My Heaving Bosom (and Brady Update)

In the olden days of BC (Before Cancer), I would sometimes see ladies with shirts that seemed a little too small for them. Their shirts would stretch across their boobs and almost make the poor button pop in exasperation trying to hold everything together.

Now, well, I am one of those women.

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FYI – This is NOT me NOR my heaving bosoms! Just a pic so you can see what I am talking about.

I have a HEAVING BOSSOM!

It is so awesome and I LOVE IT!

My shirts are now too tight and the fabric is stretched to the max and the little buttons are earning their keep, keeping the left and right side of the fabrics together.

I don’t even care. I am out there strutting my stuff almost yelling for people to LOOK AT MY HEAVING BOSSOM!

So, I either accept this new me, with my stretched shirt and big boobie (the original boob is still not rising to the occasion) or, be still my husbands racing heart! I Go Shopping!

Ok, I am going to go shopping the moment I have some money but let me tell you, am loving this busty new me.

I was out walking today on my lunch break (working from home)(first walk since surgery) and I saw a lady coming toward me and I thought, I bet she is saying to herself, “who is this busty, skinny looking woman before me”?

Ok, it was Kate from across the road and I doubt she said any such thing to herself but I do love my imaginary thoughts of other peoples thoughts so lets run with that ok?

Update on pain, it is manageable. There is still discomfort along my stomach scar line when I wear fitted pants or, undies (snort, I said undies). Walking and even stretching is tedeious and tight but, today was day 1 of quite a few that I have to undertake before heading back into the city office and, I really enjoyed it.

I am working from home at the moment which is an incredibly fortunate thing to be able to do when working for such a big corporation and each and every day I am so thankful to be able to do this. Not only for my recovery from this reconstruction surgery but also, to spend the last few days/weeks with my boy Brady.

How’s he going I hear you ask? Well, I don’t hear you but I imagine you are all here to just find out how Brady is tracking.

He is bloody well loving life at the moment. Ok, not loving it as such with trying to get around on three legs with great pains in the cancer side and all but check these pictures out…

Saturday Breakfast

Silverside and Roast Veg Night

Spaghetti Night

Bro and Sis

This last picture is very special because Brady and Kelly NEVER sleep this close to one another. Brady gets cross at sharing his space and usually walks away. On this day, he was too worn out to argue and just accepted that Kelly wanted to look after her big brother. xx

 

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Bikini Body

Once upon a time I had two boobs.

I was then diagnosed with breast cancer.

One of my two boobs was lopped off and thrown away in the bin somewhere.

Then I had one boob.

Mr Kollias took the fat and skin from my big fat stomach and made a smaller tummy and built me a new boob where there was no boob.

Now I have two boobs.

I dont care that it is winter, am strapped into a stomach compression belt and that I still have bandages on my new booby, I am wearing my bikini.

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I’m so excited. And I just can’t hide it.

Bring on summer. I’m wearing this baby everywhere!

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I Have a Sore Tummy

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Do not scroll down if you do not want to see my stomach. (Sorry if my stomach shows up in any of your browsers because I am not totally aware of how to keep certain photos hidden)  It isn’t too bad to look at but I have been looking at it for four weeks now so am pretty used to is. It is a cut from hip to hip but don’t worry, it is all stitched up AND, you can see my new belly button.

The reason this area was cut to pieces was so they could use a flap of skin and a whole heap of my tummy fat to build a new boob for me.

You’ll also be able to see my amazing photoshopping aaahahah but honestly, this is why I am unable to drive, bend, sneeze comfortably, have husband and wife time, walk semi decent distances and also why I tend to say, geez my stomach hurts a bit today!

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Just a little more…

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ok, I couldn’t work out how to post the photo without it showing on your facebook feed with my stomach there for you to see weather you want to see it or not. Also, I can’t work out how to delete this blog post LOL. I’ll work it out later. sorry folks…

 

Tracksuit Pants are Falling Down! Falling Down! Falling Down!

I booked an Uber driver today, well……I asked my husband to drive me to a few local stores as it is payday. Payday doesn’t last long in my life so I like to act as fast as I can before it is gone and as I am in a small country town, I want to visit my favourite little places as soon as possible!

1st stop was at the local Sip n Save. Yes, I deserve a little drink after all I have been through but missed catching up with the owners as they weren’t there at the time.

