Two boobs intact

I had my final reconstructive surgery on December 12, 2012. The significance of the date is not lost on me. I marked my mastectomy surgery date, June 8, 2011, when a piece of me died two years ago.  12/12/12 is significantly marks a surgery date where I came out of overjoyed. I’ve been in remission for over a year and everything to do with my boobs is finally over. Fingers crossed!

It was the first time I went off to surgery at WCH alone. It would only be a 2 hour procedure, at the most, I was told. I gave the admitting nurse my friend, Jeff’s phone number. Jeff not only offered to drive me home from the hospital but promised there would be no talking in the car as it may have led to laughing which may have led me to pop a stitch. The nurse asked if I was aware what the Nipple-share procedure was. I told her I did but I was still squeamish about it. She asked me if I knew that there were other options. I told her I did know about the other options (using a piece of skin from my labia to create the nipple!!! or building a nipple some skin from my reconstructed breast mound) but truly nipple-sharing WAS THE BEST CHOICE, of the lot. She chuckled knowing it was true but also added that the results are excellent.

As usual, Dr. Beber and his surgical prodigy of the day took me to the little room to dot up my chest with his Magic Marker. He carefully measured distances between my collarbone to the remaining nipple and then placed an EKG sticker, which he cut up to match the size of my nipple, on my mound where the new nipple would be. I looked in the full length mirror to decide if it was in the right spot. It didn’t look right even though I knew he measured equidistant to where my other nipple was from the center of my chest, visually it was off, from what I was used to seeing on my breast. I asked him to move it a little to the right. He marked the mound with his position of the sticker and then moved it to where I wanted the nipple. It looked better… or did it? Dr. Beber told me to take my time until I was sure. His surgical assistant remained quiet beside me. I almost asked her what she thought but thought better of it, as this wasn’t a whole new outfit I was asking an opinion for. This was something I have to be happy with for… well, forever. Hmm, I thought about it for a little more but only imagined myself spending hours moving this sticker at slight millimetres, left and right, over and over again. Pretending to sound sure to Dr. B, I said, “That’s it.” He marked my spot and I was led to the operating room by his assistant.

It was smiles all around the operating room . The nurse asked me to state my name and the procedure I was having done to everyone in the room,”Nipple-share, from the right breast to the left.” I said.

“No, that’s not right. Are you sure about that?” the nurse prodded.

“Whoops! I meant the other way around, left to right,” I was sure they would have figured once they saw my chest, “It’s pretty obvious which nipple and where it would go.”

We all had a good laugh before the anesthesiologist proceeded to find one of my veins on my left arm, the only arm he was allowed to infuse with an IV, as they had done so in chemo (my right arm had sentinel nodes taken out therefore nothing should ever be infused in my right arm). The anesthesiologist told me he sometimes placed the IV in after the patient is unconscious.”Why don’t we do that?!” I pleaded. As long as my veins remain as thin, as they are, I will never get over my fear of being poked by needles. The anesthesiologist wanted to try. He missed. I yelped. The anesthesiologist took another look at my arm and finally conceded with me. As he readied my mask I noticed the nurse securing my legs together  with a belt.

“Why are you strapping me in? You know I’m not going anywhere, right?”

“Yes, we do this to make things easier when we sit you up during the operation.” she explained, and with that I scooched down the operating table a little more and splayed my arms out, onto the boards jutting perpendicular beside of the operating table like Jesus-on-the-cross style.

The mask went over my face and within seconds I was out.

I woke up feeling all happy. Automatically, I looked under my hospital gown to see my nipples bandaged up with cotton balls. Dr. B came to see me and told me everything went smoothly and I was to make an appointment to see him after the weekend. I remember saying something incoherent to him and realized I was still drugged up. Dr. B left and I closed my eyes for a bit longer.

Waking up again the nurse asked me how I was feeling. I told her I was a little achy on my breasts but other than that I was fine.

“Do you want something to take the edge off?” she asked.

“Yes, I’d like to try some Oxycontin.” I said assuredly but maybe too quickly.

“Look. At. You.” quipped the nurse. She didn’t give me any. I got my usual Percocets which she told me had some oxycodone in it but I told her I didn’t like how it made me sleepy. So, of course, I stayed wide awake for the rest of my time in the recovery room. I thought about how I wanted to die after my mastectomy, but now the mere thought of dying during surgery would be a huge shaft because I would have missed out on all the fine painkillers offered during recovery from surgery.

Finally, I am seeing things more optimistically. It’s a good feeling.

********

Alter my follow-up appointment with Dr. Beber, I headed back to Montreal for the Christmas holidays. It was good to see my parents and the rest of the family. Unfortunately, there was a lot of snow, record snowfall temperatures, in fact. So much so, that I ended up shovelling the front walkway to my family’s home twice on the second day I was home. It was a bit of a mistake on my part because my newly stitched nipples started to leak profusely afterwards and I ended up heading to the pharmacy every day to buy non-adherent pads to place inside my bra.

It was a bit disconcerting when I was doubling up on the pads so it wouldn’t soak through my bra onto my shirt. I didn’t want to tell my parents either knowing they would have probably brought me to the emergency room but I just knew it would be a headache to deal with Quebec medicare to Ontario’s OHIP, in our socialized system. My cousin Susan, looked at it the day before I left Montreal and made me call WCH. They told me to go to the emergency room to have it checked out. I still waited until I got back to Toronto but not after I shovelled another three times, in one morning, to get the car out to drive to the train station… Montreal received a lot of snow this season.

Back in Toronto, my GP cringed a little when I told him about my nipple-share procedure. I told him I cringed for a whole year to psyche myself up to actually go through with it. Anyhow, he took a look at my leaking nipples and assessed it was probably not due to popping a stitch. As the surrounding area was also itchy I needed to stop using the Polysporin, and to air dry my nipples, as it looked like a fungal infection developed from perspiring while shovelling all that snow!  My purpose for detailing this stuff is to remind anyone who has this procedure done, that the pain subsided fast, for me. It had not been two weeks after surgery before I started shovelling snow. Let this be a lesson, to follow the doctor’s and nurses orders to stay inactive for up to four weeks to heal and to not pop a stitch or  SWEAT.

A week later I saw Dr. Beber and told him about the snow shovelling so soon after surgery and my leaky nipples but everything seemed to be healing fine now. He braced himself a little before I showed him my breasts. Relief swept across his face and he became more animated telling me he was extremely happy with the results.

