Today was my first fill with the plastic surgeon. My expander is a 550. Which is sort of like saying I’m a medium. They go up to 850 and down to 250. It can hold 550 cc of saline. I left the hospital with 350 cc in each side. Today I got 50cc more in each side. The expander – which is like a big balloon – has a port opening in it with a metal target. They use a hand-held magnet to detect where the port is, and that’s where they put a very fine butterfly needle in to pump in the saline.
Here is the device. The metal rod is the magnet. It points to the goal, just like finding money with a metal detector, goes completely erect when it’s hit the target. Once Nurse Shelia is confident she’s found it, she flips that metal rod over and it has a cross-hair type stamp on the other end, so she can put and “X-marks-the-spot” target on my skin in the exact spot. Looks like the swingline from Office Space, if you ask me.
Miss Jeanne went with me and we watched in awe as they did, indeed, expand. Fair warning, that’s a boob with the needle and tube with saline pouring in.
Definitely can feel the difference with my hands. Not so much by just looking. But I can tell.
I have wall walking exercises to do each day to gain some mobility in my arms. I can only raise my elbow to my shoulder. The nerve endings were damaged on the back sides of my arms, so this will help to stretch them out. Still feels off. Almost chaffed. But on the inside.
Earlier this week Bill and I met with the radiologist at Rush. We decided that since radiation is an everyday event, Rush is not the best option, from a commute standpoint. My new text friend Laura recommended her doctor near Ogden/294 at Amita. She was treated at Northwestern for her chemo/surgeries and also didn’t want to commute to the city so that’s where they sent her. Today Dr. K, the plastic surgeon, also recommended the same doctor, and so next week, I’ll interview her and if we connect well, I’ll get the ball rolling on what I guess is phase 4 of this journey – 33 sessions of targeted radiation. More on that next week.
I made two trips to the city this week – for building tours and meetings – used the train – not too tired or uncomfortable. Have had my sister’s dog gingy with me all week, so that has gotten me out of the house walking and getting fresh air, boosting my energy level.
The kids come home tomorrow and we’ll be back to chaos and volume control again. Though I think I’m ready for the demands and craziness to begin again. They’ve been facetiming with me each night to give me the low-down on their wave jumping, how much parenting Madison has had to do, and all the fantastic food they’ve been consuming. Jealous doesn’t even cut it.