I went to MD Anderson this morning with Danielle to have my last drain tube removed. In order to get the drain removed I had to have less than 30 cc's of drainage for 2 days in a row. My numbers this week were Monday 41 cc's, Tuesday 37 cc's, Wednesday 20 cc's and Thursday 15 cc's. Jim had been draining the tubes at night for me. He's the best murse (male nurse). I was excited Wednesday night when I was less than 30 cc's. I called MDA Thursday morning to see if someone in the Plastic Surgery Department could remove my drainage tube on Friday (so I didn't have to go through the weekend with it, plus Dr. Skoracki wanted it out as soon as it was below 30 cc's for 2 days). The triage nurse told me she'd have to wait to hear my Thursday numbers before she could book an appointment for me. She also told me that I may start draining more again. Wah!!
But low and behold last night my drainage numbers were at 15 cc's. I was ready!!! I called first thing this morning (the earliest I've been up in a while). The nurse took my info and said she'd have to check and see if she could fit me in this morning. Thought it would take a while for her to call me back but she called me back right away. Brenda was her name, asked me what time I could be there. I told her 10:30 and she said okay great see you then.
I got to see Gordon, (the PA who I saw pre-op with Dr. Skoracki and who assisted during the reconstruction phase of my surgery and who saw me post-op). I really like Gordon, he's a very personable guy. He asked me when my surgery was, July 14th I told him. He then told me that it had been long enough since surgery but he'd have to look at me first but that he probably could go ahead and expand me. I told him I had an appointment with Dr. Skoracki next Tuesday and I thought he was expanding me then, Gordon said he would go ahead and change that appointment for next Thursday then.
Let me explain what expanding means. During the mastectomy all the breast tissue is removed by the Surgeon (Dr. Hunt), then the Plastic Surgeon (Dr. Skoracki) comes in and places a tissue expander in (which is basically a saline implant). The tissue expander is filled with as much saline as your skin will tolerate at that time. Then you go weekly or every other week to have more cc's of saline added to your tissue expander. The skin needs to be expanded so that when you go into your final reconstruction stages an actual implant is placed. It's all very interesting. Never thought I would ever know this much about breast reconstruction but I know I'll be learning much more as we go along.
So Gordon had me lay back and he pulled out my drain tube. I didn't even feel it. I had to ask him if he was done. Then he went and got an expander kit, I laid back down. He used a magnet to find the port to which the saline is placed in. I was a little worried that it may hurt. Thankfully it was painless, he put a bandaid on where he had put the butterfly needle in and up I sat. I felt fine. Gordon also told me that all my scars were healing up nicely and that I could finally take a full shower in 24 hours.
The total visit today was an hour and that was including our waiting time. I'd say today was a very successful day at MDA for us!!!
Tomorrow I can start my breast exercises for women without drain tubes.
Tomorrow I also start the half marathon training program I've signed up for. I'll be walking it this year, don't want to overdo it.
The boys and I are home this weekend. I have some of my Ladybug friends coming in from Austin tomorrow. Jim is driving to Kansas to pick up our baby girl from Mom and Dad's and to go to his high school class reunion. Please pray for safe travels.
I have been feeling really well. I've been taking it easy and concentrating on healing. We have been extremely blessed by family and friends. And are so incredibly thankful for all the messages you have been leaving us. We are also thankful for the meals that have been brought to us -- you have no idea how much help that has been to our family.
Please remember to thank God for this journey we are on -- through Him ALL things are possible.
I have learned of two other young women this week who are battling breast cancer right now - Stacie and Tiffany. I pray that this journey for them is one that comes with many blessings too.
I am immensely blessed!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't forget that I've started a team, the Ladybug Warriors (there are boy Ladybugs too) for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure www.komen-houston.org/goto/monimonk , please consider joining my team or donating to this great cause!!
May God Bless You All! Have an Awesome weekend!
Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,