Out of the Diep…an observation of Diep Flap Reconstructive Breast Surgery

My 56 year old sister, Diann, had double mastectomy with Diep Flap Surgery on October 27, 2016.  It is a grueling surgery.  It is not my goal to discourage women from having this surgery.  Rather, it is my goal to instruct them to do their homework before they make the decision to have a Diep Flap done.  It involves far more than the description reads.

Diep Flap description is:  

DIEP flap is a type of breast reconstruction in which blood vessels called deep inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP), as well as the skin and fat connected to them, are removed from the lower abdomen and transferred to the chest to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy without the sacrifice of any of the abdominal muscles.

Because the DIEP flap procedure requires special surgical training as well as expertise in microsurgery, not all surgeons can offer DIEP and it’s not available at all hospitals

Through the past 5 years of writing my breast cancer blog, I’ve heard from countless women who have had Diep.  Some have done really well, some have had major complications, and others were in the middle.  Age plays a role in it as traditionally younger women bounce back more quickly, however, this is not always the case.

As a woman who has had a single Mastectomy with no reconstruction, I have certainly pondered these surgeries for myself.  It was always my intention to have a reconstructive surgery, but after serious heart issues with Chemo and Herceptin, I decided against it.

I accompanied my sister to her appointments with the Breast Surgeon and the Plastic Surgeon.  Dr. Jeruss, her breast surgeon at the University of Michigan warned her of the severity of the recovery of Diep Flap surgery.  She did not pull any punches, but told her although she would be a good candidate, to really think about if that is how she wished to proceed.

Diann then met with Dr. Mohmoh, a Plastic Surgeon who is well respected in the Diep Flap Surgery also at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Mohmoh spent a lot of time with us explaining what the surgery would entail, drawing pictures, explaining the recovery process, and the unexpected and rare things that can happen after surgery including infections, repeat surgeries, emergency surgeries, etc.

That being said, nothing really prepared Diann or our family for what the Diep meant. Diann had 9 hours of surgery with the breast surgeon and the plastic surgery team working simultaneously.  That is a short surgery as some can last 12 hours or longer.  The breast surgeon finished her work after about 3 hours, and the Plastic Surgery team continues.  From a family perspective, it is beyond stressful having your loved one in surgery for that long.

Diann was rushed back into emergency surgery just before Midnight which was six hours after the initial surgery was completed.  She had one of the complications Dr. Mohmoh warned her previously.    One of the blood vessels that was connected formed a clot within, and a second surgery was required to clear that area to save the flap so blood flow would continue to the transplanted area.

About 24 hours after the second surgery, that same flap began acting up.  The plastic surgery team was checking her flap every few hours for the entire day and night.  It was extremely stressful for Diann and family members because a third surgery was a very real possibility.  Thankfully, things turned around and that was not necessary.

Diann was released on the 7th day after surgery.  She was kept 2 days longer than most patients because of the complications she had.  The University of Michigan has a floor that handles all the DIEP patients.  It is not considered Intensive Care, but it is.  The nurses are assigned only 2 or 3 patients so a very close eye is kept on the patient.

Previous to her release, Dr. Mohmoh ordered visiting nurses to visit Diann 3 times per week and gave them specifics what to look for and how to care for her.  Having those visiting nurses was a great asset to have a set of trained eyes examine her surgery sites.

It is a long recovery compared to most surgeries.  If you are employed, you need to be off work 6 to 8 weeks, more in some instances.  And you cannot do much at all in those first 4 weeks and you will DEFINITELY need care and help.  There are A LOT of pain meds involved.  Mostly, Diann has sat in the recliner and slept in the recliner for the first 2 weeks.  During Week 3, she was able to sleep in her bed with the help of about 6 pillows.   It is a slow recovery period.  Diann was warned if she started doing too much, it would set her back dramatically.

It was four weeks before Diann was able to leave the house and that was me taking her for a ride in the car so she didn’t go totally crazy of being housebound.  Even that wore her out, and she was glad to be home when she returned.  Now at 5 weeks out, she is still in the recliner with daily walks and an occasional short outing.

If you are not a good patient, I would not recommend this surgery for you.  If you follow doctors orders and do what you are told, can sit in a recliner for long periods of time with occasional walks, you might be able to handle it!

