I was going to have a bilateral mastectomy, I chose to delay it for various reasons, one of them was because I had a trip to Bali …

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Second and Third Expander Fills

I had planned to give an update after my second expander fill, but the appointment was so quick and I didn’t really get any extra information from my surgeon so it didn’t seem worth it. Instead I am going to summarise both fills in this one post. The second fill was done about ten days after the first one, only because I had to change the appointment day to suit everything else I was doing. I was only in the office for 5-10 minutes. I didn’t even sit in the chair and chat, it was straight to the bed to …

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My First Expander Fill

I’ve been looking forward to this for a few weeks now. It’s the start of the next phase of this cancer journey. I’m no longer healing from the last surgery, I am now getting ready for the next one. The appointment was actually quite quick. The filling process took all of five minutes at most. First my surgeon used this little device to find where the valve was located in each breast and marked it with Texta. Then he filled a syringe with saline, stuck it straight in and added 50ml of saline to each side. I did mention that …

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Six Weeks Post Mastectomy

I couldn’t decide if I was going to write a six week update or wait a few extra days until I had my first fill done and post an update then, or do both – but in the end, I was travelling and working on the day of the six week milestone, so the decision was made for me – this is actually a six week three day update! Look out on another post on the fill very soon. The six week point was significant because the restrictions regarding movement had to be followed until then. The main restriction was …

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Four Weeks Post Mastectomy

Since my last post I have come along in leaps and bounds, improving every day. I finally saw my surgeon again for my follow up appointment. He went through all of my pathology results explaining exactly how lucky I have been. Not only were my lymph nodes clear but there are a couple of other indicators that were also clear. This means he does not recommend that I have chemo. In his opinion the small increase in the chance that the cancer would not return is not worth the risks to my ongoing health, wellbeing and quality of life. I …

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