Hello my sisters-in-kind, add those who will sadly join me. The GREAT news, is that there are SO MANY different TYPES of BREAST RECONSTRUCTION, and, depending on your physical conditions, medical history, general health, and mostly (IMHO) YOUR PATIENCE before actually jumping into "quickly" getting breasts back to "look normal" (as I did), MANY, MANY women have had wonderful success with reconstruction.
Having said all that ... I am NOT one of those women
Hey. guess we can't all be perfect in ALL aspects of our lives, eh? LOL...
I WILL be posting a LONG story of my cancer and reconstruction, but wanted to start "the ball rolling" for other women to share their photos, as I already DO have a public BLOG titled: THE REAL FACE - AND BODY - OF BREAST CANCER, which has these photos in it.
BE FOR WARNED: I did NOT have a successful reconstruction, and the photos are not ones of a happy woman with perky new boobs. Quite the opposite. A number of factors had to do with this: I was 230 lbs. at 5' 8"; I am a Type II Diabetic who does NOT have it under control; have been a CIGGIE SMOKER for many years; was 41 when had this done and NOT physically active due to severely damaged spinal nerves...so not a "healthy" person; had/have severe depression due to my BC dx, my failed spinal fusion six mos B4 BC DX, which caused me to be in chronic pain to this day; and, my father died two weeks before my surgery. THAT ALONE should have made me stop the procedure, as my stress level was TREMENDOUS.
Briefly: In DEC. 2003, I had a full mastectomy with axillary node removal, of the LEFT BREAST. I had IDC, tumor was grade 3, size 4.9cm at time of surgery, extremely aggressive, and was spreading. THAT surgery went quite well, with the "only" complication being Lymphedema, which I still have, thankfully under control.
After 6-1/2 mos. of clinical trial chemo of AC/T, then 25 rounds of rads (and I gather, had EVERY side effect known to the medical community with both my chemo and rads -- ah, just gotta love it
...), consulted with THREE Plastic Surgeons. My husband and I opted to go ahead with the only option open to me, which was TISSUE EXPANDERS to be replaced with "GUMMY BEAR" silicone implants, nipple reconsstruction, and areola tattoo.
Oh, yeah, and would have a SKIN-SPARING PROPHYLACTIC MASTECTOMY of non-cancerous Right Breast, then IMMEDIATE RECON with the above procedure.
Waited a year, duriing which time did NOT lose the weight, stop smoking, nor get physically active, AND dealth with my father dying with lung cancer and his eventual death two weeks B4 my scheduled MAST & RECON.
IT FAILED. Of course, I was blamed for it, though in actuality, my PS misdiagnosed a "normal" staph infection, which started a six month journey into Hades, including two more 'normal" staph infections, a couple of EXPANDER SALINE FILLS, FOUR surgeries to remove and replace my expanders, which eventually resulted in my getting HA-MRSA - THREE TIMES!!!
Finally, with my PS telling us 'there is nothing more we can do, you have too much scaring from radiation to produce more than an A CUP breast...." -- we decided to just GET RID of EVERYTHING, get me a FLAT CHEST so that eventually I could have beautiful tattoos across my chest...
But, again, my PS messed up, and left me with two stupid BUMPS in the middle of my chest, which I had said to her to REMOVE, and now they are still here, two years later.
I have MORE to post, and welcome any and all questions, but have had an EXHAUSTING DAY taking care of my "old" 71 yr. old mother, who is bed bound, I live upstairs, she has mild dementia, and is DETERMINED NOT to get well, which she is perfectly capable of, but doesn't want to put in the effort. Instead, lives in diapers, in a hospital bed (which the rail broke early tonight, joy-oh-bliss), and treats me like the DEVIL INCARNATE, while destroying my already rocky marriage.
sssooo, with all that in mind, I am now gong to try to attach my photos, and eventually put CLEARER captions to them, as well as get my POLAROIDS made into digital form to post, as well.
I DO hope this encourages other women to share their stories AND their photos. When I was looking for REAL PICTURES of reconstructions, all I could find were these RIDICULOUS line-drawings, which don't give anyone a TRUE, REAL IDEA of what YOUR BODY will actually look like!!!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!! I thought I was going to be 40 years old with perky, pert, stand-up without a bra boobs tht would be the envy of everyone for the rest of my life. Yeah, right. Well, at least I was able to BUY fake boobs to put into a bra, so at least I can walk around and appear to have breasts, and have clothing fit "normally."
BLESSED BE, SISTERS! And PLEASE, remember, I am only ONE PERSON, who had a BAD EXPERIENCE. MANY, MANY, MANY other women have NOT had bad experiences, and who knows....maybe in 5, 10 years, I might STILL be able to have "natural" breasts!!!
WELL, I just read on HOW TO POST IMAGES, and I guess since they are stored in my computer, I CAN'T get them actually posted here. DRATS! I'm NOT a computer techno genius, and don't even understand WHAT the FAQ about posting images is SAYING about HOW to post one -- only that I know I can't, since I can't access it from my computer.
SSOOO, folks, guess you have a part of a story with no photos. I'll try to get this worked out, and get the pix up for you.