61. Getting ready for the rebuild

I am going to be rebuilt in the Spring of 2019 – provisional dates are 20th or 27th of March.  The rebuild will involve taking skin and fat from my lower abdomen, removing the cannonball and inserting tummy into boob area.  I have requested the Elle McPherson look (it is not one they are familiar with).

To get ready for the rebuild I had to have a CT/Angiogram scan where dye is injected into your blood vessels and they are assessed to see if they are suitable for plumbing in.  A couple of weeks after the scan I received a letter inviting me to attend a consultation with Mr X.  As usual I did my research and found an article about CT/Angiograms for DIEP flap reconstruction so had a list of questions.


I had noticed that the arteries looked remarkably like river drainage patterns

River drainage patterns

I hoped mine were dentritic and not deranged.  I took my article and diagrams to the consultation, asked which mine were like and Mr X drew a diagram for me.  All I needed to know was that I had 2 promising looking blood vessels near my tummy button.  We discussed dates and whilst he favoured before Christmas I explained that if we could wait until Easter then my exam classes would be on the downhill slope for public exams.

Almost immediately I was invited for a pre op assessment, I phoned the breast care nurses to see if this was a mistake but not so as plastics like to book in early.  So another trip to Derriford.  As a frequent flyer I thought an hour would be enough to drive up from school and park, but no as when I arrived the roads were gridlocked and the impossible car park was full.  After driving for 30 minutes or so I eventually found a space in the pay and display car park on what looks like a bomb site.  I had to empty my bag to find some change, quickly got a ticket and ran to Erme Ward…. past the Fag Ash Lil’s in their PJs, through the concourse, down the stairs to floor 4 and check in – breathing hard.  I was on time…. just!

I was asked to fill in a long questionnaire which I did, handed it in and was called through by a jolly Health Care Assistant who took my blood pressure… it was slightly raised as I’d run from the car park to the ward, took my pulse and then I was asked to step on the scales.  BMI:  24.1 yipee!  The HCA told me about a previous patient who had a BMI of 55 and how the operating tables had to be extended to accommodate them.  Next it was to have bloods taken, then a very kind nurse went through my medical history and presented me with a bag which contained Hibicrub and Bactriban and instructions to wash with it 3 days before the surgery.  Final stop was to have an ECG – to check my heart trace, electrodes were attached to my chest, ankles, wrists and one over the cannonball.  Much to my surprise I wasn’t heartless… I would be able to share this news with my students when I got back to school, as I fairly sure they think I don’t own a heart!

My parking time had run out and I had to sprint back to the car – then drive to school – I was running late and phoned in, I think my blood pressure was up again by the time I got in.

The next task:  get blood pressure down, get students to make progress, get super fit and strong for the surgery…book into barre, spin and Pilates.



Author: fionaosmaston

I live in Plymouth, Devon with my husband Nick and near my parents Sandy and Sheena. Our three children, Marcus, Phoebe and Miles are grown up. I am a geographer and love teaching Geography. My current role is as an Assistant Vice Principal in an inner city comprehensive school where I lead on coaching and initial teacher training. In August 2017 I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma and following a skin sparing mastectomy and endrocrine/hormone treatment I am now awaiting a final reconstruction. These views are my own and writing this story has helped me come to terms with where I am in this interlude of life which has been dominated by breast cancer.

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