Next stop, the chemist for Bio Oil recommended to me by my surgeon for my scars. Rachel (the chemist) was amazing as was her assistant. I must remember that lovely ladies name one day. They are both so attentive, interested and funny.

Next, Clare’s Bloomers. Clare is not only a sensational florist who delivers the most amazing flowers (usually requested by my amazing friend/author Tamara K Martin) but also my neighbor. I was given a time limit of 10 minutes to chat with her or else my Uber driver was going to drink my beer!

Off to the Post Office and wow, was I a machine getting in and out with no chatting or time hold up and blow me down but I ran into a gorgeous girl and friend Dannii who, along with her husband, catered our wedding in April (D&D Catering) . So, chat away I did and laugh and hug and catch up. It was absolutely wonderful to get out and about in the lovely sunshine but it was also glorious to catch up with friends and local peeps.

Something actually amazing happened when I was out and about. Truly unbelievable. Well, believable for me because of the pain and suffering I have endured but oh so much fun that I wanted to yell it out. Let me take a step back and tell you what happened.

When I was dressing for my Uber outing, I picked out my trusty tracksuit pants and floppy top. The pants were because I am unable to wear anything tight around my stomach due to the ‘tummy tuck’ that comes with a Tram Flap surgery, and the floppy top was to highlight the amazing new boob I now have.

So, when I went into the Chemist, my lovely track pants started to fall down!!

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OMG I AM SKINNY! My pants are falling down, falling down, falling down…..

Ok, not quite skinny but, my big fat guts doesn’t hold my track pants up anymore! OMG OMG OMG someone please notice this!

So, no one noticed this but I loved this moment a lot!

I’m still lovingly plump and squishy but my 2nd stomach has gone. Gone gone gone.

 

Just a side note – Bold and the Beautiful (spoiler) As IF Eric would take back Sheila after the Quinn and Ridge debacle! I had better be wrong here because in my opinion, Eric would NEVER take Sheila back. Even after Quinns naughtiness, I think Eric would still keep her.

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Newlyweds & Romance

This morning, as I enjoyed my lovely hot cup of coffee, I was indulged with a wonderful foot and leg massage with my favourite moisturiser by my amazing husband, Sam.

Ok, how it really happened.

Sam walked passed me as I was enjoying my lovely hot cup of coffee and gave my feet a little scratch because he knows how much it annoys me. He then looked at my feet and legs and pulled his hand away as though he was about to catch some dreadful disease.

Have you got Greyscale? He asked.

Don’t know what Greyscale is? Well, here is a picture of Greyscale. (Courtesy of Game of Thrones)

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I then proceeded to explain why I use moisturiser as much as I do and seeing as though I can’t bend to my feet or legs thanks to the hip to hip incision made by my surgeon, I haven’t been able to get to this area.

Sam was genuinely shocked by the dryness of my feet and legs. He couldn’t stop looking at them and pulling faces.

He did then go and get the moisturiser to place on to my feet and legs but was still reluctant to touch them! He attempted to place the cream on with the end of a brush!

Oh Puleeze! Has this man never seen dry skin before! He then braved it all and used his hands to rub the cream into my feet and legs all the while talking about how disgusting my skin was. I then proceeded to tell him how he was making me feel like Patty and/or Selma from the Simpsons and he says, throw in a bit of JubJub and you are spot on!

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Oh the romance of newly weds huh?

Getting The Girls Out

There is nothing like a man excited for you to get your clothes off. Well, today I had my post operative appointment with my surgeon and he was so keen to see me topless that he even did a little dance at the door of his office before we went in. This is one man who is very proud of the work he does.

And let me tell you, he did a marvelous job on this old girl that’s for sure.

I find myself often holding onto the new boob. Just resting my hand there. Oh she is one fine piece of work. And to think, this new boob is made by me. My fat, my blood vessels and my muscle. All of these things taken from one area and placed into another.

This is where the pain bit kicks in. Because the muscle was taken from the right side of my body near my ribs, there is where the pain sits. It hurts a lot. The pain is what I imagine would be should someone have kicked the beejeebus out of me on a Saturday night.

Anyhoo, I am pretty impressed my body is happy enough to take on a new job in another area. We are amazing human beings I tell you.

One of the most marvellous things that my surgeon told me today was I can now shower again! You have no idea how exciting this is until you are unable to shower for a period of time.

