Saturday, September 22, 2012

O'Donnell Rehab Center

We are home!!!!!!! Woo hoo. We got to leave around 1:45. My oldest sister came to see us off and then my middle sister came to greet mom at my house! She is all set in her new room. She ate a delicious dinner cooked by my husband and my mom said it was the best thing she has eaten in a week. She is asleep now and hopefully will be for the night. Thanks for prayers and support. She will be turning on her phone and updating her blog soon....I promise. She knows how much love she has gotten from Facebook, email, phone calls, and texts! She loves you all right back. Thank you to my friends and sisters' friends who have prayed for mom on her journey!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Things are looking good!

Mom slept pretty well last night and has eaten great. She has been working with the PT and RT and is a fabulous patient. They have her in a yellow gown that indicates she might fall so "take caution with this lady." She hasn't fallen yet so not sure she is labeled like a granny but at least she looks pretty in her bright yellow gown and socks. :) She might get to come to the O'Donnell Rehab Center as early as tomorrow. :) yay! Just in: They are taking off the granny yellow and putting her back in blue. :) Go Mom!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

She got a room with a view!

Mom got moved up to her new room. If you want the room number please email me at I don't want to post it on the worldwide web. :) Mom ate well today and walked a few steps but then got a little nauseated. They say she is a very good patient and tries everything she is asked to do. Mom wanted me to give a message to Carolyn Rogers. The hardworking nurses told mom they need some new beds in ICU. Mom used a broken bed that after tonight they were taking to the basement and labeling it broken. Mom told the nurses she had a friend who could help. :) Also, they didn't have a wheelchair that still had footrests so they had to transport mom to her new room in her broken bed. did I mention that her room has a beautiful view of downtown Dallas?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Day After Surgery

My sis spent the day with mom and then I hung out with her for the second part of the day. Here are mom's accomplishments: 1. She sat in a chair twice 2. She took two small labored steps 3. She ate jello, broth, sandwich, and baked potato and kept it all down. She did all of her breathing exercises per hour and coughed a few times like directed. She is still really uncomfortable but managing okay with her pain meds. I left her so she could go to sleep for the night. Oh, also they are keeping the Bare Hugger on her so her new breast stays warm and they are checking it with the Doppler every hour. She has had the best nurses...Sarah and Christy! The Dr. will check on her tomorrow and she if she can walk around. If she does well tonight they will try to move her to her new room tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

She looks great!

We got to go up to mom's room and see her for a bit. She was really sleepy but was curious how it all went. I gave her some of the facts but know she will want to hear more tomorrow or hear it again. I got a peek at her new breast and tummy and Dr. Teotia did a beautiful job. Her tummy is thin and flat and her new breast is perfect! It is quite amazing how doctors can do things like that! Mom was feeling pain so they gave her more meds and more anti-nausea meds too. She was falling fast asleep so my sis and I headed home until tomorrow. Side note- the valet had to jump mom's car so I could drive home. My battery had 3%left on my phone and inforgot my charger, so I called my husband to tell him my route home, just in case i got stranded. Major traffic problem-highway was shutdown so I had to go a different way but couldn't tell Brion my new route because my phone was dead. I saw a really awesome part of East Grand Praire and drove down Jefferson street all they way to 360. I made it home though. Thank you to everyone who lifted my mom in prayer today. Your prayers worked. She is doing so well! I will update more tomorrow. :)


Dr. Teotia came to talk to me and Melissa. Here are my notes in bullet fashion because my brain can't handle composing complete sentences right now. -no trouble with veins and arteries -because of the radiated skin, he had to make a very big breast. (it is actually bigger than the right breast which has always been the biggest). -he took lots of the abdomen -he will liposuction that big breast later -he had to use pig skin -4-5 months he will lift the other breast -thinned the blood for her arteries -lots of tension in her stomach for 1-2 weeks -she will be in the flexed position for a couple of weeks -her big breast will settle with time -20%of patients will have some wound issue -ICU for two days -we will get to see her in about 1-2 hours

Almost finished!!

After nine hours of surgery, Dr. Teotia has finished attaching the breast. Now he is making it look good!!! The next phone call will be the one where he is finished and it is time to talk to him. Yay!
Nurse shift. We got the call about 40 minutes late to tell us that Dr. Teotia was still working on attaching the breast. She is still doing fine and they will call us in one hour and a half.
Okay...just heard from Nurse Courtney and mom is still doing well. I asked if mom was about halfway through and she said at least a "third of the way through." it's lunchtime for me and the sis now.
Update from Nurse Courtney: Dr. Teotia is still working and everything is going well.
So they kind of forgot to come get my sister and I so we didn't get to hang out with mom as long as we wanted but we got to see her get marked by her doctor which was really cool. Watching Dr. Teotia mark her was pretty awesome. He used four different colors of Sharpies and took his time to study, mark, and think about every line. He was gentle and kind enough to explain his thoughts. Mom is in amazing hands. She will be in the OR for about 6-10 hours. We will have updates ever 45 minutes to hour and a half. Stay tuned.

