One year ago today, I woke up at the ass crack of dawn to get my boobs amputated. I wasn’t really nervous, I was tired and hungry. I was hangry. You’re not allowed to eat or drink anything like 12 hours or something before surgery and it literally feels like 12 days.
I really just wanted to get it over with. I guess my impatience was overshadowing any anxiety and fear that I had. Nobody really wants to make that decision to get a double mastectomy. So once I had decided it was the right thing to do, I just wanted to get it over with before I could comprehend that I had just signed consent papers for a surgeon to cut off my breasts.
It’s not an easy surgery, I’ll warn you. I was blissfully unaware of the magnitude of pain that I would be in for the weeks following that day. My doctor did warn me that most women claim it’s worse than childbirth. Yikes. But I had never had children, sooooo I really didn’t understand that comparison. When I woke up, the pain was a 12 on a 1-10 scale. I could barely talk because any movement in my body or my lungs and chest was excruciating.
It was bad.
But you know what…. In those few hours following surgery I thought life would never be the same… and then in those few weeks following surgery I thought that it would take an eternity before I would feel whole again. Well here I am, one year later telling you that time has flown by, and I feel amazing. It got better. It always gets better because when shit is really bad there is really nowhere else to go but up.
My journey isn’t QUITE over. I still have one more surgery on July 21st. This is the last step of my reconstruction. The surgeon will recreate nipples, remove my port scar, and remove a few “questionable” moles on my body while I’m knocked out. So three procedures in one surgery. It’s like a BOGO sale! It’s funny to think that a year ago, I had foolishly planned out in my mind that I would have all of my surgeries complete by Christmas of that year. HA! This was before I knew I needed chemo, before I ended up in the hospital twice, before my port got infected and I had to have more surgery. Oh well, I was never good at planning anyways.
But the end is finally in sight. Three hundred and sixty-five days ago, I never imagined that the finish line looked this way. I thought I was going to be one of those girls who got cancer but only had to have surgery and ended up with some great boobs out of the whole deal. Like Giuliana Rancic or Hoda Kotb. Expectations are the root of all heartache I guess.
I’m alive (cancer free), I have hair (some), and I have boobs (fake). Not a totallyyyyy bad deal, right?! I feel like those people who didn’t win the “showcase showdown” on Price is Right, but they still went home with a set of garden tools, and a 50 lb bag of raisins! It’s SOMETHING! So I’ll take it for now. God, I fucking hate raisins by the way. What a wasted use of grapes that could have been wine.
I want to write a quick thank you to everyone who has helped me over the past year. Especially my parents and my boyfriend Jeff. I couldn’t have done it without you. My parents visited me multiple times this past year to help with surgeries and chemo appointments. And my sisters who sent me awesome care packages, drawings from my nephews, and kept me laughing when I was high on Percocet’s. I miss Percocet. Oops I mean… I MISS YOU GUYS, my sisters.
Thank you to all my friends and extended family who sent me funny cards and gifts! I really appreciate the love and generosity. Thank you especially to Cindy who visited me numerous times this past year as well. I know she’s always on the next flight down here if I ever need her.
Thank you to Jeff who puts up with me every single day. With my freakouts and insecurities through this whole Hellish order. Thank you for taking care of me and being strong, optimistic, and encouraging me to write this blog and start my t-shirt business. I ain’t your sugar momma yet but I’m trying!
OK that’s all the sappy stuff I’ve got for today. I was never good at ending these heartfelt talks so I’m just going to awkwardly run away now. Cioa betches.