I'm having a mastectomy and reconstruction on January 23. I've know about this date for a few weeks now and have been letting it sink in before I talk to others about it. To recap I'm doing this because I'm a BRAC1 carrier and have a 86% percent chance of getting breast cancer and a 43% chance of getting ovarian cancer. This is a preventative measure and does not eliminate my chance of breast cancer, but it does reduce it to 1%.
I got a packet of paperwork from the plastic surgeon this week, which made this decision a little more real. I have a lot of paperwork to sign and send back. I also have a lot of labs I need to go get done for the breast surgeon, which I've had for a month now. A part of the plastic's paperwork that I thought was interesting were the numerous pages on Alloderm, donor tissue. It's awesome and creepy at the same time. I will have cadaver tissue used to help my body build more soft tissue.
I've decided not to do the oophorectomy at this time because the gynecological oncologist would like for me to be on hormone replacement therapy for the next 20 years, which I'm not comfortable with. So for now I'm going on birth control to reduce my risk of ovarian cancer at this time and see my doctor for an ultrasound every 6 months to try to screen for ovarian cancer. Even though ultrasounds don't do well at detecting ovarian cancer, it's the best option at this time. She would still like for me to have the oophorectomy by the age of 35.
On January 23 I'll be have a bilateral mastectomy and am not keeping my nipples. By doing this I'm reducing my risk from 3% to 1% and also I won't have to wear a bra. There is really no reason to keep them, they will be numb but be able to respond to cold and may even be in different places after the surgery. As for the plastic's part, I'll be getting silicone implants under the muscle. The doctor will be able to do this surgery the same day without expanders because my fabulous children have stretched out my skin and I've got plenty to spare.I'm starting to look forward to this surgery for few reasons. One- I won't be worry about breast cancer nearly as much as I do now. Two- I won't need to wear a bra after surgery. Three- My extra skin on my tummy area will hopefully get a little lift.
Recovery will be rough. I won't be able to pick up my baby for at least two weeks and it will be difficult after that. I know that recovery will be very hard for the first 6 weeks, after that I'm not sure what to expect. Luckily David and my mom will be here for 2 weeks to take care of the kids and me. I will be relying heavily on my friends after that. Thankful that my freezer meal group is already planning delicious meals to bring us.