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Monday, November 28, 2011

Complication

It’s almost funny, the below was the post I was working on Saturday before a ‘complication’ arose. At about 5 pm I noticed my right breast had developed a large blister. It large, covering about 20% of my breast and filled with fluid. (Very yucky and I have the photos so we can remember what it looked like and see the healing) I immediately called my reconstruction surgeon and was connected with the surgeon on call. He asked me to send a photo. Upon receiving it he directed me to go to the ER. He spoke with Dr. Wilhelm and it was decided that I should begin IV antibiotics. Dr. Wilhelm let me do it out patient as it was every 12 hours. I had two treatments at Kiowa and then Dr. Bauman emailed me and thought it would be best that I come to Houston. Stephen and I left around 11 am on Sunday.

Today I saw Dr. Bauman. He said he’s never seen anything like this and thought it was best to admit me to the hospital, put me on two different IV antibiotics, have a few other doctors’ visit, get an ultrasound and labs, have the wound dressed and treated several times a day, and see what happens over the next 24 hours. We’re hopeful that the area will be somewhat better by tomorrow and then I can be dismissed.

Dr. Bauman decided to drain the blister and remove the top layer of skin. He did this in office as thankfully I can’t feel anything in that area since my mastectomies. The fluid sample they took from the blister came back as sterile and apparently that is good. The wound doesn’t appear to be getting worse and Dr. Bauman will visit again tomorrow morning. I will receive another round of IV antibiotics around 2 am and we will see how I look. I asked about having surgery still on the 16th and originally, this morning Dr. Bauman said NO. Tonight however he wasn’t decided, so I said let’s just see how it looks tomorrow and then decide. So the surgery is uncertain at this point and is dependent upon the healing of this wound.

It’s so crazy that this happened as it’s such a bizarre thing. The cause isn’t known. It could be an allergic reaction, a burn (which I find odd as I would think it would have burned another areas too), or possibly some other random occurrence. They say we will probably never know the cause for certain……… What we do know is that the expanders do not appear to be affected right now. That is why they are so aggressively treating me as apparently if it gets into the expander it has to come out and heal, then be put back in at a later point. Right now they think it’s a surface wound, which I’m told is a positive.

Things can drastically change in a matter of minutes with this process however I am very lucky that this is really the only complication I’ve had thus far. I count my blessings daily as this entire journey could have been much more daunting. Thank you God for my healing.

Original post from Saturday:
It’s been a while since I’ve posted which is good as not much has happened. I’m still in remission, just getting my expanders filled, and trying to get my surgery schedule finalized. I was very blessed to find a plastic surgeon in Wichita. He was recommended by a member of my church family and his name is Dr. Tamir. He specializes in wound care and is truly an amazing and caring doctor. His staff is also exceptional. He agreed to help me with my expander fills. I ended up only needing to see him one time however that experience was wonderful.

Mom and I went back to Houston for a post op. The day before we met with Dr. Bauman I got a call from Dr. Lu’s office, my gynecological surgeon, and they had scheduled surgery for 12-16. Wow, was I surprised. When I originally asked about having surgery before the end of the year the teams acted like there was no way. Since there were two surgeons that only had Fridays as the same day for preforming operations, there were also many people trying to get procedures done before the end of the year, and my expanders needed to be fully expanded for a minimum of one month. Looking at all these factors, the doctors really didn’t think there would be openings until probably late January. So I wasn’t prepared to have the hysterectomy and the final reconstruction so close to Christmas. We weren’t sure if my expanders would be in place for a month so we confirmed that this was Ok with Dr. Bauman. He said that I could only have one more fill as my skin was getting too thin. He said maybe I should take this as an omen; that the stars aligned as he never would have thought things could have fallen in place for the surgery to be scheduled before the end of the year.

The 16th is awfully close to Christmas but if there are no complications we should be home by the 21st. We’ve been trying to decide how to best arrange this surgery trip and I think we’ve decided that Dad, Mom, and Grandma will go with me to Houston. Stephen will stay home with the kids as they have a lot going on with the Christmas Holiday break starting on the 16th. Then Stephen may take some time off or work from home for a week or so after I get back as I can’t lift over 10 pounds and Delaney is well over 20 pounds. It will be nice to bring in the New Year nearly done with surgeries but it also brings stress as the Holidays are already so busy. Since I decided to leave my worries with God and go with his will for my surgery, we’ve decided to go forward with this date and make the best of it.

We were able to reserve the large house we stayed in last time. It is very comfortable and as Ann, the previous owner and Cara’s Mom who currently owns that house says, “It’s filled with love and healing.” Both she and Cara are cancer survivors and now I’ve joined those ranks. I feel very blessed that the home was available as we are comfortable there, it’s easily accessible to the hospital, it’s a very safe area, and there is plenty of room for everyone. Thank you God for my Healing.

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