Tag: No Hill For a Climber

No Hill For a Climber, We See a Rainbow!

What a glorious sight it is when you behold the beauty of a colorful rainbow following a  severe storm. For at least a moment, we can forget the disaster that has come our way when we spot these gifts from God. We know there will be more storms to face in our path through life, but in the moment we can glory in the knowledge that even out of life’s worst circumstances, an object of beauty can still shine through to brighten our day.

Living in the state of Kansas, the heartland of America  which is also known as Tornado Alley, we know that with each destructive storm that passes our way, there are better days to follow, We also know and understand quite well that there will also be more storms to follow. Some will be minor, some will wipe out entire  towns out on the prairie. It is a way of life for us, that we somehow become accustomed to. And with all this being said, after her last visit to the radiation oncologist, we find ourselves in the peaceful calm after the storm with Loraine’s battle against breast cancer.

We are between storms and we have spotted a rainbow.

For at least the moment, life is beautiful.

Finally, the wounds from her double mastectomy have healed. The infections have gone away for good now, and the ugliness of the radiation burns and radio-necrosis are no longer visible to the eye. We have weathered a multi-front storm that actually began with Loraine’s brother , my best friend Howard’s liver cancer when he became terminal and we took him to care for him several months prior to Loraine’s own diagnosis.

Losing Howard was the end of a long, drawn out and tragic end to the life a good man. We knew his days were numbered when he could no longer climb onto his motorcycle which he had loved to ride. Howard was known for randomly climbing onto his bike and taking off on rides that might take him 1000 miles one way just for a steak dinner somewhere he had seen on the television or on the internet.

It was a sad day when he could no longer ride his bike, he had a bad knee that was complicated by his being morbidly obese. His morbid obesity was complicated by long term Hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver. These conditions were eventually worsened by the development of liver cancer and hepatic encephalopathy   which generally occurs in people with chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis or hepatitis. Hepatic encephalopathy brings on different levels of dementia, which obviously complicated his care in our home even more.

We took Howard into our home in early March of last year. We had a few months where he was feeling better, but once Loraine was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall, we began seeing more of decline in Howard’s health each day. He was losing his mind to hepatic encephalopathy and his mobility to get around was getting worse. His mobility was a great concern being as he was morbidly obese at almost 600 pounds at one point. He had fallen down in his home shortly before we took him in and I drove down to help him back up, this task took me 45 minutes to do. I swore that day that if he ever fell again, I was going to call the fire department instead of trying to help him myself. I had a fear that he would fall trying to navigate his way from our front door to our driveway, so I had a contractor come in to level my front yard, and to put in a new sidewalk and driveway to accommodate his needs.

I’m not seeking sympathy, nor a pat on the back. We do what we need to do for our loved ones. But, I do feel a need to vent a little in regards to a few family members. At about the time Loraine received her diagnosis, Howard was in his decline. I often had to help him bandage his legs which were weeping fluid from lymphedema, as well I would also have to occasionally help him in getting dressed, putting on his shoes, along with his personal hygiene needs of showering and cleaning up after the toilet.

We do what we have to do sometimes.

We took off work to get Howard to his doctor appointments, as well as doing all his laundry, cooking and cleaning for him. Howard was no longer able to take care of his basic living needs for himself, and from the phone there was a deafening silence from their only  remaining brother and sister.  Neither of them ever called us to check on Howard, or to even see if there was anything we needed to help in his care. But guess who was there wanting to direct things and who had their hands out when he passed. And we were dealing with this after Loraine’s diagnosis of having cancer too. It is a truth that people will show their true colors when times are tough…

January 6th of this year, Loraine underwent her double mastectomy. The operation went very well, and she was sent home from the hospital the next afternoon with drain tubes placed at four locations in her chest.

After a few weeks, the drainage had come to a stop and the drains were removed by her surgical oncologist during an office visit. Loraine was healing pretty well and was in good spirits until a staph infection settled in her left incision sight sometime in February. The infection caused a large, nasty looking hole to appear that had to be cleaned and dressed day and night for a couple months until it finally went away. During the middle of fighting her infection, I took Howard to his final doctors appointment on February 21, where he was informed he needed to consider going into hospice for palliative care as his time was drawing to a close. I got him checked into KU Medical Center that afternoon, Sunday afternoon, I watched him draw his last breath as he passed away. But for the fact we had already been grieving for Howard’s eventual demise for some time, we never had time for truly grieving as we were still battling Loraine’s infection. She could not begin her radiation treatments until she was fully healed. That being said, there came a point when the radiation oncologist made the call that Loraine was not fully healed, but she was healed enough to begin her treatments which could not be put on hold for any longer.

