Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Well, it's official.

My plastic surgeon told me that my chest wall (the muscles and skin that comprise the chest) was the tightest he has ever encountered. This is not a good thing. Is it any wonder Supta K was literally out of my reach? I consider it a minor miracle that I could touch down in Prasarita Pado C, that I could get a reverse prayer going in Parsvotanasana, that I could bind at all in the Marichyasanas. How was that even possible? I guess it's a testament to the power of determination, and practice practice practice. It's no wonder that the story of Hanuman is my favorite story from Hindu mythology.

I am less grumpy now that my nose cast is off, but I am so swollen that I am quite sure that most people look at me and wonder, "Now, wait, what did she have done again?" I guess my nose looks a bit smaller and smoother than it was before. But right now, and until the swelling goes down, the actual results are very much anyone's guess (except for my plastic surgeon, who tells me it looked beautiful while I was on the table, before the cast was applied, before the swelling and bruising set in).

As for the breasts, the jury is out on whether the Alloderm will "take". Now, I know that Julie's experience was somewhat different...but in my case, it really is very much like a skin graft in that the Alloderm acts not just as padding but is literally replacing and replicating damaged tissue (tissue that was damaged by radiation). The Alloderm must develop vascularity on its own and must be incorporated into my own skin for a good result. This takes about six weeks, but in my case, it is possible that it won't happen. This makes me sad. No, to be honest, it makes me more than sad. As I did a google search before on "alloderm radiated", my heart sank. I couldn't even finish reading the stuff my search turned up. The little out there that seemed pertinent to my specific facts did not give me a lot of hope to hang onto.

Despite at least four layers of Alloderm placed under my radiated breast, tight now, the scar line is dented in. And there is another dent as well - the one that was there before, although it is far less dented in. Perhaps it will stay only minorly dented in. Also, the Alloderm has been slipping out to the side toward my armpit, but a little bit of massage pushed it back to where it belonged. This is so high tech, and yet so low tech at the same time. It is disheartening to feel so responsible for my own result (granted, my doctor did the HEAVY lifting...but I feel the weight of my world on my shoulders with regard to ensuring that this surgery turns out to have been a succes). I am now wearing a big-ass Natori underwire sports bra 24/7 to keep things from moving around.

I hate to sound all sorry for myself. I have to keep remembering that my most important hope for my breasts is that they are comfortable and soft and no longer impede my progress in yoga, or worse, destroy my posture (my ACTUAL posture, not my asanas). Somehow, I got caught up in the vanity thing. And yeah, I know I have the right to be concerned with my appearance and with feeling like a "woman" and all that. But I want to keep my hopes in line so that I don't end up sorely disappointed and bitter about all this.

One thing I have NOT been throughtout the past four years is bitter. I don't want to start shooting for the moon and the stars now and feel bitterly disappointed. I need to get my perspective back. I just want to feel comfortable. Maybe even ONE good breast would be a good thing! I am pretty sure that I can end up with ONE good one....the non-radiated breast is totally fine, a non-issue, I believe.

It's funny...when I set out to write, I have no idea that all this bad stuff is going to come out. I just start writing, and there it goes. All angst, all the time...the Angst Channel! Perhaps for the next six weeks, I ought to change my blog's name from Yoga Chickie to The Angst Channel. Or maybe Planet Angst. All angst, all the time....




Julie said...

Dear Lauren,


I guess I don't understand the rejection with the Alloderm. Rejection because the radiation can't grow the vascular infrastructure? Not rejection based on the dna component of it right? Did Dr. S mention any of this. He has done this procuede, or, a similar one, one someone else I believe.

He's seen a lot of breasts, I've seen a lot of breasts... I knew as soon as I touched yours how much it probably impacted your life without your knowing it. I think, no matter what, cosmetically they will be better and physically you will notice a huge difference.

All that said..

FUCK THAT NATORI BRA SUCKS!!! That was the MOST horrid bra in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD.. and it costs $50 and people actually BUY IT willingly? I have 3 of them... they do LITERALLY SHAPE the breast and I do mean that literally. KEEP IT ON all the time. I hate that thing. I want to burn mine.

CJ said...

Thoughts for you. Hold on in there.


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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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