Return appointment with the Plastic Surgeon

I was feeling better about this visit as I had done the research and made my decision. When my name was called I was surprised to see it was not the surgeon I had met on my last visit but yet another doctor. This doctor turned out to be very nice and was interested in what I wanted, after introductions
were made he asked me if I had made any decisions on how to move forward.  “Yes I have looked into all options and I have decided I do not want any more totally unnecessary scars, I have no intention of moving any muscle or tissue around my body so the only option left is to try the tissue expander”.
The doctor smiled and replied “Well you seem to have made up your mind on that but do you realise the implications of moving forward with this procedure? there can be complications. Because you have had radiation therapy the damage to the skin/tissue may mean the expander will not work”. “There are other factors to be considered also”.

I replied: “Yes I have read all the information available and realise there can be complications such as capsular contraction ( deformed, misshapen and painful breasts due to leakage of the implant), but there are risk factors in all surgery and I know this procedure would not be the first one recommended because of the radiation therapy but it is the only one I would consider. If the skin does not stretch enough with the expander then we will not have to go any further and I will be happy to call it a day and stay as I am”. “I have also read that taking a prescription drug called Prednisone for two weeks before surgery can help stop capsular contraction”.
“Well you truly seem to have set your mind on this procedure and you come across as a smart woman (gee thanks) so I will set up an appointment to have the expander inserted”. I do not know off hand how long the waiting list is so you will receive an appointment by letter within the next couple of weeks and we can get started”. “Have you any other questions or comments?”
“Yes I would like to make a comment, on my last visit I had very little knowledge of what the different procedures entailed and after hearing the details I left this office in a haze of confusion. I would like to suggest perhaps a leaflet to be posted to any woman considering surgery explaining the details of all three procedures before coming in to talk to the surgeon”.
“We are always thinking of ways to improve the doctor/patient relationship and that seems to be a good idea so I will pass that on with thanks”.

So I said my goodbyes and left feeling a lot happier. Now I wait for the appointment, I have this idea in my head for two years that reconstruction will mean the end of  all treatment  so I think this is the main reason for going ahead, but there is still a little whisper in the back of my head saying “why do this? Why do you need this?. So when the day dawns I hope my mind is set 100% on the surgery. But after saying that at this stage it would not really matter if the expander did not work, I would be happy because I gave it a try and would not be left thinking “what if”.

"What if", powerful words that will stay in the back of your mind even after all treatment has finished. What if I am told the cancer has returned, well all I can say is: stay  positive. Stay positive and know you can beat the odds, positive thoughts can and will keep you strong to face another day.

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