Now for those of you who are about to go through with your reconstruction and are dying to know exactly what I think about my new breast. Dr. Beber has done a spectacular job recreating a breast and if my mastectomy scar (which looks like it is fading) did not hover over my nipple, no one would be the wiser that I ever had a mastectomy. The nipple protrudes but not as much as my real nipple however no one can tell when they look at them straight on. Dr. C, my breast surgeon, who I just saw recently, told me that nipple-shares usually have the most projection from all the nipple procedures she has ever seen.

Every woman I have shown my new breast to has been amazed at the tattooed areola, the colour matched my own nipple hue. They are equally impressed, as I am, that there was even a piece taken from my existing nipple to make the other one. We are all in agreement my nipple must have been ginormous to be able to provide nipples for two breasts. Also note I still have all feeling in my real breast as it was an issue I worried about before opting for the nipple-share procedure.

I am extremely happy with my breast reconstruction results. The reconstruction will never be as perfect as my old breast but it comes pretty damn close. Close enough to make me feel my body is intact again.

I thought this entry would be the last but I felt rushed to put this out to let you all know how things turned out with my final surgery. I’m in the middle of getting on with life after cancer but will try to write my good-bye entry soon. I know a few of you want me to continue with this blog but I hope you understand I feel the need to move on and not focus on my boobs anymore. As always, thank-you for all your support throughout this ordeal. I could never have come out of this smiling without you all cheering me on when I needed or crying on your shoulder when I needed. 

xox

norine

Posted in Uncategorized

Tit for tat

“Hundreds but no ‘hi Moms’ or little hearts,” deadpanned Dr. Beber “Just nipples,” was his answer, to my question, of just how many tattoos he has done in the past?  It’s really going to happen. The final phase of adding a nipple and tattooing an areola on my new breast mound is going to happen sooner than I expected.

I’m trying to not get overly excited, because I’ve been coughing for five weeks (although less often and less severely than the first three weeks of this bronchial thingy) and I know, from reading the pre-surgical admin literature my surgery could be postponed because of a cough. It’s hard for me not to get ahead of myself with joy.

Mostly, I imagine myself being comfortable enough with my body not to have to conceal myself before and after swim classes. I have been taking swimming lessons again and finally I am confident enough to have moved along onto Adult Level 2 classes. It has been a great source of physical activity especially while recovering from residual chemo pain in my legs. Just last week, I was consciously aware my toes and outer sides of my feet were not “crushed” when I walked down the hallway from my bedroom to my bathroom.  It made me smile to know these things are slowly coming back to normal. On the other hand, I suspect my immune system is still not 100% as I’ve caught three colds within a two-month period. Otherwise I feel physically great!

Starting to swim I imagined myself getting stronger from the front and back crawl but never really walked through the actual routine of it all.  The getting dressed and undressed in a locker room full of two-breasted naked women was daunting to deal with. To prevent anyone seeing my chest I would usually put my swimsuit on under my clothes before heading to the community pool. I bought a swimsuit with breast padding to prevent my one nipple showing but more importantly no one can see my nipple-less breast. The most challenging part of swimming lessons for me was showering and removing my swimsuit without anyone seeing my chest.

I usually leave the showers still in suit before any of the women head back to the lockers. Once at the lockers I quickly fetch my camisole – never a bra, which takes too many seconds to fidget with before any of the ladies come back to their lockers. A hoodie, jeans, coat, and shoes complete my getaway outfit from the locker room and on my way home. Does this sound overly self-conscious the way it sounds to me? I really cannot wait until my nipple is attached. Hopefully, I will get back to being carefree in a locker room after this final stage with reconstructive breast surgery.

This procedure is called nipple-share and you can just imagine what this means. I still throw up a little bit thinking about it but I want the symmetry back. The areola will be tattooed by Dr. B, which also frightens me. He’s a phenomenal plastic surgeon, from what I have seen of his work on me, but a tattoo artist? I remember asking him months ago who will tattoo the areola and he gave me a ME-who-else-do-you-think look while pointing his finger towards himself. Plastic surgeon AND tattoo artist, Dr. B’s resume is certainly more diverse than mine.

With this final surgery approaching I feel it is almost time to wrap up this blog. It feels like the time is near because I am happier these days, lighter in my thoughts.

Part of me is sad to see this end because this blog was a huge part of my recovery from breast cancer… I’m a bit choked up knowing it will conclude with one or two entries after this one.

It is always on the back of my mind to revisit older entries; to re-edit, spellcheck, fix grammatical errors, and whatnot. However, the thought of rereading such a tumultuous chapter in my life still reduces me to tears. Certain moments playback painfully in my mind. The day of my first ever mammogram when Landau left abruptly out of the room to speak to the radiology doctor. I cringe at the moment I realized they would not be performing a biopsy unless they were pretty certain it was cancer they saw in the images. Dr. C telling me the lumpectomy would not be feasible and we had to go with a mastectomy was another mortifying blow. Some of you, if not all, laughed when I wrote I defiantly, told Dr. B I was keeping my breast. Really, it was not as funny while I was saying it to him, when you breakdown the reasoning behind getting reconstructive breast surgery. To condone breast reconstruction I was giving them the right to mutilate my body, in an effort to get rid of the cancer, and then to rebuild the breast. All in hopes, it will look and feel just the same as my old breast full without all the tumours. Even though my new boob looks great – so far, I replay the conversation with Dr. B in my mind and still my answer never changes. Even knowing what I know now. I would still give him the same answer. Getting rid of cancer, getting rid of your breast, these are not choices. It is something you do so UNWILLINGLY but there are a slew of, family, friends, doctors, nurses, health practitioners, hospital staff, cancer survivors who helps you along to your recovery. This to me has been the best part.

I’m reliving a lot of these memories more these past couple few days. A friend passed my name along to an acquaintance because she was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer. We have emailed back and forth, she seems stressed and probably beside herself with fear. She indicated she didn’t know if she wanted to meet me yet. I told her I understood, I would be here when she was ready to meet or if she just needed advice via email or a phone call.

Upon receiving her email update I realized she wasn’t in the middle of going through this cancer process but still at the point of searching for a second opinion. It sounded familiar that her second opinion did not oppose the first opinion and it is still heartbreaking to have to relive this through someone else. Sensing someone is trying to find a way out of this nightmare.

