This entry is part 44 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

On the tenth, I had my surgical follow-up appointment with Dr. Rose. To recap, she performed my salpingo-oophorectomy surgery on the fifth of May.

I arrived at the women’s clinic an hour or so early, like I usually do for my VA appointments. The waiting room was vacant, and quiet but for the receptionist talking on the phone with someone about an appointment which had to be rescheduled. I read for a bit while waiting.

The nurse came and fetched me, then took me to be weighed. I forgot to ask when we got to the consultation room—the same one I had one of my pre-surgery meetings with Dr. Rose in—if I’d lost or gained weight since the last time I’d been weighed. All my other vitals were good, and I was left alone in the room.

After about fifteen minutes, a resident came in. He went over the basics of my surgery and then asked to see my wounds from the surgery. This necessitated me rising to move to the exam bed in the corner, and I unfastened my shorts so he could look. He judged them to be healing well and invited me to sit in the chair again while he went to see Dr. Rose.

He wasn’t gone long, and he returned with Dr. Rose. She sat down and checked the records of my vitals, and discussed with me my healing. When she was satisfied with my report, she asked me to get on the exam bed so she could look at my wounds, and gave them a more thorough examination. They all were pinkish-to-purplish, she said, which was good, and that none of them showed any signs of infection. When she finished, she told me to button up, then asked if I had any questions.

And I had one question. On either side of my belly button (where the camera wound is), there were two perfectly circular scars on my belly, and I’d been wondering about these since first seeing them. I pointed them out to Dr. Rose, and she explained they were from a string or cord or something they use to hold the abdomen up away from the interior organs, so she’d be less likely to accidentally injure an internal organ. Apparently, the string is passed through from one spot to the other; I’m not sure how they suspended the ends, and now I wished I’d asked; it would have been interesting to know.

After that, I covered my belly with my underwear and buttoned up my shorts, then moved back to the chair and we finished up our meeting in short order.