Since my surgery a week ago to remove my tissue expanders and to insert my implants everyone wants to know if I’m done now AND am I happy with the results?! Well, to answer you all….
1. I’m not done, yet. I will need some minor surgery still to deal with the ramifications of the mastectomy and reconstruction AND
2. The “results” can’t be determined yet as the incisions are still bandaged. There is still a lot of swelling and until I see my surgeon next week I won’t know how to gauge how the other minor surgeries will affect how things will look and how long it will take to heal and settle into place.
Wow, that was a mouthful! Not sure if that answers your questions. What I do know is that what many of you are envisioning as the “result” of my implants is NOT reality. I did not have a “boob” job. I had reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. I do not have some “hollywood housewife” chest. Sorry to disappoint people.
I can honestly say that my expectations have changed substantially from the beginning of this journey to what they are now. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer last April, I have survived more pain, more emotional and physical trauma and more fear, depression and self doubt than I ever imagined possible. My self esteem and self confidence have been shaken to the core. It’s not just the physical changes I’ve endured but the emotional ones as well. Fighting cancer is difficult, I don’t think that comes as a surprise to anyone. But most people don’t realize how isolated you become when you’ve been hit with this disease. From the second you are told you have cancer, you realize that life as you knew it, will never be the same. Everything in life will be now categorized as before and after cancer. Photos, holidays, events, relationships; all will be seen and remembered as “before” and “after”.
Before “C”, I felt like I had my shit together. I had a successful 30 year career in advertising/marketing, running my own company; speaking engagements at conferences and industry events; a great social life; a beautiful home and loving family and friends. I had worked very hard to get to this point and was very aware of just how lucky I was. Then cancer struck. The rug was pulled out from under me. My focus was now on how to get better and how to get better FAST. It’s been 10 long hard months since my diagnosis. Ten months that this disease has consumed every part of my life. It has affected my work, relationships, finances and how I see and feel about myself. My “purpose” has been shifted and blurred. I don’t know how or where I fit anymore. I don’t recognize myself. I feel incredibly vulnerable. I want to build a wall around me; sorry Trump this one is all mine; to protect myself. Things people say that I used to be able to “brush off” now hurt me to the core. My tolerance of bullshit, negativity and ignorance, is next to none. I can no longer just paste a smile on my face and soldier on. I no longer have a coat of teflon to let things slide. I feel every comment, judgement and opinion made to me and about me and it only adds to my uphill battle to rebuild my self confidence and self esteem.
I have a lot of healing yet to do. I need patience. I need support. I need understanding. I need to feel safe enough to let down my guard so I can start to rebuild myself; rediscover myself; and to finally accept myself.
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.