This is something I have been putting off writing about. When your emotions are in turmoil and your head is all fuzzy its hard to have coherent thought.
As some know and others may not I am 2 weeks out tomorrow from having a mastectomy. I have put most of my other projects and writing on hold, not knowing exactly what to say. You see I am lucky/ blessed/ fortunate , whichever adjective you want to use. Even though my tumors were 'abnormal' none of them were cancerous. Now don't get me wrong, I would not have chosen to have this procedure- it was necessary- but I am one of the fortunate few that was able to have reconstruction right away and only a few treatments leading up to the surgery to shrink one of the tumors before hand. Others have a far tougher road to travel then I and I do not put myself in a class with them for they are much stronger. I feel for each and every one of them.
As for me it is a tough enough road. The limitations that last 90 days seems a lifetime, but they are good so far because the pain would keep me in check anyway. My sister put it best- "You know when your raking leaves or in the back yard pulling weeds etc all day and your arms and chest ache to move, well I can't imagine what you've been through now". She is right, I never realized how often or much you use your arm and chest muscles! I mean something as simple as wiping your bottom after you pee is an all time effort of sheer will power because it burns with muscle spasms across your chest wall. You walk tenderly and tend to try and stick your arms out in front of you so no one accidentally bumps you or you bump into something. Your clothing feels like a heavy lead vest against your front and all you have on is a thin cotton camisole and the tape holding you together from the surgery. Then the muscle spasms start, and they are like twitches of fire. They pull and burn and your can't control any of them because your body has a mind of its own and is reacting to being cut and diced and then filled and sewed back together. I swear its a cruel joke of remembrance when the spasms start and you can't control any of them so just have to ride them out.
Today has been one of those days. I think I did too much yesterday, and by too much I mean I loaded the dishwasher, and cooked one salad. My chest started spasm-ing last night and hasn't quit yet. At my check up, I told the Doctor I couldn't believe women did implants and reductions willingly. He replied it is totally different as they don't have as much removal as I did and then fill. I can't tell you if he is right but I will tell you those women that do have implants or reductions are WAY stronger then I! I have always considered that I am pretty pain tolerant person, after 4 c-sections and a few other surgeries that I bounced right back from I thought this would be on that level. I am telling you- was I wrong! That pain was like stepping on a nail, this is like having your foot nailed to the floor and then beat on for days! So you all, if you have had one of these surgeries, I salute you! You are one tough chick!
At the two week mark I am having better days and the emotions are becoming more tolerable. Because for awhile I swear you think your crazy with the random thoughts running through your head. A friend of mine and I joke that they removed half our brains with our boobs, but I tell you it feels like it some-days. I am very fortunate, I have a loving understanding husband, and four of the greatest sons around. I could not have gotten through any of this without them. I also had someone reach out to me who has recently gone through the same thing, unfortunately one of her tiny spots was cancer but thankful all the rest were abnormal like me. That may sound terrible but it has been God sent that we can talk and use each other as sounding boards, because you really do wonder if your all alone. Every story is unique and every surgery is just as unique as the individual, or so my oncologist says. No two are exactly alike. That is true but it sure helps to have someone who is traveling a similar road to make you not feel so crazy. I thank God for her every day - and only wish I would have known sooner that this road we travel could be together during her surgery. I think many women don't really tell whats going on with us. Unless it is cancer many times women don't know about the trials we go through because in our minds there are others that need the support more then I. I think I am finally learning that even though my road is not the same as yours, and I know someone else will always have a tougher road to travel then I. That doesn't mean that we should hide and try to be tough because someone's road is worse. I am learning that tough times come to all- no matter the severity and there is ALWAYS something that we can learn from one another IF we let others in. Then we can support one another in everything from the little trials and heartbreak to the big needs, the way God intended it to be.
I am cancer free, but yes I have had a mastectomy and reconstruction. I have a road ahead of some careful monitoring to make sure tumors don't redevelop, and I myself am on top of my health and just as I did with this- abnormality, I will continue to do what is advised so that I may see my sons grow up and be where God wants me to be for as long as He allows.
So if I am a bit teary eyed, or crazy, or just emotional when you meet me on the street. Please know I am trying to recover and be the best me I can be. I am adjusting to my new body and a lot of emotions, so just be patient with me. I will wrap my head around it all one of these days, but in the meantime your understanding and support means the world to me.