The bandages are off but I’m far from “done!”

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Just got home from my first followup appointment after my surgery two weeks ago. I’ve been bandaged and unable to shower for two weeks. I’ve had to just wash while sitting in a few inches of water in the bathtub. Can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to taking a long hot shower or better yet a bubble bath. You have to hold onto the little things when you go through this recovery process. I am celebrating every positive thing I can. So today I’m going to toast to “personal hygiene!” Woohoo. Yep, I’ve sunk so low that bathing is now an exciting event…fu#k!

My surgeon removed all the bandages and cut some sutures that were sticking out and causing me irritation. Feels good to have them off even if now I have to look at the Frankenstein stitches again. After examining me, my surgeon once again told me that he is not happy with how things look. One breast is still higher than the other and the large lump under my left arm needs to be dealt with.

“How do you feel about your chest now that the expanders are gone and you have implants? I can’t imagine you are happy with them…but maybe you are!?”

This is a very emotional journey. It’s painful, exhausting and the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I didn’t just have a “boob job”, I had a mastectomy which removes all breast tissue and leaves caverns where you once had cleavage. Even with the implants inserted, my chest is very flat. The implants fill a space that has been hollowed out, so even with 800cc silicone implants (which are the largest available) I do NOT have a hollywood housewives “rack”. It’s crazy. I don’t know how I feel yet about the “new me.” It is still a lot to process. I know that I do not want to have my stomache cut to transfer skin, fat and muscle to my chest to add to what is there. I have the option of removing the silicone implants and putting in saline implants which can be “pumped up” to a larger size…but they are harder and can cause rippling in your skin. My surgeon says that I can have this switch at anytime…even years from now, BUT I can’t even process another major surgery again. I will have to face two more surgeries as it is. I will have to go under the knife again to either raise one breast or lower the other in order to make them even AND I will have to have the large lump under my arm cut out. That surgery will extend my scars by another six inches taking it from my breast bone , across my chest, under my arm and around my back to my shoulder blade. I’ll be starring in Edward Scissorhands Part Two!

Neither of these surgeries will be as bad as what I’ve gone through so far but any surgery is still a drag and will require more recovery time. It tires me out just thinking about the next steps but I can’t dwell on that. I have to get over this hump or “humps” in my case. I have to focus on healing from this surgery. I have to start to rebuild my business and I have to find the confidence and self assurance I once possessed. I have to rediscover who I was before cancer. I want that person to come out of this as someone who is stronger and who has been able to make a difference for others by sharing my journey…the good the bad and the ugly. I want something good to come of this. If I can help even one other person who is dealing with this shit show called cancer then I will be elated. Then and only then can I answer YES, to the question “Are you happy with the results?!”

 

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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.

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