Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hollie 2.0







I have a lot of great qualities. A lot. Not among them is the ability to be consistent at things like blogs when the world around me becomes a wee bit....

topsy turvy.

But, I'm nothing if not a lovable work in progress, so here we go down the road of Holl's recovery with more in the veritable page-turner that is my life.

It's been almost two months post-mastectomy. I sported four excruciating drains for the first week or so, each of which was rooted into the soft flesh just beneath my breasts; two on either side. Imagine where the outer portion of your underwire hits. Now imagine two holes each about the diameter of a pencil. Now square that, because I have a total of four. That's right. We're employing mathematics--you know the stuff you always swore you'd never use in the, 'real world.'

Just above said scars, I have my new, Hollie 2.0 breasts. Devoid of breast tissue, they contain a composite of my pectoral muscles, nerves, and a sub-structure of a donor-tissue product known as Alloderm.

(I'll just hop ever so briefly on my soap box to evangelize regarding the importance of being a donor. If you're not, give it some consideration. There. I'm done.)

Behind this conglomeration of various tissues, lie my tissue expanders. They were inserted immediately following my mastectomy each semi-filled with saline and each bearing a large metal port toward the top. I have, on three occasions thus far, seen my plastic surgeon for expansions in which she uses a very interesting magnetic contraption that seeks out the port sites so she can insert a needle. This needle is then attached to a rather sizable syringe filled with saline.
Here are the tissue expanders, semi-filled. The large, black circle is the aforementioned port.

And then it begins: one of the most all-time bizarre, most surreal experiences a person could ever witness. I watch as my surgeon--literally--inflates my breast. I stare down in rapt wonder as the bulbous, synthetic breast stretches to accommodate between 60 and 120cc of saline at each expansion and the subsequent skin swells to comply with the larger expanders and stretching tissue.

It is a wonder to behold.

My friend refers to it as, 'Dial-a-Boob.' I think the name seems more than a little apropos at this point. ;)

Once we max out at the desired amount, I'll undergo surgery #2 in which the miraculous tissue expanders are swapped out in favor of silicone implants which feel natural because--and this may come as a shock--real breasts do not actually have large metal structures built into them. ;)

( . Y . )

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