Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Sunday, January 22, 2006

One Sleep Until Surgery Day

So it is Sunday night and my surgery is first thing tomorrow. In fact, I have to be up by 5 am to get to the hospital by 6. Personally I think this is adding insult to injury but what can I do? At this point I will be staying just over night in the hospital and will be back in my own comfy bed on Tuesday before noon. Just in the nick of time for some serious and quality napping.

I have realized that I have been talking about expanders and such like you all know what it is all about. You probably don’t and why should you? So here is an explanation, to the best of my knowledge, of what is happening tomorrow and in the near future.

Tomorrow general surgeon will be removing both my breasts and a lot of skin as well as my nipples saving as much skin as she can. It was medically advised that I have my right breast removed as they did not have clear margins when they did the lumpectomy. That means some cancer was left behind or not enough clean tissue was left between the cancerous sample they removed and the tissue left behind. The good part about this is that they got all the invasive cancer and the stuff left behind was in situ stuff. Just cells that are not spreading rapidly. Basically just sitting there. I decided to have my left breast removed as well as I had a 30% chance of cancer showing up there in my lifetime. Since Invasive Lobular Carcinoma quite often does not show up in a mammogram and presents itself as a thickening of the skin opposed to an actual tumor I thought a preventive approach was best for me. Even though I reacted very quickly as soon as I felt the lump in my breast the cancer had been there for quite some time and was very sneaky. That is why both breasts are being removed. Peace of mind.

After my general surgeon does her bit my plastic surgeon will be placing two tissue expanders underneath the muscle on my chest wall. Over the next 6-8 months I will be having saline injected into these expanders through a valve right beneath my skin. This doesn’t hurt as the skin is quite numb. As the saline is increased these expanding bags create room for an implant to be placed there at my next surgery.

At some point, and I am not sure exactly when, my plastic surgeon will create new nipples for me and they will be tattooed with colour to make them look as natural as possible. Hee hee! I said nipples.

Our hope is that I will be able to have two matching saline implants placed in these pockets created by the expanders but that might not be the case. Radiated skin does not stretch as well as pure virgin skin. It may more work out that my radiated right side will not stretch enough for implants. If that happens my plastic surgeon will do a procedure called a TRAM flap. With this he will take skin and fat from my stomach and scooch it up to make a new breast. This will mean I will have a scar at my bikini line on my tummy and, in effect, a tummy tuck of sorts. Then they will match that TRAM flap breast with an implant on the left side that was not radiated and will stretch normally.

The other potential problem I may have is encapsulation. This is a common problem with all breast implants. That is where hard scar tissue forms around the pocket where the implant is placed. It makes the breast hard and possibly sore. It happens in about 50% of breast implant surgeries no matter whether it is reconstruction after a mastectomy or for cosmetic reasons. It that case the plastic surgeon has to go back in and remove that scar tissue in another surgery. I really hope that doesn’t happen.

When I come home I will have two drains, one in each incision. This is a suction type thingy that removes excess fluid from the wound site. They are the only reason I have to stay overnight at the hospital so they can make sure they are draining properly. I have to clean these out a couple times every day. This is a little gross. The good part is that a nurse will remove then in about 5-7 days and it totally doesn’t hurt. It feels creepy-weird but not at all painful. Only after they are gone I can have a proper shower. That is the best part.

So there you go. That is what is happening tomorrow and the months ahead.

I am pretty nervous but I am going to ask for some relaxation drugs ASAP!!! I think getting up at 5 am will make me very dozy and out of it for the most part.

And, of course, with all of your healing vibes and well wishes I will just float through this whole thing. You guys are so awesome sending me so much blove. I really want you all to know your support over these last few days as well as through the rest of my treatment is what has kept me going. I never get a chance to get too nervous as a fabulous comment pops up and I feel cared for and loved and I then forget my troubles. You guys are the best!

I’ll post something as soon as I get home Tuesday afternoon!


Jessica said...

We blove you! I'll be thinking of you tomorrow!

Momentarily_Distracted said...

Blove you lots!

Closet Metro said...

When you get home on Tuesday, just post "all is well" and then get your ass to bed.

Big Hugs.

JessicaRabbit said...

There are two great things about hospitals, the warm blankets they keep in the heaters and the valium. Please make sure you ask for an enjoy LOTS of both.

We love you and take care baby, we will be waiting for you to come back.

snaps79 said...

