I’ve been home from the hospital since Wednesday afternoon, with one Jackson-Pratt drain, two antibiotics (recently reduced to one), and no left breast or tissue expander.
Let me first say that I am the only person in history who would gain three pounds from no eating and constant diarrhea while cooped up in the hospital. After what felt like hours of hearing my father’s loud chorus of, “You’re going to lose weight in the hospital! You’re going to drop lots of pounds!” I almost started to believe him. He, in fact, does lose immense amounts of weight when he’s in the hospital. Considering my recent hospitalization was very much like his last few (intense IVs of antibiotics and barely eating), he almost had me sold.
Expecting that one silver lining from this hospital stay, I excitedly hopped on the scale on Wednesday…and NOPE. LET’S ADD ON THE POUNDS INSTEAD. MAMA NEEDS A NEW LAP BAND!
(For those of you who don’t like sarcasm, leave now.)
I am slightly depressed by this. But I am even more depressed by the fact that I can’t eat anything. I mean, if I’m going to be fat, I might as well enjoy the process of it, you know? Okay, that’s not true. I can eat everything in sight (of which there is plenty of sight.) But I am NOT because of what happens fifteen minutes after I eat. Let’s just say, what goes in, goes out really really fast because the antibiotics I am on have killed off the good bacteria in my system. Eating is not fun at all and is inconvenient unless I am basically sitting on the toilet.
My mom and dad have been pushing probiotics (apparently these have helped Dad with a similar problem) but Dr. Festekjian’s team want me to hold off on those. They want me to try the BRAT diet first: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast.
Check out the picture that comes up on the Wikipedia page for the BRAT diet (hahaha when I first wrote this, without proofreading, I accidentally wrote “BRAT die”!):
Well that all looks disgusting. Seriously. Let’s take the most bland, ugly foods we can find and throw them together to make a cute little acronym that describes the annoying and spoiled patients who need to eat this crap!
The thing about the BRAT diet, I’m learning, is that it’s not actually limited to BRAT. Jeani said I should just try to eat this gross stuff with other stuff: like, eating a sandwich with bread…or eating rice with some chicken (not happening.) The banana-in-a-smoothie suggestion didn’t make me want to vomit, so I think I might try that.
In other news, my left breast is still missing. Dr. Karam, my very kind and caring breast surgeon, sent me a nice email about an hour ago to see how I was doing. Since I’ve had a heavy helping of the BITCH diet, I sent him a rather cheeky response that included the following lines regarding my appearance:
“On the left, I look like a nine-year-old boy who was once very, very fat but then lost a great deal of weight in a very short amount of time. On the right, I actually look normal. HA. This tissue expander breast is now what I consider normal.”
On the way to the bathroom or kitchen I almost always catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, usually hoping that this time there is actually a boob there. Instead of a boob, however, I’ve noticed that my rib cage and stomach are now officially bigger than my chest, a fear I’ve had for many years.
I can hear Madeline playing with her squeaky ball quite viciously in the living room. I’m going to go ask her if she’d like to play with my brain instead.
The good thing is that your sense of humor is the same Rachel. Stephen always “prescribes” yogurt in cases like yours to replenish the good bacteria.
sooooooo…….i take it you don’t want to get breakfast sunday morning, i can take a hint (even one as subtle as that graphic description of your digestive system 😛 ). I’ll text you and we can figure out wht to do. ❤ you!
Yikes. I had food poisoning Monday and had to go on the BRAT diet! (I am totally not comparing food poisoning to possible cancer.) Except I didn’t have bananas in my apartment and was too lazy to make rice…so I was only eating applesauce and toast. Yum but so so boring.
Hey there…I’m glad I follow your blog and I’m glad I’m on WordPress too. It’s just easier. 🙂 So I wanted to ask you and while it’s not easy in a comment I get…did you post about why you didn’t choose immediate reconstruction? Do you attend/are you involved in FORCE? I am seeing the plastic surgeon in 2 weeks and after seeing the surgical oncologist I know my 2 choices….and I just wanted to pick your brain (no pun intended!) – hope you are feeling better….
Hi Heather! I’ve been enjoying your blog too…that sounds bizarre since it’s not necessarily about a fun topic but I hope you get what I’m saying!
I didn’t do immediate straight-to-implant reconstruction because it was never really presented to me as an option. My mom had a mastectomy a few months before mine (I really need to write the post about hers) and she did DIEP flap reconstruction on her left breast and a tissue expander on the right. We used the same plastic surgeon, and since the TE seemed so successful with my mom I was always OK with that. And doing my own research, I learned that most immediate implant reconstructions can only be done with a small implant (B cup at most.) I am shooting for a D cup based on my body size, so I didn’t want to limit myself with an immediate implant.
Of course now that I had to have my TE removed because of the infection, I am starting to wonder if I should have just done the immediate implant reconstruction…but I still think I made the right choice. Having a bigger body frame has always made me self-conscious, and it will be nice to once again have boobs that can balance things out!
In terms of FORCE, I’m really not involved. I probably should be and I have definitely looked into meetings but it seems that whenever there is one coming up in the distant future I just forget about it. I was more involved with Bright Pink.
Where are you going to be having a surgery? Is it for sure?
when I get angry about a setback, I remind myself that it is temporary. I’m two weeks post my revision surgery and finally feeling like my old silly self. for the life of me, I can’t figure out how you could have gained weight (water weight maybe?). so glad you’re home!