As for the surgery sites, Diann is healing well.  She said it is good to look down and still feel like you have breasts, however, the pain is very intense.  She is slowly weaning herself off pain pills, but has endured a lot of pain.  It is unnerving to see her abdomen wound from hip to hip!!

Diann will be writing her take on Diep Flap and offering her advice on the next Blog Post.

 

Please check out my online shop at http://www.hellocourage.com  for chemo caps, scarves and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning to Live with Lymphedema

LymphedivablogWhen the title of this Blog Post entered your Inbox, let’s face it, your heart did not go pitter patter with excitement.  Please try to stick it out!!!  You will learn something and I will attempt to give you a few laughs along the way!   You and your Lymphatic System have something in common–   misunderstood and under appreciated. There are 500 to 700 lymph nodes in the body. Who would think if you have one or a few of those removed, in my case 14, it could cause so much trouble?

My Lymphedema was under control until I picked up those 3 plastic bags of groceries with my impacted arm and then my POOF of Lymphedema came back with a vengeance. Now you cannot yell at me because admit it, you have done it and later regretted it even if you have no chance of Lymphedema.  Who wants to make 3 trips from the trunk of the car if you can do it in only 1 trip. And, of course, I had about 50 pounds of items in those 3 sacks because I tell the checkout girl, “put all you can in one bag.” I HATE IT when they put a box of jello in one bag, a bunch of bananas in the next, and on and on until you have about 20 bags with nothing in them, and you get home and you wonder how you can make plastic monkeys for the kids out of all these bags you have sticking out under your sink.  Then the environmental guilt hits you, and it is a downward spiral from there.

Starting with that one mindless “carry the heavy groceries all at once” moment, my arm started swelling up, and then my hand, and then my fingers until it was larger than it had ever been. It really scared the you know what out of me. Suddenly, all I could remember was the only woman I knew who had a Mastectomy when I was a child. She had one huge arm and one smaller arm, and she always wore sleeveless tops. Suddenly, I felt great compassion for that woman.

Yolanda is an inspirational Stage 4 breast cancer survivor from my internet support group. She and I were discussing Lymphedema and our latest flare ups. Very reluctantly, Yolanda and I are realizing that we are dealing with a chronic condition that changes our lives forever.  It is just now dawning on us how much daily time and attention Lymphedema requires.

My Lymphedema first showed itself during Radiation treatment which is common. The lymphatic system is compromised because the onslaught of radiation overwhelms the system. An occurrence can happen  20 years or more after surgery!  Lymphedema may not be present and then one wrong move and PRESTO!

For those of us at risk for Lymphedema things that cause flare ups in addition to heavy lifting is anything that  requires repetitive motion like shoveling snow, sweeping with a broom,  gardening, exercising, mopping, raking, any other kind of shoveling like dirt or digging,  vacuuming, typing on the computer, extreme heat or extreme cold, and injuries to the arm of any kind.     This is why you must wear a compression garment when doing those things.  Many women find it necessary to wear a compression sleeve every day.

YOU CANNOT HAVE any needles – blood tests, shots, or blood pressure taken in your arm at risk.  This is imperative!  I also heard from one woman who got Lymphedema after a manicure!  Even insect bites can flare up Lymphedema!

When flying in an airplane it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY that you wear a compression sleeve or wrapping if taught to you by a Lymphedema Specialist. One of my radiation nurses was a 20 year breast cancer survivor.  After 20 years, she figured the risk of Lymphedema was over, so she took a short 1.5 hour flight without a compression sleeve. When she landed her arm was 3 times its size and she has had to deal with Lymphedema ever since.  Another gal I met at my Oncologist’s office had the very same experience 3 years after cancer treatment – one flight without compression and bam!

All of this sounds rather ridiculous, doesn’t it?  I mean, come on, sweeping your front porch and suddenly your arm swells up for the rest of your life?  This all seemed outrageous to me too, even though I have been to two classes outlining the potential horrors.  I had to test it all out to see if  the crazy person who made up these rules was right! I hate stupid rules!   Well, guess what?  Whoever “they” is, was right.  I had to learn the hard way that it is necessary to follow the Lymphedema Rules.  UGH!