Her email indicated she would be searching out a plastic surgeon to discuss her options. Of course, I highly recommended her to Dr. B. Shortly afterwards she emailed me back to finally meet with her privately. I was excited to set a date with her, not to become her confidante (although, I would) or to divulge my whole cancer experience but because I finally have all the answers to all the questions I needed way back when I spoke with a couple of breast cancer survivors, Susie and Emily. Even though I know she probably won’t feel it or see it, I am confident my words will be true when I tell her, “You will be fine.”

You. Will. Be. Fine.

Posted in Uncategorized

July 25, 2012

“You look good in short hair. Are you going to keep it that way? How long was your hair before? I don’t even remember how your hair looked like before,” and within a few seconds of greeting me during my last appointment before my surgery date I was a little offended by Dr. Beber not remembering the ‘before me’.

“Thanks,” I say, but I was a bit put off because everyone remembered my long black hair. How could he or anyone forget? However, I quickly caught hold of my ego and reminded myself,  Dr. Beber’s sole purpose here is for my boobs. He is the only guy, I should ever know, who can focus on nothing else but my boobs. Twenty-four-seven, until I go under the knife again, he should be thinking about nothing but how perky, how wide, how much volume, how high my breast will look after my surgery date scheduled for July 25th, 2012. God knows, that’s all I have thought about since my mastectomy.

Surgery this time around was a little less traumatic than last June. The outcomes were completely contrary from one another. I didn’t have my family here this time around, as I reasoned it was probably a routine boob job. I told Mom, Maggie would be with me and she would text Cory, my brother, my progress before and after surgery. We were in the surgery waiting room for 10:15 am. Others were there waiting to hear from surgeons to update the status of their loved ones in surgery. It felt very routine or blasé that morning. For one thing, I was not the first patient up for surgery, as on June 8, 2011. Last year they must have scheduled me first, because I was relentlessly hesitant for a mastectomy and kept trying to postpone all proposed dates the surgeons offered me.  Yes, back then, they must have had an inclination I would have run if I was left to mull it over more than I had to. This time we waited for a long couple of hours and I could not wait to get onto the operating table. I could not wait to get closer to looking normal – like my old self again.

To pass the time, I discussed with Maggie where we would go for dinner after my operation. I was starting to feel a bit hungry. We agreed on burgers, a HUGE burger. I was having none of this cup o’ pasta and hot water this time around. There was no immediate family around to underestimate my iron stomach after a day of anesthesia and painkillers. Burgers and onion rings, that’s what I thought about more than looking normal while waiting for my new boob.

Dressed in scrubs, Dr. Beber came out and spoke to a man in the waiting room which indicated I would be next up to go in for my breast reconstruction. My name got called up from Paul (I think that was his name but can’t remember) also wearing scrubs. He led me to the recovery room where a nurse met me to discuss my medical history while attaching a red bracelet on my wrist to indicate allergy alerts. She gave me a couple of hospital gowns to change into, I gave her my clothes and shoes to be locked up until post-surgery. I returned to the waiting room to hang with Maggie a little bit longer. It was then I realized I had forgotten to bring a pillow, to protect my chest, for the car ride home. Maggie resolved to pick one up at Winners and go to lunch while I was in surgery. Paul came back and Maggie took the opportunity to discuss with him how much time she had to do a little shopping before Dr. Beber would come out to give her my update. As it was almost noon at this point, Paul told her I would be done in a couple of hours. Maggie wished me luck and agreed to come back to the waiting room around 2:30 pm to await Dr. Beber.

On the way over, to an empty waiting area, Paul assured me I was in good hands with Dr. Beber.  He shared with me that his wife had some work done from Dr. B. Paul smiled and gave me a knowing “nudging” wink. Paul and his wife were pleased with Dr. B’s work. The waiting room was an icebox. Paul offered me a blanket which felt like it had just come out a hot dryer. It reminded me of the blankets I draped around my body and arms to warm my veins before chemotherapy – oddly nostalgic.

The anesthesiologist  came out to meet with me and asked all the preliminary questions every medical staff had asked me over and over again. We listed my allergies, he asked which arm they used to infuse my chemo (which was the same arm he would use for an IV as the other arm is the side where lymph nodes were removed, he would not put an IV that arm) and I showed him a massive bruise on my wrist from when Nurse Jean previously drew a sample of my blood, a couple of days before. I probably didn’t apply pressure long enough to the spot after the blood sample and by the next day a huge portion from my thumb to past my wrist turned purple from riding my bike, “I bruise easily,” I said, which judging by the anesthesiologist’s reaction was an understatement, “and I have small veins and very few of them at best.” I added just to be sure he knew.

The surgical nurse came out next to ask me some of the same questions and made sure which side the implant was going in, even though it would be quite obvious once they saw my chest. She asked if I agreed to the surgical procedure, while looking for my signed contract.  She didn’t have to ask me twice, as the nurse had last year, and I didn’t once hold my answer back .

Finally, Dr. B and his young assisting surgeon Dr. T came to meet with me. They led me to an examination room where Dr. B used his Magic Marker and drew surgical lines on my chest. With Dr. T, he discussed where he wanted the implant to fall. Having thought way too much about my breasts this past year, I had to point out to the doctors, it wasn’t the perkiness or the promise of better cleavage I wanted most. The part I missed the most was the flatness from my clavicle to above before the breast rises. “Would this part  be flat again?” I asked. The expander made this section “busty” and none of my form fitted tops looked right the whole year. I exposed this area and wore loose-fitted tops to camouflage the deformity of this area. Dr. B said would do his best.

Dr. T escorted me back to the waiting room, “You must be thrilled to finally get this done!” he remarked.

“Oh. My. God! You would not believe HOW MUCH!” I told him “I can’t believe it’s finally going to happen,” I told him “Hey, where are you taking me? And why is it so cold in this wing?” I questioned, as we wove around the halls of the operating wing in WCH.

He said it was just a little further, he didn’t have to answer the temperature question as he led me into a brilliant royal blue tiled operating room with massive surgical lighting surrounding the space. I was almost taken aback as I have never seen anywhere more clinical than this room. It was the first time I saw an operating room or have been in one where I was fully conscious. I was a little in awe seeing the room and the amount of people on the surgical team. Dr. T introduced me to the whole team which consisted of the anesthesiologist and several masked nurses.  Their eyes all smiled while greeting me, it felt like I was the honoured guest at a party.

