So, I had a really positive phone call with the charge nurse of the New Orleans facility. Since I’m cancer free and this is a prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction (definitely thinking positively today!) I will be eligible for a nipple and skin sparing mastectomy. That means everything will look pretty much the same when all is said and done only better.
I will need to be in New Orleans for about 9 days total. a day or two before, three nights in the hospital after surgery and then on day 7 post op I’ll be released to go home. I’ll come home with (likely) two abdominal drains. She said since I’m relatively young and healthy the recovery time should be between 5 and 6 weeks. She said I won’t be able to lift anything but I should be able to drive pretty quickly. (I am so afraid of being completely reliant on everyone so this felt SO good to hear!) She said I would have to take it easy and rest but still move.
I also found out I’m a candidate for the type of reconstruction I wanted! DIEP Flap Reconstruction. You can read about it here! I might have to do an extended DIEP which just means a longer abdominal incision. They’ll not only use belly fat but my hip fat too! (BYEEEE love handles!) She said my surgery would last between 7-9 hours! There will be two surgeons, the oncologist surgeon who will remove every speck of breast tissue and then send it to pathology followed by the micro plastic surgeon that will do the reconstruction! Three months after recovery, I go back to NoLa for a night and have phase 2 done. Since everything is already going to look good (her words, not mine) it’ll just be fine tuning and LIPOSUCTION if I want it. Say what?? You’re about to see as much of my navel as an early 2000’s Britney video. Sorry, not sorry!
I am waiting to hear from their benefits coordinator/billing person to find out how much my insurance is going to cover but I think it’s a 100% doable figure for us out of pocket. If not I’m definitely not above a GoFundMe haha! Feeling incredibly grateful for TriCare right about now. In my dream world tomorrow’s scans show no cancer or anything sketchy and I can schedule surgery for 9/7. (7 is my lucky number, I realize that’s irrational but like, hey it’s my dream world.)
Things are all set for us to leave super early tomorrow! Still SO grateful for everyone that has volunteered to help with the kids and extra thankful for Nacho Mama, Geri for taking care of my punks!