And if your closest and dedicated friends and family still ask, “How are you feeling?” they sure don’t want to hear about Lymphedema.  During your fight for life during cancer they sent you the cards, baked you the muffins, visited you,  took you to Chemo, bought you the gifts and listened to your complaints. My friend, Anita, even attended a Lymphedema Class with me!  Talk about above and beyond!  But, let’s face it, hearing about Lymphedema is about as exciting to them as I used to get when my grandfather would start talking about GOUT, and before I had a chance to yell, “No, Papa, don’t do it!” he was taking his sock off and showing me his big, swollen red toe!

This breast pillow/seat belt cover for the car has helped me so much.  I have it for sale in my online store for $19.90 with free shipping.  The compression of the seat belt caused flare ups in my Lymphedema – this helps!  Click on image!

 

BreastBuddy1

I am so fortunate to such a great Lymphedema Specialist, Mary Berg, with the Mercy Health System in Toledo, Ohio.   She has helped me so much with lymphatic massage, education, and the correct compression techniques for my hand, arm and trunk.  And oh yes, you can have Lymphedema on your body called Truncal Lymphedema which requires compression garments on your chest area.  More fun!  Mary knows who I am because she has had plenty of other patients just like me…non-compliant.  We don’t follow the rules and then come screaming and crying to Mary for HELP!!

If I would have had on my compression sleeve, I could have lifted those bags of groceries probably without incident. But I did not have it on because I was not expecting anything out of the ordinary (at least that is what I told Mary).  The sleeve pictured at the top is made by Lymphedivas.  Just so you know, the part that covers the hand is called a gauntlet.  They are certainly a lot cuter than plain and boring beige.  Lymphedema garments now take up a whole area of my closet.   I was recently fitted for a Juxtafit sleeve which velcros on rather quickly.  This is great to put on if you are going out to garden, going to exercise, or do anything that you need protection in a hurry.  The picture below is the Juxtafit and has to be measured by a professional.  I will admit, it is handy (no Lymphedema pun intended).  It isn’t my favorite thing to wear, I must admit.  It certainly is not every women’s idea of high fashion.  But it works!

juxtafit

Oh, one last very serious thing, Cellulitis — Cellulitis is a skin infection which can occur very easily with Lymphedema if you have an injury to your hand or arm. If untreated, Cellulitis can be deadly.  Even a small burn or cut can put you at risk. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, it is necessary to wear gloves while doing dishes and housework, yard work, or any heavy duty work that puts your hand/arm in danger. Insect bites can cause cellulitis so in warm months, it is important to wear insect repellant and sunscreen as even sunburn could cause cellulitis. I have to carry with me anti-bacteria gel and antibiotic lotion to apply immediately even if I get a paper cut or hangnail!  And at the first sign of any infection, I have orders to get to the hospital Emergency Room immediately.  And if you are traveling, in some cases it is  wise to have an antibiotic with you.    I don’t want to die of Cellulitis because I got a cut on my finger while peeling potatoes after I fought my way through to become a Breast Cancer Survivor.

If you are a Breast Cancer Patient or Survivor and have had even ONE LYMPH NODE REMOVED, get to a Lymphedema Class and find a Lymphedema Specialist immediately.   (update:  I have now heard from two women who have Lymphedema with no nodes removed!)   If your local hospital does not offer one, find a major breast cancer center which does.  It is worth the drive to find out the dangers and how Lymphedema can be avoided and treated.  It is absolutely IMPERATIVE that you learn about this chronic condition – how to prevent it, how to control it, and what to do if you already suffer from it.

The Joys and Sorrows of Having a Prosthesis after Mastectomy

After I got out of my car and made the walk from the car, through the garage, and up to the door of my house, I looked down and discovered I only had one breast! My large prosthesis which matches my remaining breast was gone!  I had a Mastectomy due to Breast Cancer just over a year ago.  Utter panic set in. What the heck happened to it? I retraced my steps from car to house, and it was nowhere to be found.

Immediately, I began to review my day thus far.   Vividly, I remembered inserting the prosthesis into my bra while getting dressed.  In the late morning I had a medical appointment at my local hospital which was a “strip to the waist and put on this hospital gown” kind of appointment.   Oh no, I then remembered while getting redressed that I just stuck the prosthesis into the bra without slipping it back into the prosthesis pocket.  I did so because I was worried the door of the examining room would be opened at any given moment onto a busy hospital corridor and there I would be, half naked, inserting boob into bra.