Finally, my dear and sweet wife of 33 years began her radiation treatments in May and finished them in June after six weeks of daily treatments. Radiation is supposed to be easy, yet she suffered from second degree burns and radio-necrosis which brought on another infection afterwards.

Tuesday morning of this week, we took Loraine to a followup visit with her radiation oncologist. Thankfully, I could go with her on this visit as I have not been able to accompany her over the last few months because the Covid 19 virus. Loraine has finally healed  from everything, and the incision sights are no longer angry looking as they have been over the course of the last 6 months. Most of her pain has subsided, yet there is still a little lingering pain that hopefully will go away soon. She still has a small amount of a burning sensation where her radiation treatments were focused, and will be asking about this tomorrow when she goes for a sonogram of her chest and breast area. There is a small knot from a keloid, but other than that all appears to be normal now.

The storm we have been enduring is over now, we have seen the colorful rainbow which brings us joy. Yet, the fight is not over as we never know when the next storm is going to crest the horizon. There will be follow up doctor visits each of the next three months, and then every three months for the next two years. Loraine is a very tough and resilient woman, she was a military spouse who has endured two previous cancers. As she stood at my side during my military career, I will stand at her side for this tough battle of hers.

Will ever hear the words “Cured of cancer”?

I’m not so sure anyone ever truly hears they are fully cured.

What I do know is we will live with the threat of a return of active cancer for years to come.

Even when one has been declared free of cancer, there is always a continued threat.

But for the moment at least, we can finally take a breather and do our best to continue life in as normal a manner as possible. Life is tough and not always fair to any of us, but life still offers us choices to make. We can choose to succumb to bad occurrences, or we can choose to shake it all off and lean forward into the fight of our lives.

We are fighters to the end!

No Hill For a Climber, Radio-Necrosis

Loraine completed her final radiation treatment on June 15th. That should have been the end of the doctor visits until later this month, but that is not how things turned out. The radiation treatments burned her pretty good, second degree burns to be exact. We were not expecting this, nor were we prepared for what came next which was radio-necrosis combined with a bacterial skin infection. Radio-necrosis can occur when eradiating the cancer.  Radiation therapy can cause significant harm to healthy surrounding tissue. As we have learned the hard way, this skin injury can cause considerable pain and suffering to patients who are already stressed by the diagnosis.

How long does radiation burn last?
For it to heal, the skin needs time to regenerate, a process that may take two to four weeks for mild reactions, or several months or more for serious injuries.

Before Loraine’s radiation treatments were completed, her skin began showing signs of being burned by the procedures. About a week or so before her final treatment, one of her physicians instructed her to begin using Silvadene cream on the burns to help ward off any infections. This medication is often used with other treatments to help prevent and treat wound infections in patients with serious burns. It is supposed to work by stopping the growth of bacteria that may infect an open wound. This helps to decrease the risk of the bacteria spreading to surrounding skin, or to the blood where it can cause a serious blood infection. However, while Silvadene can be used as an anti-microbial, the downside as we have since learned, is it can also delay wound healing.

Having never been through any of this, there is no way we could know the effects radiation therapy could have on an individual. We know what we were told, but as with everything else about breast cancer, there is a lot we have had to learn after the fact, and on the run. The learning curve with cancer is huge to say the least.

Loraine’s skin was burned, therefore it was warm to the touch as any burn will be. Then it began to blister which also was not unexpected given the severity of the burns. Still we were not worried until her skin began tearing and essentially ulcerating in the burned areas. This has been quite painful for Loraine and I often awaken to her moaning in pain at night when I am not on the road. The radiation treatments we believed were going to be fairly mild for side effects, but obviously this has not been the case. Sunday, while I was out on the road, Loraine called me because she was in pretty bad pain and she was draining pus and fluids from the burned area where her left breast had been. She said she was going to go to the emergency room which really scared me. In 34 years of marriage, this tough woman has never, not a single time, ever visited an emergency room for herself. Turns out, she now had a bacterial infection working on her. The emergency room doctor prescribed her an antibiotic and pain reliever and then instructed her to get in to her wound care doctor as soon as possible. Today was Wednesday, we got her in to be seen this morning. That is when we learned that the infection was a result of the radio-necrosis, and, it was aggravated by the daily application of Silvadene which she had been directed to use.

