Pictures (very graphic, if you have a weak stomach maybe you shouldn’t look)

 

 

Right after surgery  I just realized that I didn’t have a first picture posted.  This is what my breasts looked like right after surgery.  They were so swollen and so sore.  Just looking at this picture makes my boobs hurt, but this is the reality of this surgery.  The first time I got up to go to the bathroom, gravity was not my friend…

 

Back scars This is where they cut into my back to obtain the lat flap.  It’s not as sore as it looks. In fact I don’t really have much feeling around the incisions.  I can tell that someone is touching me (I feel the pressure), but the sensation is extremely diminished.

Drain pics   This is what each side of my body looks like. The drains are weird.  I have to pin them to all of my clothes so they don’t just hang. If they get pulled, it stings.

The little bit of boob you see is from the muscle flap and the expander.  They only expanded me minimally.  Luckily they only had to cut around the nipple, so I wont have any more scars.  I figured I could get tattoos to cover the scars on my back once they heal.  Any ideas?  After a few weeks they will start to expand me even more.

Right now I’m feeling pretty good.  My muscles all feel tight, but my arms no longer ache.  the first day or so my arms ached the whole way down, especially in my forearms.  It was so unexpected!

I am able to get up and move around now without help, can take short walks, and have even been able to hold down some food!  Things are heading in the right direction !!!

So today is 12/16 and I figured I should start posting pics of what these suckers look like. No, I don’t have nipples so you can’t milk me (Meet the Fockers). So here is a pic of what they looked like after the swelling went down after surgery.
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Here is a pic after my first expansion. I had 60 cc added to each side.
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So as you all know, I got my left lat drain pulled this week. I am gonna post 2 pics here concerning the drains. First, I’m gonna show you what really drains out of them and what you can expect to see after the bloodiness is gone. Then I am going to post a pic of what the area looks like after the drain has been taken out.
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After removal
So in the picture of the drain you can see the yummy little floaters in there. It’s not pretty, but that is the reality of what comes out. In the second picture you see a little white dot that looks like a pimple. It is not, that is where the JP was stitched into my skin and the skin had hardened around it. It amazes me that I can have an 18 inch drain in my body the width of a pencil and they can just put a bandaid over it and be done. No stitch. The human body is an amazing thing and God spared no detail when designing it.

This next pic is a bit embarrassing for me to post, but I want you all to see the reality of this surgery. My skin grafts for my nipples were taken from the site where they made the incisions on my back for the lat flap. Your back has hair on it right? Well that’s not something I ever thought about. Well one day I was having a super dooper bad day and I looked down at myself and my nipple skin was hairy. WTF? I lost it. At least I am not a really hairy man! When my nipples are reconstructed that will go away, but I couldn’t believe it. Tried to take a pic looking down on my breast in the sunlight so you could see the hair.
Nipple hair

Notice anything different?
No drain

NO DRAIN! Not one. Zero , zilch, nada!!! Woooo freakin’ hoooo! Best Christmas present ever! I am so happy. Dr. Greaney, the plastic surgeon (he gave me permission to use his name) came in the room and I was so happy I was almost to tears and had to hold back the urge to hug him. You know what else is awesome? No drain = no more antibiotics!!!!! This is a good day. Thanks God for blessing me with all of this wonderfulness today. I also had my second expansion of 60 cc in both again. This time we are waiting 2 weeks in between expansions.

It’s Dec. 28th and I am still packed full like a sausage because of this seroma. It grows bigger and more uncomfortable everyday so I am hoping that I will be able to be squeezed in to see my Dr. tomorrow. This started on Christmas Day. Keep them crossed for me.
Right side
Seroma 1
Seroma 2

