Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I’d Like to Say “It’s a Little Nippy,” But, Like, it’s Los Angeles and it’s, Like, Sunny
A few people have asked me if I will continue to blog. My response was that I planned to see this through to the end, sharing my experiences until I was finished. I have learned a couple of things. One is that this process is never over. Cancer gets in and even if you get it out, the stink of it remains. It reminds of me of someone smoking in your car. You never quite get that smell out. Sure sometimes you don’t notice it, but then one day, your senses pick it up again and it brings back the memory of someone smoking in your car.

Among the other things I’ve learned is that reconstruction truly. takes. for. ev. er. My plastic surgeon and I are so comfortable with one another that he’s asked me to be the Godmother to his grandson. Well, not quite that comfortable, but it sure feels like one of those relationships that take years to cultivate. Oh wait. It has been years. I had my first consultation with him in August of 2004. I have seen him regularly since then and more frequently than my oncologist. I could have had a much faster process if a) my doctor had office hours more than one day per week, b) my doctor didn’t travel the world educating future doctors and doing missionary work, and c) if my doctor didn’t prefer to put off to tomorrow what I would rather have done yesterday. However, I appreciate his skill, expertise, and good nature. He has done good work with me and I have proposed my challenges along the way. He has also proven to be a formidable opponent in a battle of wits. What can I say? We are a good match.

The latest accomplishment is that I had nipple reconstruction last week. I hesitated in getting them. Let’s face it, they aren’t functional in any way imaginable. Did I need a surgical procedure yet again? I’m so glad I did it. I love them. They are so cute. It is the best thing I have had done in this process. They make me feel a bit more complete and they magically turn chest lumps into breasts. You know, they are still frankenboobies and that won’t change, but they seem more boobie-ish now. And did I mention they are cute?

My doctor followed the procedure of using local tissue to create the perfect little nips. There are many approaches to this procedure such as twist and stitch or four-leaf clover, but he mentioned something about a butterfly. For the first time I wasn’t concerned with the technical aspect and didn’t pay too much attention to the details. It was completed under local anesthesia with a little sedation. I recovered quickly and felt great the rest of the day. I couldn’t ask for a smoother process until, of course, I developed an infection on one side. I am hopeful it will clear up and everything will be fine.

The moral of the story today is threefold. First, you are stuck with me blogging for a bit longer at least. Second, patience my child, have patience. Reconstruction and a caring physician are worth it psychologically. Thirdly, my new nips are smokin’.

Read more from me about nipple reconstruction here!

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Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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