Patient 201910 in the Building

It all started at 4:27am with mom zooming up my street and up my driveway ready for her journey to begin. We unload all the bags, yarn, dog, and the New iPad into her post surgery suite (otherwise known as the 8 Year Old Princess Suite.) In the car, as I inform my mama that I didn't sleep so well and my body needed some McDonald's coffee, she tells me that she has been up a while; "I even dusted my bedside table this morning." Despite questioning my navigating abilities, we made it with 15 minutes to spare. Patient 201910 is what my mom will be known as today. They took her back right on time and I will join her shortly. I will stay with her until 7am and then it is TIME!! Thanks for staying with me. I will keep up the posts until my mom can do them herself. :) much love! -Monica

Friday, September 14, 2012

Videos - DIEP Flap Surgery & Subsequent Stages

These educational videos are just examples of the procedures I found online.  Different plastic surgeons use their own personal procedures, so I don't know if these are exact visualizations of what Dr. Teotia will be doing on me, but a rough idea.

Delayed DIEP Reconstruction Animation- the only difference is that this woman had the mastectomy at the same time as her DIEP Flap reconstruction.

Great animation of the procedure. - from Johns Hopkins

Nipple Reconstruction

Nipple Tattooing

Breast Lift Surgery

Breast Lift/Mastopexy Surgery

DIEP Flap Log - Entry #3

Got my post-op instructions from my plastic surgeon today.  This should be interesting!


  • Avoid strenous activity, exercising, & lifting heavy objects greater than 10 pounds (keep heart rate less than 100 beats per minute) for up to 8 weeks after surgery.
  • A light diet of liquids, soups, & jello the first 24 hours. 
  •  Take pain medication with crackers or jello.
  •  You will walk bent over (flexed) & rise slowly over the first 2 weeks. (This may cause abdominal & back cramping.)
  • Follow a balanced diet which needs to include 40 to 50 grams of protein a day.  (How am I going to do that as a vegetarian????)
  • Start walking as soon as possible, this helps to reduce swelling & lowers the chance of blood clots.  Walk in a flexed position for the first 2 weeks. 
  • No driving for 3-4 weeks.  You may resume driving when abdominal area will allow for sudden braking.  But I can ride in the car with someone else driving - *hint*! I'll have to get out of this house!
  • Wear surgical or sports bra for 6 weeks until all incisions heal.  Do not wear a regular bra until this time. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

DIEP Flap Log - Entry #2

Pre-op Procedures:

September 5, 2012:
CT scan of abdomen administered to map blood vessels for the microsurgery.

September 10, 2012:
EKG & blood work done, along with necessary paperwork for admission to Zale Lipshy Hospital.  I got my orange "Admit One Ticket for Surgery"!  All I have to do is bring it with me the morning of surgery & I'm good to go!

DIEP Flap Log - Entry #1

June 9, 2012

Consult with Dr. Sumeet Teotia, Plastic Surgeon, UTSWMC

I had my consult with Dr. Teotia today to discuss my DIEP Flap reconstruction surgery. He was highly recommended by my breast surgeon, Dr. David Euhus, and my chemo oncologist, Dr. Barbara Haley.

He said he does about 2 DIEP Flap reconstruction surgeries per week & that he has done about 200.  He said there was a 2-5% chance of failure.  If mine falls in the failure category, he said he would then do reconstruction using back muscle transfer (Latissius dorsi flap) which involves moving a flap of muscle, skin & fat from the back to the chest to for a new chest 'mound'. I'll hope & pray that doesn't have to happen.  But as I told a friend, "There's more than one way to skin a cat!"  YIKES!!!  What did I just say?!

Once the reconstructed breast heals, then Dr. Teotia will do what is necessary to make it match my natural breast in size - possibilities include lipo fat grafting to increase the size of the reconstructed breast or reduction of the natural breast - plus a lift to match the perky new one!  The stage after that is surgery to construct the nipple, then tattooing the areola when that heals.  Exhibitions of his finished art work will be on display for a price!  HA!

After seeing Dr. Teotia, the medical photographer took a set of before pics. Not unlike posing for Playboy - not that I would know!!

Surgery is scheduled for September 18th at Zale Lipshy Hospital in Dallas, Texas.  I am so ready to get this behind me & to feel whole again.  No pain, no gain.....

UT Southwestern Plastic Surgery

Dr. Sumeet Teotia is an Assistant Professor of plastic surgery with a fellowship in aesthetic surgery specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the nose, face and breasts. He is also a classically trained artist with a passion for cleft lip/palate surgical humanitarian missions around the world.
Areas of Specialty:
  • Primary and Secondary Rhinoplasty
  • Facial Cosmetic Surgery
  • Breast Cosmetic Surgery
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Cleft Lip and Palate