I've been thinking about you throughout the day, and trust me, I'll be thinking about you all day tomorrow. You're a trooper. You've gone through so freakin' much already, you'll knock this out, too. I don't hug, but I'm hugging YOU today, tonight, and tomorrow, Ms. Krank.

east village idiot said...

We love you Kranki. And don't forget that a guardian angel will be holding your hand through the whole procedure...and he looks just like Christian Bale.

I'm praying for you. Love, Easty

abcd said...

Bette Davis Eyes:
We love you and I saw you can't
read the Velveteen Rabbit. I will
just say you are "real" and that is
all that matters. Taking a little
liberty with the story here: When
you are real, you are loved, and you have a special M&M angel who has your back.


eclectic said...

JessicaRabbit's right, toasted blankies are the bomb!! And the adjustable bed thingy? And the call button!! I often wish I had one of those at home where some nice, professional would just come running to clean up any spills, bring fresh water or soda, etc. Thinking of you, and believing good things are on the way for you!

Pixie LaRouge said...

Not knowing what to say, I'll just say take care, heal fast, and give 'em hell at the hospital if they don't cater to your every whim :)

Thinking of you lots and lots tomorrow and on and on

Jeannette said...

Thinking of you and wishing I could help you through the next few days. I am keeping my fingers crossed that you sail through surgery and are resting comfortably by tomorrow afternoon. All the best, my friend.

Lasadh said...

Lots and lots of "no hurtie", "super healy", "happy kranki" vibes coming your way!

We blove you!

Dima said...

We love you Kranki. You'll be in my mind and heart tomorrow, and always! Like Metro said, just give us a little note on Tuesday and rest lots. Hugs and kisses sent your way!

fueltank said...

You're gettin tats on your tits? Wow...

Be strong, Sweety. K and I are here for you, even though it's kinda far away.


Twisteduterus said...

will be thinking of you lots more today.

big hug and a couple of wet dog and catnoses for you

katietoyboy said...

Your overnight stay better have good room service, hunky butler as aforementioned and massive comfy pillows, not to mention warm spongebaths.

Hope you realise that you have folks all over the world sending you good vibrations, so this service is 24hrs a day, can't ask for better coverage that that.


ScottyGee said...

I'lll be sending you good vibes!

Cat said...

Good vibes, coming your way...
(back to lurking)

George said...

I just came over from Old Hoss's site. I got my fingers crossed for ya. Cheers!

Amanda B. said...

Love you honey, you'll do fine. Wish I was there to give you a hug and go get ice cream for you.

happyandblue2 said...

Thinking about you..

WILLIAM said...

I am thinking about you.

Trish said...

You are in my thoughts today.

sheryl said...

I'm thinking about you. Really good thoughts.

Susie said...

Because I don't have the intellect to figure out time differences, I don't know what the hell time it is there. So, whether you've left or not, know that I love you, and that you were the last person I prayed for last night, and the first this morning. We'll all be with you in spirit all day. All will be well. Wow, look at this bon voyage party! Who gets that when they go to the hospital? Kranki, that's who!

whfropera said...

with all this talk about boobs and nipples, you would think Bucky was here!
All joking aside, you are loved by one and all - I cracked up at the commenter who said "remember all you have to do is lay down". its just that simple, its just that difficult, and we're here for you. Hugs from Linus, extra-special ones from me.

Sharkey said...

Well I think I can figure out the time zones, and I believe it's about 5:45 AM there. So you're probably in the car, on your way to the comfort of relaxation drugs. Woohoo!

Susie's right--we will all be with you in spirit today. And we'll be watching for your update when you feel well enough to post it.

Heidi said...

Thinking of you today.Sending good thoughts and postive energy.

Bucky Four-Eyes said...

I would imagine you're already where you need to be, if I'm judging the time difference correctly. And..and..and..

You said "nipple"!

*deep breath*

Okay, better now. I'm with Closet - send up a very tiny smoke signal when you get home tomorrow and then kick back and let Yoshi guard the palace.

We all love you, girl, and we're all thinkin' about you today. But, you know, don't let it make you self conscious. ;)

*big but careful hugs*

hemlock said...

I also agree with metro.

Lots of good vibes Kranki!

Clandestine said...


Karen said...

Okay, I'm sorry, I'm still laughing at FuelTank's irreverent comment. Am I bad, or what?