It’s Dec 30, and I am still very uncomfortable. I got up and called the Dr.’s office as soon as they opened, the receptionist took the message and said someone would be calling me back shortly. I go upstairs to brush my teeth and stuff and they call back. The nurse says “Dr. Greaney said he spoke to you on Thursday, what’s going on.” I proceed to tell her that it has gotten much larger and it’s very uncomfortable. She asked how large it was and I told her about the size of a softball and she says “Oh my, hold on a second……waiting….can you get in your car right now and come, if so he can see you. He has surgery this afternoon and can squeeze you in before that”Ok no pressure there….So I run downstairs shake Eric and tell him he has to get up one, can only brush his teeth, we this hair and change his clothes because we have to leave ow. It’s 0915. He gets up and I told him I would be in the car warming it up and that I have ready grabbed his wallet and cell phone. We leave the house at 0926. Not too bad. We really are making good time, no traffic! Score! Then we get a little bit past Conshahocken and some big truck rear-ended a little car so we were in bumper to bumper traffic at this point for about 15 minutes. I’m starting to get a little bit nervous….when we get out of traffic make it to the office no problem, and they must have been on skeleton staff because it took 5 minutes before anyone knew I was there. They call me back to the room and the nurse looks at my back and gets out some numbing agent, a BIG needle, and 2 60 mL syringes. Ok….at this point I’m feeling like a turkey that’s getting ready to be injected with some juices. The Dr. comes in, asks how I feel, and I tell him I feel like a sausage. He laughs and looks at my back and then he said he understood the analogy. He injected the local anesthesia, didn’t really feel anything, then sticks the needle in with the syringe and starts to suck the stuff out. He fills one syringe and empties it into the sink, gets another and pulls back another 40. So that’s 100 mL of fluid. It was yellow and clear and nothing to worry about. He said there is a good chance it will fill up again, but just to call and he can drain it. Whew. I feel much better. Here is my back now:

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What a relief! I don’t feel like a sausage any more! We get to take another trip to Philly tomorrow for PT.
So excited

 

Here is is a pic after my double fill.  My right breast is the one that had the complications, and will eventually have to be expanded more than my left.

Double

 

 

Latest fill on Monday, Jan. 20.  I got 60 mL in the left and 90 mL in the right.

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Here is the fill from last Friday the 24th.  This was my second fill this week and he only filled my right breast.  I have an appointment the Monday before my surgery for final fills/tweaking to be sure they are to my liking and Dr. Greaney’s standards.  My right nipple will be moved a bit because it is still pointing a little bit down.  The rippling on the insides of both of my breasts will go away over time once healing is completed.  This can take up to a year.  My nipple reconstruction will be done 3 months after my final surgery as an outpatient procedure.  Ok, here is the pic

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Ok, so here are the pics from when I unwrapped myself on Monday, February 10.  My implant exchange surgery was last Thursday, February 6th.  I have no idea how big of an implant he placed, I got the card, but the volumes were not written on the card.

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My BEAUTIFUL compression bra.  I have to wear one 24/7 for at least the next 4 weeks.

image Here is what they look like.  If you actually click on the picture, you will see some rippling and lines.  Most of them are from the bra that I had on, but Dr. Greaney told Eric that a lot of the rippling will go away after my implants settle.  I still feel like my nipples are low.  Maybe they will raise after the implants settle?  I just don’t know how I feel.  Maybe this is normal?

image This is the left side.  the picture was taken in the mirror.  The implant has settled a little more because we stopped filling this one before the right.

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Here is the left side.  The implant sits a little bit higher.  Hopefully it will settle in.

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My breasts right now, you can still see the right is higher than the left, but they will get there.  I am pleased.

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The dreaded rash at the start.  It got worse but I don’t have a pic.

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here are the latest pics. Took these on March 29th.  My right is still noticeably different from my left.  I go see the doc on Friday, so we will see what he says.

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Here re is a picture of my nipple reconstruction.  I am so pleased with the results.  Remember, there is still tattooing to be done!

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Nipple shields make you look like you have headlights!  These are pretty freakin fancy I must say!

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Here is a pic of the revision he did to my right flap.  He made my lat incision just a little bit longer.  Not too bad, but a little sore!

