Wednesday, July 6, 2022


Yesterday was my appointment at Huntsman with the plastic surgeon, Dr. Agarwal. He came highly recommended by several of you. I really liked him and his team, and he was very thorough in discussing the approach we will take for reconstruction. It was refreshing and encouraging, especially in comparison to my last experience going through this process.  

As we were leaving Huntsman we ran into a sweet couple that are good friends with my parents. They shared their experience with the husband who has been going through cancer and the miracles they have seen. I can attest that the miracles are truly real and like the song by Hillary Weeks: "I haven't seen His face but I have seen his miracles". Without this experience and many others, I am not sure I would have come to realize how much the Lord is truly aware of me and my personal situation. He has truly consecrated my experiences for my good.

Tomorrow I will go in for a CT scan to determine what areas of my body they can take the tissue from to create a new breast after the mastectomy. Dr Agarwal is one of only a few doctors in Utah who does the specialized micro surgery I need. Essentially they are looking for an area of my body that has enough fat, tissue and sometimes skin, that can be cut out and used to make a new breast. The result is a very natural look and feel.  

One of the key factors in performing the surgery is finding the right blood vessels that can be reattached to the chest so that the tissue stays alive after the reconstruction. So the CT scan I am doing will analyze my buttocks and thighs to see if those will be the right donor areas for me (I feel like there are so many other areas they could use too - lol). It is pretty amazing what can be done for pretty much any medical issue through modern medicine. 

Many people do not know about this type of surgery that can be done for someone like me who cannot do implants. My body tends to reject foreign objects and when that was attempted last time I had cancer, it was a disaster to say the least. In 2011 the expander they put in after the mastectomy (with the intent to stretch my chest wall and do an implant after chemo) was extremely painful and also caused a horrible infection that required them to go back and cut out half of my skin on my breast. 

As a result they did the specialized micro surgery that took eight hours and ended with me in the ICU so that I could be monitored more closely to ensure success. This time I hope to avoid those issues and not have an expander by doing the mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time. One of the key factors in deciding if I can do both surgeries at the same time is whether I will need radiation. If I don’t then I will get my wish of doing both surgeries at the same time! Monday I will meet with my other surgeon who does the actual mastectomy. As soon as she gives the greenlight on not needing radiation, I can schedule my surgery for both. 

Stay tuned for more exciting updates on my adventures . . . 

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