Loraine has endured enough pain with these side effects, that she has begged me to not ask her to ever go through radiation again.

I will respect her wishes when it comes to her treatments.

 

No Hill For a Climber, Barrage of The Mind

With cancer of any type, one must steel themselves against the constant barrage to your mental state. If you are one who is weak, you had better learn to stiffen your upper lip, as there will be a constant assault on your sanity after a cancer diagnosis. If you are not tough, you had better get tough, life is not always fair, and cancer is a heartless bitch.

Loraine and I have been through a living hell over the last year because of cancer. FIrst we took in her brother Howard who was terminally ill with liver cancer which was brought on by end term Hepatitis C, and then she received her own diagnosis of breast cancer last fall. As we were taking care of all of Howards needs as he was slipping in and out of different stages of dementia, we still had Loraines battle to face. Life has been a bitch in our home, and we have to keep faith it will get better. We have to, and will keep fighting as hard as we can against this ruthless disease. Otherwise, it is going to kick our asses each and every day if we allow it to bog us down. Cancer shows no mercy to anyone, ever.

I sure wish there was a cure for cancer!

How often do we think this, or hear others  say they wish there was a cure. Pretty damn often for some of us for sure. But, there is not going to be a “cure” just anytime soon despite some people beating it.

If all the positive cancer breakthrough headlines are to be believed, then the cure for cancer is right around the corner. But that is a far cry from reality, says Dr. Jørgen Olsen, head of research at The Danish Cancer Society.

“I think it’s an illusion to imagine that after millions of years of this disease we’ll suddenly find a solution. I don’t think that we’ll ever beat it, but I think that we’ll get it under control so that it becomes chronic but not deadly,” says Olsen. (1)

But why can’t we find the secret weapon to beat cancer once and for all?

One reason is that cancer is not just one disease–even individual tumors can vary substantially from one patient to the next and the same type of tumor in different parts of the body can respond differently to medication. Just like any other organism, cancer cells are trying to survive, and they are very good at it. They quickly spread to multiple parts of the body, and they mutate constantly, rendering existing medicines ineffective. Cancer cells are very adaptive, especially when the cancer is at an advanced stage.

There are some similarities between cancer and the principle of evolution. Evolution is driven by natural selection, which means that organisms or cells that survive long-term are those that can adapt when their existence is challenged. As with the use of antibiotics to kill infections, the cells which survive cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, will often restore the disease after treatment, but now in a more aggressive form that is now resistant to treatment. Then you need a new treatment and the story repeats itself until nothing more can be done. I will never forget the sick feeling in my gut as Howard’s oncologist informed him that nothing more could be done for him and he was recommending end of life palliative care. This was on a Friday, Howard passed away on Sunday, 48 days after my dear Loraine had underwent her double mastectomy for breast cancer. Her radiation treatments are going to be over next week. Cancer is an evil bitch to everyone involved to say the least.

Loraine’s radiation treatments are coming to a close. What’s next?

My sweetheart wrapped up her fifth of six weeks of radiation treatments on Friday. Afterwards, she had a visit with her medical oncologist who informed her there were three new lumps which were not present a month ago. She was in tears when she called me while I was out on the road, and it was all I could do to not pull my semi over to the side of the highway and have a good cry myself.

Life is not fair and cancer is a bitch!

Because of the Covid-19 virus, Loraine has had to go to all of her treatments and doctor visits without me over the last couple of months. She has needed me to be there for her, but the medical facilities will not, nor can they, make exceptions for anyone. The only people allowed inside has been the patients themselves. This is cruel as one who has cancer truly needs their emotional support when consulting with their doctors. We both understand this necessity, but we both need to hear from the doctor exactly what is happening and what the protocols will be going forward. Cancer assaults your emotions and with the overwhelming amount of information there is to absorb, it is best for a patient’s loved one to be present during their doctor visits. The best we can do for Loraine’s next visit is that I will take her and then wait in the parking lot to be there when she comes out. We will use video conferencing on our phones in order that I can be as present as humanly possibly.

Next week, the medical oncologist wants to discuss how we are going to move forward with treatments. She has suggested that Loraine participate in a clinical trial, that Loraine is the perfect candidate for it. She also wants Loraine to get a Dexa Scan and a sonogram as soon as possible before the next visit. Friday, she was even trying to get Loraine in for these on the same day if possible. Since she did not get in, hopefully we will get this done on Monday. This is a bit unsettling to say the least, but we have to keep faith that all will turn out well. Without faith, there is no hope. Without hope, there is no fight. We are fighters!