As I hopped up the operating table Dr. B had rejoined us and asked me to state my name and what my allergies were. “What?! But we never did this last time,” I pointed out “it’s all different from last year.” I was knocked out by drugs before coming into the operating room last year.

“We’re trying something new here. Tell us what you’re allergic to.” he said.

“Okay, I’m allergic to, Sulpha, Codeine, and the contrast dye for cat-scans.” Dr. B asked me to point out any injuries or pain to his team. I told them all about the bruise on my wrist and I explained it was probably exacerbated by putting pressure on my wrist while riding my bike. The nurse noticed a long red scratches on my other arm and asked what had happened there, “Umm, that’s where I accidentally fell off my bike…” The nurse asked if I was physically fit which I had to think about. I told her I ride my bike everywhere because it was faster and cheaper instead of taking public transit but I had also recently taken swimming lessons again. She placed an oxygen mask on me and the anesthesiologist surprised me by pricking an IV into a vein on top of my hand with very little pain. They placed heart rate monitors on various parts of my body and asked me to spread both my arms out wide onto the boards beside me. I took a few breaths in the mask, a rush of fluid went up my arm. I closed my eyes. I was out.

********

I was not as stoned or loopy, as I was after my mastectomy. I gotta say, I was a little disappointed by that. Seeing as I was alone, the first thing I did was pull my hospital gown open to peek down at my achy bandaged breast. It looked vaguely familiar, it looked anatomically correct with everything else. I smiled in relief. At last, I am closer to my old physical self.

However, I was very thirsty and my throat hurt. I asked the attending nurse for some water – four times in a row. Why was I so thirsty? I asked to see Maggie who they said would be able to see me when they moved me to the recovery room. The nurse asked how I felt on a scale of 1 to 10. Relieved at having first-hand experience with excruciating bone pain during chemo, I was now had a gauge to play the Rate-Your-Pain game. “I’d say I’m at about a 5 or a 6,” I announce like a pro to and was pleased to hear I would be getting more pain relievers as that number was still too high. No morphine this time though, just more Percocets. She asked if I was allergic to Percs, I told her no, they just made me a little loopy. The nurse told me to ask Dr. B for something else like Oxy-Contin, which I was a little excited about because of the amazing pain relief effect I had saw once on a post-natal friend and  it was the drug of choice for Edie Falco’s lead character on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Yes, I would definitely ask for Oxy-Contin when Dr. B comes to check.

They wheeled me into the recovery room where I could see Maggie. I asked her for more water when she came by my bed. She went to the nurses for water, twice more for me, before I heard the nurse tell her no.  She came back and said the nurse warned her I may not hold  down fluids because of all the anesthesia still in my system. It was then I spoke quietly  to Maggie making sure she would not back down on our agreement of going for burgers as we had planned upon my release. The nurse overheard us and tried to dissuade us by emphasizing how I would get sick in Maggie’s car, “I live a five-minute drive from here,” I reasoned with the nurse, “there won’t be time to get sick in the car” and then told her I had to pee. Anesthesia and starvation must make my bodily functions speed up also, I thought.

I showed Maggie my new bandaged boob and she pointed out the black scribble, which I barely noticed. The nurse told us it was an outline to show how much bleeding was outside the incision right after surgery.

We waited the rest of the afternoon for Dr. B to come by but it didn’t seem likely, as the nurse pointed out he recently had a new baby. A boy, she told us. Aww, that was great, we commented, but Maggie needed to get to the drugstore in the hospital before it closed. It would be Percocets again. While Maggie figured out my prescription downstairs the nurse brought my clothes to help me. I was told, as last time, to bring a sports bra to wear after. I told the nurse I brought a couple, one bra which was so supportive that I’ve had difficulties getting out of on normal days or the other bra which gave the look of a sports bra rather than being a real sports bra. She told me it needed to be comfortable enough for me to sleep in. I chose the one that looked like a sports bra.

*********

Maggie and I picked up Winslow (her husband) before heading over to the The Gladstone Hotel for our dinner. I felt relieved to be out of the hospital. I was even happier to finally eat despite all the warnings from the nurse. Being left to my own devices I drank as much water, during dinner, as I possibly could and promised to eat slowly and ordered a salad instead of onion rings, just in case, the nurse at the hospital was right about not being able to hold down my food. The only issue I had  was reaching for the bill. Maggie pulled it away from me and I may have overstretched my stitches trying to grab the bill away from her. I yelped a little but then we laughed it off.

It wasn’t until they dropped me off at my apartment when I was able to really look at my new boob in front of a mirror.  I opened up my shirt and could not believe how much more blood appeared on my bandage. Shit, maybe we shouldn’t have gone for those burgers like the nurse told us, I thought. Hoping Maggie had not hit the highway yet, I called her. She came back to look at my bandage but realizing she couldn’t offer a medical opinion, on how much was too much blood outside the marked lines. We drove back to WCH’s Urgency Care Clinic.

We were the only people in the waiting room. The triage nurse saw me quickly after I announced I had just had surgery in the afternoon and thought I may be bleeding a bit too much. She asked who my surgeon was and paged him. While in the waiting room we heard the nurse speaking to Dr. B on the phone. They seemed to be discussing arrangements to have Dr. T come back to the hospital to examine my condition. She hung up the phone and called me in. She asked me a few preliminary questions before asking how much I was bleeding.

“Can I show you?” I asked, as I didn’t have anymore energy to explain it and seeing as no one could see me in her office. She nodded, I lifted my shirt and showed her. She let out a sigh of relief.

“It’s fine,” she determined.

“But the bleeding goes beyond the outlines of the marker…”

“It’s still fine, I thought you meant blood was soaking through the bandage. The amount of blood on your bandage is normal. You’re fine, they shouldn’t have drawn on the bandage.” she explained to me, just as Dr. B rang her on the phone. She told to him there was no cause for worry from what she saw and then passed the phone to me to chat with the doctor.

Dr. B asked me to describe the bloody bandage then agreed with the nurse. There was no cause for worry with my bloody bandage. He apologized telling me to disregard the drawn lines on the bandages. He reminded me to call his office for a follow-up appointment for the Monday morning, after the weekend. The bandage would be removed during this appointment to check the healing of the scar along with the breast implant.

I must have sounded groggy on the phone, because the day’s events were finally catching up to me. Dr. B started to sound jovial. He spoke to me, as if he remembered how I grimaced at the thought of extending time being attached to the drain (there was no drain for this procedure), how I begged him to take it out so I could finally have a shower after two sweaty summer weeks of sponge bathing. On the other end of the phone, he ultimately remembered what motivated me and with a snicker, he said,

“The sooner you make an appointment with me, THE SOONER YOU CAN START HAVING A SHOWER.”

