Finally Decided to Do It - Reading, PA

I have been contemplating a BR for many years, but...

I have been contemplating a BR for many years, but don't like pain, so couldn't make the decision to have the surgery. After dealing with health issues with my hubby (5 surgeries in a little over a year), I figured if he could do it, so could I. I proceeded to do some research and had a consultation with a surgeon who had previously operated on my finger. My surgery is scheduled for two weeks from today and I am really "looking forward" to it. I hope the pain will not be too bad, but I'll see, and deal with it at the time.

Getting nervous

In a little less than an hour, I go for my pre-op consultation. I have been looking forward to it all along, but this morning I got "that feeling" in the pit of my stomach. What am I doing; do I really want to go through this with all the pain and recovery time and so on? I DO, but the feeling's been there all day so far. My surgery is scheduled for August 9 and I'm still looking forward to it, so I guess I have pre-surgery jitters. Any suggestions for calming my mind?

Before pictures

A couple of pictures with "support". I'll post some without as soon as I can get them.

Random thought

So I was trying to keep my mind off "the long wait" until Tuesday today, and a random thought entered my mind. A number of years ago (as an adult) I participated in a marching event. Before we went on the field to march, we had to do a warm-up with various exercises, one of which was jumping jacks. I told the kids I marched with that I can't do them; I had to do "Mom jacks." I had to hold one arm under my chest to support the girls or I bounce too much, and it hurt! Maybe for fun, after I am fully recovered, I'll try doing jumping jacks to see how it feels, lol.

Things you think about while waiting...

Pre-op photos

Two days until surgery

Post-op pictures

It took me a few days to get around to getting pictures of my "new look." These are four days post-op.

One week post op

Some of the tape has come off. I don't notice a lot of difference between these and the last ones I added. I still feel really good, just little twinges here and there occasionally.

Occupying myself

I'm sitting here watching the Olympics - have been since they began - and thinking to myself if I can't do too much for a while, at least I can be an Olympic junkie, lol. I look at what the female athletes are wearing, and dream of wearing the same thing, within limits for my age. I'd rock in those beach volleyball and track bras!

Two weeks post op

Looking better. Some of the tape has come off and my PS took out the stitches at my two week visit. I'm feeling great and have been walking, working my way up to my 10,00 step/day goal. Yes, I'm taking it easy, only walking around the house for short periods of time, then resting. Towards the end of the week, I began to walk at the mall starting with two laps because I felt so good. I normally do five laps, and it was hard to stop, lol, but I knew I had to. The only problem I've had since beginning to walk is getting a little tired. Some afternoons I take a nap, but not every day. I got a prescription to help me fall asleep at night because I have so much trouble sleeping on my back. It has really helped, as has lying a LITTLE bit on either side.

I have had hardly any pain, just the zingers that everyone else has mentioned, and they are not bad. I am still pretty swollen, which drives me crazy because I am anxious to know what size I will finally be. It's supposed to be a "C" but right now, I feel almost as big as I was before. It's getting better, and I know they will get smaller as the swelling goes down, but I'm not very patient, and it's a little frustrating to me.

I keep reading about others' "adventures" and it helps keep me aware that my journey is far from complete. Thanks to everyone who has shared stories and photos for those of us still on the journey to our new self!

Three weeks post op

Sorry, I didn't get a chance to post these until today. Things are looking better. I'm still swollen and some of the tape is still on...I think it must like it there because it doesn't want to fall off, lol. The blisters are healing; they just look really red in some of these photos. They don't hurt, just itch, like the rest of me.

Oh my goodness!

I had my one month checkup with my ps today. He says I'm healing very well, but I'm still swollen. It could take a couple of months to go down, but he showed me the before pictures taken in his office and said I'm a lot smaller than I was. He suggested getting some bras with cups to keep my breasts from touching each other which should take care of my rash problem. I bought a couple today, but don't know if they're the ones I need right now. I may need to get some others. Oh, boy, more shopping! :)

I also have another procedure planned and we discussed it today too. I am having a tummy tuck done and it was originally to be scheduled 3 months after my BR for healing purposes. He doesn't do them together because he says it's too much pulling up and down on the skin. I'm okay with that, but it is now scheduled for October 18. I thought it would be in November, but whoa...while I'm happy that it will be 3 weeks sooner than I expected, I was scared, because it's also a lot sooner than I expected. Now I've got to continue my BR recovery and prepare for a TT at the same time. After coming to terms with the idea, I am no longer scared, just ready to start preparing and planning. Need to think about questions to ask at my next appointment. I'll be looking for help from everyone who's waiting and/or has been through it. Wish me luck!

I do have pictures that I'll get posted tomorrow.

four weeks (and one day!)

I meant to get these posted yesterday, but for whatever reasons, never got around to it. At my appointment yesterday, the PS took out a couple of stitches which had still been covered by the tape from the surgery the last time I saw him. I am now tape and stitch free, unless some of the other internal ones poke through, lol. These pictures were taken pre-visit, so you can still see a couple of stitches. I am pleased with their progress. They're looking a little more like what I expected, size-wise, but they have some ways to go yet. :)

Look at me...I'm in a c!

