• Danielle Bitton

Reconstruction Surgery

I couldn't believe that I was at the final stage of this journey, I was supposed to have my reconstruction surgery on the 25 November at Vincent Pallotti Hospital but luckily it was moved forward to the 18 November at 11.30! What a bonus as I didn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn. I was finally getting these rocks (expanders) out of my chest and my new implants.


I posted this on Instagram the day before my surgery


I had to have a Covid test the day before which came back inconclusive so that morning I had to have another one. I had to be cleared for surgery, but they still let me hang out in the ward while I waited for my results which was a little counterproductive don't you think? What happened if my results came back positive for Covid, I could have infected the ward.

Anyways TIA (This is Africa), I waited until 2 pm to get my results which thank God were negative as I was determined to have the surgery that day.

I asked the nurses " Have you ever seen someone more excited for surgery than me" and she said, "No, I actually haven't".


I had the same anaesthetist as last time and as soon as my hand started stinging I had that lovely euphoric buzz you get from an anaesthetic and I was out.

My surgery started at 14:30 and I remember waking up shivering to the point of my teeth chattering which usually happens to me after being under. They covered me with heated blankets and I woke up in the ward at 8 pm.


I was extremely sore, not so much on my breasts but on my back where they harvested some fat by doing liposuction. On the upside, no more back fat, yay! It really hurt around my love handles where they took the most. I couldn't believe they took a litre of fat. I took a peek at my breasts and the looked pretty good a lot rounder and fuller. The right breast, the one where the cancer was is not as full and round as the other one, it still has a bit of an indentation as the skin is so paper-thin from radiation that they had to be very delicate. I don't know why I expected to wake up to the finished product especially since my surgeon told me I would need quite a few fat grafting procedures before I saw the final result, at least 4 or 5. They have to give the breast time for the tissue to regenerate so I will probably have to go for fat grafting surgery every 3 months. He also told me to start eating so I have more fat for them to take, how wonderful! I have been dieting for most of my life. All I can say is that I'll have a lot of post lipo pain this year. On the upside, I'll come out looking like quite a sculpted babe and lose that fat in those hard places, that no matter how much I exercised it just won't go away.

I have to tell you that, Vincent Palotti was the worst! Understaffed and so disorganised, it took forever for a nurse to show up after I rang the bell. I was in agony and needed pain meds. For a private hospital, I was seriously disappointed and if I had it my way I would rather go to Christian Barnard Hospital but my plastic surgeon operates from there so I really don't have any choice in the matter.


I started writing my blog post on my time in NYC and it was quite emotional going down memory lane. I looked at photos of my beautiful breasts and long hair and for the first time it got to me, I mourned a little and felt a bit sad and shed a few tears, which is normal I guess as I have been so strong up until now. I reminded myself that this was a small price to pay for my life and please God at the end of this my surgeon will have created a masterpiece, Rome wasn't built in a day.


At my post-op appointment on Tues went well, My Dr said everything was looking good and reassured me not to worry that after the few procedures my breast will look as good as the left side is looking, round and full and it could take another year to see the final product with the nipples. They have to give the breasts time to heal, for the swelling to go down and sit in the final place before they make me a new nipple for the correct placement.


I have been home for a week now. The pain has been intense after my surgery, not so much on my breasts but more so on the areas where they did Lipo. Ladies Lipo hurts like a bitch FYI! What's on the menu for it? Well, I have been taking Targinact 10 mg/5 mg (but it makes me a bit out of it, rather high) Still Pains and Oxynorm. It's a lot of Oxycodone so I have stopped those and started taking Gabapentin now instead as the pain from lipo is subsiding and now that the swelling has gone down in my breasts I am starting to feel more pain there, I want to see if it as effective, being on so much Oxy can't be good for me. Update on the Gabapentin, it hasn't effective with this kinda pain.

The right breast that looked a little bruised is now looking pinkish and I can see all the tiny blood vessels through the paper-thin skin which is a great sign it means the tissue is regenerating.


I have been flat on my back for a week in bed. The most comfortable position is lying down with my head slightly elevated and a pillow under my knees to relieve the pressure on my lower back where the pain is. It has been a struggle getting in and out of bed because of the pain or just walking hurts. I had booked a gig for this Saturday night, I I was rather ambitious thinking I would be fit for a gig after such a major surgery. I had to cancel it but the client was really understanding, thank God. I have never cancelled a gig before but under the circumstances, it had to be done. I had my surgery last Wednesday, so I hope that tomorrow I start to feel a little less in pain. They say the recovery period is about 2 weeks.


What else can I tell you? My hair is growing nicely but it's at a bit of an awkward length at the moment so I have to put some mousse or conditioner on it to style it and keep it down. I am thankful though that it's growing. I started using 5 % Minoxidil as it wasn't growing as rapidly on the front, the sides and the crown of my head and the Minoxidil is a miracle thing better than all the other lotions and potions, I started to see results within a few days of using it and it is now filling in nicely.


I also went a little wig crazy, Ally the photographer who shot my "warrior photo" had bought a very long "wine red" wig for Halloween and gave it to me. I wore it to my gig and absolutely loved it. It's a Cosplay wig from my new favourite online shop

http://glamorhair.co.za/ serious deals!

I bought another pink and purple unicorn one but the bangs were getting in my eyes so I cut a fringe on it. I also bought a long pastel mint one, and another stunning L part (I just discovered that is the term for a side path) wig with dark roots and a dark brown-reddish colour, it's layered, long and it feels so soft like real hair! The brand is called "Isis, Red Carpet Collection" the best part was it was marked down to R350! I have 6 wigs now, and I'll probably buy more, God knows where I am wearing them to during this pandemic but I gotta have a bit of fun.

My Wig Collection

Nothing wrong with a bit of colour!

Its always a gamble buying wigs online, but thankfully it wouldn't have been too much of a train smash even if I didn't like this one as it was so cheap. When buying wigs online it's always good to look at the reviews, on Amazon some reviews even include a photo of the wig on the buyer and you can see if it looks like good quality, otherwise you can find reviews on different wigs or wig companies on Youtube. I would suggest checking before you buy online. There are a lot of scam wig stores out there too.


I have another DJ gig next Wednesday but until then I am in recovery mode chilling hard and watching some good series.


My latest recommendations, "False Flag" on Showmax, "The Queens Gambit" on Netflix, "The Undoing" with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant Stream on https://moviesjoy.to/ or it's coming to Showmax and if you feel like another "Emily in Paris" kind of "light" show try "Katy Keene" (streaming). I just started binge-watching "The Harry Quebert Affair" on Showmax, you know a show is good when it's gripping from the start.

Anyways that's all I have for now but I hope you are keeping well and staying safe.

Sending you all Lots of Love, Light, and Good Vibes

<3

Dani

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