Tagged with: ,
Posted in breast implant, breast reconstruction

Defining batshit crazy

Dr. B measured my breast, with what looked like carpentry rulers, and asked me if I imagined my breast without the nipple, was the expander still too small to the corresponding side?

“YES!” I said, while he wrote away in my file, “and it was always the larger breast of the two.” I emphasized. We were doing my last measurements and photos before my surgery which moved up a week earlier, depending if I could get all my necessary physical and appointments in order before the following week, on July 25th, 2012.

My week was filled with excitement and nerves when I met my appointments throughout the week. The nurse practitioner, Oksana, at my new GP’s office, gave me my physical. She seemed as excited, after seeing my naked chest, for my surgery, as I did. I also had to go back to the Pre-Surgical Admission at Women’s College Hospital where I got to see the nice Nurse Jean again. She remembered me from last year and she remembered, my friend Dawn, “and how great she was” comforting me at last year’s appointment.

I started by announcing I got my period the previous day, which was bittersweet. I enjoyed not having it for 10 months and had hoped to be one of the lucky ones to go for 5 years without having to menstruate but it was also a sign my body was getting back to normal. I had to clarify this info because a few days before I told Oksana my last period was in October 2011. Nurse Jean updated her records and asked me what I was allergic to. After a year of cancer, I had new allergies to add, Sulfa causes a full body rash, codeine gives me hives, and the contrast dye used for CAT-scans.

She asked which medications I was on, I told her Tamoxifen (20mg) and she seemed happy I remembered little details like, to stop taking multi-vitamins which contains vitamin e (as it thins blood) a couple of weeks before surgery or showering with special soap before getting to the hospital (which I didn’t have to do this time around). We discussed a little about my trepidation with the upcoming procedure. In the end, I remarked however nervous I was about the outcome I was pretty sure I trusted Dr. B’s expertise with boobs.

Nurse Jean took my blood from my wrist and with that I was ready for my boob job in the next 48 hours.

But let’s go back to Dr. B’s swanky  Bay St. office’s waiting room where I finally found out there is a proper psychological term, for what I usually labelled as “batshit crazy”  in a cosmetic surgery magazine I was flipping through. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) defined on http://www.medicinenet.com, “A serious illness in which a person is preoccupied with minor or imaginary physical flaws, usually of the skin, hair, and nose. A person with BDD tends to have cosmetic surgery, and even if the surgery is successful, does not think it was and is unhappy with the outcome.”

I have known three women in my life who always knew the latest and greatest in cosmetic surgery.  Funnily enough, much drama also surrounded these individuals which I eventually figured out was the result of their distorted outlook and inordinate amount of time spent on their appearances. Quite frankly, I would get irritated knowing I was heading into a conversation about how beautiful or how ugly they perceived themselves to be, constantly having to reassure them that they looked beautiful, flawless with or without a weave, youthful pre-skin peel or post-skin peel. I know, I am probably the worst friend for a BDD victim because I cannot get past seeing the “batshit crazy” which comes with convincing themselves they need any these procedures. I still think it’s best for me to stay clear away from their downward spiral to “perfection” because nothing I or anyone could say or do would change their warped perceptions.

Pictures of actors ruined faces from too many procedures were shown as examples of possible BDD victims in the magazine. They couldn’t possibly think this looks good. I always wonder, why don’t they know when to stop?

Tina (not her real name) was an actress I met her while she stayed with Stacey (also not her real name). The two had just wrapped working her latest low-budget-straight-to-video film and the very next day she saw a renowned plastic surgeon in the city for nose job. I have only hung out with Tina twice in my life but both times she had bandages taped in an ‘X’ formation covering her nose in the middle of her face. It is safe to say, I would probably not recognize her today if I saw her on the street or if her mug flashed across an enormous IMAX movie screen.

The actress claimed she needed to fix her nose because it was never set properly after a car accident she had been in years before which I sympathized with until Stacey told me Tina actually had four nose jobs and two happened before her car accident. I would keep telling Tina she looked fine without all the enhancements but grew more curious about what else she had done in the past. She was open with her work and listed, breast augmentation, removal of breast implants, breast lift, liposuction on her tummy (a couple of times because it was easier to eat those Twinkies than to diet), a tummy tuck, lipo on her thighs and her nose jobs. Not sure, if Tina ever got into the Botox trend but it would not surprise me if she had.

This woman and the two others who I came to realize suffered the same disorder, have become a template for what I think is gross about plastic surgery. The constant want for perfection and the notion that the cosmetic surgery would fix whatever was falling short in their lives – recognition, a man, a role for the next film, youth.

Tina came back a couple of months after her nose job, unhappy with the surgeon’s work. She arranged with the same plastic surgeon to tweak her bridge which involved him filing the bone of her bridge. Anyhow, she had the procedure done, she stayed with Stacey for a couple of more weeks with bandages across her nose and I got acquainted with Tina even more. It didn’t take long to realize she was one of the most neurotic individuals I had ever come across which fascinated and worried me simultaneously. Her body issues were infinitely much more in-depth than mine, or anyone else I knew at this point, which only years of psychoanalysis could fix and probably not the monthly Cosmo/Vogue/ Elle issue she regularly sought advice from.

During her recovery, Tina came to realize Gor-tex was used to make the bridge for the nose she desired, even though she specifically told the surgeon she did not want Gor-tex. She went back to the surgeon twice. Once to complain, and the surgeon reasoned he had no choice but to use Gor-tex as her nose had been filed down too far from previous work. Stacey told me the surgeon showed Tina how her nose looked in profile and Tina seemed to warm up to her new look.

So, the second time Tina went to visit the plastic surgeon she was to drop off the last cheque to the doctor. There was no parking, close to the surgeon’s Yorkville office. Stacey asked me to sit in the car parked illegally in an alleyway near the surgeon’s office while she and Tina went in to make her doctor’s visit. I sat in the car for about 20 minutes before I glancing in the rearview mirror to see Stacey and Tina running frantically towards the car – not unlike how masked men do when they rob banks. They got in the car and yelled at me to, “Quick! Step on the gas!” I obeyed with confusion and drove towards Stacey’s place.

