Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Science Olympiad Regionals~

Jack and Tristan with their 1st place mousetrap car~!

We went to the regionals for science olympiad on Saturday. Our team as a whole, did a great job! I am proud of Tristan who placed in all 3 of his events. He and Jack took 1st place with their mousetrap car. He also place 3rd with Hunter in Dynamic Planet and 3rd with Caleb in Write It Do It. Their team missed the opportunity of going to state by 1 point in a very difficult new region. That was a tough pill to swallow, but still so very proud of all of them. Also, thankful for the teachers and coaches who worked so hard with these kids. It really paid off.

Tristan with his medals

Surgery date~

So I went back to KU today to visit my plastic surgeon, Dr. Ponnuru. I really like him... such a nice guy! We have a surgery date scheduled for my permanent implants. The date is April 11th. I can't wait! I have 460 cc's of saline right now in each breast. I am trying to decide whether to get slicone or saline implants.  I will have to do some more research to make my decision. Needless to say, these expanders are not natural feeling at all. In fact they could and should be compared to two grapefruits except for the fact that a grapefruit is much softer. LOL I have been told that the permanent implants are wonderful and that the exchange from the expanders to the permanent implants is nothing short of miraculous!  I have also found out that I will not have any drains this time! So happy about that! The surgery should only take about 1 1/2 hours and I get to come home that day! Looking back now, this whole thing has not been that bad! I think when I was diagnosed with cancer last October....I was just so fearful that something bad would happen and I wouldn't be here to raise my kids, but I overcame that, and beat it.  It is crazy! When you hear the word CANCER, it immediately raises ones blood pressure and it is scary as hell but, nothing was as painful as I imagined it would be and nothing was as scary as I thought it would be, so all in all...I am very happy and blessed at this point! :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tissue Expansion~


Expander Implant
Post Mastectomy Reconstruction

Post mastectomy reconstruction with a tissue expander and implant involves a staged approach. A tissue expander is a temporary device that is placed on the chest wall deep to the pectoralis major muscle. This may be done immediately following the mastectomy, or as a delayed procedure. The purpose of the expander is to create a soft pocket to contain the permanent implant. Tissue expanders are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Placing the Expander

At the time of the initial post mastectomy reconstruction operation, when it is first positioned on the chest wall, the tissue expander is partially filled with saline. Within a few weeks after this surgery, once the patient has healed, expansion can be started as an office procedure. The process of expansion takes place at one, two or three week intervals over several months. The timing of expansion can be coordinated with chemotherapy treatments. The amount of fluid that is placed into the expander at the time of the initial surgery will also determine how many expansions are later required. Today, with the use of a dermal matrix (such as AlloDerm®), the surgeon can usually place a higher volume of saline during the initial surgery. This may decrease the number of expansions needed later. The patient will be well on her way to having an immediate breast shape after the first operation.
Most expanders have a fill port that is built into the front of the device. This port is accessed with a needle through the skin. Expansion takes about one minute, and the amount of fluid that is placed is limited by the tightness of the patient’s skin. A typical volume for each expansion procedure is 50 cc's of saline (an equivalent of 10 teaspoons). Most patients do not have significant discomfort or pain after expansion. Discomfort can generally be managed with Tylenol, and the tightness should subside within 24 hours. 
Once expansion is completed and the patient is medically cleared for another operation (about one month after chemotherapy), the second stage of reconstruction is performed. This is an outpatient procedure that involves exchanging the expander for an implant, and creating a more refined breast shape. The initial tissue expander placement, and subsequent exchange for an implant, each take about one hour in the operating room.

This is the procedure that I am currently in the middle of.

Information courtesy of

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Very promising news for a possible cure for TREVOR!!!!!!

Trevor, who is now 10 years old and in the 5th grade is doing really well. He is rarely sick and is an honor roll student. He plays football, basketball, soccer and baseball. He is one terrific kid. However, we are waiting and praying for a cure for the genetic chronic illness he has called Cystic Fibrosis. The following article gives us so much hope and is very promising for his gene mutation which is double delta F508, the most common CF gene mutation. C'mon.....lets make CF stand for CURE FOUND IN 2012!!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm still standing and amazed~

Well, as it stands right now, it looks like a couple of more fills to my foobs (fake boobs) and then there will be probably a 6 week waiting period to make sure all the scar tissue has healed before I can have the surgery for my permanent implants. Each breast now has 385 cc's of saline.....we are shooting for 450 in each. This amount varies for different women depending on how big they want their breasts to be and what size women they are. My chest wall is not very wide so the plastic surgeon said we have to be careful how big we try to go. He wants them to look good of course so I am putting all my faith in him. I am very pleased with him so far and trust him. You also have to put more in the expanders than you may actually may want size wise, because with the epanders are also ports to inject the saline in, which will be removed when the permanent implants are put in. The expanders that I have now are still uncomfortable, but I think I am getting used to them....if you can ever get used to them, but I won't have them for much longer. I am hoping to have surgery for my permanent implants during the last part of April if all goes well. It is amazing what doctors can do now.... just AMAZING!