No, I have not gone almost three weeks without washing but it hasn’t been a walk in the park I can tell you that much. As I have been cut from hip to hip, had fat and muscle moved from here to there, a flap of skin replaced from my stomach to my breast, there are many things I can not do for the moment. These include bending, stretching, twisting, laughing too much, sneezing etc. So, come to ‘wash time’, it has been tedious and I have had to enlist the services of my husband.

Now, if you know my husband, you’ll know that he isn’t always the most serious of people so, you can only imagine what my ensuite has been like with the two of us naked and trying to wash my hair and parts of my body that I can’t reach. I have been in fits of giggles and there have been squeals and swear words and a lot of water splashing !

Not only will Sam and I be happy for me to be showering myself but I am sure my neighbours will be happy too hehe.

That is all for today as I am exhausted from my big outing to the surgeons office and a little wander around my favourite supermarket in South Australia being Foodland on Glen Osmond Road.

Xx Your Two Boobed Friend – Mrs Wilkinson xx

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Home and Drainless

YAY! They didn’t keep me in the hospital.

Turns out there was some kind of malfunction of the drain so they removed it. Definitely not sorry to see that gone but it has been replaced with a plastic bag type thing that sticks to the hole in my skin and collects the blood and puss stuff in the bag. Kind of like a colostomy bag.

When we got home from the hospital I was absolutely exhausted and slept the entire afternoon away and woke feeling sore but happy to be waking in my own bed.

So I happily sit here medicated with minimal pain, drainless, Kath and Kim on the TV, dogs quietly sleeping…. Life is good.

I did have a chat to the gorgeous breast care nurse at St Andrews about my pain medication issues and thankfully, there was finally someone on my side and who understood exactly what the hell was going on with me.

Oh and guess what private health insurance entitles you too? A first class, front of the non existent line in the emergency ward. There was not one person waiting in the emergency section of the hospital and was seem almost immediately by the nurse and then doctor. I was given a warmed gown and blanket to put on while I waited the whole eight minutes for the doctor.

So, today I shall not complain about what I do not get from private health insurance but stay tuned for that rant… its coming J

Update on pain, it is still there and still extreme but pain killers are taking the edge off and stop my blubbering.

To anyone who thinks doctors are not entirely truthful as to how long it takes to recover from surgery, I say, listen to them.

My surgeon told me I would need six weeks recovery from this surgery which I thought was preposterous and told my boss as much. I said that I would be happy to take two weeks to recover from surgery and then work from home for the remaining four weeks. Baaaahahahahah what a silly little twit I was.

I will be making the phone call to my boss tomorrow to explain that the surgeon may have had a point in advising I would need 6 weeks to recover from surgery. I just know from previous surgeries that the recovery time was ‘kind of ‘ correct but I could have easily worked from home, just not travelled to work and dealt with walking, pushing and pulling of doors etc.

This time, totally different story.

Pain is still high. Emotions are crazy. Sleeping more than I am being awake etc.

My advice to anyone planning on having this surgery, believe your surgeon when they tell you the recovery time. You will need this time not only to manage the pain but to rest your body. It is also incredible as to how often you use your stomach muscles. Spitting out toothpaste is absolutely excruciating.

I am slightly frightened of sleeping tonight with this stick on bag. I am a bit of a toss and turner during my sleep and dread the thought of accidentally rolling onto my left side and popping my puss and blood filled plastic bag. Gross huh?

Draining the Drain

When you have certain types of surgery, you have drains inserted into the surgical site to drain away the yucky fluid that builds up in said site in the hope to avoid infection.

I had three drains after my tram flap surgery and was lucky enough to have two removed before I went home because they’d stopped draining. One was left in which is on my left side in my lower abdomen.

Well, this drain has been working its little drainface off until yesterday.

Sam has to change the drain bottle when it gets to 300ml and has done this quite a few times since I have been home but after yesterdays drain bottle change, we noticed there wasn’t anything draining. I looked at the drain site where it goes into my body and I can see the stitch that is meant to be inside my body holding the drain in place. Thankfully the drain tube does go a fair way into the body so I knew, ok Sam assured me, that it wasn’t going to come out but, it seems there is a problem.

I have sprung a leak.

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There is yucky fluid all over my side. I woke up in a swamp of fluid. A ghetto of goop. Just disgusting sticky puss looking stuff.