I've bought a couple of "real bras " - not sports bras - and just had to try on this one. It seems to fit pretty well, even with pads stuffed in for protection. Woo hoo!

Stamina??

I'm almost 6 weeks post op and am back to walking up to 6 miles a day. I walk at the mall and average about 2 1/2 miles, then walk around the house in shorter increments. While I realize that is part of the reason I have no stamina the rest of the day, I'm wondering how long before I get back to pre-op stamina levels. I'm thinking about Christmas shopping for my extended family, and just don't want to even think about going out. The few times I have gone out shopping (for new bras and shirts for me, yay!) I get tired very quickly. Is it unusual to be so tired all day long or would cutting down the amount I walk during the make that much of a difference? I also have problems getting to sleep at night and staying asleep, which makes no sense to me if I am that tired. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Hmm...

Woke up this morning, checked my breasts, and found a lump underneath the vertical scar on my right breast. I called my PS and talked to his secretary who set up an appointment with him for tomorrow afternoon to check it out. I don't know if it's anything to worry about, but I want to get it checked and make sure. More tomorrow after I see him.

Whew!

I saw my PS today and he examined the lump I found yesterday. He said part of it was an internal stich that I was feeling, and the area under the incision is still tight there. As it heals it will loosen up and the lump will go away. What relief! Although I didn't really think it was a problem, it was nice to have it confirmed. I felt much better when I left his office. :)

Finally posting these

I took these about a week ago but didn't get a chance to post them until today. These are 8 weeks PO. I'm healing well, and started to use a scar tape on the outside ends of my incisions, the only areas that are really thick.

3 months PO

I haven't updated here lately because I've been dealing with my TT surgery two weeks ago. Since my BR was 3 months ago, I thought I'd add some recent photos.

Oops! Forgot the photos.

I was using silicone strips on my scars but stopped when I had the second surgery. When I can treat them too, I'll get back to treating these at the same time. Meanwhile, I think they look good.

15 weeks PO

It's been 15 weeks since my BR and I am feeling great! Occasionally, if I move to quickly, I feel it in the stitches underneath so I am still really careful when I turn, etc. I think the feeling is coming back to my right nipple - it feels a little sore if I rub my finger over it. I never lost sensation in my left one.

In addition to my BR, I had a TT 4 weeks ago, and between the two of them I feel fabulous! I am sl glad I made the decision to have both procedures done. The vast majority of my problems have gone away with the excess skin and fat and I feel so much better about myself

17 weeks PO

Things are going very well. I still have some swelling around my right nipple that is noticeable, but overall, they are looking good. I still have hopes that they will become a little smaller in size, but will wait and see. Two days ago, I had some blood on my bra. When I looked under my breast, I saw a tiny hole ha opened up. I'm treating it with Manuka honey and covering it, and so far, it seems to be healing okay. If it doesn't totally heal in a day or two, I'll call my PS and see what he says, but I'm not too worried about that.

I still like to wear the sports bras because I feel I get more support from them than from my regular bras, but I switch every few days between the two types. I feel great, and am still thrilled that I made the decision after SO many years. I have very few problems with the aches, pains, pendulous things hanging off my chest as compared to pre-surgery.

Five months today

It's been five months since my BR. I am doing well - had a small hole open up in early December but treating it with Manuka Honey helped it heal within a couple of days. I alternate between wearing "regular" and sports bras. I feel like I have more support with the sports bras but like the other ones too. I wanted to be a C cup, but I think I'm closer to a D. I still have hopes that I will go a little smaller as time goes by, but am happy that I am so much smaller than I was.

I am tickled that I can wear some SMALL tops now, although I am still wearing mostly mediums. I have to make sure and try on any smalls that I might be interested in buying; it depends on how it looks. I have tried on a couple of bathing suits - not much selection yet, but one store I shop in had some, so of course I had to try, lol.

If I had the choice to do this again, I would definitely do it. I have felt so much more comfortable without all the rashes and itching, sore shoulders, and back that I dealt with for years.

Who woulda believed!

Let me start by saying I am almost 9 months out from my BR. The temperature was in the mid-80's yesterday, so I decided to wear a camisole for the day. My husband and I walk 3 miles at the mall everyday, so I knew it would be seen by others. I asked him what he thought about me wearing it, and he said it looks fine. Last year at this time, I WOULD NEVER even have considered wearing such an item! Nor would I have for probably the whole rest of my life up until then. I was amazed at how good I look so I wanted to share with all my RS friends the success that I've seen slowly appearing. Needless to say, I am thrilled!

As far as healing is concerned, I am pretty well healed by now. I still have a part of my scar that isn't faded yet, but it will get there, and if I didn't know better, I might not realize I even had the surgery. I may have some issues with dog-ears, but I see my PS for a checkup in May, and along with my consult for the lipo, I'll ask him about that.

To those of you trying to make the decision whether or not to have a BR, I say it was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. For years (probably about 30), I wanted to do it, but was afraid of the pain afterwards. When the surgery was done, I thought to myself, what was I afraid of. Yes, there obviously was pain during recovery, but not nearly as much as I had feared for years. I'm SO glad I didn't wait any longer - I turned 65 in November. It's never too late to be good to yourself!
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