Cancer Prevention

It’s important to remember that prevention and early diagnosis are key players when it comes to putting the brakes on cancer.  Part of the fight against cancer is to try to prevent it developing in the first place, or at least to develop early detection techniques to spot cases in time to stop the disease before it mutates and spreads. Quite often, people develop cancer because of avoidable habits or lifestyle factors such as smoking, sunbathing without protection, unhealthy diet, exposure to HPV infections, or carcinogenic substances, and radioactivity.

We may not always be able to prevent ourselves from getting cancer, afterall, bad stuff happens to good people every day. However, we can live our lives in a way that we can proactively try to mitigate our chances of developing any type of cancer. If you do not realize this, you should understand that once you’ve been baptized in the fire of cancer your life as you knew it will be irrevocably changed. The apparent randomness of a cancer diagnosis can, and will shake your sense of identity to its very core. Cancer is a sadistic enemy that assaults not only your body but every other area of your life, including your relationships, family life, friendships, finances, career, and even your sense of self. You may be surprised to find the people you thought you could count on disappear from your life. The silence from some family and friends after Howard’s diagnosis was deafening to say the least. However, with Loraine’s diagnosis we have been blessed by plenty of loving support from friends, family and her most excellent care team. We are most humbly grateful for all the love we have received…

 

(1) sciencenordic.com

No Hill For a Climber, It’s a New Day to Move Forward

The last year has been tough as hell for my dear wife and I to say the least. We took in her brother who was terminally ill with Hepatitis C, advanced cirrhosis of the liver, and liver cancer. To add to the complexity of his illness, he had developed hepatic encephalopathy which created different states of dementia from day to day. Hell, sometimes it varied from hour to hour depending on if he was taking his medications as ordered. Friday, February 21st, I took Howard to his final doctors visit where he was advised to receive hospice care. Two days later, he lost his battles.

To add insult to injury in helping Howard battle his diseases, Loraine had went for a mammogram last September and a lump was discovered in her left breast that turned out to be cancerous. Skip ahead to January 6th this year, Loraine underwent a double mastectomy where it was discovered the cancer had also spread to one of her lymph nodes. By February we believed she was healing just fine and dandy when her awful staph infection set in…

Time has gone in slow motion ever since.

Loraine’s radiation treatments were to begin as soon as her incisions from the mastectomy were fully healed. To see a loved one going through this, you want the treatments to begin as soon as humanly possible, but healing has to take place first. If you are not fully healed, the radiation treatments will only serve to interfere with the healing progress. Obviously, we do not want that…

I used the picture above that I took not long ago early one morning while out on the road. It was a beautiful sunrise that morning despite the bug splatters on my windshield. The beautiful sight of the sunrise through the bug splattered windshield illustrates what life is looking like right now. We know that with Loraine now being healed and cleared to begin radiation treatments, we have been through a living hell getting her to this point.

Numerous doctor visits…

Numerous treatment protocols…

Daily wound care at home…

Frustrations and depression as it seemed she would never get healed…

Thousands of dollars in medical bills already…

Dealing with the tragic death of a loved one in the middle of it all…

It seems forever since I last posted an update on Loraine, although it has only been a little over a month. It seems that besides fighting to get her healed, the whole world as we know it has turned upside down as a result of the COVID-19 virus causing chaos all around us. Although we refuse to live in fear over this virus, we know that with her being immunocompromised, we must take precautions with how we live and interact with others. And of course, as luck would have it, now that Loraine has been cleared to begin her radiation treatments, many doctor offices are either closed or greatly limiting the people they see and treat. I get this, but we need for her to begin receiving her treatments as soon as possible. It has been about six months now since her diagnosis. We are waiting now for a return call from the radiation oncologist’s office to set up treatment dates. This oncologist was one of the first people Loraine called on Wednesday after being cleared, we hope to hear something before the end of the week. Once we hear back and get a date and time confirmed, before her first treatment session, Loraine will go through a radiation therapy planning session (simulation), in which her radiation oncologist will carefully map her breast area to target the precise location of her treatments. During the simulation:

  • A radiation therapist will assist her into a position best suited to target the affected area and avoid damage to surrounding normal tissue. Sometimes pads or other devices are used to help you hold the position.
  • Loraine will have a CT scan so that the radiation oncologist can locate the treatment area and normal tissues to avoid. She will have to try to relax and remain as still as possible to help ensure consistent, accurate treatments.
  • A radiation therapist will be marking her body with tiny permanent tattoo dots. These marks will guide the radiation therapist in administering the radiation.
  • The dosimetrist, radiation physicist and radiation oncologist will utilize computer software to plan the radiation treatment she will receive. Once the simulation and planning are completed and multiple quality assurance checks are done on her first visit, her radiation treatments will begin over a course of five days per week over a six week period.

