So I got some surprising news recently. The place that I have been wanting to get my surgery done by and assumed would not be able to get it done by due to cost is giving me financial aid. As A. would say: Far fucking out man! I was pretty depressed about this because the insurance situation seemed like a no-go and I assumed because of our savings that they would say ‘thanks for trying, but really that’ll be $32k+’. Instead they have offered me a deal that is expensive, but doable and especially doable thanks to a very generous family member helping out. I only applied so that I could tell myself I’d tried everything when I had to inevitably accept I couldn’t go there.
So on the long list of shitty life things going on right now, this item and associated items can now be crossed off! This place specializes in breast reconstruction and my surgeon specifically does fixing botched or rejected reconstructions. Women come from all over the country to go here, so it’s a big deal for this to work out for me. I haven’t posted until now because I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had a followup consult with him this past week and met with the finance lady and assumed something would come up and it would be a “just kidding” that this would work out kind of deal. But it appears that it honest to god is going to actually happen.
So I’m basically having a do-over which sucks because it’ll be a long recovery. They’re going to take tissue from my hip this time since I already utilized my abdomen. It’ll be around a 6 week recovery time, plus more to feel normal in terms of flexibility and strength. I had my original reconstruction done in mid-August and I just started PT again because I’m having back problems due to my gluts being fucked up from the recovery and chemo. They’re also going to lower my abdominal scar so that I can hopefully wear a reasonable bathing suit bottom and hide it. This will also involve a belly button do-over. I’m not psyched about adding the abdominal surgery, but I figure since I’m going to be in pain and incapacitated why not try and fix it?
I think I’m in a better and worse position due to having gone through this once before. It’ll be easier mentally because I know a lot more about what’s happening to me and that I’ll come out on the other side and get through this. Last time it was a terrifying unknown. The added toughness to this is that I know how miserable it felt in the first few weeks after surgery and what a long road it was recovering physically and it’s hard to willingly put myself through that again. This is also why it’s such a huge deal to be able to go with the surgeon I want. I have so much to overcome mentally already with this, that not feeling 100% about the person performing the surgery is a pretty big thing to have to deal with.
The hospital is also amazing which is a relief after my challenges at DHMC. I will have my own room, there is a murphy bed for A. (he won’t have to spend three nights in a chair), it’s near his job, and they only do plastic surgery there and predominantly for my surgeon’s practice so I won’t have to worry about them being short staffed or having emergencies to compete for nurse attention with. It’s a pretty snazzy place too which I think I’d enjoy being taken care of in if I were going in for something more minor. It’s also only about a 10 minute drive from our home so I won’t have to endure an hour+ car ride when I get discharged this time. There’s also a free icee machine. Plastic surgeons…
My Mom is going to come stay with us for an undetermined amount of time to help me and with Wallace while I recover since A. will need to work as he just started his job. Wallace fortunately now basically takes himself out if you open the door to the yard so he’s much easier to care for these days. I’m sure our friends and family down here will also be a solid support.
I should know early this week what my surgery date options are. Sooner the better…
On related good news, I am finally starting to look more like I made a questionable decision shaving my head rather than had chemo. My eye lashes and eye brows are starting to grow back too which is reassuring. Much easier to powder on some eye brows with a foundation to stick on.