You just relax and let them take care of you. It'll all be over soon and you can come home and get better again.

Thinking of you today.

Danielle said...

I'll keep you in my prayers. I hope all goes well.

LadyBug said...

I'm sorry I'm so late to the well-wishing party. I've been out of the blog loop lately. I'm looking at the clock right now and thinking there's a good possibility you're in surgery at this very moment. So I said a prayer for you, and I'm sending you every good vibe I can muster.

I love you, Kranki. God bless you, dear.

August95 said...

Thinking of you and yours today. See you on Tuesday. Metro is right, just a line to let us know you are ok and then off to bed.

kalki said...

Better yet, why not have Yoshi blog a quick report for you on Tuesday? I'm guessing she's as fast a typer as you are. Heh. :)

Sending much love your way!

lawbrat said...

Thinking about you, praying for you and sending good thoughts your way!
God Bless you!!

Squirl said...

I hope you're all done and out and resting by now. I'm absolutely positive all has gone well and you're doing fine. How could you not with all this love flowing your way.

Much love and many hugs!

sheryl said...

Still thinking the good thoughts. :)

Twixie said...

Keeping you in thoughts and prayers. Positive thoughts on the way!!!!!

Amy said...


I am late to wish you well for today but I am sending a big ole prayer your way anyways.

alan said...

Hoping you are sleeping peacefully now as it's mid afternoon Monday; I'll be thinking of you tonight at work. May tomorrow be as wonderful as you are!


Sharon K said...

Just started reading your blog today and I am glad because a special prayer from me to you will be sent through God's love for you.

Susie said...

The brilliant Sharkey has helped me with the time thing. You're in recovery, now, and all went very well, I know. I know. You're surrounded by love, kindness and competence, and soon by kitty love, too. We are with you all day, and until you tell us to go away :)

mrtl said...

Thinking of you, Kranki. Rest up!

sheryl said...


And I hope when you're feeling much better after this ordeal, you'll take advantage your first chance to SCREAM! I will SCREAM with you. HELL, I am going to SCREAM now for you, til you can.


Supposed to act my age
Supposed to act mature
I've got better things to do
Than listen to you

I'm supposed to keep it together
I'm supposed to keep my cool

I might be a big baby
But I'll scream in your ear
Till I find out
Just what it is I am doing here.

(Black Flag lyrics, for the people who are wondering WTF)

Susie said...

Oh, good idea, She. Krank, this is one you did for me a couple of weeks ago. Apologies to you and to Neil Sedaka, both of whom are better songwriters than I:

Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la

Happy recovery, sweet Kranki

Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la

Happy recovery, sweet Kranki

Tonight's the night we've waited for

Because you can't have breast cancer anymore

You'll always be the classiest lady we've ever seen

Happy recovery, sweet Kranki

What happened to those dangerous hoots?

Our Kranki said 'bye to them, told them, "Just scoot!"

We can't believe how brave, you're a super-hero's dream

Happy recovery, sweet Kranki

When you were diagnosed, you started blogging quick.

Then when you were chemofied, we were happy you weren't all that sick.

When you were radiated, you came through that just fine

Now you've gone and done it, your incisions are all sewn up,

From now on you've got plenty of TIME, SO

If we should smile with sweet surprise

It's just that you've morphed before our very eyes

You've turned into the bravest girl we've ever seen

Happy recovery, sweet Kranki

Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la Happy recovery, sweet Kranki
Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la Happy recovery sweet Kranki

Dawn said...

thinking of you kranki :)

Chick said...

Kranki, I'm delurking to give you a (((hug)))

I'm sending many postive thoughts and good vibes. You are amazing!

debutaunt said...

Here's hoping that your boobies aren't too ouchie.

Much love from my end.

whfropera said...

and a few more XX and OOOOOO's from opera-gal amd Linus

missi said...

Good vibes, healing and peaceful rest, and hopes for sufficient analgesia. Nothing but the best for you!!!!

Biscuit, VBD said...

I send you licks, and strokes of my silky hair. You know you like it.

Carol said...

I hope you are feeling comfortable and light. I hope everything went well. I'm sending you so many get-well vibes.

abcd said...

I really hope that was NOT a Neil
Sedaka song on this post! That would be as bad as Donny Osmond.

See what happens Kranki you go away for one night and all hell
breaks loose here.