For all the thoughtful prayers and positive thoughts lifted up on my dear wife’s behalf, I am truly grateful and humbled.

God bless and thank you.

 

No Hill For a Climber, Breast Reconstruction Consult

Wouldn’t it just be a wonderful gesture if when the world is crashing down all around us, we could just stop it from spinning long enough for us to hop off for a moment to regroup our thoughts and emotions? It would be quite a generous gift from society too, if all of our bills and debts payments could be forgiven for the duration of a loved ones illness. This might happen if we lived in a perfect world, but a perfect world only exists in the imagination of children and those who are out of touch with reality.

The world is not going to stop for us.

It never has, it never will…

No matter how critically ill you or your loved one might be, the bills keep coming in regardless of your ability to pay them along with your rising medical and prescription medicine expenses. Your utility providers do not give a damn about your family struggles with critically ill health. The bank who has financed your home and automobiles could not give a shit either. These institutions will only let you miss a couple payments before they begin mailing you foreclosure warnings while your pleas for continued leniency falls on deaf ears. Miss a few payments and they will come take your transportation and the roof over your head.

Therefore, no matter that we have a loved who might need us at home, we still must report to work and do the best we can to keep our bills paid during a critical illness. We must do this while also still being able to be lovingly attentive and properly care for our loved ones.

And you had better not take too much time off from work in order to care for your loved ones as your employer too will only show you just as much compassion as policy might dictate.

Fortunately, Loraine’s diagnosis is pretty recent, therefore we have not yet encountered any financial difficulties from her breast cancer. However, we have taken in her brother Howard almost a year ago who is suffering from cancer as a result of also suffering from Hepatitis C. Compounding his problems to another level is he has also developed cirrhosis of the liver. This good man has worked hard all of his life, yet because of his illness, he is now fully disabled. We have a full plate and are doing the best we can to care for him, and now, I find myself with two loved ones in my home suffering from cancer.

If we can’t get the world to stop momentarily, could we at least get it to slow down momentarily while I catch my breath?

Wednesday night, it did not matter that I wanted to, actually needed to remain home. Because of a demanding work schedule I had to go on the road for the night in my semi to deliver construction and industrial supplies for my employer. As I tucked Loraine into bed, told her that I love her, and then kissed her goodnight, I reassured her I would be home in time for her appointment. I slipped downstairs grabbed my road gear and said a prayer that nothing would cause me any delays in getting back to our hub in the morning. I desperately needed to be back in time to be able to clean up and catch a quick power nap before getting Loraine to her 1:00 pm appointment with the plastic surgeon who will be doing her breast reconstruction.

Reconstruction procedures will be started immediately after her breasts have been removed on January 6th.

When you have been married to your soul mate as long as I have been, you find that you are totally in tune to your loved one, even from great distances. While out on the road, about 4:00 am, I got a vibe that Loraine was up and needing me. Say what you want about cell phones being a distraction from relationships, they also keep us connected when apart. I picked up my smart phone and through the magic of technology I was able to see that Loraine was online.  I called her and we chatted for a while before she was able to get back to sleep. We talked about how nervous we both were about the doctors visit later in the day and we also just made a little small talk to distract our minds from the unknown outcome of our consultation with her plastic surgeon.

I left my hub with 535 miles to run and 29,000 pounds of freight to unload myself. No big deal when all goes right, but you never know when your truck might have a flat tire or a mechanical breakdown. You never know when a state Depart of Transportation might pull you over for a random inspection either. My prayers were answered, I returned to my hub with no unnecessary delays Thursday morning.