While driving home from the hospital, I recalled that I needed an oil change and my tires were low.  Since it is the middle of winter and snowing pretty heavily,  I stopped at one of those pay double but stay-in-your-car oil change places. The attractive young male manager motioned me to drive my car on top of two narrow metal strips so your car hangs over a large pit so the oil change guy can stand underneath and change your oil.  Whew, driving onto those narrow tire strips always makes me a little nervous.   After I accomplished that, I could not find the hood release since I drive a relatively new car, and I don’t pay attention to those kind of things.  I open the car door and am half hanging out of the car reaching down, grasping and grappling any lever that is under the dashboard while trying to find the one that magically opens the hood.  Mr. Hunka Lube Job sees my struggles since I am practically standing on my head and asks if I need help.   He reaches into the dark abyss and PRESTO, the first knob he pulled did the trick with his charming, I should have been a movie star, smile.

Now the panic really begins to mount. OHMYGOSH, my fake boob must have fallen out at the oil change place while I was hanging out and doing acrobatics over the pit! Oh no, horrors, how do I possibly call the place and ask Mr. Hunka Lube Job if a big silicone boob was found in the bottom of the oil change pit? Then all kinds of things start running through my head like the fact that fake boob cost $400.00 and that’s too much money to waste and not call.  And what if they did have it? How do I walk into that place and retrieve my errant boob in front of the all-male employee review? It was all too awful to face. Then I started to laugh thinking of that prospect until tears were streaming down my face.

Just then another light bulb went off in my head. Before I drove into my gargage, I noticed papers were strewn over my yard because of the windstorm the previous day which was also garbage pick-up day.   I had gotten out of the car and chased the flying paper all over the front and back of my house as snowflakes began to fall heavier.

I flew out of the garage and began charging all over the half snow-covered lawn looking for Silicone Boob. I was running like a crazy woman desperate to find my boob before my neighbor, Jerry, came home from work. He would offer to help me find whatever I was looking for because he is a nice guy. I had to hurry, looking down at my watch.

On the second run around my yard, I spotted Silicone Boob out near the mailbox which faces the street.  There it was lying face down in the grass peaking out under the newly-fallen snow. My delight was deep and real. I tenderly picked it up like it was a child who had been lost and now found. I began talking to IT and promised I would never again just shove it in my bra without securing it properly and treating it with the respect it deserves.

How was your morning?         Please click on the picture below for more info on this great pillow / seat belt cover!  Works wonders!

BreastBuddy1

Funny Things that Happen after a Mastectomy

These are the funniest things that have happened to me since my Mastectomy:

1)  First day of Radiation Therapy and Pat, a middle-age female Radiation Technician, took me back to the radiation room.  She told me to undress from the waist up which I did.  I put on a hospital gown, and in walks this handsome 40 something male.  Pat says, “Oh this is Brad.  He will be your other Rad Tech.”   Brad without missing a beat says, “Oops, you dropped something” and he points to the floor.  There was my foam boob lying on the middle of the radiation room floor.   While I was turning 50 shades of red, Brad says, “We see all kinds of things in the Radiation Room.”

On my last day of Radiation, after getting to know Pat and Brad quite well after 7 weeks of daily visits, Brad tells me he hopes I can control my foam boob in the future!

2)  I had spent the afternoon watching my niece’s then 9 month old darling baby girl, Kayla.  That night, I sat down to watch a little television.  As I did so, I felt something poking me under my prosthesis.    I reached down and there was Kayla’s pacifier which had lodged itself behind the prosthesis!  I had spent an hour earlier in the day looking for that thing!

3)  During Radiation, I could not wear a mastectomy bra because of the radiation burns.  I was walking into a rather nice restaurant to meet some friends.  All at once I felt something come out of the top of my blouse. My foam boob came popping out and was in full view of anyone who was watching!  From then on I used safety pins.

4)  I was at our family cottage sitting outside on lawn chairs with my sister and niece.  It was 100 degrees in Ohio on the 4th of July, so being in safe company, I reached down and pulled out my foam boob trying to cool off a bit. We were all talking and laughing.  Just then, my neighbor walked up, my nephews joined the group, and before I knew it, a crowd of people joined us.  I looked down and suddenly realized my foam boob was still lying on my lap in full view of everyone.  No one said a word, as I tried to nonchalantly push it back under my tank top!

