Monday, February 4, 2013

Still recovering from surgery

Hey everyone! Thank you all so, so much for praying for me and my final surgery. It has been surreal that this surgery is bringing an end to so much and I have to be the most thankful girl on earth. Thank you to my amazing hubby, Josh for keeping you all updated. He has of course been my right hand throughout this last surgery...the way he takes care of me is overwhelming. He takes joy in emptying drains, cleaning incisions, bathing me, and waking up to give me my medicine....that is some supernatural care taking!

My pre-op appointment went well on Thursday and they marked me up with a sharpie for surgery. At this time, we still did not know the size of my implants and if they were going to do fat grafting or not. They were leaning toward doing the fat grafting to make my breasts look more natural. Because I am somewhat thin, my collar bone and chest area is bony, which can make an implant look like it was just glued on to my body, but fat grafting can make things look more natural. So we signed a consent for fat grafting, but we knew they would make that decision during surgery. They also talked much about breaking up some scar tissue during surgery and said that I had capsules around each expander that they would have to break up. Dr. Villa told me that I would have 2 drains, which wasn't the best news, but 2 drains were still less drains than I had with any surgery. I felt great after my pre-op appointment and was excited about surgery. Alisha said that Dr. Villa would obsess over me looking as good as I could, and of course that made me feel good.

On Thursday we ate at our favorite Houston restaurant, Ruggles Green, and met my mom for lunch. So thankful she was able to come over for my surgery. It is an all organic restaurant that has amazing food, so we eat there every chance we get. While we were there, we spotted Houston Rockets player, James Harden. Josh was in the bathroom when I saw him and I was freaking out! I called him and he came out of the bathroom and Josh asked if we could take a picture with him. That was definitely exciting and made for a great day!

We spent the rest of Thursday going to a few shops and ended up back at Lance and Tammy's. We had a great night with the Stanfill's and their family at one of our fave restaurants by their house, Blue Water and finished it off with some Menchies:) It never feels like we get enough time with the Stanfills. We tried to go to bed somewhat early because we had to be up by 4 am the next morning. I had to be at the hospital at 5:45 on Friday morning. I got little to no sleep. I wasn't nervous at all, but apparently my body was. I kept feeling like I was going to throw up all night.

We got to the hospital on time and everything went pretty quickly. I prayed so hard that my IV would go in ok and it was the first time anyone got it in on the first try! I was so relieved and happy. The nurse said she was so nervous as she was doing it. My mom and in-laws both came for my surgery and that meant so much to me. I got to visit with them before they took me back to surgery, and I really felt so much at ease. Dr. Villa and Alisha both came back to see me before surgery and they always make me feel better. The last thing I remember was trying to fight off my sedation and Josh was videoing me, so I apparently didn't last long:)

My surgery lasted about 4 hours and everything went well. As soon as I woke up, I remember my left ribs being really, really sore, but most of all, I remember not being hot or nauseous at all. I remember looking at the nurse and being so excited. I just kept saying, "I don't feel sick! I'm so happy." They wanted me to try to go to the bathroom because I had a catheter in during surgery, so I did that, but on my way back to bed, I felt dizzy. My mouth was so dry and my throat was so sore because me being intubated/ I remember seeing Josh and Mr. Joey. Mr. Joey came to Houston to see my after my surgery and that was so sweet of him. I'm sure the others came back after my surgery, but I don't remember! I just know I was so tired and it was hard to keep my eyes open.

They released me and we went to the hotel to sleep. I really wanted to go out to eat that night to spend time with my family who came to my surgery, but as I was getting dressed, I kept feeling nauseous, so I decided to stay in. My sweet mom stayed with me while the others ate, then they came back and we visited some in the room. I really enjoyed that. I got little to no sleep that night, but it let me pray and thank God for all He had done in my life. As Josh told you, I also got some funny video of him snoring. He never does, so it was funny to get proof:)

We woke up Saturday morning and went shopping a little bit, ate some good food and headed home. I felt good enough to go to church Sunday morning and had a great time at my in-laws watching the superbowl. God continues to amaze me with how he protects me. It is just simply amazing. There is no other way to explain it! I think I overdid it too much, so today I have spent a lot of time on the couch. I am just still very, very sore. Josh says I have a good bit of bruising under my left breast and on the side of my ribs, which is where I am hurting the most.

