Friday was the day of my third fill. And like much of this process I learned quite a bit from the one before. It all seems to be about knowing as much as possible about what to expect and then dismissing all the theory and just managing the after effects.
I don’t doubt my decision to start the reconstruction process straight away, but it has not been without its own challenges. My fills have been every 2 weeks and scheduled between chemo sessions allowing my body some time to adjust and heal as best it can. It has been nothing short of miraculous being able to see my body “blossom” over a few weeks. Especially once my hair fell out; it has been nice to be able to portray some illusion of femininity
I am now at the stage where I need to make decisions about how much fill I actually would like to spend the rest of my life with. You would think that would be easy considering my post surgery flat chest – anything would be better than THAT, right? What that actually means is how much your body can physically take – so definitely no illusions of a Pamela Anderson chest for me!
I had naively thought I would like to be the size I was before surgery; a way to continue my life without the very physical reminder of what had been lost. I had never given a single thought to what my breasts ever weighed; I only ever worried about cup size so I could buy the correct underwear! But I now know for a fact how much mine weighed, it is written very clearly in the surgeons report: 600grams of breast tissue was removed from both breasts. So I actually have a number to work towards….
But as most women know, there is no beauty without some kind of pain. The cost of my “beauty” lasts for 2 days after the fill. It comes in the form of intense pressure around my sternum area all the way through into the muscles between the shoulders and it affects the mobility of my healing right arm. The pressure I was prepared for, but the corresponding pain is what took me totally by surprise. In fact I was in so much pain, my back felt like it was going to go into spasm every time I sat down. I couldn’t lie down as the pressure in my chest made me feel I couldn’t breathe. I slept that night propped up in bed with a million pillows and almost had to bring the anti skid mat out of retirement!
So this Friday I learned from that lesson and asked her to inject a little less fluid. After all, I have quite a few months of chemo and fills ahead of me before the implant surgery…. Sadly she pointed out that this was not in fact true…. Not only does the muscle and skin need to be expanded to a size I am happy with, it has to be over expanded so that there is enough skin for her to use for the surgery. The over expanded skin usually needs to be left for six months in order to have the necessary stretch. BUT with radiation looming after chemo, this is not an option. So realistically, I need to get to my happy fill place asap!
Friday after my fill, the pain and pressure seemed less severe than the first time, but it was honestly still a very uncomfortable two days.
I have now also been encouraged to go for smaller fills every week… so after spending the weekend agonizing over this next reality, 2 guesses where I am going to be this Friday!
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy”. Anne Frank
“Natural beauty takes at least two hours in front of a mirror”. Pamela Anderson
“The good man suffers but to gain, And every virtue springs from pain; As aromatic plants bestow, No spicy fragrance while they grow; But crush’d or trodden to the ground, Diffuse their balmy sweets around”. Oliver Goldsmith
“Learning is a gift. Even when pain is your Teacher”. Unknown
“Pretty words are not always true, and true words are not always Pretty”. Unknown