November, 2011

  1. Touring for Surgery

    November 5, 2011 by Julie Moon

    I spoke with someone from the New Orleans clinic today and I really am undecided about which is a better choice for me.  What I want to do is to visit both and do a consultation with each one before I need to make a decision.  I am hoping we can come up with the funds to be able to fly to New Orleans and to visit Charleston.  I think I will feel more peaceful about deciding once I do this.   I am also trying to find out if there are any differences in cost.

  2. Another that speaks loudly

    November 5, 2011 by Julie Moon

    This also really spoke to me this afternoon when I saw it on etsy.

  3. My mama taught me

    November 5, 2011 by Julie Moon

    If my mama has taught me anything in life…she has taught me this:

    etsy art

  4. Research Accomplished

    November 4, 2011 by Julie Moon

    I spent all day at home today…most of it in my pajamas while I researched things online and read and spoke with other reconstruction patients via email, message boards and on the phone.  I am so grateful for the technology I have available to me so that I can make even more informed decisions quickly.

    Today I started the day not really knowing exactly what procedure I would like to have done and not having any idea who I would like to do the procedure.  Now at 5:00 pm I feel very confident about both.  I spoke this afternoon with Dr. Craigie’s PA from Charleston.  We discussed all the different procedures and I really feel like the procedure that is right for me is the GAP flap procedure.  Here is what they write about this procedure.

    GAP Flap

    A Technique for Women With Flat Tummies Or Previous Abdominal Surgery

    Women who are thin or who have minimal tummy tissue can also benefit from this procedure. In the GAP Flap, tissue is taken from the buttock area. The skin, fat and tiny blood vessels are removed through an incision that can be hidden under the panty line. Depending on a woman’s shape and where she has extra tissue, the area above the buttock to include the love handle or hip area can be used with this technique. If someone’s extra tissue is in the lower buttock or saddle bag this area can be considered as well.

    The microsurgery techniques used by CNBR surgeons spare the gluteal muscle, and forms the tissue into a new breast mound. The added benefit: patients also receive a buttocks/thigh lift!

    Although the GAP flap is the least commonly used of all flaps due to its technical difficulty, our two expert surgeons are within the tiny percentage of microsurgeons in the United States who routinely reconstruct both breasts at the same time with GAP flaps. While technically demanding, GAP flaps often produce a more youthful appearing breast than the DIEP.

    I think this is the right procedure for me.  I am happy about what I have learned about it.  There are only three places that do this procedure.  Charleston and New Orleans are the ones I have been researching.  The other is in New York.   I like the idea of traveling to Charleston because it is only about 4.5 hours away.  I can get there inexpensively.  I can have more than one person travel with me if needed.  I think it will be easier on my body post surgery to drive home as opposed to flying from New Orleans.

    I am amazed at the advancements in microsurgery and what one can accomplish.

    I emailed with the surgeon as well today.  How’s that for service?  I think this is where my heart is leading me.

  5. New Orleans, Charleston?

    November 3, 2011 by Julie Moon

    Today is a day dedicated to staying in my pajamas and researching.  I need to figure out what kind of reconstruction I want.  I am leaning towards really wanting to reconstruct my breasts with tissue from my own body…not implants.  I really like the idea of whatever is in my body being my own…less chance for my body to reject it.  I like the idea of having one surgery and being done…not having to replace implants long term.  I like the idea that if I gain weight or lose weight my breasts will gain or lose with me.  I like the idea of losing a bit of fat from another part of my body in the process of gaining new breasts.   I am seriously considering traveling out of town for this reconstruction…there are two centers I am researching…one in New Orleans and another in Charleston, SC.  It looks like they both cover my insurance so I would just have the extra travel expenses.

    I’d be just like a real life Hollywood star.  Travel out of town and have some major plastic surgery and return home a new woman. ha!

    Here are the links to two of the places I’m considering.  They do so many more DIEP and GAP procedures than anyone in Atlanta.  There’s lots of great reading about what it is I’m planning on doing on their websites.

    New Orleans






  6. Squeeze Me

    November 2, 2011 by Julie Moon

    Yesterday was my first of many doctor visits.   The office was huge and there were so many people there.  They told me to plan for a 3 hour appointment.  My cell phone was charged and ready to keep up with my emails and facebook and chatting with friends.  My mom came with me.  Sitting in the waiting room was strange…well several waiting rooms really of women all dressed in robes.  We all looked the same.  It was like everyone was tagged in that one room.  If you wore the robe then you were obviously the one with an issue.  The non robed women were just there as support people.  The office just deals with people with issues…if you find a lump, need an MRI, have breast cancer or like me…are a genetic mutant.  So, noone was there for their happy little annual mammogram (ha…as if any mammogram is happy).

    I had a mammogram.  It was not a big deal.  It’s uncomfortable but not painful.  I then moved to the next waiting area where I was called back for an ultrasound.  Ultrasound can find even more than a mammogram and is good for dense breast tissue.  Then I moved to the last waiting area…waiting to talk to my doctor.  My mom was with me the whole time…chatting it up with ladies all around me.  It was good to have her there but I enjoyed the time alone on my own as well.  I like to be alone in these type situations.  It feels easier to actually deal with and cope with the problem.

    My doctor showed us the ultrasound results and she showed me that I have two areas with cysts.  She recommends that I have them biopsied in office soon.  I schedule an appointment for November 11th to have that done.  It’s a pain to deal with insurance and paying so much at the end of the year but the mister and I agreed that it’s worth it and we would really be mad if we didn’t do something and it ended up being cancer and we didn’t have the 2 month jump on dealing with it.  We’ll come up with a way to pay for it or come up with a payment plan.

    How do I feel about them finding cysts in my breasts?  It is what it is.  I don’t feel worried.  Should I be worried?  I don’t know.  I don’t usually worry about things like this.  I worry about things I think I have control over and this I just don’t really feel like I have any control over.  Maybe that’s why it feels simple.

    I wanted to cry tonight.  It feels good to cry sometimes.  It just didn’t come easy tonight.

    I have three plastic surgeons to meet with.  I want to speak with each of them and find out what kind of reconstruction they recommend for me.

  7. Labor in Waiting

    November 2, 2011 by Julie Moon

    Here I sit in the examination room…waiting. I feel my heart pounding and every now and then my hands start shaking. I take a deep breath and calm my breathing. In and out…yoga breathing…listening to the exhale. One moment at a time. I always learned that with labor I just needed to work through one contraction at a time. Deeply focused on this one moment I will not let my mind race forward to the many other “contractions” that I have to face on this journey. This is not easy. I can’t wait to have a good cry on the way home.


  8. I love you too much!

    November 1, 2011 by Julie Moon

    My baby girl is 2 1/2 and full of fiery soul.  She’s the youngest of three children.  She is a firecracker, full of opinions and ready to try just about anything.  One of my very favorite things though about her if you tell her that you love her she will ALWAYS say “I love you too much!”  Oh it just melts me.  It’s so true baby girl!  I love you too much too.  But too much is just right sometimes!