Time for a fill – :-)

Today’s blog will cover the Tissue Expander and what happens during breast reconstruction using the Tissue Expander.  However, before I get started on our topic for the day, I would like to share my amazement with you regarding social media.

I graduated from high school in 1975, at that time, we didn’t have a computer in our school.  I took typing and it was a really big deal that our school had electric typewriters (I lived in a town approximately 25k).  We loved it when we got to use the mimeograph machine for personal use, and HATED typing with carbon papers.

My stepchildren initially got me into Facebook years ago to keep up with their activities (they live miles away).  Subsequently I have become a ‘hip old mom’, my daughters are 17 & 20 and we are on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and they are trying to teach me SnapChat (I am a better receiver than sender… lol).  So seriously, where am I going with all of this?  I started this blog 11 days ago and I am literally amazed that I have gone international!!!  I have readers in US, Mexico, Switzerland, Philippines, Australia, Norway and Canada!!  Social media really has come a very long way in providing each of us the ability to reach out and touch someone’s life that we would otherwise not be able to reach.  I pray that each of your lives that I touch I am able to leave you with the warmth of the Lord and the ability to either help cope with your own journey or those journey’s of friends and family.

Thank you all for your amazing support, I appreciate all of your continued thoughts and prayers and please know that I am sending thoughts and prayers out to each of you daily, wherever you are in our world, whatever your journey.  We are all in God’s hands, and all in God’s plans.  May God bless you today and always.

Now, onto our blog for the day 🙂

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The Tissue Expander is placed between the ribs and the pectoral muscle, it is gradually expanded by injecting saline solution.  During the expansion phase, a pocket is being created that will ultimately be the home for the permanent implant.

So, what does this mean –

  • During the expansion
    • Breasts are hard as rock (seriously, you could hurt someone, especially if you hug a pregnant friend with sore breasts… sorry Joanne!)
    • After each fill, as the pectoral muscle is stretching it is definitely sore, but tolerable.
    • No need for a bra, those hard rocks are held in place and absolutely NOT moving, not even when running 🙂  HUGE Plus!!!!
    • Expansion will go a little farther that the ultimate desired size, this is to build a pocket that is large enough and soft enough to allow the implant to feel more real.
    • Question I have to ask the Dr.  If I get to working out again post chemo and am really working on the pecs, could I create a negative impact on my implant?
  • Post expansion
    • Surgery to remove the expanders and insert the implants.
    • Because the implant is under the pec muscle, the implant will be held securely in place, consider my pec muscle as my support bra, pretty cool 🙂
    • Periodic follow ups.
    • Tattoo nipple on left breast, right breast was able to preserve nipple.  (never say never, haha, always said I would NEVER have a tattoo… who knew… God did of course 🙂 , another lesson in humility)

The Fill

  • The Tissue Expander has a special port on it for the Dr to inject the saline, similar concept to the chemo port.  The nurse finds the port using a special apparatus that has a magnet hanging from a pendulum and marks the spot.

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  • The Dr. comes in with the syringes and injects saline into the expanders.

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  • Syringe is removed, small bandage applied and you are on your way until your next fill.
  • I only have two or three fills left to go and will be filling every two weeks, we are taking it slow since I won’t be able to have my expanders removed and implants put in place until at least June (based on when the first 6 cycles of chemo wrap up).

A huge thank you to all for your continued support and encouragement.  I know that God has brought each of you into my life and pray that you have strength in all of your journeys.  God Bless all of you, until next time 🙂

 

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