“What the fuck is going on?!” I asked. They told me how Tina had asked the receptionist for her file to claim back some photos she had submitted to the surgeon to show her previous nose. In doing so, she emptied the file including her contact info because, when we got back to Stacey’s place, she was calling her bank to cancel her cheque for the surgery fees because she was not satisfied with his work.

In the back of my mind, this is always who I’m afraid I will become if this breast reconstruction doesn’t work out how I’d like it to. Someone who can’t see anything but ugly in herself. Someone who thinks plastic surgery will fix all their problems all the time.  Someone who would never be satisfied with any plastic surgery procedures. Someone who will hate the look of my new breast.

Someone who is batshit crazy.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pre-cancer, post-cancer

A couple of my friends mentioned I should update my blog…  I know, I’m sorry. The last 7 months I’ve been focusing on writing up resumes rather than writing in this blog about my boobs. I will try to be a little more consistent for the next little while at least.

I really thought I’d be working by now. I’ve been actively applying for work, week after week, for job postings I may or may not be qualified for. I’ve applied to women’s shelters, the city, Movember, arts jobs and corporate jobs. I have had it up to here, with resumes.

To update, I’m in remission, I think. I always thought remission meant after 5 years, of being monitored by oncologists, but it’s actually after chemo. Yesterday, I met up with Dr. C for a 6 month breast follow up. She thought I had already made the switch over to an implant and was asking when my nipple reconstruction was happening. I had to point out I actually had not made the switch from expander to implant. I’m scheduled on August 1st, I will have my boob job and four months following is when the nipple will be dealt with. Just this morning, I was trying to explain to Natalie what was involved in the nipple reconstruction. She was, I’m pretty sure, just as traumatized as I was, knowing the whole process involved. Natalie pointed out another option which was to get rid of all the nipples, so I wouldn’t have to deal with any of it. Somehow, I’m not comfortable with this option either. I am swaying on the option of using part of the nipple I still have to create the second nipple but I still can’t think about it too much as it gives me a headache.

In the meantime, I’ve taken note the extent of cancer which surrounds me. I went to my local butcher’s a few weeks ago and spoke to the butcher’s son, asking him how his father was, as I would sometimes hear the butcher’s name being called out, months ago, while I was in the chemotherapy waiting room. My butcher, I was told, has leukaemia and is still doing chemo. A few weeks ago, as I sat waiting in the Breast Centre at PMH before my oncologist visit, I heard the name of a local yoga teacher, whose class I used to take, called out. A week before I finished chemo, a friend’s sister finally succumbed to her liver cancer after a four year battle. Another friend’s mom passed away from an incurable cancer before I had finished chemo. A close friend held off telling me, as I was just finishing my treatment, her mother had a mastectomy and broke down asking me about hospital protocol for pathology reports and oncologist appointments. An ex co-worker who has prostate cancer, doesn’t answer my emails anymore because his battle is ongoing (which I get but hope he knows how much I appreciated chatting with someone who truly understood what I was going through during a really dark period for me). And finally my cousin’s husband was just recently diagnosed with colon cancer and is now in the midst of chemo and radiation treatments.  Not to mention all the requests I am getting to speak, to friends of friends or give advice to those who have just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The list seems endless. Am I the only one with a list this long?!!

It feels heavy to know that no one is immune to cancer. I stay positive and offer support whenever and to whoever is stricken with cancer but to be honest – it is heartbreaking.

So many moments I feel euphoric that my cancer is over only to be reeled back in on the short leash of trepidation and sadness when hearing someone else I know has to go through cancer. In some ways, I wish I could still be me – pre-cancer. Those days I was oblivious to the weight of  cancer on my psyche. It would be bliss to not care or to be that relative or friend who just doesn’t get it. Somedays I wake up with envy of those who show callous actions without realizing it. I MISS being insensitive and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Those days when I hounded my doctors to give me a timeframe of when the surgery, the chemo, the reconstruction would all be over, I was attempting to figure out when things would get back to “normal” for me.  To get back to pre-cancer. Life was lighter. I now know I will NEVER get back there but boy wouldn’t I like to try!

It’s okay though because post-cancer has some benefits. Now, when I meet up with old friends, I haven’t seen for a while, we greet each other with hugs which seem to last a little longer. My parents and I are less critical of each other and we make efforts to listen to one another without judgement. I truly get excited when my friends finish a bike marathon to raise money for cancer research. I have empathy with cancer patients/survivors which helps me communicate and understand them in a way I did not know how to before. And finally, when some friends and family part ways we say “I love you” out loud whereas before it was just assumed.

So, I remind myself, some of the post-cancer stuff isn’t all that bad. A lot of the great stuff, I probably would never have without having had cancer.

Tagged with:
Posted in Uncategorized

Medicinal options

A collection of empty pill bottles from all the medications I took while going through chemo, sits on a corner of my kitchen counter. They are there to remind me the agony induced and cured by the concoctions of steroids, antibiotics, pain killers, and nutraceutical pills. Tons of pills taken in the last year alone for breast cancer without counting the chemo infused into my veins. Actually, most of the pills were used to keep chemo side effects to a minimum. As everyone reacts differently with each treatment the benefits which come with the pills outweigh the side effects from taking them. Truthfully speaking, some of the side effects of chemo were truly unbearable.

The concoction of antibiotics, mixed with the steroids, anti-nausea pills I swallowed after my stay 48 hour stay in the hospital, made my body a perfect breeding ground for yeast. The Neupogen shots, after chemo, exacerbated my whole system into having full on thrush and yeast infections for the rest of my treatments. Dr. A prescribed me a special mouthwash they make at PMH for chemo patients who develop thrush and I was told to buy over the counter yeast infection medication at the drugstore to clear everything else up. A young pharmacist at PMH actually advised me to drink the mouthwash, which she noted would taste like cherry flavoured cough syrup – at best. I was never a fan of cherry flavoured cough syrup, and knowing my taste buds were off due to chemo, the pharmacist promised she would make a different flavour up for me next time if I really couldn’t stomach this mouthwash. Ingesting the mouthwash would to help clear the yeast throughout my whole body. I thought she was joking. I was wrong.

