April 25, 2016: Nipple Reconstruction Surgery

I guess everyone is much more comfortable talking about a woman’s boobs being reconstructed than they are her nipples. Or maybe it just isn’t as common of a practice. Or maybe women just are tired at this point and elect to go nipple less. Or perhaps they chose the tattoo option instead. I don’t know the reason, but I haven’t shyed away from much throughout this journey. I’ll talk about it. 

 

I’ve said this before and I will say it again – reconstruction is not breast enhancement surgery. The only things that make them similar is we both go to plastic surgeons, and we both end up with boobs that look different than the ones we started with. I think that’s about it. With that being said, many of us have to give up every piece of the breast. The tissue, the fat, the glands, the nerves, the areoles and nipples. We are basically left with skin and some women even have to give up some of that too. For some, their journey ends here. They choose not to undergo reconstruction. I don’t blame them. They might be the truest heroes of us all actually. I guess I’m too vain. I lacked the self-confidence and self-esteem to go down that path. I chose a complete breast reconstruction. It hasn’t always been easy or exciting either. It’s painful and restrictive. But for me, it’s been worth it. 

 

Today, I went back to surgery. It was my 10th surgery in 18 months. I pray I’m finished with surgeries for the rest of my life. That might be a lot to ask, but I’m hopeful it will be at least. The purpose of this surgery is to reconstruct my nipples. A pig is needed for this process. Yes, a pig! They use the lining of pig intestines to help rebuild the nipple. It obviously goes through some sort of process before they put it in my body. Science is amazing. Anyway, it was explained to me as being what keeps the skin they use to reconstruct the nipple from just falling down flat. That would actually make this surgery pointless. So now I have all kinds of foreign bodies in my boobs: implants, skin from a human cadivor, and pig intestine. Gross! But I’m glad it works. 

 

Now, I have no idea what reconstructed nipples will look like on Thursday when I get the bandages off, nor do I know what they will look like with the 3D tattooing 4 months from now. I am looking forward to at least having the appearance of nipples. I think it will be good for my psyche. I’ll have to get back with you on all of that though. All in all, surgery went great. I’ve slept most of the day away. That’s good though. You don’t hurt when you are sleeping. 

 

I also received more good news today. The two black cysts they found on my lungs back in August haven’t changed in any way. No other abnormalities were discovered either, so this should be the last CT of my lungs. 

 

In all things, I give God the glory. This journey hasn’t always been easy, but God has made it bearable. I’ve learned a lot about my faith, life, and the gifts I’ve been blessed with that I spent too much of my life taking for granted. 

 
 Life is short – Live BIG! Trust in the plan God has for your life – it is good!

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About courage2conquercancer

At the age of 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is an account of my journey from my discovery and beyond.
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