I hope you are resting, we miss
you. I know Yoshi is home fluffing
your pillows I saw her.

I really do hope you are OK...
both with your mind, and with
your body. We won't let anybody
mess with your spirit.


Jeans said...

Good Luck Kranki! Something of this magnitude can be nerve wracking, but I'm sending you my MOST positive and happy thoughts and energies.

Susie said...

Hey, she did it to me! I am Sedaka-ing her back! Don't make me break out the Donny Osmond, because I can, you know.

eclectic said...

Oh Kranki, I'm so sorry. I left them unsupervised just for a few hours, and now they're all drunk and singing karaoke. Good thing you're heavily sedated...!

August95 said...

And now they go and make you laugh. Well, best medication you can get next to morphine. lol.

You know you rocked that Sedaca Susie. :)

katietoyboy said...

happy tuesday morning, you are coming home today. whoo hoo. welcome back. we will try to keep the caterwauling down to a dull roar here on your blog. NOT looking directly at missie susie xx. raising a nice cup of breakfast tea in your honour, kranki dear ...'to your good health'

abcd said...

If you ever hear me sing a Neil
Sedaka song you have permission
to beat me with a rolling pin.

I am going to say it here on your
blog. Neil Sedaka should have
never been allowed to sing.

He should have been anything but
a singer.

I am hoping when you get home
you feel "OK" you hug Yoshi
(I almost said Shoshie) and
you feel the love that all of us
have for you. I really hope
your OK and I am anxiously
awaiting your smoke signal.

Not as in cig smoke but as in
the kind of smoke when they elect
that Pope. I think I need some
more JAVA.


Anonymous said...

Thinking of you. ((((Kranki))))

ScottyGee said...

Kranki - your boobies have been on my mind for two whole days now. It's not often I can say something like that and NOT get slapped. =)

Hope you are as well as can be.

Canada elected a conservative! Oh no! Now we all can't run up there to escape Bush! To Mexico it is! =)

Have you in the thoughts, Krank. Dory does too. Somewhere between thinking of biscuits and her Kong, she is thinking of you.

kalki said...

Yay, you come home today! Thought about you first thing this morning (and okay fine, last thing last night, too).

(To Yoshi: Tread lightly and just on the tummy. Nice scarf.)

Susie said...

Yoshi, put on something pretty. Your Mommy will be home soon :)

Squirl said...

Been thinking about you a whole lot!

Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Crap, I turn my back for a minute and somebody breaks out the Neil Sedaka...I might have known something like this would happen.

Yoshi has been sending me telepathic messages for the last day or so. I think she wants you to...wait, I almost have it...she wants you to have 25 pounds of sardines delivered immediately. She says something about "doctor's orders" but then she goes all vague...

abcd said...

I would imagine Yoshi is waiting at the dinner in a cocktail dress
holding a glass of wine.

A little backround music something
soft and certainly not NEIL SEDAKA.

Sorry Susie I am usually the nicer
sister but Neil????


Susie said...

I'm telling you people, SHE SEDAKA'ed ME FIRST! sheesh!

Yoshi, go easy on that wine, hon. Save some for Mommy.

kalki said...

Does anybody else NOT know who Neil Sedaka is? ....

Just me? Alrighty then.

everybody else said...

Pretty much just you, kalki :)

Minerva said...

Hey Kranki,
Just to let you know that I am thinking about you and your free tummy tuck and boob job...

Can't wait to hear about the results!


spoonleg said...

you go, girl. rock those jackson-pratt drains through the arm holes of your t-shirt and let them dangle around like two bloody little ornaments. that's a sure fire way to freak people out in public. also, might i suggest a pink mohawk.

oscar has a few eyelid licks for you, and he says that he's jealous of yoshi because now she has a nice smooth palate for lounging. oscar isn't a fan of my boobies; they get in the way of his fat belly when he's trying to snooze on top of me. then, once you get the saline in, she'll have a nice, fluffy padded cushion to relax on. it'll be all bouncy like those inflated bounce houses that kids jump in. WEEEE!

oh man, i'm rambling. I love ya, krank, and hope you recover in record time with NO complications, just beautiful new breasts (although, I wouldn't argue with a free tummy tuck if I were you!)

Neil Sedaka said...

Someone doesn't know who I am?

You cut me to the quick, child.

jar said...

Hope the recovery is going well.