Good fat

Another thing to add to the long list of things to love about me: I have “good fat.”

So sayeth Dr Spiegel, who recognized the high quality of my fat at first glance. So skilled in assessing fat is she that a physical exam wasn’t necessary. No need to grab the fat; she could tell the caliber of my chunky-monkey-ness just by looking.

That’s good, because I need that fat for my upcoming revision. While the Drs S did an outstanding, better-than-expected job at reconstructing my sunken, mastectomied chest, there are a few little tweaks needed before I am “done.”

One big lesson about breast cancer and reconstruction: you’re never really done, and it’s never really over.

Much like the plight of an at-home mom in a house full of busy, messy kids, there’s always something else that needs to be done. In this case, rather than errands, laundry, and getting people to & from activities, what needs to be done is correcting asymmetry, changing shape from oblong to rounded, and filling out a few collapsed areas. The best way to do this? Suck out some of that good fat from my hips and inject it up top. 

Remember the “dog ears” left on my hips after closing my 17-inch belly incision during reconstruction? Those pesky globs of fat have tormented me the last 4 months, since surgery. They’ve gotten a bit smaller as I’ve counted calories and gotten back into the gym and onto the tennis court, but they’re still there. At last they will serve their purpose.

I wanted to get Dr Spiegel’s opinion on the best way to go about this before I went under the knife with Dr S. Since the 2 Drs S worked so well together on The Big Dig, I coveted her advice on the revision. I also knew I’d get very clear answers to my questions, as she is very good at communicating and explaining options.

She had the same ideas as Dr S for how to handle this revision. That’s all the confirmation I need. While I’m not looking forward to it (more anesthesia, pain, and downtime), it’s one more step closer to being done. Or as done as a cancer patient ever gets.

Here’s the plan: I go on vacation to Salisbury Beach for 2 weeks, to forget all about the trials & tribulations of the last year. I soak up every second of my favorite beach in an effort to make up for missing it last year. I say yes to every adult beverage offered me, regardless of time of day, food consumed, or number of beverages preceding. I revel in the balmy weather, listen to the sound of the ocean, and relish my friends’ company. I eat lobster in some form each day. I savor the traditions this trip provides my family. I thank my lucky stars that I’m present for this tradition.

Then I come home–tanned, relaxed, refreshed & slightly worried about the state of my liver–and have 2 days before my revision procedure.

I know, I know — having fat sucked out of an area you don’t want it and relocated into an area you do want it sounds like a dream come true. In theory, anyway. I would find it a lot more dreamy if it didn’t involve tools that look like this

and this

and this

Thank you, Google images, for helping me visualize the method of extraction. I’ve been looking forward to bidding adieu to the dog ears since they became a part of my body and to finally having some symmetry to my newly constructed chest, but like everything in this “cancer journey,” it comes at a cost.