Preventive Mastectomy: Exchange Surgery Weeks 4-6

Posted September 21, 2016 by Prairie Wife - 6 comments

Yeah…I know that’s a lot of weeks together, but I felt like I needed to combine these last three weeks of my exchange surgery.

There hasn’t been much going on other than just sitting and waiting for the 6-week mark.

If you recall, I had a bit of a set back in week 3, and I was simply counting down the days to week 4 when the weight restrictions would finally be done. A few days before this momentous day, I put in a call to my Plastic Surgeon to clarify a few of their instructions. I knew I could begin to be more active, use my arms, and even lift LittleMissH (at last) but wasn’t sure if I could push a stroller…so I called.

Through the course of the conversation, it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to have the green flag I had thought. I was cleared to lift things, but it was still really important for me not to use my pec muscles. They really wanted me to make sure that my implants (textured rounds) were staying in the right position and that my body was growing around them in the correct way.

Prepare for a bit of wallowing…

Pretty much everything I do uses my pec muscles…from shutting and opening car doors to scrubbing the table and carrying laundry baskets. Even though I could pick up LittleMissH I couldn’t really hold her for any amount of useful time. She’s a 27 pound 18 month old…my pec muscles are most definitely used when I hock her around on my hip. After I hung up the phone, I took a deep breath and tried not to cry.

During my recovery after the first surgery, what I could do was based more on how much pain I could take…by 4 weeks I was up and going like always.

exchange surgery week 6

I was pretty much pain free with this exchange surgery, it’s been all about following doctor’s orders, so I don’t screw anything up and end up having to redo all of it. I’ve been SOOOOOOO good, and I’m happy with how everything looks. I’m terrified of doing something wrong and ruining all the hard work and healing of the past months. And in case you’re wondering…they are a solid (literally, these puppies are stitched in tight lol) 34 C (very full C). We all know I wanted to be a B but I’m OK with this. They are larger than I am used to, and I am going to have to learn to dress them correctly, but they don’t look crazy big on my frame. People won’t be looking at me and thinking, “boob job.”

I’ve been sitting back in my cave bedroom blogging and watching TV, laying low and letting The Cowboy and Mary Poppins hold down the homestead.

At week 4 I was done, ready to get back to my life, only to find out…nope, two more weeks….

I wallowed for 24 hours (even had a vanilla shake and a whopper) and then took a deep breath and charged forward.

These last weeks have been full of me just killing time until this Friday when I will officially be cleared to do yoga, run, pick up LittleMissH, mop and vacuum.

I’ve learned a lot about myself these last few weeks.

I based a lot of my self-worth on what I did for my family. After all, it’s my job, and like most people, doing well at my job makes me feel good about myself. Being unable to care for my family, or even my home, has made me feel utterly useless…, and it’s been hard. Normally when I feel crappy about myself I hit the road for a run or do some yoga…which I am unable to do. I’ve had to learn that my value as a person does not solely come from what I can do but, from who I am.


As the last two weeks have passed, I’ve relied on the Cowkids more than I did last surgery. They’ve been lending a hand with LittleMissH and helping me with chores. I can put laundry away but, they have to switch loads and carry the baskets for me. I can dust but I can’t push down with enough pressure to scrub the table. I can pick toys up, but I can’t vacuum or push a mop. I can drive but carrying heavy groceries is a no.

Mary Poppins has been vital to our survival but even she needs a break! The Cowboy has washed more loads of laundry in the last few weeks than in the last decade combined. He learned how to empty the vacuum we received from my mother as a wedding gift, and resorted to grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner…all these things have caused him to appreciate my years of work even more than he already did.

I can’t decide what I’m looking forward to more…holding LittleMissH as much as she wants, working out, or finally being able to go more than 10 minutes without a bra!

These last few weeks of my exchange surgery have been rough mentally, but I can see how I’ve grown…and I can see how my family has pulled together.

One more surgery to go (hopefully). Who knows how much I will continue to learn about myself as this process continues?

Check out my fat grafting surgery by clicking this link.

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6 thoughts on "Preventive Mastectomy: Exchange Surgery Weeks 4-6"

  1. kendra says:

    Some super smart insights there lady. You amaze! And it’s good to let the family pitch in and share responsibilities – that is what family is all about. The gift of them knowing how much you do and getting to thank you and appreciate you for it is huge – it’s a gift for them as much as for you. Since I have lost my Mom and reflect back on so many things over the years I wish so much that I could have properly let her know how much she did and how much she was appreciated.
    This time is full of opportunities for you all! And you can go back to being the superhero mom in no time.

    xx K

  2. Bennie says:

    Sounds like you’ve done a lot of thinking and self discovery while resting up. Similar but different, while waiting for my company’s merger to go through with the FCC my workload was very light and boring for two and a half years. Now that I’m in a new and busy position I’m feeling more invigorated, useful and productive. You’ll get back to yourself soon and one day in the distant future you’ll wish to just veg in your bed for a day or two with nothing to do.

    Feel better, here’s to your Friday good report from the doctor. 😉

  3. Becca says:

    I just found your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated reading about your journey with your preventative mastectomy and exchange. I have not read whether you have a mutation (I assume so) or which one, but THANK YOU for all of this!! I, like you, practice yoga and run. My youngest child is just a year and a half old. And I am a stay at home mom that, I have just discovered, puts a lot of my self worth in the fact that I am good at being a mom and taking care of our home. I am at the beginning of my preventative mastectomy journey and just had my nipple-sparing preventative mastectomy on October 6th, with tissue expander placement. Everything you wrote rings true for me so far; the same aches and pains (sleeping on my back is the worst and most annoying thing right now), same wants and wishes (to be a mom and do chores and be active!) Your photos have also been very helpful. I am keeping my own blog athat… one place we differ; I did not blog beforehand. Hope this comment finds you enjoying your new squishies!! 🙂

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Hi Becca and welcome! I’ll totally be stopping by to check out your blog. It means so much to me that my posts have helped you through your journey. Stay strong and keep in touch. xoxox

  4. Lorisa says:

    So glad I found your blog! I am 38, mom of 3 and have been going through multiple tests and biopsies for 18 months. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 45. I have decided to start the process of talking with surgeons about prophylactic surgery. I have 100% decided to proceed, but still on the fence about reconstruction. Thanks for all the insight and questions to ask! My plastic surgeon appointment is in 2 weeks.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I am SO happy that you found this blog Lorisa and that it was helpful, I’m here if you have any questions at all! #StrongEnough

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