Tuesday, August 7, 2012

today's conversations....


Today at Dr Pickens/ thoracic surgeon

suggests to have the surgery done soon because of the larger tumor in back close to spine and wants to remove before effects that.

surgery 4 hours ––– open front and remove front tumor and two ribs, deflate lung to get to rear rib and remove that tumor and 2 to 3 ribs without cutting through back side ––– support chest wall with material like a cast.

in hospital at least 5 days.  epidural afterwards to allow breathing because of pain. up and walking second morning. recovery after home 6 weeks.

suggests  mastectomy first,  second - rib surgery,  then reconstruction.

will need muscle to cover incision over chest wall in area of resection. Either the existing chest wall muscle or muscle harvested from back. Usually reconstruction of mastectomy  uses the chest wall muscle to hold/cover implant. That right side will need additional muscle from somewhere to accommodate both procedures. Plastic surg and thoracic will coordinate about muscle conservative needs.

need a new CT scan ordered by one of my northside docs ( because I want it done at northside instead of emory) either  Dr Garcha or you?

wont' get my new boobs for my September birthday cant' have everything. just a month long or more vacation! lol

seeing PS Dr Mackay on Friday- Garcha on monday.  will let you know of  surgery schedules.


thanks for feedback
presume you were comfortable with him
we can order the CT - i presume this is chest CT:  did he have any specifics regarding the CT?

i have not heard from him
sequence is appropriate



CT of same thing as CT from Dekalb medical I assume. He said that one not recent enough and needs to see the changes. I told him that the front tumor is larger than the May CT - has grown and also changed shape and size after biopsy.

Yes, comfortable. Asked if he had done surgery on a Hemangioma of rib before. Two I think he said. That was all I needed to hear, but I really liked to hear that he could take care of both from one suture site and avoid cutting through as many muscles as I had expected. The recovery time seems less that expected also. All sounds good and acceptable. I appreciate your extraordinary care for finding me the right surgeon - your going beyond your duty and the "extra mile".

Thankfully your patient,

( friend B read above email )

Wow . . . . this is overwhelming for me to hear, much less for you to endure . . . . Have I missed the possible/probable cause of the tumors on your ribs?  That surgery sounds grueling . . . was what you heard/learned in line with what you expected?  We continue to be amazed and inspired by the way you are accepting all this, trusting and moving forward.  Continuing to hold you in heart and prayer dear friend.


No known cause for rib tumors. Very rare, maybe no research.

Last night I began being a little anxious about the appointment. During my time with Father this am I ask him to examine my heart as usual. I needed to see the source of my being unsettled. I realized that I didn't want to hear from him (the doc) that I would have to wait on the reconstruction of breasts and I had not wanted to accept that idea at all. I thought that I would have to wait 6 months! My gut told me that this would be the most logical course of action, even without talking to the surgeon. I struggled with letting go of that and when I ACCEPTED IT, it became a non-issue and I was at peace the rest of the day! So when the surgeon discussed waiting until after the rib resection to do the reconstruction, it was no surprise to me and NO emotion at all. Thanks God for preparing me!

You asked if this surgery was what I had expected, well yes and no. I was expecting an entry to tumors from the front and back - longer than 4 hour surgery - more muscles cut than he described - more recovery time - possibility of nerve damage, doc said NO - disfiguring , NO again. So all in all I think I'm ahead. If the only thing not going my way is to wait for the boobs ( "foobs" as they call them ), then I'm blessed!!!!  I'm so fortunate to have found the tumors before they damaged the spine- my assessment based on what he said. And don't forget that these rib tumors allowed me to find the breast cancer in early stage!!!!

From what I understand I could begin reconstruction on the mastectomy about two months after the rib surgery. The rib thing may limit my reconstruction options which I will discuss on Friday with the Plastic surgeon. It's just vanity, but I'm kind of girlie and like to feel feminine.

So the lesson today.... accept the things that you cannot have control over. I wanted control over my foob project but ultimately the key is to be willing to give up control over everything with trust and thanksgiving. But we must not confuse giving up on goals and dreams that we do have control over with those things that are just not going to be under our control. I think I've heard this somewhere before.......

Bless you, may God sustain you and G in your daily walk with him. You are so faithful and such a blessing to so many and God smiles.....