Dr. Villa said that I had a bunch of scar tissue from radiation and my other surgeries, so he broke a lot of that up during my surgery ( not sure what that entails, but sounds painful). That pain wasn't something I was expecting. It isn't unbearable, but it is not fun at all. They ended up not doing the fat grafting, which I was surprised and happy about. Once they put the implants in, they looked natural enough that they didn't need to do the grafting. That was definitely a game time decision, because we thought it would be happening based on my pre-op appointment and what they were leaning toward. As far as the feel of my breasts- it is incredible how soft they feel. They feel like normal breast tissue and they don't look or feel like implants at all. I haven't looked at them without my bandages on, but Josh says they look "perfect." I was definitely surprised at how small they looked to me. They are smaller than my original breasts, so that will take a while for me to get used to. I knew that would most likely be the case, but it is different when it is done. I am trying to look at it in a positive way that I will be able to wear some things that I used to not be able to because of my fuller chest. My husband saying I look "perfect" and answering my questions every 5 seconds of how they look definitely help my self-confidence. My body is only temporary and I have healthy breasts- so all my comments about size are relative! Just trying to give you details.

"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.cGod himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body." 2 Corinthians 5: 1-10

There is always a chance that I can get back to my previous breast size after we have children (in Jesus' name). If I have any skin on my stomach after I have children, they could possibly move that to my breasts and put in larger implants. We don't know if we will do that (and hopefully I won't have excess skin on my stomach after kids), but that is an option down the road. Right now, I am trying to focus on the fact that I am feeling better. I think most people's perception of breast implants is that you will end up with these awesome, perfect breasts, and in dealing with augmentation after breast cancer, that normally is not the case. I am overall very pleased and thankful to have breasts of any size. If my thankfulness is not translating, then it is because I am just giving you too many details, not that I'm not thrilled to have this surgery completed!

So, we will head to Houston for my post-op appointment on this Thursday. My mom will be taking me and am looking forward to hearing how pleased they are with everything. They said that I should not have to see them for a month, then 3 months, then 6 months, and then a year. Praise the Lord. I am praying that these 2 drains can come out on Thursday as well. They have drained very little so I am holding out hope they can come out. These 2 drains make 15 drains that I have had total. I think they will take out my stitches on Thursday as well.

We missed my precious niece so much while we were gone. Josh's cousin, Darren and his wife, Candace found out they are having a boy in June. They are our family, but also great friends and we are excited for their addition, Elliot Darren:) Just a few more weeks for my sister's baby boy...anxiously waiting...please be praying for her as she gets closer to delivery. That God will supernaturally protect her and her baby boy, as he did Rachel and Sullivan. Thank you in advance. I will update soon after my post op appointment on Thursday.

Thank you for continuing to be so interested and invested in our lives. When we are 6 hours away at surgeries and appointments, it can be easy to feel down, but I rarely have felt that way. That is because of your prayers and encouragement to Josh and I. We are forever grateful. Please praise God with us for this final surgery. I can't wait until the day everything on earth acknowledges and praises our God.

"Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” " Rev. 5:13

Us with Rockets player, James Harden

Got my IV in on the first try!

 Right after I woke up and went to the bathroom. Soooo out of it.

Sleeping in the car on the way back to West Monroe


Anonymous said...

Dear Aly,

So happy and thankful that your surgery has gone well. I found out in June 2012 that I had ovarian cancer. (With surgery and chemo, I am now doing well.) At that time, I also found your blog. What a blessing you have been to me. What a witness you are for Christ! May Jesus bless you and keep you and uphold you with His Mighty right hand.

p.s. Hooray for IVs that go in painlessly!

Love in Christ,
Susan in Texas

Anonymous said...

Dear Aly,
I had my reconstruction in November after a bilateral mastectomy and radiation. I, too, was very disappointed initially because my breasts were smaller than before cancer. However, after about 6 weeks of healing, I am happy with them. They feel so much better than the expanders.
May God bless you as you continue this journey.
Marla Warren
Cedar Park

Aly Taylor said...

Thanks Marla.. I am more happy with mine as time goes on as well. God bless you and your journey. In this together:)

Aly Taylor said...

Thanks Marla.. I am more happy with mine as time goes on as well. God bless you and your journey. In this together:)

Aly Taylor said...

So glad you are doing well Susan. We both have amazing stories of Gods healing!!!