Bye Bye Bitch Tit

I chose my new boobs on Friday. Hmm that’s a sentence I never thought I’d have to type. They are silicone teardrop implants and my surgeon recommends them as the best on the market, and the ones that will look most natural, and to my boyfriends dismay, non- porn star like. Sorry Seany, you won’t be getting the Double D’s you dreamed of.

In less than a fortnight I’ll be waking from a 4 hour surgery: Nipple Sparing Bilateral Mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. On Monday May 22 my bitchtits will be removed and replaced with new and improved cancer-free implants.

That’s my focus right now, the ‘cancer free’ part of this all. It’s easy to mourn the impending loss of my real natural boobs, but I just have to remind myself of the drama they’ve caused me, and the threat they pose to my life, and then that sadness quickly turns to relief. No breast tissue =Β  no cancer. (well hopefully)

Screen shot 2017-05-09 at 2.39.01 PM

Deciding on having a double mastectomy was easy; i didn’t think twice about it. The statistics for recurrence were just too high. What was difficult was deciding on what kind of reconstruction to have. It was either immediate reconstruction with tissue expanders or with implants. I have read that if I have implants and then need radiotherapy then the skin might tighten and possibly misshape the implants. However my surgeon, who is also my plastic surgeon, is one of the best in Australia and has recommended that this traditional way of thinking doesn’t line up with the actual results. She is the expert and has seen many successful cases of implants after radiotherapy (RT) and reassures me that if I need to undergo RT then my implants should be fine. And for any reason they shift It’s an easy fix and will be the same amount of surgeries if I decided on the tissue expanders anyway. So immediate recon with implants it is!

Another perk is that I get to keep my own nipples! Sure I won’t have sensual feeling in them nor will I be able to breast feed, but that’s the least of my worries. There’s a small chance that the blood supply won’t successfully flow to the nipples which can result in them “falling off” (excuse my lack of medical terminology) but that’s what they literally do. I squirm at the thought. If this happens then there is an option down the track to have nipple tattooing, where they draw on areolas. I’m not going to entertain that as an option as I’m hoping my sweet nips are safe and secure and hang on tight during the procedure and recovery. So prayer for my nips! Another sentence I never thought I’d have to type.

During surgery they will remove the breast tissue and the sentinel node in my arm pit. These will be sent to pathology for testing where they will examine them to see if there are, or were, any cancerous cells. The full report takes a few days to receive. Chemo should have destroyed any cancer that was in the lymph nodes, and god forbid, any rouge refractive cells that might have moved throughout my body. If cancer is detected in either the breast tissue or lymph nodes then radiotherapy will definitely be recommended. This will be 5 days a week for 6 weeks. The idea of having to endure this process makes my toes curl so I’m hoping that my gut feeling that this won’t be needed, is on point.

I’ll be in hospital for about 5 days after the surgery and then will recover for 4-6 weeks at home. For the first 1-2 weeks a nurse will visit my home to empty the surgical drains that will be attached in order to drain any fluid and blood that can accumulate in the area where the tumours were.

During recovery I’ll receive the pathology results which take about 3-5 days. These results will be discussed by the Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) who are looking after my ‘case’ which includes my oncologist and surgeon plus other medical professionals. The MDT is an integrated health care team that will collaboratively decide on the best possible treatment plan for my future subject to the lab report.

Originally my cancer was treated as a triple negative due to its aggressive nature and the weak estrogen positive reading. However, it has come to light that this weak positive reading is in fact 20%. In a crude explanation, this means that my cancer is fueled by 20% of estrogen which is produced by my body. Because of this fact it is highly likely that the MDT will recommend that I go on hormone therapy treatment for 5-10 years after surgery eg) estrogen blockers like tamoxifen. These blockers do exactly that, block the production of estrogen which can fuel the growth of my cancer. The purpose of this is to prevent recurrence. It’sΒ  a lot more complicated and complex than how I’ve described it but that’s the gist of it. I’m still trying to get my head around it all as science was never my forte.

I’ll pay $50 to anyone who can find a positive review or a personal testimonial from a patient who has taken tamoxifen. Good luck. The idea of going on this and putting more shit in my body disturbs me so much, as does the idea of the loss of libido, weight gain and more hot flushes. The side effects are in fact parallel to those I have had from chemo for the past 6 months so the prospect of having them for an extended period of years just doesn’t float my boat … I do not want to go on this. But 20% is a huge statistic. Breast Cancer is a stats game for me it seems, so this amount is in fact a concern when I think about recurrence.

But I’m pushing that reality aside for now as it makes me anxious and emotional. I will address it when we have the pathology report and official confirmation of what my options are.

So right now, the one obvious option I’ve got is simple: focus on my impending surgery and to prepare myself to say bye bye Bitch Tit.

8 thoughts on “Bye Bye Bitch Tit

  1. Em, your outlook on everything inspires me to be a better person or at least the way i look at life. That tamoxifen sounds like a nasty piece of work, and I wish you could just have a break from it all. Forever inspiring me Em!! xo

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  2. Just wanted to let you know I’ll be thinking of you as you go through your surgery. One step closer to full recovery xxxπŸ’• Lots of love, Heather (Audrey”s Nanna)

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  3. I just left you a comment on the post written in February about all of the confusing questions you had to answer about your breast reconstruction. I was happy to find this post and that you have come to a resolute decision that you seem happy with. It sounds like it will be the perfect surgery and implants for you. Please keep us updated! As of today you would’ve had the surgery three days ago. I hope you’re doing well.

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    1. Hi Adrienne,
      I just read your comment on the other post – thanks for your thoughts. Yeah, I’m feeling really confident with my surgeon and am waiting patiently for my body to bounce back to be ready for surgery. I’m booked for blood test tomorrow so hoping levels are on the UP! Surgery booked June 6!
      Will keep you posted. Thanks again πŸ™‚

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  4. I can give you a few good news stories re tamoxifen. I’ve met a few women who have absolutely no side effects. I myself haven’t been so lucky, side effects abound. Hot flushes, slightly achy joints and a bit of mental rogue. I’ve recently switched to an aromatase inhibitor and that’s been much better! I hope the recovery from your surgery is going well – I recently had a lay Doris recon and am at home recovering from that. Recover well!

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    1. Krissy thanks so much for sharing these comments with me! That’s great for your friends, but shame you’re having those gross side effects. Have you tried acupuncture? That’s worked miracles for my hot flushes!!
      My pathology report from surgery showed no cancer in nodes or other areas of Breast tissue !!!! I’m so lucky and relived. Considering I’ve had the bilateral mastectomy , I’m confident in saying No to tamxofin and my surgeon said she’s do the same thing. It would be an absolute overkill going on it considering ther extremely low risk of recurrence in breast wall etc. I’m so grateful!
      Recovery has been awful. My latest post explains the drama. But I’ll get there πŸ’ͺ
      What’s your status with remission ect? X

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