What this means is that I not only have to go to the emergency ward at St Andrews but, I have to wash my hair in the sink and the body parts that don’t have bandages on them. Make myself look and smell human again. I have to find clothes that don’t restrict the surgical sites and pack a bag in case they keep me in.

No, I don’t think they’ll keep me in for the drain issue but perhaps for the pain issue.

Geez I was a mess last night. Like seriously, a blubbering girly snotty redfaced mess.

oh and do you know what I absolutely hate about being a blubbering girly sook? My voice. When I try to speak it is the dumbest sound you have ever heard. All high pitched and gaspy and damn well embarrassing. Not to mention my face as well while we are discussing it. Big red bulbous nose, red cheeks etc. Not a pretty little tear stained face with gentle sobs like the movies.

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Sam picked up the script from the chemist that my surgeon had organised for me but, I was too frightened to take them in case I ran out again but the pain was excruciating by this time. My last lot of pain killers had been taken in the morning and it was now after 5pm and I could barely breath let alone do anything else.

So, I did it. I took two tablets and then cried and cried and cried. I cried because of the pain, I cried because of how difficult it was to obtain the pain killers, more tears because of the pain, tears because Sam has to put up with me, tears because chickens are being sold for $3 per kilo at Aldi and I think they are selling those beautiful birds for too cheap (it might be here that the pain killers had started to kick in).

As you can see, it is quite the roller coaster of emotions at the moment but I recall from my mastectomy days when the pain was almost as intolerable, my surgeon considered popping me back into hospital. I do not partially love the idea but I hate the pain that I have too. I also recall that I didn’t become a pain killer addict and I got through it as I will this time too.

So, for the moment, I will sit and enjoy my cup of coffee and try not to think of how cheap chicken is in the supermarket and how they deserve more as do the chicken farmers, but only the free range chicken farmers because we all hate the cage chicken farmers  and take a few pain killers.

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Talk soon xx

The Pain of obtaining Pain Relief

How does someone become a prescription drug addict? I can’t even get a prescription without a lecture that goes on for so long and I feel like I am asking for a kilo of methamphetamine instead of some painkillers.

Pain relief

It is so very frustrating to be told constantly when in hospital to mention to a nurse when in pain and don’t try to be strong or to push through the pain. But, when you do that, you get a ‘look’ from a nurse, a few questions as to if the pain really is as bad as I think, lectures on addiction, constipation etc.

Now that I am home recovering from surgery, I get the ‘look’ and lecture from the local doctor who has told me she will not be looking to fill my request for this particular pain relief (oxycodone aka endone) should I require any more and will look at an alternative.

Lets get something straight. I have had a huge flap of skin taken from my stomach and placed onto my chest. A big blob of fat, muscle and blood vessels were then placed with this flap to create a new breast. The skin on my stomach was then streeeeeeetched to cover the big space now created by the missing flap and all sewn together.

Yes, I do think I am in enough pain to justify some hard-core pain killers thanks.

I know it has been a week and a half since my surgery but for goodness sake, I didn’t have my tonsils removed. I had some pretty major surgery that I think justifies the need to take these painkillers.

I know there are many people who have become addicts of these painkillers and I know they are very addictive (if you can actually get a script) but I really feel that there are times when the medical profession has to step out of their ‘all fit in one box’ mindset and realize there are some people in genuine pain. There are some people that really need these pain killers.

Why do I have to be made to feel like a criminal or drug addict when requesting a script for some pain relief? I have a drain sticking out of me, can’t walk straight for very long, can’t sit or stand for long periods of time. I think it is pretty obvious that pain relief is required.

Anyhoo, that is my rant for that situation.

I am expecting some backlash from this blog because yes, there is a terrible epidemic of prescription drug addicts and they purchase these on the black market or doctor shop etc but, my point is, not everyone is doing that. Some people are in genuine pain. I think anyone who has suffered serious pain will totally understand where I am coming from.

Thankfully I have a gorgeous cleavage to look down upon to make me happy for a moment and to remind me that this was my decision to have the surgery. I do tell myself to ‘suck it up’ about twenty times a day but in between these times, I’d like some pain relief thanks.

No, it isn’t time to see my new boob, maybe next blog 😉

i have boobies

My Dirty Little Secret

Hi There.

