Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy

The big surgery has come and gone!! The anticipation was definitely the hardest part, no doubt. I had so many fears before this surgery. Mostly to do with how my kids were going to handle it. Especially my little guy. I was so scared he was going to feel a deficit of love because I’m always squeezing and hugging him. And let’s be real, there’s no replacement for a Mama’s love.

My fears truly have been put to rest. 

The surgery went so well. My Doctors were beyond incredible. From start to finish, my whole team throughout the entire process was excellent. I feel so lucky! I was expecting to be in horrible pain. My pain level is so low. I have been keeping on top of my pain meds and staying ahead of it religiously, so I’m sure that’s why. But honestly I would say I don’t even have any pain at all now, just discomfort. After what my body has been through, wow, I’m so relieved for that. 

I have 4 drains in my chest. Two on each side. Those suck, not gonna lie. My husband has been taking care of them for me (tracking the ccs morning and night, which I’m sure can’t be the most pleasant thing to do). Thanks babe :).

Im 3 days out today, and I’m truly shocked how good I feel. I need to remind myself to take it easy though, because I know there’s a lot of healing happening on the inside. 

I’m hoping to slowly phase out the ibuprofen. I was prescribed 800 mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours and 1000 mg of Tylenol every eight hours. I have knocked my 800 mg of ibuprofen down to 600 mg already so that’s a start. Today I’ll see if I can get it to 400 mg while maintaining my pain level.

I need to take a second to RAVE about my sister, Leana. Again…my biggest fear was how my kids would respond. Max particularly is 11 months old, unable to understand what’s happening, and used to mommy loving all over him… and on top of everything I’m so type A that changes in their routines give me a good deal of anxiety. Maybe I’m a little neurotic but when it comes to my kids, their routines and their schedules, we find it so important for them and all of us to follow it as closely as possible. It is key! Well my sister has put my fears aside. She loves them SO much and they feel that. She’s been amazing, truly. She’s been a STAR! It’s a FULL TIME JOB doing what she’s doing right now.

My husband is working from home right now in the immediate post op period to help take care of me as well. He helps me keep track of my meds and help me with whatever I need.

I’m BLOWN AWAY by the support from my friends and our community. WOW…Just…WOW!!! The meal train that our friend has set up has been SO helpful. Friends… THANK YOU!! Honestly…I’m not sure I have the words to described how wonderful it feels to know that Im loved and supported and that people actually want to be there. 

For my friends that have signed up for the meal train, brought us cookies, muffins, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, flowers…I’ll never forget it. 

For my friends who have reached out to me asking how I’m doing…THANK YOU. It means the world to me. 

OK…so back to the surgery…

I now have expanders placed in each breast, which in a few months (hopefully sooner than later) I will exchange for implants. The expanders stretch the skin and create a pocket for the implants. Apparently my skin was good, so my plastic surgeon was able to fill each expander with a decent amount of saline already. So although it currently looks like a botched boob job, at least I have some shape and didn’t wake up with nothing there. I was happy for that! These expanders are temporary and soon I’ll have awesome boobs!

I woke up to my Husband waving to me from across the room (he wasn’t allowed in the post-op area but he managed to get as close as possible for me to see him), and my Dad, who is an Infectious Disease Specialist, and an attending at the hospital I had my surgery at, was able to get in (VIP status) and see me, which made this Daddy’s girl just the MOST happy to see him when I woke.  

I woke up in some pain. I’d say maybe a 7 our of 10 level. That’s where the IV drugs come in when you’re in post op. 

That being said my pain tolerance is extremely high. I gave birth without an epidural the second time around!! If I can handle that, I can handle anything!!

That first few hours after surgery really was the only pain I felt, and since then I’ve been totally fine pain-wise. (Believe me this is a shock to me…very pleasantly surprised). Even my range of motion is MUCH better than I was told it would be, and expected it to be. 

Just goes to show, everyone’s experience  is different and if you are someone who needs to go through this, the anticipation is the worst part! YOU CAN DO IT! YOU ARE SO MUCH STRONGER THAN YOU THINK! 

My first follow up appointment is on Thursday next week. I’m hoping to get 2 of the drains out then. Pretty sure I will because my output is already significantly improving. Grateful that I had a healthy body prior to surgery. I’m healing so much faster than I expected. 

I then have weekly appointments with the plastic surgeon to do fills in each breast until I am happy with the size and choose to stop. 

The worst is over! 

Most importantly, my pathology came back NEGATIVE and TOTALLY NORMAL!! I was able to save my life before it needs saving!! Got ahead of it!! That’s everything. No regrets!! Best decision ever, and so glad to be on the other side of this first (biggest) surgery!!

Love to all of you who took the time to read this and join me in my journey! 

12 thoughts on “Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy

  1. Yay!! I’m so happy that you are feeling better than expected! I’m seriously in disbelief at how you tackled this situation with the most positive, proactive attitude. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So happy to read your good news post! The BEST news is the path report. Yippee. You are doing great and your support network is just awesome. I’m really happy for you to have that right. now. Stay strong and always remember to cut yourself some slack if you do not feel super duper on a given day! You are allowed ALL emotions!
    Love and HUGS.
    Linda – 28 year BC survivor
    (with best from Steve and the family)

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  3. Yay! It makes me so happy that you’re not in a lot of pain. I’m so proud of your strength in taking these steps and sharing your experience 💕 You Are LOVED!

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    1. I’m glad to hear you are doing so well! I appreciate your transparency in sharing about this experience. You communicate it all so beautifully and will encourage others! ❤️🙏

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  4. I’m so thrilled to hear that you’re doing well and on the road to recovery!! You’re a rockstar!! Keep updating us..we’re all cheering you on!! Xoxo Dara

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  5. So happy to read your blog. I’m 3 days post op from my prophylactic double mastectomy with tissue expanders today. And everything you described I feel the same exact way. Praying my path report is normal. Best wishes to you always!

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