Planning for breast reconstruction

I haven’t written about my breast cancer journey for a while. Well I have weaved things that have already happened into various posts. But as for the journey itself, there has been nothing much to say. In early summer when I first saw the plastic surgeons, I was led to believe the wait for breast reconstruction would be quite short. So I told them I wanted to delay and in September I was put on the waiting list. We have kept the post Christmas to spring period free in our diaries. We hadn’t booked Eroticon tickets. But things have changed.

I wasn’t worried that I hadn’t seen the consultant yet. But now I realise this would have been desirable. The junior doctors are great assets to their boss, but didn’t really have the whole picture. I was vaguely told to lose weight and told I could phone to find out when my surgery would likely be.

On Friday I saw a really pleasant and straight forward specialist nurse. I used to do something like she does, though in a different field. I am confident that she knows how the system works. She told me that next time I MUST see the consultant. She also told me that before my breast reconstruction goes ahead, I must lost weight. That they have tightened up this rule because BMI seems to have been a factor when looking at those who recover less quickly.

My weight

To say I am struggling to lose any weight is an understatement. But at least I have maintained – i.e I am the same weight today as about a year ago. The nurse and I agreed that a loss of about a stone (16lb) would be optimum. But I have already excluded most sugar, all sugary and artificial sweetened drinks. I rarely eat anything fatty and don’t know when I last ate pizza. The only thing I can think of is wine. So, I’ll have to reduce that drastically now. The nurse didn’t argue when I said that I thought Letrozole was contributing.

I’ve decided to try intermittent fasting, on the basis that metabolism is affected by constant dieting. Also that frequent food intake may cause insulin resistance. I’m busy reading up on this approach and feel that it can’t hurt. I’m going to go back to reporting my progress on here over the next few months, to help keep a record.

Other aspects of planning

We went through the implications of the DIEP surgery – the actual operation, potential risks and side effects and after care. This really is a major operation. I was also told that the longer between the end of radiotherapy and surgery the better. This involves micro surgery to tiny blood vessels in my breast and abdomen. The reality of the enormity of what I am putting myself forward for hit. Waiting feels right even if the list was shorter.

I need to be as fit and well prepared as possible for this surgery. I need to follow the advice of the health professionals and Master and I need to be as ready as we can be. So we can plan some things for winter and spring.

Fun things to do

Eroticon tickets are now in the bag, we just need to sort out hotel etc. Master has a big birthday at the end of March, so we are planning for that. There’s also an English Song Festival in April and I will want to get over to France to get things ready for summer. We can also book a summer holiday and the hospital will honour this. But I happily put myself forward for a short notice call from the end of spring. So long as I am physically ready, I think I will be emotionally fit to take a cancellation. Or failing that to have my breast reconstruction surgery when I get to the top of the list. Whenever that is.

6 Replies to “Planning for breast reconstruction”

  1. Low carb diet to lose weight is best (under 50 grams a day). You will never be hungry. Google the diet doctor. I lost 40 lbs and kept it off for over 3 years.

  2. I’m glad you’ve now got the clarity you need to move forward. And I 100% support your “be fit” attitude — especially in terms of emotional fitness; so few people consider that! — and have high hopes that all will go smoothly.

  3. It’s good that you now know how to move forward, and I am excited for you to have reconstructive surgery, and just as excited that you will be at Eroticon!
    As for weight loss, I really need to start doing something about that…

    Rebel xox

  4. I hate those moments of “Shoot. I wish somebody had mentioned this earlier!”… but glad you’ve got your plan of attack. Thinking good thoughts. 🙂

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