Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Medical Update: Preparing for Reconstructive Surgery

Matt and I went to Charleston yesterday for two pre-op appointments for my reconstructive surgery which is scheduled for next Wednesday, October 12th, at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). It was a long day, but it was good to spend time alone with Matt and to get everything ready for the surgery. Still, it was not fun to think about having the surgery. For the past six weeks, I have been healthier, stronger, and more active than any time in the past year, so it is hard to think about going back into surgery and dealing with another long recovery process.

You may remember that our original plan was to have this surgery at the same time as my double mastectomy in February, but they had to cancel the reconstructive part of the surgery because they discovered a second tumor in my lymph nodes. So after more chemotherapy and radiation, it is finally time for reconstruction. The reconstructive surgery I will be having is called a DIEP (Deep Interior Epigastric Perforator) Flap surgery. This is a specialized surgery that is only performed regularly at a few hospitals throughout the country, MUSC being one of them. As the name indicates, the surgery involves removing interior tissue from the abdomen and using it to reform the breasts. If you want to learn more about the surgery, you can watch a short informational video about the DIEP Flap surgery here. The surgery should last about 6-8 hours. Following the surgery, I will probably spend 4-5 days in the hospital for my initial recovery, though it will take around 6 weeks to make a full recovery. 

After my appointments in Charleston, we made the two-hour trip back home and arrived just a few minutes before the youth group from our church came over for Bible Study. I love having the youth group over - they have such energy and joy, and it is a privilege to help them understand God's Word! We ended the evening around the fire pit in the backyard, enjoying s'mores and a time of prayer for my surgery as well as several other needs in the group. It is so amazing that God invites us to cast our cares on Him, the God of the universe! To think that He hears us, loves us, and will answer our prayers is an amazing reality I too often take for granted.

As we prepare for my surgery, I would appreciate your prayers. Please pray that the surgery is a success and that my recovery would go smoothly. Also, please pray for the kids while Matt and I are in Charleston for the surgery and initial recovery. My older sister will be here with the kids for the first several days, and then Matt's mom will come for a few days. And pray for Matt, especially when we return home and he has to balance caring for me, the kids, and keeping up with his work responsibilities. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!