This journey’s almost over
I haven’t wanted to write but its been just over three weeks so it seems like the best time to write my PART 2 that I promised.
I have spoken to so many of you about those days following my return home that it seems almost redundant to go back and discuss it now. I first want to say that I went back to work on Monday and how amazing it feels to have my life back to somewhat of a normal stature. I don’t think I have ever been so excited to go back to work but going back meant that I was back to myself again…and that I conquered. It was a big step and it was closure for not only me but for my husband who was my rock during all of this.
Day 2-5: Hell and back….and thinking my boob fell out didn’t help
Don’t be scared if you read this and are planning on having this surgery in the near future. I don’t write it to scare you and I apologize tremendously if it does…but day 2 through 5 were absolute hell for me. For some reason, I just could not get comfortable when I was released from the hospital. My pain level was never that bad around my chest, which is pretty amazing, but my back hurt like nothing else. Actually, on day 2 or 3 if you even touched my back I would tear up because it felt so good…almost orgasmic.
On day 4 my husband was rubbing my back (because again…all I wanted was for someone to rub my back) and I felt something actually pop. I started to cry and made my husband check everywhere on my body because I thought one of my new boobs FELL OUT, or possibly one of my drains. It turns out he popped of muscle and my left arm started to move better. So that was a plus.
Things were pretty bad day 2-5 also just for more mental reasons. I honestly did not mentally prepare myself for this surgery because I didn’t want to. This probably sounds really dumb to you but I didn’t want to spend time reading blogs and literature and scaring myself shitless on all the things I WOULDN’T be able to do after surgery. What was the point in that? No matter what, I was having the surgery so it didn’t matter all the things I couldn’t do. But then again, being an adult and having to have your husband pick you up in bed because you physically cannot pick up yourself is pretty mortifying…and that’s not event he half of it…so mentally, I was pretty much a wreck.
The afternoon of day 5 I got two of my four my drains taken out which was somewhat freeing so day 6 and 7 I was like a new person. Chad learned how to do my hair. (He’s amazing, I know). I walked around the mall for a bit, stopped taking the pain pills, just took the muscle relaxers, and put makeup on! On day 7 I went back for another follow up and my last set of drains were out and I WAS FREE!!!! The drains really weren’t that bad but once they were out I wanted to put on real clothes and I made Chad take me shopping for a new sweater dress that I thought would be somewhat easy to put on. It’s funny how new clothes and some makeup made me feel like I was a whole new women….not the boobs…the makeup and the clothes. I remember saying to Chad on day 6 or day 7:
“I look so good I could go to work tomorrow!”
And he said to me:
“you may be able to walk IN to work, but you could not put your bag in the car, drive to work, or get your bag out of the car…so why do we just take it one day at a time.”
So maybe….just maybe I’m a little vain, but a girl can’t help what makes her feel good…or like a woman for that matter.
What everyone wants to know: the results
So, I still have small boobs. My plastic surgeon under estimated how much breast tissue the breast surgeon was going to actually take out so I gained exactly .2 ounces which is 1/8 a pound….which is nothing. BUT, they feel a little bigger because they are up in my face or as if I am wearing a nice Victoria Secret bra all the time. Chad seems to think I will opt for a revision surgery in 5 years or so. I’m pretty content with them (even thought I think its funny my surgeon thought I was smaller than I was). I am very blessed they are symmetrical and so far, the surgeon hasn’t suggested any revision, so it’s looking like just the one surgery. =)
As for scaring, I can’t even tell so why Dr. Spear pissed me off on the day of surgery, he and Willey are the best around if you ask me…and they know there stuff. If you saw them, you would barely be able to notice. So again, I am very lucky I was a candidate for the surgery I had.
I have several friends who are about to face this surgery in the next couple of weeks and months ahead and all I can say is there is another, much brighter side of things. I wish I could say something prolific…something that would make you so comfortable that you would know what you are doing is right. All I can say is that I feel more than fabulous at this moment in my life.
I had coffee with a friend of mine the other evening that is still contemplating what type of surgery she is going to go with but she is hoping to have her decision made in the next couple of weeks. She asked me if I felt different or if I felt like I could at least close the door and move on with my life post this surgery. I don’t know if I every really answered her question but if you are reading this now, here goes: I don’t really feel different…I still feel like myself which is a good thing because I didn’t want this surgery to change me. This is probably very cliché but I do feel a sense of pride in myself because I know my mother would be proud of me and for that, I am empowered. We discussed how no one at our age should have to go through something like this…I know I can tackle anything. So world, bring it on.
I also feel VERY at peace. I have known my BRCA status for over three years now and the last year especially has been BRCA this, and BRCA that. It weighs on your soul and while hereditary breast and ovarian cancer will always be near and dear to my heart, it DOES NOT DEFINE ME. I am young. I have a career. I have a husband and hopefully we will have children one day. Now that this is over I feel like I can move forward with my life without the fear of cancer constantly lingering in my mind. While my BRCA journey is not over, it is for now and this door is shut for now.