Please check out this amazing pillow/seatbelt cover – I still use mine – so helpful if you had or are having any kind of breast surgery.  Click on image!

BreastBuddy1

 

“Preparing for Mastectomy”, After Mastectomy and Lymph Node Dissection

Preparing for Mastectomy is stressful, you are grieving, and afraid.  But with a little preparation, it is much easier to endure than you would ever think possible.   I am writing this one week post mastectomy.  My surgery consisted of Modified Radical Mastectomy of the left breast and lymph node dissection of 14 lymph nodes.  One week post surgery I am feeling far better physically and emotionally than I ever dreamed I would!  UPDATE:  I am now two years out from surgery and feeling really good after making it through a year of treatments.

I’ve had alot of time to ponder all of this.  The reason it has been far easier is the preparation I did before surgery.  I suppose it depends on the person as well.  Quiz time:  are you a person who just jumps into the pool without even feeling the water temperature or do you put your toe in first and gradually, slowly and methodically get used to the water? It takes me about 15 minutes to finally get under in a pool or lake.

Moving toward Mastectomy has been like slowly getting into a frigid lake.  And as a result of my planning and preparation, my physical recovery has been much faster because I was emotionally prepared and the frigid lake doesn’t feel quite so cold.  My surgeon’s office offered me a surgery date 24 days sooner than the actual surgery date.  When they called me about the hurried date, I immediately started to cry, my intution yelled “NO” and I had the courage to say, “I am not ready yet.”  The nurse scheduler wisely said, “Then wait.  We treat your whole person, not just the tumor.”  So I then took the later date and am so grateful I did.  I am not recommending you put off surgery indefinitely.  But if you have a choice, give yourself some time to grieve prior to mastectomy if your surgeon will allow it.  I did alot of grieving and crying before surgery over the loss of my breast.  I am grateful I had that time to grieve.  It was a great gift to myself.

If you are one of the 78,000 women per year in the United States who needs a Mastectomy, it seems so overwhelming, you can’t imagine what to do first.  I am going to give you some tips that will definitely help you.

1)   Recuperation Clothing – Clothing is important to us women!  Be prepared to have the right kind of clothing when you leave the hospital for recuperation purposes.  My wisest purchase was a button up the front cotton tunic large and very long.  It also had a pleated front to cover bandages and compression bands.  My lopsided breasts were not so apparent in this blouse.

2)  Mastectomy Camisole – this has been so helpful as itacts as a bra if you have a remaining breast, and comes with soft breast forms for either a single or bilateral mastectomy.  The breast forms are so soft, they can be worn home from the hospital.  Being able to insert your new “breast”, is a real comfort!  Looking good is feeling good.

I am now selling this drain holder in my store – these are essential to have a place to put your drains – click on photo for details!

Drain Holder - holds up to 4 drains

Drain Holder – holds up to 4 drains

 

3) Vest – I purchased a fleece vest in a size larger than I wear from K Mart for $11.99!  This inexpensive purchase has been extremely useful as I placed it over my blouse or pajamas.  It has inside and outside pockets to carry cell phones and other small items, and if you get visitors, it is a great shield.  The vest makes you feel protected and less vulnerable.  This vest has proven to be much better than a cumbersome robe!

4) Mastectomy Pictures –  Look at pictures on the internet of mastectomies and reconstructive surgery to help mentally prepare.  I could not do this alone.  My sister and niece had to help me with this.  Ask for help from a trusted friend or family member.

5)  Recuperation and Healing Space – Prepare your recupertion space.  For me, it has been a Recliner–waking, sleeping, and eating.  It has been so much easier to sleep in the Recliner because of pain.  Have what you need by your space before you leave for the hospital.  Make it a pretty space, a healing space, a loving place with plenty of small tables around and places to grab things easily.  If you share your home with family members, find a corner of your home just for your healing space.

6) Pillows for Car Travel  –   I found the perfect pillow to protect your new incisions after a Mastectomy.  I still use mine to protect my Lymphedema.  THEY ARE WONDERFUL.  I now sell them in my Hello Courage Shop because I believe in them so much.  They were designed by a Breast Cancer Survivor and tested by many breast cancer patients.