Sorry for not dropping in earlier but I didn’t know how to discuss what happened to me on the night of my arterial ligation surgery which prevented my Tram Flap Breast Reconstruction occurring on the 22nd of July.

Here is how it played out.

I was laying in the little room you are put into before you are taken into the surgery room. My anaesthetist Dr Christopher Higham from Stace Aesthetics popped over to say hi and to run through his spiel. He is really lovely and we chattered for a while and everything was going just peachy until he went to walk away and asked me a question over his shoulder on his way out.

The question was actually more like a statement:

Oh Amanda, you don’t smoke do you?

I just looked at him. I didn’t answer straight away and he then turned to face me head on and we were eyeballing each other when I squeaked out a ‘yes’.

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Didn’t the world just stop everything in that instant! It honestly felt like the nurses stopped their pottering, the noise of the phones and chatter was suddenly gone and Dr Chris Higham was suddenly almost nose to nose with me and said these few words.

You stop smoking NOW Amanda. Now.

Turns out that for the reconstructive surgery I was due to have two weeks after this arterial ligation, has a 12% success rate on smokers and my surgeon Mr Jim Kollias will not operate on a smoker.

Once Dr Higham had finished telling me off, Mr Kollias then popped in and gave me his opinion on all this too and by now, I was quite emotional as you can well imagine.

Thankfully the ligation surgery proceeded and I was back with my husband in no time. I did have to stay in hospital one night, which was fine enough.

Pain wise it was up there and it took a little longer for the pain to reduce than I had expected but it was bearable pain.

Mr Kollias came to see me before I was discharged and stated he will not do my reconstruction until I had been a non smoker for at least six weeks. I was shattered. I felt so ashamed of myself. I hadn’t been happy to have taken up smoking AFTER my cancer treatment when I had been a non smoker for so many years and now I was ashamed and sad and really quite embarrassed.

I am pleased to announce that I have not had a cigarette since that conversation with my doctors.

Mr Kollias rescheduled my surgery for the 3rd of August, 2017.

The reasons for not operating on a smoker for this type of surgery is due to the little blood vessels that get moved from your stomach to the chest area will usually die in a smoker because there isn’t enough oxygen getting through. Dr Higham said to see a ‘dead’ reconstructive breast was awful but also, the time and energy spent reconstructing was an absolute waste. This also includes the use of nicotine replacement therapy, that isn’t allowed either. Due to the microsurgery that is preformed in the Tram Flap Reconstruction, your body needs all of the oxygen it can get and nicotine takes that away from you.

So, it was an instant quit. No cutting down, no weaning, no nicotine replacement therapy. No smokes.

It occurred to me that I had two choices. I could smoke OR I could have a reconstruction. I couldn’t not have both.

Thankfully I had been reading Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking a few weeks leading up to surgery so I was one step ahead. I quit using this book more than five years ago when I smoked around 50 cigarettes a day!

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I did join a quit smoking facebook page as well for the extra support as was feeling quite emotional having taken up smoking more so that quitting (at the time) and decided to use the facebook page as a bit of a sounding board. There is always that one person isn’t there that has to be mean or negative.

One of the ladies responded to my facebook statement about my surgeon refusing to operate on my until I had been a non smoker for six weeks and promised I would never smoke again about how she had plastic surgery implants and there was no a problem being a smoker and proceeded to tell me my surgeon was ‘full of shit’. Wow. Ok, way to go lady, thanks! I replied politely and mentioned breast implants are a totally different kettle of fish compared to tram flap surgery but thanked her for her comment all the same.

Anyhoo, there you have it. My dirty little secret is now out.

I wasn’t actually going to write anything about this because of being so ashamed but then I though, what if someone else genuinely doesn’t know about the dangers of smoking leading up to, and after the tram flap surgery? My surgeon didn’t even know I was a smoker (obviously) because he had asked if I was a smoker when he first met me two years ago. Why would he ask a non smoking cancer patient if they had taken up smoking? There would be no reason for him to do this. Yes, I did write I was a smoker on the admission forms for the hospital so I am not really sure who actually reads these but that is not the point. The point is, be 100% honest with your surgeon because you could be wasting their time, your time, money, etc.

You may have noticed the date of this publication and realized that I have now had my surgery. You are right! I did have the surgery but I’ll tell you about that another time real soon.

Hello Titty