Expanders 6.5

Finding laughter and support just days prior to double mastectomy.

After my reconstruction, I had some complications including a hematoma , then a seroma, and then a huge swollen post durhical node (in my armpit area) that scared the s*** out of me.

Post-Mastectomy, day 1

After my mastectomy breast reconstruction
Post -op day 2- inpatient. Developed acute hematoma. Fast onset of painless swelling followed by purple discoloration. Think Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka. Surgeon on call wanted to “watch and wait,” but I said, “hell naw, book an OR STAT unless you can guarantee that I’m not going to lose the one thing that I have going for me, which is my original skin. If you can’t promise me that I won’t lose blood supply and have to be grafted on, you better get going with the surgery.”
Swollen post durhical node that scarred me
Day 4 post op bilateral mastectomy and hematoma evacuation. Sent home. Notice: without a drain on the hematoma side! WTF?

Post durhical node bruising
Day 6 post op. Hematoma and emergency surgery/evacuation aftermath.
Post Op, I looked 4-5 months pregnant. Fluids from the mastectomy and emergency hematoma evacuation went to my belly and legs. Nobody had warned me, so I felt like something was wrong.
Final fill of expanders. There is a large seroma in the left breast. A breast cancer rehab therapist was concerned about it. They sent me to plastics, who said “don’t worry about it.”
Swollen node near armpit after mastectomy
Swollen node
Swollen ankles (edema) after mastectomy surgery
Swollen ankles (edema) after mastectomy surgery.
Fighting back. Climbing out of it through yoga.
Over half way through radiation with tissue expanders.
19/30 radiation treatments
19/30 radiation treatments
Radiation related dermatitis, feels prickly and burning


Breast cancer radiation burn
19/30 treatments. My radiation burns became evident around week 3.
22/30 Radiation burns
Mastectomy boost treatments on the incision line/surgical site
Only one more radiation session on my chest wall after this. The last 5 “boost” radiation treatments are just on the incision line/surgical site.
27/30 rt burn
My skin and face say it all…This was the worst day with the radiation effects. Even though this is sad, this marks the beginning of a very quick turnaround. As quickly as it went downhill, it went uphill and got better and better very rapidly.
3.5 months post op. This was the 2nd time going to the ER for fever and to rule out infection of the incision line. I was sent home again.
A little over 7 months post op. Swelling started on the same side

All of these complications are so upsetting and you feel like the world is collapsing down on top of you. Well, I’m finding these are kind of standard issue post-surgical complications that are more common than not.¬† I’m one hundred percent behind images and photos that speak truth.