Click on pillow for details:

BreastBuddy1

7)Exercises –  You will most likely be assigned post-surgery exercises to regain your mobility in your arm and shoulder areas.  I asked a trusted friend who also is faithful to exercise, to assist me.  She has been invaluable.    There was so much information, I couldn’t handle one more thing.  My friend came before surgery to review the exercises with me, then made an appointment with me the day after I got home from the hospital.  This gave me a purpose to feel better and an incentive to do the exercises.   She visited several more times until I got the routine on my own.  It was like having a Physical Therapist!

8) Incision – A few hours after surgery, my surgeon came in to check the incisions.  She asked me if I wanted to look.  I did.  I would encourage you to do so.  It helps looking with your surgeon. Somehow I was able to separate from my missing breast and look at it as an incision I would have to care for and clean.

9) Mirrors –  Before surgery, cover the bottom portion of your mirrors at home.  I knew I would not be ready to look at a full frontal view of myself.  Looking down is one thing.  Looking in a mirror takes alot more courage.  I taped fabric over all of my mirrors so I can only see my face.  This has been an enormous help!!  It gives you control.  On my largest mirror, I left a space open off to the side so I could peak when I was ready.

I finally looked in the mirror briefly on Day 7 after surgery.  It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined.  God’s grace meets preparation.  My soul feels the same.  I’m still me.  In fact, I think I am more beautiful now.  Before, like most American women, I was always comparing my faults and how  my body didn’t match up to the women in magazines and on television.  Now that definition of beauty has been stripped from me.    But there is a freedom in that difference.

10) Pain Medicine – I asked my surgeon’s office if they would give me my prescriptions a couple of days before surgery, which they did.  This was so helpful as the pain meds were ready for me upon my arrival at home.  I didn’t have to send someone to the pharmacy and wait for them to arrive.  And speaking of pain medicine, take it!  My surgeon explained to me if your body uses the energy to fight pain, it takes longer to heal.  Once this was explained to me, it made sense and took away my fear of pain medicines .  Also, be sure to purchase a stool softener like Collace or Dulcolax when you purchase the pain meds to avoid constipation.  They really work!  Also, have high fiber foods at home ready for you like oatmeal and granola.

These 10 things have made my recuperation and healing so much easier!  It was alot of work before surgery, but it kept my mind busy.  Also, if you are having financial challenges as Breast Cancer is expensive, when one of your friends or family ask, “what can I do for you?”, tell them you need travel pillows, a cotton blouse, or a fleece vest.   Your friends and family want to help.  Why not ask them to purchase something you need that will assist you in your recovery?

Please feel free to contact me with any other questions!  I will be happy to answer any questions and provide a listening ear.

Preparing for Mastectomy

If you are reading this for yourself or a family or friend, I have learned alot in a very short time.  My mastectomy is 3 1/2 weeks away.  Preparing emotionally is the biggest hurdle.  As one Stage IV breast cancer survivor who had a lumpectomy said, “Losing a breast must take alot of mourning.”  And it does.But, it is amazing how much more detached you can become when you realize that loss will save your life.  You still cry and mourn, but you begin to start looking toward healing.

Here are some very practical matters about mastectomy.  I sobbed as I looked through my closet.   Never did I think I wore provocative or revealing clothing.  But only about 4 of my tops would work post-mastectomy.  Most everything else is too low cut.  So I began by taking out everything that would not work.  There wasn’t much left.  So trying to focus on the positive, I divided my closet for the new.   Then I went online and bought about 8 tops that were on sale, but that would work with the rest of my wardrobe.  That helps tremendously as one by one they arrive.  The other thing is you need loose-fitting button front cotton blouses to wear for the first several weeks after surgery.  I did not have anything like that and didn’t want to spend alot of money on something that would have a short closet life for me.  So I went to Goodwill.  As I walked into Goodwill, the clerk was wheeling out a rack of clothing.  I looked through it.  On it were 5 button up the front cotton blouses of a great name brand that didn’t look worn in a size larger than I wear.   Tears welled up from my soul as I thought of the woman who finally cleaned out her closet and dropped it off at the Goodwill.  Little did she know how much it would cheer a woman awaiting a mastectomy.

Please see my other Mastectomy posts to help prepare before, during and after surgery.  Also, I started a new online store.  Currently, I have a breast pillow/seat belt cover that is AMAZING!  I still use it!   Click on image!

BreastBuddy1