Loraine and I left our house in Leavenworth at noon, and drove the twenty five miles or so to St Luke’s on the Plaza for her appointment. Not knowing for sure where I was going, I rushed to get there in order to not be late. The Plaza area of Kansas City, Missouri has had a tremendous amount of growth and construction since the last time I had ventured down there and traffic can be off the hook crazy, especially now with all the Christmas shoppers hurrying about their business. Thankfully, we did get there on time, and I must have looked like a total rube when I pulled up for valet parking outside of the valet lane. I backed up to pull in where I should have and managed to run over their valet parking sign in the process. You might not have ever guessed that I am a professional driver…

We did arrive in time for Loraine’s appointment, yet we still had to nervously wait a while before she was called back by the nurse. Once we were back in the examination room, the nurse instructed Loraine to remove her blouse and bra and to don an examination smock, opening in the front, and then she left the room. Loraine and I made a little small talk, coming up with questions to ask the doctor. As much as I thought we were prepared with good questions to ask him,  my mind began drawing blanks. I’m pretty sure Loraine’s did too. There was so much vital information to absorb, too much for a mind that was already fully saturated with fear, hope, dread, and a numbness that comes from overthinking possible outcomes.

Thankfully Dr. Martin is experienced enough to anticipate all of our fears and concerns. We asked a couple questions first, and then he essentially shut us down from asking more. I at first thought this was pretty damn rude, but kept my peace. And I am so glad I did as he gave us a very detailed plan of action for a choice of three possible reconstruction procedures once he had examined Loraine’s breasts by taking measurements from top to bottom, under and across. He informed us that because the tumor had retracted her left nipple in too far, that saving her nipples and areola were not possible. Here are the procedural choices we are looking at:

The plastic surgeon will step in once all of Loraine’s breast tissue has been removed. At this time, he will insert tissue expander’s either directly under her flesh, or under her pectoral muscles of the chest. Placement is going to all be dependent on how thick or thin her remaining breast skin might be, and the blood supply to this tissue. He will not be able to decide the placement until he has seen exactly what he has to work with.

Note: it only makes sense that this is the best time to do this procedure as she will already be opened up for it.

Once he has put the tissue expander’s in place, he will close her back up, and we will be through with any further procedures until Loraine has healed enough, or, not until after six months have passed after the completion of radiation and or chemo treatments should they be necessary.

At the point in time where saline solution can be injected into the tissue expander’s in order to create a pocket for an implant, Loraine has the choice of just having them removed. She can forego reconstruction altogether should she not like the feel of a foreign object in her body. Some women find them to be uncomfortable.

The good thing about having to wait, is it will giver her time to honestly evaluate the pro’s and con’s of breast reconstruction. This will also give us time to do further research regarding reconstruction procedures. Should she decide to forego reconstruction, the tissue expander’s can be removed at the surgeons office under a local anesthesia. Or, he can begin the expansion process over the course of a few office visits before actually placing permanent implants.

Once her new new breast tissue has been expanded sufficiently to accept implants, Loraine will have three choices of procedures:

  • Saline Implants. The pro of saline is that if an implant were to leak, the sterile saline inside would be simply absorbed by her body. If a saline implant leaks, the breast will go flat. The con is, saline implants typically do not look or feel as real as silicone implants.
  • Silicone Implants. Pro’s, silicone implants look and feel more realistic. Yet, are known to cause health issues in women should the silicone ever leak out. Leakage is only detectable by MRI according to Dr. Martin.
  • DIEP.  A DIEP flap is a type of breast reconstruction in which blood vessels called  deep inferior epigastric perforators as well as the skin and fat connected to them, are removed from the lower abdomen  and transferred to the chest to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy without the sacrifice of any of the abdominal muscles. In a nutshell, the surgeon will remove a sizable piece of football shaped flesh and fat from Loraine’s stomach, cut this in half, and then stitch the left and right sides to Loraine’s chest. Once this procedure has healed, she would then return for liposuction of more fat from the sides of her abdomen which would then be injected into her new breasts in order to shape and contour them. The pro’s to this procedure is her own flesh would be utilized and there would be no foreign objects in her body which could possibly leak their contents. The cons is the procedure will be more painful, and will require a three day stay in an intensive care unit (ICU) for three days of around the clock care of the incisions each and every hour. And then there will be the liposuction and fat injection  procedures to follow. Should Loraine have to undergo radiation and chemo treatments, this is a tremendous step to take. I honestly do not want her to suffer this much in addition to the pain and indignities she will already be suffering.

Regardless of the procedure Loraine goes with, the creation of nipples and areola will be the final step, and this might take up to two years to get to.

No matter what my dear wife, my soul mate, my best friend in life decides, I will stand by her in loving support. Should she decide to not undergo reconstruction at all, I will stand by her. Almost thirty four years of love and compassion is far deeper than a pair of breasts could ever be. My main and only concern for this wonderful woman, my bride whom I committed my life to, is that she gets through this with a full cure and that we have many more healthy years together. We will do this together.