Before drinking the mouthwash I had talked myself into thinking it would just be like doing shots of Jagermeister, like years ago at the bar I frequented. Naively, I thought they gave away Jager shots for free because someone on staff had ordered too many bottles of the vile liquor and they needed to purge the surplus before the bar owner discovered the overstock error. It wasn’t until I ended up in another bar, all the way across town, after a late night at work, when much to my annoyance, Jagermeister after Jagermeister kept appearing in front of me.  Scanning across the bar to see who was torturing me with these one ounce herbal tinctures I saw Steve, a familiar face from my local, who months ago, he had professed his crush on me to all the carpenters he had worked with only to be briefed by a colleague “Yeah, she’s the one who your brother has been dating for weeks now.” His generous Jager purchases was his way of letting me know I had chosen to date the wrong brother. Regardless of who I was dating, I told him, he had to stop buying me the Jagers as I was only giving them away to others, losing any sentiments he may have intended for me.  It was a relief to have learned Jagermeister shots was not a growing trend and Steve learned Jagermeister was not going to win me over.

Anyhow, I rinsed and gargled my mouth with one tablespoon of the mouthwash before pouring another tablespoon to sip, as downing it like a shot of Jagermeister was not appealing. Several mini sips were taken before I gagged. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be downing anymore mouthwash. Opting for nutraceuticals was my way of reducing the chemicals in my body. I was advised by one health food store to take pro-biotic pills. I bought pro-biotic pills, pro-biotic drinks, pro-biotic yogurt, all with little effect in reducing the yeast throughout. My loins ceased feeling irritated, causing anxious thoughts I would never return to feeling healthy again. Convinced there was a natural be-all-end-all yeast infection cure I marched to my neighbourhood Korean health food store two days after my buying all things pro-biotic. Searching the aisle where shelves contained bottles of everything curing acne to detoxing your bowels I was confident my eradicating yeast solution could be found here. Desperately needing assistance I turned to see if the lady at the cash could help me only to see she was chatting with a couple and other people were waiting in line to pay for their tinctures and whatnot. Wait a second, who was that hot buff dude at the far side of the counter. What a cutie?!! I’ll ask him. NO, wait! I’m bald, I have no eyebrows, and I have a yeast infection. Maybe I’ll talk to him in 6 months. But definitely, not now.

Looking around to the opposite end of the store, the owner of the shop noticed I looked confused. She came over to ask if I needed some help. Hastily, I told her I had a compromised immune system due to having had chemotherapy for the last couple of months which had caused full-on painful yeast infections with a bout of thrush. Please help me! It was so promising when she walked over to a section I overlooked while she explained they carried several options I could use. I found the Yeast Busters, my friend, Tamara had suggested the week before. However, trying to lift the Yeast Busters box ever so slightly I was put off with having to lug the 6 month treatment program all the way home. The owner pointed out it was too intense, a treatment for my weak immune system, anyhow. She had some candida enzyme she thought I should try. Scanning up and down the shelves she couldn’t see it, “candida, candida, candida…” she muttered. Turning to yell over my shoulder, something in Korean ending with “Candida Enzyme!” in English, and again “Candida Enzyme!” notifying the whole store, who was familiar with the terminology, I had a common feminine hygiene issue. Nice. I turned around to see who she was yelling to but I knew, with my luck, it would only be the buff cute dude I had vigilantly avoided pestering. He walked past me to gaze at the lower shelves and picked out the bottles the owner could not find and walked back to the counter without noticing me at all.

Dr. A was away for a couple of our appointments so Dr. S would meet with me for updates instead. Upon seeing the types of natural pills I had taken to combat my side effects, Dr. S advised me to stop taking them as they were still drugs, natural or not, which could indirectly affect my chemo treatments. I left my appointment hoping I wouldn’t have to deal with yeast again. Unfortunately, it crept back into my system after another round of chemo. Riddled with angst about drinking mouthwash I went over to Lisa’s who gave me an expired naturopathic prescription for boric acid capsules she had used to fight off a previous infection. It was the first thing offered to me within minutes of realizing another infection was coming on. Irritated, distraught, and riddled with bone pain, it may not have been the most ideal circumstances to decide on using a compound usually associated with cockroach repellant or laundry detergent. However, in my fragile state, all Lisa had to say was, “It works!” to convince me.

Surely, Dr. S would disapprove using boric acid, I thought. How does this sound to a doctor who adamantly tells a patient not to use natural pills? I was in luck. Dr. A was back for our usual scheduled appointments when I told him, “I had another yeast infection. Uhmm, I realized it as I was walking over to a friend’s house where she offered me her expired prescription bottle of boric acid from her medicine cabinet, to help me out. So I took a capsule and shoved it up there.” He looked up at me for a moment and asked if it worked? “RIGHT AWAY!” I told him as I smiled.

The next couple of appointments with Dr. A we discussed taking Tamoxifen, a drug which suppresses estrogen from your body (my cancer fed on estrogen) for the next five years. At our last meeting he also gave me the option to participate in a trial drug study, into the use of a diabetic drug Metmorfin, to cut the recurrence rate of cancer. The research into the diabetic medication Metmorfin was extremely enticing. However, I could not get a read on what Dr. A really thought about the trial drug. He was neither exuberantly pro nor overtly con for the trial study. Just as I had to decide which chemo treatment to go with and deciding whether to do radiation or not, I needed to weigh out the best outcome again. No matter how promising, the type 2 diabetes medication seemed to look, there would be a fifty percent chance I could be given placebo pills. Based on this fact alone, I opted out of the potentially cutting-edge treatment for cancer – and from the little research I looked at, it does seem to be a next big thing for cancer treatment.

Part of me wishes there was another perspective to a plausible five-year drug solution. These two drugs, Tamoxifen and Metmorfin have shown to reduce the recurrence of cancer, greatly. However, they are not cures. I’m wishing for a cure. If a cure for cancer tasted as vile as the mouthwash or Jagermeister and I had to drink it everyday for five years straight, I would do so. In a heartbeat. Tamoxifen is still a great option for the next 5 years, though.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in breast cancer

More boob chats

I was looking forward to seeing this new 3D imaging camera Dr. B would use to take pictures of my boobs. When I mentioned my next visit with Dr. B, to Dr. C she had described the camera as, “a state-of-the-art-fancy.” My curiosity for the camera by far surpassed my eagerness to get a boob job.

Dr. B’s office, for his private practice, is shared with another established plastic surgeon. His office IS NOT like any other doctor’s office I’ve ever been to before, that’s for sure. There are two waiting areas when you enter the office. Both areas are outfitted with brown leather couches with glamorous black and white photographs of women’s idyllic body parts decorating the walls. The whole office is surrounded with pockets of low lighting, which I always find, is best to hide flawed make up applications. If I didn’t know any better, I would have mistaken this office to be a spa where people walk around in bathrobes with towels on their head to the steam room, all day long.

