The Road from Chemo to Surgery
So, chemo is done. Now what?
With my 5 rounds of chemotherapy completed, we're now on the fast track to surgery. It's not as easy as setting a date and going under the knife though! There are several steps in between before I can leap over this next big hurdle.
One of the first appointments I made after getting out of the hospital was my follow-up echo. I had my first echo done right before I started chemo so that we could have a baseline of how my heart functions. Since chemo affects the heart, we're now doing another echo to establish my "new baseline" before I go under the knife.
My breast surgeon ordered a follow-up MRI to compare to my first one I had done before starting chemo. This imaging was the clearest way to see my tumor and *fingers crossed* all this MRI will show is the clip that was placed when I had my initial biopsy.
Appointment with Breast Surgeon
The last time I saw my breast surgeon was when I was in the hospital but it was just a super quick pop-in. I haven't had a real appointment with her since before I started chemo! So the first thing my surgeon wanted to do during this appointment was a physical exam. She was amazed at the effects chemo had on shrinking my lump - you seriously can't feel it at all! After that, she brought in my whooole family squad and we got to watch the video from my MRI... super. freaking. cool. Not sure how many people would find this super cool, but my family and I sure did! it was amazing to see the tracer they injected work its way through my body. We also got the amazing visual of next to nothing left in terms of a tumor - the chemo worked perfectly! My surgeon confirmed that she'll be able to do a nipple-sparing double mastectomy, which was the icing on the cake of good news we got from this appointment.
Appointment with Plastic Surgeon
During my visit with my plastic surgeon, we reviewed the process of expander to implant. Since my breast surgeon gave the green light for nipple sparing mastectomy, my plastic surgeon was happy to tell me that the expansion process will be a lot shorter and "easier" than what we previously imagined. He'll place the expanders during the same surgery as my mastectomy and fill them a teeeeny tiny bit. The plan from there is to expand every other week until I am at a size I like. Then, around November/December, we will schedule the exchange surgery to remove the expanders and exchange them for implants.
My surgery is scheduled for July 24th and I. AM. READY!!!