Full steam ahead for right mastectomy and left breast reduction. Spent over an hour at the hospital yesterday viewing mastectomy scars and deciding which way to go on the other side. Think it will be the melon-slice approach…uh-huh! Can’t get too wound up in the look of the scars…being alive will be good enough for me.
Best news is that prostheses are not “dry clean only” they can just be rinsed with soapy water and hey..there are “special” swimming prostheses that are more chlorine tolerant (not on NHS though!). The prosthesis “starter pack” came out in a lovely silky bag tied by a brightly coloured ribbon…this did not of course fool me into not noticing its contents! The starter pack – for those of you unlucky old enough to remember “Crafts” at school – is a kapok filled breast shaped cushion…You get 2 of these and just wash and re-stuff as required. You are not fitted for “regular” (how quickly removable body parts have become “regular” for me!) bra and prosthesis (which comes in a lovely gift type box) until surgery has healed or possibly even longer (after radiotherapy) so it is kapok for the time being. I think it was actually called “cotton wool” but it looked and felt like kapok to me…or maybe that doesn’t exist any more.
And so…the shopping element…Suggestion was that I buy a crop top (instead of bra) for post-op so that nothing is sitting on incision site. Fair do’s – but what size to get? This involved more head scratching as apparently the “norm” for breast reduction opposite a mastectomy is 2 sizes. But when, during any of this process, have I been the “norm”? If possible I would prefer more than this but then that potentially affects which operation I should have and whether surgeon is agreeable. Apparently the worry is that your clothes may not hang properly….Well, what a bonus, I say…time for a new wardrobe! I do feel that I would rather have as small a prosthesis as possible so need a breast to match! This is yet to be discussed and agreed so guess I will just make a stab in the dark at what size top to buy.
Also looked at several post-surgery bras from the lacy to the sporty although the idea of me in a “sports” bra seemed to make Stuart guffaw loudly! This, however, is something for another day and somehow I didn’t feel ready to practise putting prosthesis into special bra pocket.
Aside from this, there was far more information than I could possibly absorb…other than it looks like even lifting a kettle may be beyond me for a while. More on Tuesday when I see oncologist and have my pre-op appointment so I am ready for admission on Monday 31st. There seems to be a questionnaire about my biggest concerns preceding the medical checks…Suspect I may be the curved ball!
Blessings upon the wonderfully seamless oncology department who just link through with diabetes specialist nurses, the breast nurse I saw yesterday even knew the name and contact details of the diabetes nurse who “looks after” me. By the time I phoned her yesterday afternoon, when I got home “my” nurse already knew what I was having done and when and had already discussed the best way to go with my insulin pre-op and during surgery and to come and see me as soon as I was post-surgery. Hurrah for a team who share best practice!