Accept and move on

I wish I was sitting here typing to let you know that I was having surgery next Thursday to get my final, perky new gals, and that I, and they, would be bikini-ready in a few weeks. However, sadly, this is not the case. When I went in last week to see my plastic surgeon for a routine visit, he and the nurse agreed that, for whatever reason, the tissue expanders they placed at the time of the mastectomy (designed to be filled with saline over a period of a few months to stretch the skin and accommodate the final silicone implants) are not filling correctly, and must be replaced with new ones in order to complete the expansion phase. So unfortunately, I will be going in for surgery in five days - April 22 - not to get fun new gals, but to get what I already have... but ones that work (hopefully!) After a few days of heartbreak and tears, with the help of my hubby and good friends, I have finally been able to accept and move on, something that was very difficult, but very necessary.

So - deep breath - here we go. Back to surgery I go, no lifting more than 10 pounds for 10 days to 3 weeks (ummm, yeah, my 8-month old weighs 18 pounds), no running, biking, swimming, lifting weights, etc. for 10 days to 3 weeks (ummm, really? sadly, this is truly a form of major torture for me), seeing a lot of walking/hiking/recumbent biking???/cuddling/movie watching/reading in my near future. Thank you in advance to my family, in-laws and friends who are pitching in to help Brian and me through the next few weeks. We know it will not be the most fun time, but one that is necessary to get where we want to be - to the next surgery in September to finally get the real gals to be bikini-ready for a cruise to celebrate how far we've come!

...which brings me to my very happy news: my doctor likes to order bloodwork around this time to check for "tumor markers" - a test that is somewhat controversial due to inaccuracies that often happen (i.e. the tumor markers show up higher than normal, indicating a recurrence, when in fact none exists). I received a call on Friday to let me know that my bloodwork came back "excellent" - so controversial or not, I'll take it!! I'll have a PET scan in August (and yearly after that) to detect any further recurrence and/or metastases, but for now, all seems to be well, which of course I am ecstatic about.

So for now, I'll take the good with the bad, keep on putting one foot in front of the other, and remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and that "you gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."

We're accepting all good thoughts for a speedy recovery and successful expanders this time. :) Here's to accepting and moving on...

Amy (and Brian, Drew and Ty)