This page is where I will record pictures concerning my journey with breast cancer. I place the pictures here instead of in my posts so those reading my blog can choose to view them if they wish and those who do not want to see the picture will not have them popping up as they read my story.
I plan on posting pictures for each change that occurs, so be forewarned, some could get rather graphic especially following surgery. If you are squeamish about such things you might not want to look further.
This is a picture before a biopsy was done. You can see the dimple in the area where it is circled. The lump is just under the dimpled area and is about 2 1/2 cm in size.
This is the same day after the biopsy. I held ice on it for 15 minutes and then took it off for 15 minutes for two hours following the surgery. I had very little pain and swelling. Advil was enough for any pain I felt.
This is the next day after the biopsy. There is still very little swelling though it was pink, there was very little bruising. The surgeon had warned me that my breast would end up with large black and blue bruises but that did not happen. The bruise which was very difficult to see even in normal light was only about the size of a US dollar coin or fifty cent piece.
This is from my most recent doctor visit on 6August2014 after meeting the plastic surgeon. He circled and drew lines over the area which the general surgeon would remove on the surface, then spread it open to remove the breast tissue and glands. Some women will end up with an additional incision under the arm to get to the lymph nodes, however they will only be removing sentinel lymph nodes in my case and they will be able to reach them from the area he marked off. The nipple has to be removed because it is part of the milk processing equipment and since my cancer started in the ducts they need to remove all the portions of the breast that involve the making and processing of the milk. This is because I’ve chosen a mastectomy and would most likely be different if it was a lumpectomy.
The next pictures will most likely be the day of surgery or the day after depending on how I feel after the surgery which is scheduled for 20August2014.
This is the drawing my plastic surgeon did the day before surgery showing the general surgeon what needed to be removed. I also wanted a good picture of my breasts prior to surgery and reconstruction, so I’ll have something to compare the final results with.
This is after surgery, the right breast has been removed and this is the tube top wrap which underneath has a dressing, and you can see the tube for the drain on the right side. It is attached to a bulb where the liquid collects. The bulb is pinned to the tube top. It has a small opening with a stopper I pull out to empty the fluid into a cup where I measure how much fluid is collected. When the fluid being drained is down to between 35 – 24 ml then the drain can be removed.
The next picture is rather graphic and might be difficult for others to look at so I urge caution regarding viewing the next picture.
This is what the incision looked like about 5 days after surgery. I find it difficult to look at and sometimes feel queasy when I do. I am hoping this will get better over time. I’ve seen pictures of breast reconstruction and I’m glad I chose to do so. I don’t think I could look at this on a daily basis, though I know it will look better over time, I know enough about myself that having an ugly scar would be more difficult to live with than a breast reconstruction. I will add more pictures as we progress through preparing my body for the implant and the next surgery which most likely won’t be for a few months.
26 Days after Surgery:
It is amazing the change in how the incision looks almost three weeks after surgery. The pain has decreased significantly over the past couple of days. I’m feeling more myself and though I did put a bra on yesterday, I realize I do need to go out and find one that is more comfortable for me, probably a front closing sports bra that doesn’t fit too tightly. I still cover the incision with a medical bandage, a non-stick type after coating the incision with polysporin, so I need to either use the tube top wrap or find a comfortably fitting bra to hold the medical bandage in place. It is getting easier to look at now. Even my daughter commented how much better it looks when she took this picture.
For those interested here is how the incisions look now after the expander was removed and healing is mostly complete. I say mostly because I still have some residual nerve sensations. Sometimes I get the sensation of my nipple being itchy but obviously it doesn’t because it no longer exists. Today I had a sensation of a sharp needle jabbing me. I was told these types of sensations would eventually go away, how long, no one could tell me.