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22 thoughts on “Pictures (very graphic, if you have a weak stomach maybe you shouldn’t look)

  1. Okay math quiz getting harder lololol
    Wow, OUCH, your 3rd day post-op your awesome up and about
    Great job girl thanks for sharing your story but OuCH but giving ya hug anyway. :)

  2. Looks like from here that really hurts.
    Enjoyed talking with you today and I’m especially glad your getting some food down. How is moms cooking I hope its as good as it used to be:)

  3. You ROC Traci…looks painful, but you still manage to smile. Stay strong…as for a tattoo, how about something that wraps around to just under the breast on each side, some phrase that represents your journey. You’re good with words, let me know if you come up with anything.

  4. Traci!!! I am loving this blog!! I have shared it with my plastic surgery friends as well so they can read it from a patient stand point. I can’t believe you got a pressure ulcer!! BTW, I think it is the nurse in me, but I love that youare brave enough to post pictures!! Love love love to you!! Keep going guuuurrrrlllll!! (that is me being your cheerleader)

    • I know right? That’s some shit isn’t it? Ironic. But hey, I’m the lucky one, I just went bald in a 3 inch section. It’s gonna look spectacular when it grows out! Lol. Share my blog with whomever you would like. And I don’t think people would really have any idea what this could be like if they couldn’t see it. Thanks for the uplifting comment! You cheered me up!

  5. Amazing the progress since I saw you 3 weeks ago. You summed it up nicely “The human body is an amazing thing and God spared no detail when designing it”.

  6. Your bravery is amazing. I am so curious about this all now and previous to you, I knew NOTHING about it! Thank you for your honesty and the awareness you’re providing! <3

  7. Thanks! The way I look at it, my Dad saved my life. The probability that I would have gotten breast cancer was very high. If I can possibly help someone the way my Dad helped me than all this is totally worth it. It took me two years to get to this point, so I did A LOT of research. If you have any questions let me know. But thanks for leaving me something positive, you made me smile :) <3

  8. Amazing? Thank you for thinking so kindly of me! You are too kind. The truth of the matter is, is that I saw a few people that were very close to me get taken down by cancer this year and I was scared to death of being that person. I watched them hurt, struggle, be constantly ill, and lose their dignity along the way. I am scared of that. This was my solution. I know a lot of people think it’s radical, but for me, it was the right decision. Thank you for being my cheerleader! I need all the support I can get!

  9. Traci, all I can say is WOW girlie. You are truly one amazing chicka. Thankful you are still able to share this with us, even with all the ups and downs you have been through. Everything is looking good. I hope that if I ever have to face anything close to this that I have your strength and wisdom through the whole thing like you have had. Truly amazing!!!!!!!!!!! Hate that I have had to keep up with you this way. Maybe someday we will get to see each other again. You take care and I hope you have no more setbacks. Love you!

    • Awwww Terri thanks! It has definitely been a roller coaster, but I am glad I did it. Hopefully we will get to see each other again someday. Still in ICCU? I feel like everyone I know has left the unit! Hope all is well and thank you for the support!

  10. Nice glad your journey is almost done better yet having you back to work. Their amazing breast long journey but worth the results. You’ll never worry about the big C word kinda cured or have prevented that.. 20 minutes of courage awesome. Amazing just wanted let you know I give a hoot!!!!!

  11. Such a heartwarming story. You are a strong and courageous woman. May the Lord keep you safe in the palm of His healing Hands. Your breasts look absolutely beautiful and I am sure it was well worth the struggle. God bless.

  12. Wow! I go in to have reconstructive surgery this Oct 28th, and having this information is huge for me. You are a very strong person and I know your journey was more then likely long, like mine and so many others. I appreciate the step by step, your struggles and your triumphs. Wishing you all the best moving forward.

  13. I was feeling very much as though I should simply cancel my upcoming surgery, scared of all that could happen again. However, after seeing your post I feel like this may be worth it. I want my life back, pre-cancer, but deep down I know this has changed me and I will never be her again. Thank you SO much for your bravery in posting everything to your blog. <3

  14. Thank you so much for your blog! I am sitting exactly where you were 4 years ago and your blog has given me strength and comfort and a few laughs along the way! Taking the time to write this blog has been a blessing for many of us also taking this journey.

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