Monday, April 30, 2012

You Can't Make This Shit Up

I am pretty sure all of those kindly smiles for us in the dining room were because people thought that nice young man was helping his mother up to her room. Me, hunched over and looking 85 with my crazy grey (hasn't seen product in a week) hair and Nick looking his usual 35 year old self.

As my bonus mother in law, Ginny Giardino, says..."You just can't make this shit up."

Shazam! As if life on this path had not reached into the realm of the bizarre, last week had to come along. Let's start this story out with a trip to New Orleans for a work conference, every bit of the thing that I love to do and was looking forward to after having given up much of my travel for the loveliness of chemo. I'd planned to swing by my surgeon's office on Friday to have them look at a wound on my right breast that was not healing well at all. But I got in early on Tuesday and didn't have to be at the conference for a few hours so I headed over to the office early.

A peek from my doctor and I knew I'd seen that expression before. Damn.

The breast flap had fat necrosis, which basically means that the tissue was dead and there was a high likelihood of infection, especially with the slow-to-heal wound site. Removal and reconstruction of that segment of the breast is the only option.

That makes it the De-Re-De-Re-De-REconstruction.

I planned to go back to Ann Arbor on Friday after conference and come back to NOLA on Sunday with Nick to get it all sorted. About an hour later, my surgeon called again saying he didn't want to wait, that Thursday was the day we were going to go under again and were going to do the whole second stage surgery originally scheduled for July at that time: butt lift to fill in the hip flap sites, lipo to smooth things out and full tummy tuck (now needed for the reconstruction).

Holy shit.

Nick rebooked the tickets he'd purchased, asked our wonderful overnight sitter Shan (the kids' P.E. coach) to stay, packed a bag and set off for New Orleans with a wife who was down south freaking out at the prospect of going under the knife again in less than 24 hours.

Once again, the gifts and help of friends pulled us through. My colleague Alice came and did energy work that allowed me to sleep that night and to release the total panic that I was feeling. Our friends at home rallied to take the kids and ensure that they were safe, happy and cared for. I sit here now, 4 days post-op, feeling good and hopeful about the surgery. Not out of the woods yet, but in a pretty good place.

Not sure what the future holds here. I think this is the end of the boob line as there is nowhere else to get tissue at this point. I'm hoping this takes.

This feels like a really weird update, choppy and strange. I have a story to tell somewhere in here that's better. I think I just wanted folks to know what was going on and why I am not at home.

Love to you all.


  1. You have such wonderful family and friends! I pray that this is the last of your battles with cancer and its aftermath.

  2. Oh honey, sending you so much love! Glad you have so much support, but still, can't believe how much this shit sucks.