The assistant called my name to lead me into a familiar looking medical examination room, except the exam table was in an upright chair-like position than its usual bed position. I put on the usual hospital gown I noticed a white bathrobe hanging on the door. Maybe there is a steam room! I sat myself onto the exam table after grabbing one of the three pristine displayed lifestyle magazines laid on the table next to me. Right by the sink, in an enclosed glass box, was a display of different types of implants. Although tempted to check them out, I thought I should wait for Dr. B to open the display box.

Dr. B came in with his usual pleasant disposition and we began reviewing what I needed done. I reminded him we were using the 3D camera for breast photos today. Before he started the usual examination on me, he announced, “Now, just so we’re clear! We are not doing anything to this breast. Right? This is a perfectly fine breast. Right? We’re not touching it. Right?!!” I gave him an eye roll and told him, yes, we had already discussed this in our last appointment. We both chuckled and I took the opportunity to tell him how Landau, the radiology tech who took my ultrasound and mammogram, raved about the mound he had started for my breast reconstruction. He seemed pleased.

To begin, Dr. B explained again how he felt the amount I have in my expander was the correct volume. Since my recent weight gain I was actually feeling the same way but I suspected the extra pounds was throwing me off in determining if my boobs were even. I told him I had gained from 15 to 20 pounds since chemo had started and if this would affect any breast changes with the volume or shape of the expander. The weight gain during chemo apparently was normal and would not be an issue with breast volume. However, there would be long wait times before the actual surgery. If I was uncomfortable he was happy for me to revisit and re-photograph my breasts after I shed some pounds back to my normal weight.

I also pointed out to him, I had recently noticed if I raised my arm over my head, my expander seemed to be aligned correctly with my other breast, which led me to believe the expander was inserted while my arm was still over my head on the surgery table. My friend, Amanda, who had worked on a breast augmentation documentary, warned me to make sure the surgery team sat me up while aligning my implant. Dr. B assured me he does this ALWAYS, even when he had inserted my expander. But then why was my expander not exactly where it was suppose to be? He explained because it was an expander, it’s not full when it’s initially inserted, so it’s hard to tell if it will align properly later on. Ah, okay.

We also took this opportunity to discussed the reconstruction of my nipple. Dr. B asked me how I felt about using part of the one I already have. Clutching my remaining breast I told him I liked my remaining breast just fine the way it was. As I have already lost partial feeling on my chest from the mastectomy I wasn’t ready to lose more sensation from my other breast. He explained a procedure where he would take half my remaining nipple. Imagine slicing down from the top of a cake then folding half the cake over, but this would be half my nipple of my breast folded over, while using the other half to graft in place on my new breast. If you need a more detailed account of this procedure, please google it because I’m just as woozy having to write about this, as having heard Dr. B explain it to me in detail. Not knowing all the medical terms he was using, I got the gist of what Dr. B needed to do to make a nipple. I told him the procedure kind of grossed me out and asked what the alternative would be. He explained it would involve taking skin from my labia and then forming it to nipple size and grafting it onto my breast. When he asked how I felt about this latter procedure I told him it grossed me out even more than the first! He left me with those two options to ponder for the next few months.

I turned to the glass box by the sink to ask if those were the implants. He pulled them out to show me. There are different textured implants to use depending on where he places them. Smooth textured implants he places on top of the muscle under breast tissue. Tacky textured implants he places under the muscle, I would probably be a candidate for these implants. I feel the round silicone mound which seems denser than breast tissue and then I feel the saline implant. The saline literally feels like a water balloon. It pissed me off knowing this was my only alternative to a silicone implant. Tossing the saline mound back to Dr. B, I tell him it’s nothing but a balloon. He nodded, acknowledged my concern by giving me a half eye-roll, which assured me I probably wouldn’t be getting any saline implant.  I asked him how the silicone would leak, if it does, and how my chest would be cleaned if it ever happened. Dr. B pulled out a sample silicone implant which was sliced in half to show me the gel-like interior which was sticky but did not really ooze, unlike saline which when leaked would just be absorbed through the body.  I asked if he ever used those implants which were being recalled all over the news. He was quick to explained those were implants from a company in France whose product was never approved here in Canada. The recall was basically for anyone who may have had breast surgery in Europe. It was a good conversation to have with him, as it helped ease my mind about the safety of breast implants.

Dr. B excused himself to grab the camera but returned with his Nikon point-and-shoot. The same camera he used last June after he measured me for my expander. I stopped him before the lens cap came off and told him I thought we were doing the 3D images. He assured me we would be doing those photographs but he still needed some more with the point-and-shoot. While he sat 3 feet away from me, I, with my hospital gown off, stood facing him. Then I faced 45 degrees from him, and then 90 degrees from him, twice – right and left, while he snapped pictures of my chest and torso. When we finished, I quickly put my hospital gown back on. Dr. B. asked if I was ready before he opened the door and we walked down the hallway to the 3D camera room.

“Nice offices, by the way!” I tell Dr. B after passing by the lavishly decorated offices propagated through their successful elective surgeries. We arrived to the small room which was bare except for a grand 4 foot by 4 foot camera/machine on the far wall and a computer on a small desk at the adjacent wall. I felt special and privileged as Dr. B told me, their offices, so far, was the only one in Canada which used this the new technology. A marker on the floor indicated where I would be standing. I disrobed once more. Dr. B positioned my arms parallel to the ground as I face this machine in front of me. I stand straight. There would be a huge flash. I choose to shut my eyes. Dr. B snapped the picture, massive flash goes off and we are done. We waited for the image to upload before we saw the black and white 3D image of my chest and torso on the screen. Dr. B would now be able to maneuver my image 360 degrees to determine which points to make incisions, where to place the implant, along with deciding on volume amounts. It was all very sci-fi.

I returned to the other exam room to get dressed before going to the front desk to ask about surgery dates. As I walked back into the reception area a couple of men were sitting on the couches waiting. I automatically assumed they were waiting for their spouses or girlfriends. As the days went by, I thought to myself, they were probably there for themselves just as I had been. Dr. B’s waiting room is a far cry from the Breast Centres at WCH or PMH. Patients in this waiting room, for the most part, actually WANT to be here.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in breast cancer
August 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 248 other followers

%d bloggers like this: