Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Breast Surgeries

At 28 years old, I have already gone through 14 breast procedures/surgeries, more than most people will have to experience in their lifetime. Dealing with lumpectomies, a double mastectomy, and the entire breast reconstruction process (with tissue expanders and implants) requires a lot of patience. It is extremely uncomfortable and frustrating at times. But in the end, it is entirely worth it to be cancer-free and to have a significantly lower risk of recurrence. In addition to that, I was pleased with the final result of my new boobs.

Until two weeks ago.

I noticed that I was feeling achy, hot, and exhausted on our last day of vacation. I figured that I was probably just tired from all of our activities and hot because, well, it was Florida. The plane ride home made me nauseous, but I assumed that it was just motion sickness. It wasn’t until after I came home, collapsed, and slept for ten hours that I realized something was actually wrong. I woke up with a fever and a terrible burning sensation in my breast. It was swollen to almost double in size, and the pain extended up to my armpit. My doctor told me to come in right away.

Because of what happened the last time I had an infection, I was already scared about what the outcome of this may be. But I wasn’t prepared for what the doctor had to say: If this is a true implant infection, it will require the removal of the implant, being completely flat-chested on that side for three or four months, and then going through the entire reconstruction process all over again. Basically, all of the surgeries that I just had this past year, again.

Trying to stay positive, the doctor said that in the best case scenerio, it was a hematoma, which could be taken care of with one surgery, or a minor infection that had not yet reached the implant (although this was unlikely). So, I was told to take antibiotics for two weeks, and then come back to see both my breast surgeon and plastic surgeon to set a date for surgery.

When I went to my appointments today, the doctors were shocked that all of the swelling had gone down, and my breast appears to have gone back to normal. Granted, I am still on antibiotics until tomorrow, so we will have to wait and see if the infection returns when I stop taking them. If I do have symptoms again, I will need to have surgery to see exactly what is going on. But we are hoping that the antibiotics were enough. Please pray for me that the infection and/or hematoma doesn’t return when I go off the antibiotics.

Of course, I am willing to do what I have to, but I can’t help but think how wonderful it would be not to have any surgeries this summer. That would be almost too good to be true!

This was at one of my appointments. Ryan was being such a good boy in the waiting room. :-)


  1. So glad to hear that your infection is clearing up! I hope and pray it doesn't return - you've definitely been through enough. I love your positive attitude, Dana. You're such an example to me. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  2. That is such good news so far and I will keep thinking of you and hoping that no more surgeries are needed!!! <3

  3. Thank you both so much! I have been off of the antibiotics for over 48 hours and so far so good!

  4. Sending positive thoughts and prayers that the antibiotic will be a simple solution and this will soon be behind you! You continue to inspire me!

  5. @Jessica- Thanks! You are quite inspirational yourself!

  6. Hi, Dana! I can't figure out how to send you a private message - just wanted to write because after finding your blog through pinterest (toddler fun stuff, which led to the discovery of 'montessori' learning! Thanks!) I realized we went through very similar awful things, almost EXACTLY! From timing, baby, triple neg, right down to your post on insomnia!!! Kinda freaked me out that I stumbled onto your site... Anyway, wanted to ask how you're coping - I am doing well, but still waiting for some energy to return! I too am finding life to be intense and beautiful after the haze of the last year...happiness in 'normal' everyday living with my hubby & 17 month old boy! Thank you for sharing your story, and if you ever need someone to add to your "Cancer Posse" who's been through the same crap, drop me a message (though I obviously don't know how you'd do that!) Love and peace and health to you!

  7. @dd- I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but I'm so glad that you found my blog! Congratulations on completing your treatments! I hope that your energy is returning some each day and that you are starting to feel more like your old self. I would love to talk with you more! If you want to, you can send me an email at Dana520 (at) =)


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